How tame do Iguanas get?

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Hatchling Member
My husband is set on getting a baby green iguana before we move to Arizona. Don't get me wrong, I'm a reptile lover through and through, but...Iguanas are notorious for being grumpy and territorial, aren't they? I have two bearded dragons (and recently caught a banded gecko) and one is so tame I could poke her eyelids and play with her toes and she'd just sit there. It's good because it means I can examine her very closely without her flinching away or nipping me. The other one is tame, but he just doesn't like being held much. He'll pull his hands away if I pet his arm.

I did a search but I read a lot of articles that say you should stay away from your iguana during mating season and this makes me iffy on getting one. I'd rather not have a pet knowing it could possibly bite me or turn on me because of the season. I KNOW my beardies would never bite me, but beardies in general are pretty docile. I feel comfortable letting people hold my beardies because I know they won't freak out or bite. Is an iguana a reptile that can be tamed to these extents or should we not get one?


Iggys can be somewhat tame I have an adolescent female while she's pretty good she can be crabby certain days. They take lots of time to keep calm. If you want a larger type lizard that's very docile look into a Chinese Water Dragon I just rescued one that was pretty beat up but as gentle as can be he'll let you scratch both cheeks just like you would your dog and just sucks it up. He'll nap with me on the couch and not even move. They get to about 3ft so big enough. And more docile than my Beardies.


Juvie Member
They can definitely be a handful, especially the males. Ive got a friend who keeps a few, and he has some truly terrifying video of a big male getting territorial in his enclosure. Some will tame down, but like monitors, what you think of as docility is usually a sign of a poorly cared for iguana. They are big lizards when fully grown, so its something to be prepared for if you buy one. I have had two over the years, a male and a female, and the female was usually ok with having me around, though she never liked being picked up. The male would never even let me get close to him, it was all hissing, biting, tail whipping and thrashing about. Ive got a couple scars still on my arms. Awesome creatures though ;)
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