What to expect? We currently working on our next breeding season. This is what we are working towards this season... Pastel Piebalds, Piebalds, Albinos, Super Cinnamons, Super Mojaves (Blue Eyed Leucistic), Mojave Butters (Blue Eyed Leucistic) Ivorys, Bumblebees, Lemon Blasts, Butters, Mojaves, Cinnamons, Pinstripes, Spiders, Pastels, Pastels het Orange Ghost, Pastels het Piebald, Normals het Orange Ghost, Normals het Piebald & Classic Normals
Do tegu lizards seek human attention?
I have raised tegus for years. I do not treat my tegus like reptiles are typically treated. I treat them like I would any other pet. I always have tegus running around, crawling onto my lap or my shoulders. I have tegus with me when I go on rides into town.
I spend several days a week at the local park with the tegus, who get to free roam. They will swim in the pond, bask on the rocks, following local children looking to be pet. They love to explore and relax. This gives me a chance to take in some nature and relax myself. It also gives me an opportunity to teach those who are interested about tegus or reptiles in general. When I get ready to leave the park I use a dog clicker to call the tegus back to me.
I feel that by giving this special attention to these incredible lizards, that they are smart enough to realize it. They accept me and other humans as something enjoyable to be around. I am often asked the 'secret' or the 'trick'. Well, it's not a secret or a trick, but there are two steps:
Step 1: Do not feed live food. Lower the feeding response so that the tegu doesn't have the need to grab food before it can get away. Feed prekilled rodents only. When you can drop a rodent in front of the tegu and the tegu gets up and calmly walks over, smells the item, and then eats it... Then you are ready for step two.
Step 2: Socialize, socialize, socialize. Hold your tegus often. Earn their trust. Once they trust you, teach them that other humans are friendly by socializing the tegus with other people.
Tip: You can make these steps easier if you start with a hatchling from tame & social stock. A hatchling that is already well socialized, from tame stock, is more likely to become tame & social with you in much less time and with much less work.
Some will find it hard to believe, which is why I had made a short video clip last season. Notice that this video was taken outside in one of the outside enclosures. The ambient temperature outside during that Maine summer day was 87F. The tegus have direct sunlight, which can make an untamed tegu revert to some level of it's wild state. My tegus are tame inside and out because they enjoy and trust my company. They do not see the outside as more valuable than my attention, because with my attention comes regular visits outside, and to the park, to the beach, etc.
Also notice that there is food down. (ground turkey with vitamin D3 & calcium supplements, as well as sweet grapes) I made sure that the tegus knew food was available so that viewers of this video would not think the tegus were coming to me for food. As you will see, when the first tegu comes to me the moment I bend down, I place her near the food dish and she looks at me as if to say "Hey, what to heck!" and then she returns to crawl up onto me. Normally I just pick up the first one or two and give them some attention and then move on to giving attention to the next ones. In this video, to prove a point, I just allowed them all to swarm all over me. When they start to slip or if they 'dig in' a bit, I would sit them down so they didn't fall and so I didn't get scratched accidentally.
At this point, I will stop babbling. I just wanted to set the scene a little and now you can watch the video and draw your own conclusions. If you have questions.. feel free to contact me. You can find me on the forums of The Tegu Community.
Some of my Argentine B&W Tegus and I
So, what do you think? Want to discuss the video? If so, go HERE.