New beardie adoption

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New beardie adoption

Postby mnahalka » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:46 am

Hello! So I found a bearded dragon on a local shelters' website for a 2 year old bearded dragon that the owner can no longer afford. I am going to pick him up tomorrow, however they have stated that the beardie is very aggressive and has bitten them and their children before. I'm not sure of his current environment or handling. He has been listed on the site for quite some time now so I decided to take him in and try to rehabilitate his aggressive behavior. Are there any suggestions you guys might recommend to make this as stress-free for him as possible? Obviously the relocation stress wont allow me to handle him for a while, but in the mean time, and even after, is there anything you guys might suggest I try? Thanks!!
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Re: New beardie adoption

Postby HippieLizards » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:19 am

Hello,

I'm glad you're adopting him! :D

With the first couple days of having him let him have a day or two to acclimate to his new home and then put your hand in his cage so he'll get more used to your hand.

Basically once he stops acting aggressive or fearful towards your hand he might get curious enough to walk up to it and when he seems to have gotten a bit more acclimated to his new environment (or when he starts eating and pooping normally) then you can start holding him. :D

Start out small because beardies aren't naturally aggressive unless they haven't been handled much so Just keep on handling him and hand feeding him and soon he'll be hand tame enough to not act fearful or aggressive towards you and be super docile like my beardies. [Click image to enlarge]
This was Thor snuggling with a blanket. :)

Eventually your beardie will be just as tame as that. :D

-HippieLizards.
Slave to three Beardies, one Crested gecko, and a Cat. (R.I.P Thor, You will always be in our hearts).[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: New beardie adoption

Postby mnahalka » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:33 am

Aww he's adorable! Here is one of my snugglebutts, Alpha :)
(Her double chin makes it look like she is smiling!!)
[Click image to enlarge]


And thank you! I really appreciate your help! I will update here when I get him home and he gets settled. I hope he can calm down and live a relaxing and stress-free life here with me :)
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Re: New beardie adoption

Postby HippieLizards » Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:32 am

Aww, your lil dude/dudet is adorable!! :love10: :love5:
Slave to three Beardies, one Crested gecko, and a Cat. (R.I.P Thor, You will always be in our hearts).[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: New beardie adoption

Postby dezismom » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:57 am

After a couple days to familiarize himself with the new environment, begin handling...pick him up and hold him firmly at the chest and groin area, to provide complete support, so he cannot injure himself or you. Here is a little trick I have used on the most aggressive Beardies, to distract them from their flight or fight mentality: your hands will be pressed together, held verticaly, as if in prayer. He is between the hands, head pointed up towards ceiling, tail down, pancaked between your hands. Press firmly, but gently. Shake him side to side, quickly, and rythmically. this motion begins at your wrists. You may want to practice without the beardie to learn how it feels. For some reason, this "mesmerizes" a Beardie, no matter how violent he is acting. They simply relax, go limp, as if in a trance. Continue this a few moments, until total relaxation is achieved. His fight response is interrupted, and you can hold him a minute or two, without his struggling. Do this several times a day. I have used this method to instantly calm Beardies with black beards, open mouths and so threatening, no one wanted to touch them. It is like a magic trick!! The stressed beardie often relaxes in my hand, and sits with me quite comfortably, even after just one session. In some cases, for example one who has had extreme abuse or simply a very aggressive personality, it may take a few sessions. When he begins to be defensive and fearful again, place him calmly back in his viv, so as not to stress him further. The idea is to get him accustomed to being handled without the fight response.

Another effective method is to wait until he is in sleep mode at night. His body temp will be lower, and he will be more sluggish than daytime. Pick him up ever so gently, so as not to wake him, then place him on your chest, where he can smell you and hear your hearbeat, etc. He may go right back to sleep. Just let him lay there, becoming accustomed to you as a safe place, even in his sleep. Some like to be wrapped like a burrito in a soft piece of material, to feel more protected. I prefer skin to skin contact. This introduces a bonding. When he begins to wake up and realise he is being held, and wants off, place him back in his viv without fuss, so he can trust that you are not forcing him. The idea here is to get him to associate your smell, touch, etc, with safety, so always end on a positive note, do not wait until he is starting to panic.

Each beardie is quite individual, so a method that works well for one, may not work for another. Keep trying new approaches, until the right one is found.

Some rehabbers have placed a sock, undershirt, or other worn item of clothing in the viv with the new beardie,to introduce him to your scent. I have mentioned scent several times. They are very sensitive to scent; they rely on it to identify things. So try not to wear any perfume, strong smelling soaps, or deoderants during this phase of taming. (apologize to friends and family in advance, Ha,ha!)

please keep us informed of your progress, and perhaps post a photo or two, so we can enjoy the journey with you. You have done a very good thing for this fellow. There are no bad Beadies, only ones in bad situations! Without your intervention, this one could easily have become one of the tragedies, who are resigned to a lonely cage and ignored for their poor lives. All beardies can be rehabilitated, given the right circumstances! And each precious beardie deserves that companionship. Hopefully, he will become a sweet, cuddly friend, in due time. Good luck!
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Re: New beardie adoption

Postby dezismom » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:05 am

Thor is truly adorable! And Alpha has the most beautific smile!
Here is my boy, Dezi...he is a very relaxed, calm guy...
[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: New beardie adoption

Postby mnahalka » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:32 pm

Wow, thank you for all of that information! I will be picking him up in a couple of hours so I will update once I get home and he gets settled in a little. I'm hoping that his aggression is coming from not being handled instead of something else that may have happened to him. You cant be a beardie in my house without being handled so I'll work with him as long as it takes to get him there! Thank you again!

I loooovvvee how cute and lazy dezi looks!!!
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Re: New beardie adoption

Postby HippieLizards » Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:47 pm

I Hope that getting him goes well!! :) Lol, I agree, you really can't be a beardie in the house and not get handled. I have my beardies out almost all day long. One at a time of course.

and Dezi does look cute! :) This was Cisco conked out a few days ago. :sleepy2: [Click image to enlarge]
Slave to three Beardies, one Crested gecko, and a Cat. (R.I.P Thor, You will always be in our hearts).[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: New beardie adoption

Postby Martadragon017 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:17 am

I don't know if this works with other dragons but sometimes with me it helps to lift him/her up on my hands (holding carefully) as far as I can reach. Marta would always calm down immediately, and not because she was scared because she wouldn't cling tighter than usual like she does when she's afraid. By the way, all of everyone's dragons look so cute! Here are some Marta sleeping moments:
[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]

These are when I lost her and then found her curled up in my curtain!
[Click image to enlarge]

And this is just a cute brumation moment. :love5:
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Re: New beardie adoption

Postby HippieLizards » Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:20 am

Lol, a curtain is easy to find... How about sleeping in a Tupperware container that was covered in clothes? :roll: Cisco did that recently...
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Re: New beardie adoption

Postby Shidohari » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:46 pm

everytime I take my Kohaku out, she just wants to run directly up my shoulder. She also likes to try to jump/climb out of her cage when she has a mind to. The jumping is when I'm handling her or sitting and handling her, the climbing is because one of her branches is close enough where she can climb on the actual ledge of the enclosure if she's being curious.

Sorry about the bad grammar, doing this post from work.
Owner Kohaku Chai as of September 2017. 11 inches as of 4/30/18
GOD HAVE I HAD HER THAT LONG???
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Re: New beardie adoption

Postby mnahalka » Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:56 pm

Sorry for the late update! Let me just start out by saying that I'm so glad I made the decision to take him on.
So I've decided to name him Omega because it fits well with Alpha and Beta. He is definitely aggressive though, but I think most of it comes from the lack of handling in his first 2 years. He almost doesnt know how to respond to being touched so that's what makes me believe he wasnt handled much.

His conditions:

He came to me completely filthy from 2 years worth of no baths and living on calcium sand. His uvb light was a coil all living things 10.0, red basking bulb and 2 other random 60 watt coated house bulbs. He was only ever fed supers and occasionally crickets. It doesnt appear he has had a proper shed in awhile.

So obviously he hasnt been living the best life. I have replaced the sand with slate tiles although it seems the sand has done some damage to him externally. After I let him calm down last night, I needed to give him a bath. He was not happy and lunged at me a few times, but he absolutely needed one. Some of the calcium sand washed off, but it seems a lot of it has either stained him or is engrained in his scales. You can see the discoloration on his feet in the photo, but he is also discolored on his belly, under his tail and on the back of his legs. I don't think he has had a good shed in awhile either because almost immediately after his soak, he started to shed a little. His coil bulb has been replaced with an mvb for the time being as I have a new florescent hood coming in on Monday as well as a new basking light. I have gotten rid of the red bulb completely as I see no benefit to using it. I had a new batch of feeders come in yesterday so now he has a large variety of things to eat. I started him on powdered multivitamins as well. He doesnt look that bad in terms of his health, he has a belly, but his fat stores dont really appear to be that developed. He does have a nice thick tail though.

Any advice on the discoloration?

Here are some photos in order from the 20 gallon I brought him home in to him waking up this morning:

His holding cell, waiting to be booked:
You can see the blue color from the sand
[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]


His cleaned out cage:
I'm getting the rest of the tiles tomorrow
[Click image to enlarge]


Black bearding me in the bath:
[Click image to enlarge]


Discolored feet:
[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]


After his bath:
[Click image to enlarge]


Waking up this morning:
He ate a little after warming up
[Click image to enlarge]
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Re: New beardie adoption

Postby CooperDragon » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:33 am

Sounds like he hit the jackpot! I'm glad to see he has a happy home with you now. His skin may take a while to recover but it should in time. A few shed cycles should help get rid of the stained skin. I would try adding some Dr Bronner's Baby Mild soap to the warm bath which may help loosen the dirt and sand a bit more easily.
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Re: New beardie adoption

Postby mnahalka » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:46 am

Thank you for that. I never thought of adding any kind of soap to the bath water, hopefully it helps. I have been giving him daily baths since Thursday to help with the discoloration as well as the mess he's been making of himself from going poo and running around in it.. Ive been using a baby toothbrush on him and it seems to be helping a little. Maybe adding some soap with the toothbrush will do the trick.
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Re: New beardie adoption

Postby CooperDragon » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:53 am

Yeah a soft toothbrush can help too. My first rescue was caked in sand and filth too. He got cleaned up pretty well after a while but it took some time. That's whem I figured out the mild dr bronner's works well. Poor dude used to leave an oil slick at the top of the bath. Fortunately he enjoyed baths :lol:
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