Advice on taming/bonding?

Have any questions about one of the many subtle behaviors a beardie has? Ask and discuss it here!

Advice on taming/bonding?

Postby Klawzor » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:32 pm

Hello! So I have recently bought my first beardie, I have been wanting one since I was 7 (I'm 19 now), and I finally got one! His name is Roy, and the pet store said he's around 4-5 months old. I'm looking for advice on how to tame and bond with him. I have had him for a little over a week now, and he has finally calmed down from relocation. He doesn't seem to get aggressive near me, only a tad bit black if I keep him out too long when cleaning his cage! I'm not expert but he seems quite calm, although he does frighten easily. He is very alert, ALWAYS watching me since his cage is in my room. Haven't got him to the vet quite yet to check and make sure he's all good, but there isn't any glaring issues/symptoms currently.

Any advice on how to bond/tame with the lil' guy? It's hard to clean his cage or anything when he keeps running and dragging it out longer than it needs to! :roll: If only he knew he is making more stress for himself!
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Re: Advice on taming/bonding?

Postby SHBailey » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:43 pm

Watching everything you do when you're in his* room is normal healthy bearded dragon behavior. It sounds like he's already fairly tame and settling in well.

I'd suggest you get a container to carry him in. A large cooler with a number of little holes drilled in the lid for ventilation works well, and you can put a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel inside it so that it becomes a "warmer". You can use this to carry him safely when you take him to the vet or anywhere else he needs to go, and you can also put him in there if you don't have another human available to entertain him while you're cleaning his cage.

Other things to think about -- when you go to pick him up, try to approach from the front or the side, not from above or behind as a predator would do. Also make sure you support as much of his body as possible with a hand under him until you get him settled down wherever you're going to put him -- they tend to get scared of falling and flail around whenever they don't have all four of their feet on something solid. And it doesn't hurt to shamelessly bribe him with treats. Otherwise, just handle him gently and daily and be patient until he gets used to you.

*If you still think it's "your" room and "your" beardie, most of the regulars around here will tell you that you've got it backwards. He owns you now. :wink:
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Re: Advice on taming/bonding?

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:33 pm

SHBailey wrote:Watching everything you do when you're in his* room is normal healthy bearded dragon behavior. It sounds like he's already fairly tame and settling in well.

I'd suggest you get a container to carry him in. A large cooler with a number of little holes drilled in the lid for ventilation works well, and you can put a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel inside it so that it becomes a "warmer". You can use this to carry him safely when you take him to the vet or anywhere else he needs to go, and you can also put him in there if you don't have another human available to entertain him while you're cleaning his cage.

Other things to think about -- when you go to pick him up, try to approach from the front or the side, not from above or behind as a predator would do. Also make sure you support as much of his body as possible with a hand under him until you get him settled down wherever you're going to put him -- they tend to get scared of falling and flail around whenever they don't have all four of their feet on something solid. And it doesn't hurt to shamelessly bribe him with treats. Otherwise, just handle him gently and daily and be patient until he gets used to you. <<< I'd make a little routine and ritual of getting him out of his tank at the same time each day for snuggle time (mine all love it when lift the bottom of the front of my t-shirt over their bodies and leave their heads poking out and facing me - talk calmy and quietly to him then and when ever you come into HIS ROOM and have a few tasty food treats handy to give to him, handfeeding is fabulous way to gain the trust of your lizard.
He may never have been hand fed before , so expect a few accidential finger tip nips to start (might even draw blood) , but persist and he'll quickly get the knack of the handfeeding lurk.

Good times to get him out is when he's relaxed (basking or napping/having a siesta) or in the evening not long before his lights go out when he's getting really tired. A lot of us place our scaley four legged children under our shirts on our tummy or chest - lizards love to be warm and secure.



*If you still think it's "your" room and "your" beardie, most of the regulars around here will tell you that you've got it backwards. He owns you now. :wink: <<< yep he'll have you trained in no time.


How much does Roy weigh ?

Two feeds of high quality live insects per day for him for a while , offer the greens and salad later in the day to make sure he's hungry enough to eat his bugs.
CBDs: Puff ( RIP 10Dec2015 (3.2 years old (aneurism)) ,Rex (RIP 16Mar2017 at 4.6 yrs old (unexplained death)) , both adopted at 6wks old..Toothless & Peppa : (5 wks old 19dec2015).
Eastern BT Skinks : George & Mildred (born Sept 2010).
Eastern Water Skinks : Lucky (wild juvenile), rescued from a cat.Taken by a SI and far too soon, 9mths with us. RIP 21Jul2010.Wriggles - (rescued injured), small lizard thought she was a big lizard, 7-8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016.)
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Re: Advice on taming/bonding?

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:38 pm

Klawzor wrote:Hello! So I have recently bought my first beardie, I have been wanting one since I was 7 (I'm 19 now), and I finally got one! His name is Roy, and the pet store said he's around 4-5 months old. I'm looking for advice on how to tame and bond with him. I have had him for a little over a week now, and he has finally calmed down from relocation. He doesn't seem to get aggressive near me, only a tad bit black if I keep him out too long when cleaning his cage! <<< black in body = too cold
I'm not expert but he seems quite calm, although he does frighten easily. He is very alert, ALWAYS watching me since his cage is in my room. <<< he's sizing you up and learning about you and your activities , routine.
Haven't got him to the vet quite yet to check and make sure he's all good, but there isn't any glaring issues/symptoms currently.

Any advice on how to bond/tame with the lil' guy? It's hard to clean his cage or anything when he keeps running and dragging it out longer than it needs to! :roll: If only he knew he is making more stress for himself!
CBDs: Puff ( RIP 10Dec2015 (3.2 years old (aneurism)) ,Rex (RIP 16Mar2017 at 4.6 yrs old (unexplained death)) , both adopted at 6wks old..Toothless & Peppa : (5 wks old 19dec2015).
Eastern BT Skinks : George & Mildred (born Sept 2010).
Eastern Water Skinks : Lucky (wild juvenile), rescued from a cat.Taken by a SI and far too soon, 9mths with us. RIP 21Jul2010.Wriggles - (rescued injured), small lizard thought she was a big lizard, 7-8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016.)
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Re: Advice on taming/bonding?

Postby Klawzor » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:29 am

Thank you all for the reply! I definitely will try and set up a routine and get a smaller carrier cage until he is used to me. I'm not sure on his weight because we don't have a scale and haven't gotten him to the vet yet. Even if I had a scale he would run off in a second... :roll:

Do you think he's old enough for a small mealworm as a treat? He's 5 months old. I know mealworms aren't good for a food daily, so is one okay to hand feed him and get him used to my hand? He's also got a bit jumpy after the whole bath time thing... poor guy lol

Also, I think every pet owns us, don't they? :)
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Re: Advice on taming/bonding?

Postby kingofnobbys » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:26 am

Klawzor wrote:Thank you all for the reply! I definitely will try and set up a routine and get a smaller carrier cage until he is used to me. I'm not sure on his weight because we don't have a scale and haven't gotten him to the vet yet. Even if I had a scale he would run off in a second... :roll:

Do you think he's old enough for a small mealworm as a treat? He's 5 months old. <<< no , medium (2inch) and small (1.5inch) silkworms and BSF maggots are a much better option for him

I know mealworms aren't good for a food daily, so is one okay to hand feed him and get him used to my hand? He's also got a bit jumpy after the whole bath time thing... poor guy lol

Also, I think every pet owns us, don't they? :)
CBDs: Puff ( RIP 10Dec2015 (3.2 years old (aneurism)) ,Rex (RIP 16Mar2017 at 4.6 yrs old (unexplained death)) , both adopted at 6wks old..Toothless & Peppa : (5 wks old 19dec2015).
Eastern BT Skinks : George & Mildred (born Sept 2010).
Eastern Water Skinks : Lucky (wild juvenile), rescued from a cat.Taken by a SI and far too soon, 9mths with us. RIP 21Jul2010.Wriggles - (rescued injured), small lizard thought she was a big lizard, 7-8 yrs old, died in her sleep, RIP 2Feb2016.)
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Re: Advice on taming/bonding?

Postby Klawzor » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:15 pm

Alright, thank you! Gonna pick some up later today.
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Re: Advice on taming/bonding?

Postby BubbaAndJane » Tue Apr 25, 2017 3:27 am

Hello and congrats on your new addition. I am still new at this too but right now we have 3 babies, all different sizes/ages (all within only 8months) but our first baby is who first owned us. He's an absolute trip and has such a loving nature but it seems we were and still are going through your same situation.
Some tips we are using and helps a lot so far:
(Routine is essential. They are so smart and pick up quickly what to expect)
•Handle in the morning, before lights come on and always talk to her(leave lights low). Our second and largest baby (sometime intimidating), Jane, is still very unsure of us and we still frighten her. But she snuggles with my warmth and its easy to drop my husband off at work (6am)and come home and keep on a good time schedule with that approach. (Doing our bonding now. Lol.)
•STORAGE TUB. If you have or can buy ($4 at Walmart) a plastic storage tub with the snap on lid, is what we use to feed our babies. Hand feeding is intimidating for me and Jane (hubby does it fine) so when we feed, I calmly get her out, talking to her, and put her in the tub (no lid, this young they shouldn't really jumped out) and then add crickets. Make sure the bottom.of the tub is sanded or rough somewhere BC some can be too smooth and your baby not get traction to walk.
•TREATS. I found that my babies absolutely love mangos. Anyone please correct if I shouldn't be feeding but I believe mango are good. I've also been told apples and blueberries. Just be sure the pieces are small enough and mangos are the easiest (or apples) to cut up into easy eating squares.
•BONDING TIME. I find with Jane its less stressful on her if I sit her near me and let her watch and when she darts off and stops I stay where I'm at talking to her for a sec then I move slowly toward her on the ground, not walking, and scoop her from under chin to her belly. She calms down I think BC I don't chase her to make me feel like a threat.
Sorry for the super long reply but good luck and congrats again.
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