Re: Having problems taming my green iguana
Posted by Roger on 12/29/2016, 1:52 pm, in reply to "Having problems taming my green iguana"
I don't have any explanation re: the YouTube iguanas. |
Don't worry you have plenty of time. You only need to tame him before he gets strong. For the best results, tame him within one year or so.
Take it seriously that iguanas come to accept new stuff very slowly.
Your ig is acting perfectly normal. Iguanas are innately hard-wired to be loners. To tame him, you have to move through his natural hyper resistance.
Right now he can't hurt you with his weapons, which are tail-lashing, biting, and scratching. When he is about 1 1/2 to 2 years old, he'll be much stronger, which make his weapons dangerous. Then, you will have to learn to clip his tiny barb-like toenails (not his claws).
Do not move your hand slowly toward him. It will build up suspense and make him harder to tame. This is counter-intuitive, but just reach in quickly and pick him up, even though he tries hard to bite, scratch, and whip. Press him into your chest until he stops struggling (30 seconds maximum in my experiences). Sit on a comfortable chair and keep holding him. Though he won't admit it, he likes your hands' warmth. When you pick him up, be sure your hands are warm. It means a lot to him.
Hold him for at least 20 minutes, twice per day, no matter how he acts. In a week, start to open your hands a little, giving him a foretaste of freedom. When he feels that, he will suddenly lunge, and you clamp your hands down again. You will slowly extend the time of relaxation he can tolerate, and after some time he will sit on your lap, but not necessarily be friendly.
During these sessions, use a small fork or kabob stick to offer him treats. Banana, grape halves, bits of pizza crust, cantaloupe, and more, can all have a strong appeal to him. Banana worked very well for me during my ig years.
The hope is that he will learn to associate you with freedom and with treats.
When he can stand still when he is out of your hands, the first level of taming will be finished. But you have to keep reinforcing it.
Then, you can train him to use the tub on his own, ride on your shoulder (only if he never bites you), roam on a leash outdoors. You can work with him to not be afraid of visitors and the doorbell. Treats and hands-on love will help him to not be afraid during those scary moments.
I always assume that new iguana owners have incomplete knowledge about iguana care. So I hope you will read this collection of articles: