Discussion in 'Green Iguanas' started by TitoAndKatt, Jun 9, 2009.
You're walking the line there with your jokes my friend... haha
You`re talking to an ex tight-rope walker Kitty-Katt...walking the line is my favourite thing to do, Blondie!!
You never told me you worked for a Circus! haha
Let me explain to you this "Linky" lizard. I got him when he was 5 days old. It took almost 3 months just to get him to eat in front of all of us. He was a DEVIL from the moment go. Whipping, biting, squirming, running, head bobbing, YOUR WORST NIGHTMARE! I tried every tactic in the book and free roaming without attention DID NOT work with forest. Only after I starting increasing the actual holding time did he start relaxing a bit. That took 1 full year! He is now 1 year and 6 months and let me tell you a fact that I have proven over and over again in our house, if I skip 1 day with forest I have **** the next day. That is just the way he is. He still has not calmed down, I dont think he will ever calm down.
So yes, when I state my OPINION then it is based on the worst case scenario ig. Never have I said you must follow what I did, I just simply tell you what finally worked with forest-the devil. Just think of the fact that forest even started breeding-season at only 1 year and 2 months old, that should give you an idea of what type of monster my ig is.
And no, I dont think for one minute that when forest is fully grown that he will still clime over me and seek so much attention. But while they are young and small attention is really a good thing.
Lacey, Dizzy is already a big boy and you have had him for years, what did you do when you just got him and until he was socialized?
Katt the way you explain Tito, to me it really sounds like he has a bit of devil in him like forest. I hope for your sake that he is not.
Linky, I was JOKING!! If you read my earlier responses, you will see I agree with you completely about the "handling time" being sooo important!
These animals are behaving in a perfectly NATURAL way for their species!! They do NOT "behave badly" to make the keepers life difficult.... And by the time Forest is full grown, I expect he will be just as "happy" (for want of a better word), to climb all over you, just like he does now!!
I know you were joking Stefan.
Like it was pointed out "look at the individual lizard". Therefore it is important to look at TITO and HIS personality and not what worked for my lizard will work for yours. I wish it was as easy as that but there are lizards out there that can never be 'tamed' - 'calmed down' etc. and forest is one of them. I have learned that in the hard way and not once, several times, if I do not handle forest for ONE DAY I have trouble the next day. He NEEDS all of that handling or he becomes wild - angry and plain dangerous.
Reading and really listening to what Katt is saying then I have to say that she is explaining a little forest. Tito is battling to trust, battling to adjust and plain out a little devil. Therefore advice should be given according to TITO'S personality and not what worked for my lizard...
Linky, Forest is starting to mature...that`s the main problem you have with him at this time...which makes handling/interacting etc. VERY difficult, Katt`s iguana Tito, has not yet learned to completely trust her... so he behaves the way he does for THAT reason... (mainly), the problem you BOTH have is that iguanas DO have behaviours which make them "difficult" animals to be around during the breeding season, in particular... (especially the males), which unfortunately for you two ladies, will go on for many years to come!!! (Rather you, than me!)
Look on the bright side, though.....: It can only get worse!! (So you should be happy right now!!)
I disagree with you Stefan, I am not referring to how forest is now, I am talking about how he was before he was 1 year old.
I am enjoying forest immensely even while he is in breeding season more than when he was like Tito. Only because I sit and study him, observe him and try and analyze every move and behavior. I love his unpredictability, I love the fact that he can never sit and bask at one spot for longer than 5 minutes and then he is on the move again etc. He keeps me on my guard and on my toes and I truly love every moment of it.
Tito reminds me of when I just got forest up to 1 year. It took a loooong time for forest to trust me and I am still battling to get him to feel ok with strangers. I had to really work very hard on it and Katt will have to do the same. For as long as Tito does not trust her for so long she will not have a 'relationship' with him. Some trust easy and others battle.
Linky, we are BOTH saying the same thing!! Time and patience is the ONLY answer.....By the way, Forest will ALWAYS react differently towards people he doesn`t know quite as well, that will always be....(Just like MOST animals!!) Although he may come to "understand" people don`t mean him any harm....After nearly 13 years, my monitor will allow a complete stranger to stroke him, but he is STILL slightly wary of them ...
Oh I definitely think Tito is a little demon to the core! haha I am beginning to notice more specific patterns in his behavior. For example, when he escapes his cage he is always MUCH more aggressive and evasive than other days. Last night he had escaped; I am still trying to find out how. I fixed his old escape route (I knew it was how he was getting out b/c I caught him trying several times) but now he has found a new one. I THINK I have an idea of what it is, but I am not sure how to fix it yet. I plan on trying a few things.
ANYWAYS, he escaped and of course didn't like being taken off of his perch on top of his cage but I was able to get him down a LITTLE more easily than other times. Afterward he was being an awful little brat. Naturally. He has figured out tail-whipping (he almost NEVER tail whipped when I first got him!) and lately is cracking his mouth open just the Slightest bit. No hissing or biting or head-bobbing though...YET. Just a lot of puffing up. I made him sit with me a while and then let him wander off but I followed him very closely. Which, I should add, was VERY difficult because of all of the "fun" things I have for him to climb on that are in awkward-for-humans places and will not support my weight. Anyways, he didn't like me following him but would eventually calm down, and then get mad again and back and forth. It was like he was angry, but when I didn't pick him up his curiosity got the better of him. I periodically pet him as he wandered. Sometimes he ran, sometimes he puffed up, and other times he ignored it (yay! ). Finally he climbed up on this empty cage I have sitting next to his cage and looked like he was trying to figure out how to get home. I asked him if he wanted help going home (I have been saying "time to go home" whenever I put him back in his cage) and slowly reached out to grab him. He puffed up a bit, but did not run and put his dewlap back down once I had him in my hands. I then put him back in his cage and said "okay, you can go home." The whole thing lasted less than an hour - maybe 30-40 minutes - but I felt like we had ended on a REALLY good note.
Should I have kept playing with him to spend more time with him, or was it okay to end early on such a good note? I felt like even though it was short, it was one of the most productive "sessions" we've had yet and I didn't want to spoil it...
Personally I think it is fine to have "short" interaction. I usually let Buddy decide how long our interactions are and he doesn't get skittish or defensive (he hates to go back in his enclosure and would rather be a "free roam" pet LOL I'm trying to figure out a way to let him be one )
I normally have kermit out when waiting for something, in the mornings waiting for my mom, or the dog to wake up so I have to put kermit away when the thing happens so some times she can be out for hours other times... not so much.
I am glad that you enjoyed it! Ending on a good note is the best. Hissing - forest is famous for it! He especially does a lot of hissing during and after bath time, I just laugh at him! When forest learned that I am there to 'help' him as well, he changed towards me and stopped whipping that tail all the time. I hope it will work for Tito.
Carry on what you were doing, as long as he does not run away from you. He WILL learn that he can trust you and what you say - is what you do and then most of your problems will be solved. Remember to walk around with him as well, make coffee or whatever that is handling time.
You love cuddling - instead of putting him back when it is lights off for him, put him on your chest and switch all the lights off, except the tv. He will fall asleep on you and with time he will do this out of habit even while the lights are on. Then you will have your cuddle puppy.
(But when they are bigger and still wants to cuddle then we will both have a problem)
Ok, I have just gotten back from a trip and I have been catching up on reading all of this and want to make a few points.
The simplest way to prevent "accidents," is to take them to the tub before handling and let them empty themselves there! Now this is still not a surefire cure, since most animals in a stressful situation will let go on you! But it will lessen the chances and, if there is an accident, it will lessen the amount available to "dispense!"
Every iguana is different, and so is the way that they respond to things. But one thing is certain. Just turning them loose in a room without you interacting with them teaches them nothing. Think about it...In the wild they would be loose but they still would be in the vicinity of predators. This does not teach them that the predators are harmless, only that they must keep them at a safe distance!
Thus when you approach, the ig runs away from you.
NEVER put them down or back in the cage when they are misbehaving. If they are struggling do NOT release them until they stop. ALWAYS end the seesion with YOU being the winner.
I personally find all of this talk about attempting to teach them commands a bit humorous. The species of animals which are trained using sound cues are those which already have an audible species "language" of sorts. Birds, dogs, dolphins, etc., to a certain extent communicate with each other audibly. Lizards do not have this. They will never respond to a spoken command. They may respond to the volume level and sterness of your voice in a NO command but only in as much as it is a loud noise that will get their attention for a moment. Screaming "BANANA" and "NO" in the same tone will illicit the exact same response. The words are meaninless.
You need to worry less about teaching commands and more about learning what the ig's body language is telling you. Learn to understand his "language".
Make the time you spend with the ig exactly that,... YOU and HIM!
If you are putting him down in a room big enough for you to have to chase him around, in those few minutes of chasing you are destroying what little trust you have spent weeks establishing. If you approach watch the ig's eyes. You will soon be able to judge which way the ig is intending to run and can head him off before it flees.
People have been forever making one big mistake. That is comparing iguanas to mainstream pets. They don't socialize easily. Its just not the way that they are hardwired. It is an exercise in patience and perseverence, but one that if successfully completed is quite rewarding.
That`s the BEST advice I`ve seen on this thread! I TOTALLY agree, all the talk of "Talking to him/her" is rather silly.... exactly as Merlin`s just said. Besides that, they communicate by body language, NOT verbally!! My monitor reacts to the SOUND of his name, NOT the word, and that`s about the extent of it; although if you shout, that`s no different to just a loud noise! So many times..... Here`s the answer again: It`s just about frequent, gentle handling/interaction, nothing else... And with iguanas YOU`RE the boss, always!
When I let Buddy (I know he's not an ig ) roam there is always interaction with him. I'm on the floor with him until he decides he wants to go to his favorite tree. When he is in his tree there is still some interaction with him, I'll go over to his tree and talk to him(I know he doesn't understand but I believe he recognizes the sound of my voice) and will stroke him a little, then I let him be for a while, then I go back and do it all over again a little while later. He now does not run from me nor will he struggle when picked up unless he isn't balanced and then it's just until he feels stable. I always hold him for about 30 minutes before he goes back into his enclosure and he will usually fall asleep on my chest while watching t.v.
So, I agree that all ig's(CWD's, monitors, frogs, etc...)are different and will need to be watched to understand them and that there HAS to be interaction but I disagree that you have to keep ahold of them all the time. So as long as you have taken the time to get him/her to trust you I feel it is ok to let them "roam" (just my opinion and what is working for me and Buddy)
I agree with ALMOST everything you say Steve, except that iguanas as a species , WILL try and "dominate" the keeper, particularly the males, so the fact that they can reach 2 meters, ( 6.5 feet) in length, they HAVE to get used to being handled, just as a safety issue...everything else you say, I concur... Not to be held ALL the time, just `til they calm down...
As I mentioned previously, "Buddy" IS an iguanid! ( But different in some ways, of course!)
all animals will try to dominate the owner. Kermit is starting to understand no though, if I tell her no she does stop... look until I am not paying as close attention then do what she was going to do. She does give up when I tell her no to stop her from jumping out of the tub and she wait until I have a towel now. Sort of.
I`m not sure what "all animals" means, also reptiles do NOT understand words like yes, no, help, come here, go there etc.!!
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