How to sneak up on an iguana... - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-11-2005, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2004
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How to sneak up on an iguana...

Hey there,

I was spending time with my 3 month old Iguana and noticed that he can only really focus his attention on one thing at a time... so with a little experimenting, I found that if I distracted him with my left hand(just shaking it a little), I could move my other hand closer to him at the same tiem. When he senses my right hand moving(he turnes his head to look at it) I distract him again with my left hand... moving my right closer again. I've now started distracting him with my voice, calling his name. My hope is that he will come to accept being picked up as just an eventuality and I will only have to call his name and scoop him up.

He is just a baby still and very timid, but I've found this technique useful in 'breaking the ice' so-to-speak. Patience is the key. I hope others find it useful.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-12-2005, 12:22 AM
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It may work for the time being, but when iguanas reach maturity their personalities usually change drastically. They often go from prey instinct of being afraid you're going to eat them, to being territorial and wanting to dominate and be the ruler of their environment. Keeping up with the routine will definitely help, but its always something to keep in mind. Iguanas have an array of potential weapons, and most are not afraid to use them. They are by far the most dumped reptile pet for a reason.


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-12-2005, 02:01 AM Thread Starter
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This is not my first iguana. When he get bigger I'll judge his demeanor and adjust accordingly. I am very gentle with Buddha. He loves having his head scratched and always calms down when I do it.

To break him of biting and threatening to bite, I blow are into his open mouth. He closes it immediately. I talk to him and pet him after to reinforce a closed mouth. I also let him bite me sometimes; when circumstances dictate, i.e., when he just won't get out of a bad mood. This shows him that the bite has no effect. He used to knaw a little on me but now he barely hold on when he bites.

Of course I would not recommend someone trying this with a large iguana...

I intend to wean him off of biting totally... might he, down the road, remember his biting days and take a shot at me? Perhaps. But I'll be expecting it because I am careful. At any rate, bites are just a part of the iguana owning experience.

When he gets to be 1 or 2 hopefully he wil be a biteless, whipless(he does only rarely whip at present) iguana, like my last one. She was completely tame. Anyone could hold her tail. She would just lay on my belly while i watched t.v.

Well I'm done rambling, but I'm gonna post my Buddha's perch that I mounted in my window. He's free roaming. Packing tape is my new best friend.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-30-2005, 01:47 PM
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My babies have never tried to bite me. Thanks for the good tip on distracting an ig, it helps me with my hatchling(who I got 3 days ago and seems to be more neurotic than the average hatchling).

My older baby ig, Khain is unusually sweet and intelligent. He's only been at my house a week, but is calm and will let anyone hold him but my ex(who ironically bought him for me as a christmas present) It took me only 3 or 4 times for me to teach him not to whip his tail at me. I said "NO!" in a loud, stern voice and gave him the iguana stink eye while I covered his tail with my hand. Then, I would go back talking to him in a soft voice and give him a treat 5 mins later. One unusual thing Khain does is most baby iguanas will freak out when you try to extricate them from their cage. Not him, he will let me scoop him right up. He will sit right on my shoulder or chest the whole time hes out, loves to be petted and will nap with me. Then, he will freak out on me(when I try putting him back in his cage) and try his best to make me keep him out of his cage, even by throwing his limbs out to make himself wider than the opening or jumping on top my head!
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-30-2005, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Sounds like you're making out fine... My last iguana was a sweetheart too... my current one, Buddha, was extremely cautious and flighty to begin with..

This week we've sort of had a breakthrough though. He's been letting me walk up to him while he's on the floor and I can scoop him up. I think the important thing to remember is consistency and not to let your iguana be the boss. Try never to let them run away from you... allowing them to walk calmly away is better. This will teach him/her that calm behaviour is the way to get what they want.

I'm currently converting my living room, Buddha's playground, into an artificial jungle... I'll post pics when I'm finished. So far I'm quite happy letting Buddha run free... just took some proper preparation. Sometimes he hides for a day or so at a time, but he alway's comes out when he's hungry

After Buddha gets consistent with letting me pick him up, I'm going to begin potty training. My goal is to teach him to climb into the tub and go there. I'll leave a little water in the tub at all times along with a rope ladder for him to climb in and out. I've heard of other owners doing this and it sounds good to me... Gotta be patient though, he's only about 4 months old...

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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-30-2005, 03:56 PM
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I'm glad to hear Buddah is settling down. When Khain was less calm when I first got him, I raised him as high as I could above my head and brought him slowly down to my shoulder to help calm him. One thing my dad taught me was never put an uncalm iggy back in its cage. Although since I am in the process of packing to move, I wont let him roam about my room for fear of him getting trapped, hurt, or my cat taking a playful spell. I do sometimes let those two see each other under very close supervison. It's soo cute watching them lick and nuzzle each other or the way Khain will cling to Tinker's(cat) back or around his neck. Also, Tinker & Khain will fall asleep watching each other from between the glass of his habitat(In which I cat and Ig-proofed it)
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potty train, potty training

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