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Savannah Monitor Less Active Since Mixing Soil with Sand Instead of Sand

Discussion in 'Monitors' started by DustinBeyette, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. DustinBeyette

    DustinBeyette Well-Known Member

    So it's not that you guys are against taming, there's just a different method you guys prefer, somewhat like taming a squirrel in a park to take almonds from your hand. So you guys aren't saying handle never/wild forever, you're saying handle when adult/on adults own terms. If baby is not handled, adult will more likely want to be handled on own terms? If the baby is handled that makes it become sick and fat later?

    What I meant is the bias of this forum. Countless sources say to handle babies a lot before they don't want to be held, like i feel like i'm running out of time if this little dude starts growing, i don't want to regret not handling it if it would've nurtured a more desirable outcome for how I wanted him trained. I don't want it to be like "Aww man, he wouldn't be like this had i handled him a lot when he was younger, why didn't I search for more perspectives," as this forum is very one-sided on the perspective of handling, so far. This is why i'm saying there's no debate about it, for you guys. What I'm saying is there seems to be a line drawn in the sand, everyone on one side tames their monitors and probably doesn't listen to people like on this forum, and everyone on the other side is really impersonal with their monitor and clearly doesn't listen to people that are not on this forum. Everyone on my original feed said "ignore youtube, ignore all books other than the sacred Daniel Bennett book", and before i finished reading it, even the sacred Daniel Bennett book said to handle before it's too late!! Just another author saying "Get it used to people if it's going to be around people!" As soon as i quote him all of a sudden the book is out of date when before i even bought it everyone on this forum was saying it's the only book i should read and it's the only thing that's current!

    So if my goal remains to get to where you are with this species at 3:55 but with my savannah monitor, I'll be better off?
    This is what I'm after!! That monitor looks alert and alive but also mellow towards humans! Not only that his belly isn't dragging on the ground! I don't need to handle mine as a baby to achieve this later?

    just to be clear, you guys aren't saying don't handle, you're saying don't grab out of tank? So as long as he feels safe enough to climb onto me, i've succeeded?
     
  2. AdamL8

    AdamL8 Elite Member

    Re: Savannah Monitor Less Active Since Mixing Soil with Sand Instead of San

    These animals will never truly enjoy being handled but if you remain mostly hands off through the younger ages I believe fully that you and your monitor will be much better off than if you had force handled. I came in to this thinking the same things that you and everybody else does. After doing some deeper research than just scratching the YouTube surface I was convinced to stay hands off. By 6 months my Sav was in her adult enclosure and was almost never hiding. Tong feeding and daily water changes was enough interaction for the monitor to understand that I wasn't a threat. Before she was even 12 months she couldn't care less if I picked her up to move her out of the way when she tried to climb over me to get out. She has never bitten me or even tried to do so. If she were ever to bite me I could almost guarantee that it wouldn't be out of aggression but rather because of food. This all is great for me but no guarantee that your monitor will be the same way. That being said, Almost everybody who has a hands off properly cared for Sav knows exactly how active, curious, and intelligent they are. Mine is only 15 months and not full grown. I can only imagine how she will be in another year or 10.

    This forum and any other with long term keepers will all tell you the same thing because it has been proven to work. The reason that far more sources say to force them is because the majority don't have a clue and end up with dead monitors in under a year. A lot fewer go through the effort of finding a community that specializes in these animals in an effort to better their understanding and as such, the group that does find their way here usually is interested in actually understanding their animal and what it really needs. These people either quickly learn what they need to know or decide that they know better than the mortality rate and other facts state. In this way I suppose that it is "Us" and "Them".

    Daniel Bennett is the only recent source of information on wild Savannah Monitors and the information that he personally collected is held in very high regard as the only book on Savannah Monitors that is even worth owning. Recent is relative to the other low amount of information that has been collected unfortunately. The thing with all of this though is that you have to understand that this information was understood in a different way than it is today because we have had time to do a lot more captive research and change the way that we view things. Plenty of the information still holds a place in current keeping but a lot of the way we now keep monitors has evolved past the point that was considered acceptable back then.

    What we are saying is do not handle when the monitor is young and only handle minimally later on. This will give you a happy, healthy, and active monitor that will probably not care too much if you do handle it a little bit every now and then.
     
  3. DustinBeyette

    DustinBeyette Well-Known Member

    Re: Savannah Monitor Less Active Since Mixing Soil with Sand Instead of San

    Your responses are proving to be the most helpful and calming. Thank you, thank you, thank you in the highest regard. I think I'm veering away from panic mode.
     
  4. AdamL8

    AdamL8 Elite Member

    Re: Savannah Monitor Less Active Since Mixing Soil with Sand Instead of San

    Glad to hear it.
     
  5. MDFMONITOR

    MDFMONITOR Elite Member

    Re: Savannah Monitor Less Active Since Mixing Soil with Sand Instead of San

    I do my best to not handle at all when their young, not even from the shop if i can help it!! :)
     
  6. diehardislanders

    diehardislanders Elite Member

    Re: Savannah Monitor Less Active Since Mixing Soil with Sand Instead of San

    I have used MDF monitor's techniques right from the beginning with my monitor. My monitor was left alone as a baby, and tong fed. He is a little more than a year old now and trusts me completely. If I open the enclosure, he will come right out, walk right up to me, even walk up to my dog. I barely ever have to pick him up, but he will freely walk up onto me. What I am trying to say is, I got a monitor, for the same reasons you did. There was alot I did not know at the time, and part of the reason I bought him was because (at the time) I thought I was getting an XXL bearded dragon. I could not be happier with the pet I currently have. He is great, and everything is on his terms. The techniques being explained to you work. It takes time, but they result in a monitor that actually trusts you, as opposed to a lizard that just learns to submissively give up to you.
     
  7. DustinBeyette

    DustinBeyette Well-Known Member

    Re: Savannah Monitor Less Active Since Mixing Soil with Sand Instead of San

    Basking: Wood vs Rock?
     
  8. AdamL8

    AdamL8 Elite Member

    Re: Savannah Monitor Less Active Since Mixing Soil with Sand Instead of San

    A flat rock holds the heat better than a piece of wood. Wood can be used but after lights out it will go cold very quickly.
     
  9. diehardislanders

    diehardislanders Elite Member

    Re: Savannah Monitor Less Active Since Mixing Soil with Sand Instead of San

    I use both to provide a variety of basking temps for my monitor.
     
  10. TheSmench

    TheSmench Elite Member

    Re: Savannah Monitor Less Active Since Mixing Soil with Sand Instead of San

    Like stated rocks hold heat better. I have used both wood and rock and they both have there ups and downs. For your small cage I would stack some brick
    Pavers to raise your basking spot while keeping the basking light wattage down and still achieve 130+ degrees
     
  11. DustinBeyette

    DustinBeyette Well-Known Member

    Dude I got like 6 bricks under a printer that aren't even really doing anything, now finally they can do something.

    Cold side hasn't been below 80°f for the past three days, I've made posts but not gotten responses, this is actually an emergency isn't it?
     
  12. diehardislanders

    diehardislanders Elite Member

    Re: Savannah Monitor Less Active Since Mixing Soil with Sand Instead of San

    What is the temperature under the soil? On a warm day, my cool side will hit 82*F, but my burrows are still under 80*F
     
  13. DustinBeyette

    DustinBeyette Well-Known Member

    Re: Savannah Monitor Less Active Since Mixing Soil with Sand Instead of San

    that i'm not sure, i don't think he's actually started any burrows yet, i dug a couple little starter holes, maybe he's continued them but i'm not sure, he certainly doesn't seem unhealthy yet, but that's to a keeper of 18 days.
     
  14. methos75

    methos75 Elite Member

    Re: Savannah Monitor Less Active Since Mixing Soil with Sand Instead of San

    I think the main key here, and I am surprised no one has really spelled it out is that your not so much "taming" your Monitor, that isn't what you should be trying to achieve here, but building trust with it. Its all about trust building. If it is young still its in prey mode, anytime you try to grab it, hold it, you are reinforcing its prey nature and as such such it will distrust you, see you as a predator and attempt to hide from you because it will fear you.

    But by leaving it alone, tong feeding it, letting it come to you instead of the other way around, and leaving personal interactions to a medium, you will build trust with it and as the year progresses you will be able to pet it or scratch it here and there and generally dependent on its personalty, get the Monitor you are seeking. But the key cannot be stressed enough, build trust with it first. Once that is done the only hurdle will be its own individual personalty, but there is little that can be done about that just as there is not much that can be done about it in cats, dogs, people, etc.
     
  15. DustinBeyette

    DustinBeyette Well-Known Member

    Re: Savannah Monitor Less Active Since Mixing Soil with Sand Instead of San

    One thing is I think he likes to watch me record music, all day every day he's in my room with me in his enclosure, as soon as the music starts he'll come out of his hide, do a couple things and go towards the glass and just sit down and watch me. Now in regards to the tong feeding, I should tong feed the little one crickets? It's all he'll eat so far, I tried to hold some superworms in front of him, but he's not into them. I feel like every time i grab a cricket i can't really hold it alive. Also what should I do with the unused superworms? I have about 12... since he doesn't eat them would they be a benefit to his enclosure to just have them roaming around in the dirt?
     
  16. TheSmench

    TheSmench Elite Member

    Re: Savannah Monitor Less Active Since Mixing Soil with Sand Instead of San

    If the cricket dies while you grab it with tongs it no big deal you sav should still eat it off the tongs. I am not sure about superworms. Both of mine eat them. They eat anything I give them. If you leave the super worms in the cage they my be eaten later on. If not the may become Beatles and then breed. They won't harm your sav if left in there
     
  17. diehardislanders

    diehardislanders Elite Member

    Re: Savannah Monitor Less Active Since Mixing Soil with Sand Instead of San

    This is what I was trying to spell out earlier lol. Great points regardless.

    Most young monitors avoid burrows that are larger then them. This is how they stay alive in their natural habitat. Daniel Bennett observed that monitors like to take over burrows, but young monitors will make a burrow bigger, never inhabiting one that could potentially house something bigger then they are.

    Edit: I am not saying your burrows are too large, I have never seen them- just relaying pertinent info that I learned.
     
  18. DustinBeyette

    DustinBeyette Well-Known Member

    Re: Savannah Monitor Less Active Since Mixing Soil with Sand Instead of San

    I grabbed a cricket by the head with tweezers, held it tight, and held it in front of him, he grabbed it off with a lot of force! it was quite exciting!! Unfortunately he got a huge mouthfull of dirt after re-positioning the cricket, now he doesn't want any more crickets. I shook like 4-6 in afterwards. I'm going to tong-feed him more often, that was pretty cool!
     
  19. MDFMONITOR

    MDFMONITOR Elite Member

    Re: Savannah Monitor Less Active Since Mixing Soil with Sand Instead of San

    I usually grab the cricket by th rear with tweezers, monitors tend to like to grab the head end! :) but that's just me been picky!!
     
  20. AdamL8

    AdamL8 Elite Member

    Re: Savannah Monitor Less Active Since Mixing Soil with Sand Instead of San

    I grab roaches by the head but that's just because I don't want live ones in the cage. She couldn't care less which way I grab it though and it was the same for crickets. When I give anything on tongs mine engulfs both the food and the tongs then won't let go of either. Before long yours will be doing the same thing. It's really funny when it happens.
     

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