are these ok for calming / bonding with my baby beardie ?

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are these ok for calming / bonding with my baby beardie ?

Postby trinityy » Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:07 am

so I got a baby bearded dragon about 5 days ago and of course he was very jumpy and skittish and scared of me, but I figured that it was relocation stress. so I’ve been hand feeding him, putting a small piece of my clothing inside of his tank so that he can get used to my scent, and also occasionally (like twice) I would hold him late at night when he’s sleepy and just pet him and let him fall asleep in my hands bc he trusts me when he is sleepy / is more docile then.

my bearded dragon mango is only 2 months old, and I recently realized that the main reason why he’s so scared all the time is not only relocation stress but also the fact that he was mistreated at the petco that I bought him from. At the time while buying him, I was so excited to get a bearded dragon that I didn’t notice these sort of red flags / signs :

1. stress marks all over the baby’s belly and beard
2. when the employee reached in the tank to get mango, she BOLTED across the tank in fear and then the employee forcefully grabbed her and shoved her inside of a box and quickly gave her to me. (sorry if I keep switching between he/she pronouns, too young to know the gender)
3. lastly, she seemed to often hide in the corner of the tank / under things while the 3+ other bearded dragons in the tank would eat and bask , which most likely made her more stressed and intimidated in her tank.
4. she was never handled for those months and was basically only given the bare minimum to keep her alive and healthy (not sociable or happy :(

this behavior and treatment happened to mango inside of petco for the first 2ish months of her life sadly, so now I assume that after mango had been through that mistreatment + relocation stress , and considering that I look like a terrifying giant to her , she is probably terrified and extremely stressed. so I know that it will take extra time to get her used to me.

therefore , I was thinking about doing these things over the next couple of months (and if you think that any of this is a bad idea, then please let me know ! I won’t begin doing these until I get confirmation that they’re okay to do so that I don’t cause more problems or stress) :

1. hand feeding him (more like attempting to hand feed bc he will stare at the bugs moving in my hand , but won’t actually eat them until I drop them , but I still don’t think it will hurt to try and hand feed so that he can associate my hand with good , positive things)
2. keeping a piece of my clothes that smells like me inside of her tank so that she can get used to my scent.
3. after about 1-2 weeks passes, taking her out of her tank and just petting her while she falls asleep in my hands, on my lap, or on my chest for around 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, then 15, and so on every night while she is sleepy (bc she is more docile when she is tired and actually lets me hold her instead of running or jumping) OR every morning right after she wakes up and is still sleepy.
4. leaving my hand inside of her tank with my palm faced up for a minute or two every day, slowly increasing the time / getting closer until she trusts me (but coming from the side, not above her bc I don’t want to scare her and make her think that I’m a predator)
5. once I can get close enough without her getting too scared / stressed , begin petting her (inside of her cage)
6. then, begin holding her (while still inside of her cage so that if she wants to leave my hands , she can & so that she feels in control of the situation)

that’s all of the ideas that I have. if these are bad ideas or something is wrong , please let me know :) and if these are decent ideas then hopefully one day in a few months , she’ll trust me enough where I can take her out and enjoy her company any time of the day (without her having to be sleepy) and playfully I can do my best to make her feel comfortable during this next year bc I want the best for mango and mango’s happiness :)
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Re: are these ok for calming / bonding with my baby beardie

Postby ComicBookMama » Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:58 am

Your plans for helping Mango acclimate to you and her new surroundings are very good. Remember that baby beardies are "hardwired" to be skittish as well - their instincts tell them EVERYTHING is going to eat them if they don't run away! Take it slow and easy and you'll be able to cuddle your baby eventually... just don't get frustrated if she doesn't settle quickly! Age and her prior experiences will all affect her behavior, and it may take a while to change.
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Re: are these ok for calming / bonding with my baby beardie

Postby trinityy » Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:02 pm

okay, thank you !
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Re: are these ok for calming / bonding with my baby beardie

Postby SHBailey » Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:03 pm

Good for you for rescuing him/her from a bad situation, and it sounds like you have a good plan for taming. :)
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Re: are these ok for calming / bonding with my baby beardie

Postby WinFam01 » Wed Aug 05, 2020 5:32 am

I am very impressed by the amount of thought you put into your plan. Your dragon is lucky to have you. Have fun!
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Re: are these ok for calming / bonding with my baby beardie

Postby trinityy » Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:24 am

thank you^^ even though she’s still a bit spooked (i haven’t even had her for a whole week) , her stress marks are starting to lighten up and she’s calming down a bit , I hope to give mango the best life I possibly can :)
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Re: are these ok for calming / bonding with my baby beardie

Postby WinFam01 » Wed Aug 05, 2020 11:52 am

I think that is pretty common in babies.

My daughter wanted to name ours Mango but then went with Nala.
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Re: are these ok for calming / bonding with my baby beardie

Postby trinityy » Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:06 pm

nala is such a pretty name ^^
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