How to tame an iguana? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-30-2005, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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How to tame an iguana?

My ig is so stubborn. We've had him for about 7 months now (he was very small when we got him but we weren't sure how old he was exactly). We try every single day to tame him but he still whips and lately he's gotten into biting fingers. We'd like to curb this behavior now because when he gets a little older, it won't be very nice to be bitten by him. I've tried some tips I read on here and I just cannot sneak up on him! We have a very hard time even getting him out if his tank because he flips all around, runs, whips, and just plain goes nuts. We don't back off, but he just doesn't give up. When we finally get him out, he's extremely scared and starts to turn black (this happens every time he gets scared and it fades within about 20 minutes). If we put him down in a secure place, he'll skitter across the floor at full speed and runs into walls to get away from us. I've been as patient as possible, just sitting near him with my hand on the floor and moving very slowly. After awhile of being out, he calms down but I'm not sure if this is related to him becoming cold (he feels awfully cold and clammy after awhile). He still whips and tenses up when we go to pick him up again, but once he's in our hand, he's pretty good. As soon as he sees his tank again, he starts flipping around again.

He's in an area with a lot of human interaction, so people are around all the time (but it's not a loud or extremely busy environment). When someone looks in his tank, he tenses up and sticks out his dewlap. Sometimes he'll even whip the air. When we change his food and bath every day, he does this same thing...if we get too close we get whipped.

I just don't know what to do! I've heard varied ways of taming (not giving up and forcing the ig to go on your hand vs. not scaring the ig too much) so I'd just like to know what has worked with you. I feel bad when I go to take him out of the tank and he's obviously extremely worked up and trying to get away but I know backing off isn't going to teach him anything.

Any help would be appreciated! This is our first iguana and I'm at a loss.
DorkyChantelle is offline  
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 12-30-2005, 05:33 PM
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 01-01-2006, 12:31 AM
Join Date: May 2004
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How high and big is his tank?

I think a good guideline is the bottom of his tank should be at your chest level.

Since your ig is approaching 1 year old, he needs more room than a hatchling. He will start to feel claustrophobic. The more room the better. My iguana has nearly complete freedom in my one bedroom apartment. I've had to do a lot of taping and blocking of exit points, but now Buddha is more of a family member than a 'pet'. He is still a little skiddish, but he is still only 4 months old. By the time he's as big as a terrier, he'll be more confident, I'm sure.

Of course, you should not do this yet; considering your ig's behaviour... but make sure his habitat is up high and as large as possible for the environment it's placed in.

The sneaking up can come later, if you are patient.

Happy New Year,
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