Terrified of my Dragon! (Seriously)

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Hey Everyone, I registered here today and am looking for advice.

First off, I have no idea why I am so terrified of it (I don't know the gender yet). We have some Leopard Geckos (whom have crypto :cry: ) and I am terrified to pick them up as well. Before anyone tries to tell me about crypto, I know not use the same stuff from the Geckos for the beardie. It got all brand new things, nothing from them.

I picked him (from now on the beardie will called him) up once to move him from his box to the newly setup cage. He was semi okay with it, but this was before I knew that he wanted his all his feet covered and he jumped as soon as he was in the cage.

Forward to last night, I was trying to pick him up, but every time he moved a millimeter, pulled my hand way knocking in the tank or the husbandry. I have no idea why I'm like this. I got so frustrated with myself last night I punched a hole in the wall, and I have never done anything like that.

We're getting a pair of Sugar Gliders and I can pick them up and not worry about it at all. They move around, climb on me, bite me, and make noises. Doesn't bother as much it at all.

I can pet him and he lowers his head and flattens out and seems to relax, but even then I can't seem to get over trying to pick him up. Maybe I'm scared to get bitten, but can anyone help me get over this fear?

Edit: We have decided on Izzy for a name.
 

dingodog

Member
Not to worry, what you most likely have is called Herpetophobia - the fear of reptiles.. and with that, there may be a lot of physiological reasons why you can not pick up your lizards, even though there may not be anything in you past to warrant these "physiological' reasons. Which may be why you cant pin-point a real reason for your fear.

I have had Acrophobia- fear of heights, since I was a in my mid teens, Dont why as I used climb trees and play on the roofs of houses until the fear started kicking in. And its not so much the height that gets to me Its the Fear of Falling. Getting on a 4 ft step latter bothers me. Standing at the edge of a cliff/ledge and I can 'feel' the whole thing collapsing out from under me. Even seeing someone on tv standing at a ledge/cliff bothers me..lol.. I also learn about 20yrs ago (I am 47 now) that I am actually Claustrophobic. My husband had a 4 man tent when we first got together.. I spent the entire night awake, because I could feel the tent closing in on me.. and I could not go outside because it rained the whole darn night.. the next day we/I got lucky and found a place to rent a cabin for the rest of the weekend.

My 17 yr old daughter deals with Social-phobia (anxiety)- the fear of being around people.. mainly strangers or people they do not know very well. She struggles with speaking to people and deals with anxiety/panic attacks and sometimes completely shut down.. she does not even like talking on the phone.

The best thing to do is take it 1 day at a time, do what you can and 'try' not to get frustrated over the things you cant. You may or may not get completely over it, but take any success you have as a bonus, and 'try' not to dwell on the things that you cant get through...yet.. Dont force anything.. and remember the reptiles can sense "how" you are feeling.. so If you start feeling stressed and/or frustrated..do something you ARE successful at, then just walk away..happy, and maybe try again later. No big deal. Life goes on.

DONT!! let ANYONE make you feel bad because you are 'afraid' of them. EVERYONE has something their a afraid of, even if they dont know it yet.. Getting over a phobia or a physiological disorder is one of the hardest things to do..and sometimes you never actually get over it.. you just (hopefully) find a way to cope.

Good Luck and remember DONT Stress.. as You only have so much wall space for holes..and only so many pictures to cover them...LOL!!!
 

anwyn

Member
aw, don't stress!

How new is your beardie? The advice I was told was that it can take them several week, even a month, to really settle in. He might silently be a little jumpy inside! So give yourself some time too.

I've raised a lot of other pets, just not a lizard before. so my advice is... why not let the beardie lead the way? Put your hand in, pet his head. I've been putting my hand out near my beardie when she's active and alert and let her decide to come closer or not. Slowly she's been putting a claw on my hand, or two. Or climbing half way up and just ogling me. When she's bored she'll move away. If you let your beardie make the moves it might not be so scary? Because he won't make little 'jumpy' moves away if it's his decision? And might help you stay calmer too to just enjoy him moving towards you without knowing you have to hold him or pick him up yet?

Don't worry. I think it's totally ok if you're afraid or jumpy. We're all afraid of something. (do NOT make me go near houseflies! *shudder* Now there's an irrational fear for you. ;) ) The fact that you're happy petting him is a good sign. Slow steps.
 

ZeroManArmy

Member
Original Poster
dingodog":3u9raxzb said:
Not to worry, what you most likely have is called Herpetophobia - the fear of reptiles.. and with that, there may be a lot of physiological reasons why you can not pick up your lizards, even though there may not be anything in you past to warrant these "physiological' reasons. Which may be why you cant pin-point a real reason for your fear.

I have had Acrophobia- fear of heights, since I was a in my mid teens, Dont why as I used climb trees and play on the roofs of houses until the fear started kicking in. And its not so much the height that gets to me Its the Fear of Falling. Getting on a 4 ft step latter bothers me. Standing at the edge of a cliff/ledge and I can 'feel' the whole thing collapsing out from under me. Even seeing someone on tv standing at a ledge/cliff bothers me..lol.. I also learn about 20yrs ago (I am 47 now) that I am actually Claustrophobic. My husband had a 4 man tent when we first got together.. I spent the entire night awake, because I could feel the tent closing in on me.. and I could not go outside because it rained the whole darn night.. the next day we/I got lucky and found a place to rent a cabin for the rest of the weekend.

My 17 yr old daughter deals with Social-phobia (anxiety)- the fear of being around people.. mainly strangers or people they do not know very well. She struggles with speaking to people and deals with anxiety/panic attacks and sometimes completely shut down.. she does not even like talking on the phone.

The best thing to do is take it 1 day at a time, do what you can and 'try' not to get frustrated over the things you cant. You may or may not get completely over it, but take any success you have as a bonus, and 'try' not to dwell on the things that you cant get through...yet.. Dont force anything.. and remember the reptiles can sense "how" you are feeling.. so If you start feeling stressed and/or frustrated..do something you ARE successful at, then just walk away..happy, and maybe try again later. No big deal. Life goes on.

DONT!! let ANYONE make you feel bad because you are 'afraid' of them. EVERYONE has something their a afraid of, even if they dont know it yet.. Getting over a phobia or a physiological disorder is one of the hardest things to do..and sometimes you never actually get over it.. you just (hopefully) find a way to cope.

Good Luck and remember DONT Stress.. as You only have so much wall space for holes..and only so many pictures to cover them...LOL!!!
I'll see what I can do! Thanks!

anwyn":3u9raxzb said:
aw, don't stress!

How new is your beardie? The advice I was told was that it can take them several week, even a month, to really settle in. He might silently be a little jumpy inside! So give yourself some time too.

I've raised a lot of other pets, just not a lizard before. so my advice is... why not let the beardie lead the way? Put your hand in, pet his head. I've been putting my hand out near my beardie when she's active and alert and let her decide to come closer or not. Slowly she's been putting a claw on my hand, or two. Or climbing half way up and just ogling me. When she's bored she'll move away. If you let your beardie make the moves it might not be so scary? Because he won't make little 'jumpy' moves away if it's his decision? And might help you stay calmer too to just enjoy him moving towards you without knowing you have to hold him or pick him up yet?

Don't worry. I think it's totally ok if you're afraid or jumpy. We're all afraid of something. (do NOT make me go near houseflies! *shudder* Now there's an irrational fear for you. ;) ) The fact that you're happy petting him is a good sign. Slow steps.
Izzy is a Juvenile about 6 months old. I'll try that with him, maybe he will help me get over it.
 

TheDragonKeepers

Sub-Adult Member
Izzy will pick up your signals too - he'll realise your worried about picking him up. Now, be aware, may dragons go through a phase between 6 and 9 months old, where they're aggressive. Don't let it scare you off. Youngsters are flightly little beasts, but they're sturdier than they look - be firm but gentle, with him AND yourself :)

He's a sugarglider without fur is all :D
 

tgolden

Sub-Adult Member
Dingodog has given some good advise. I've been keeping reptiles for a good while now and have learned a lot about them. one of the things I've learned is if you handle reptiles mainly lizards, sooner or later your going to get bit and scratched. Every lizard I have right now has bit me at one time or the other. It my hurt but it's not that bad. I have a female gecko that nips me every time I pick her up...lol. My advise is as you get use to your lizard slowly and if it does bit you don't wig out and hurt yourself worse and possible hurt you lizard by flinging it trying to get your hand back......good luck!!
 

MyBilbo

Hatchling Member
I was jumpy to start with, burnt my self on the CHE how many times hahaha. just take the time and only do what you are comfortable with, and make little steps each time at your own pace, and as you become more comfortable so will he, I think my Bilbo ran off more times because I jumped than I made him jump, and when I first touched the top of his head and he didn't run... what a feeling!!! it worth the wait, now im picking him up no problem (most of the time hehehe) :lol:
 
The best advice I ever read, because our girl was extremely jumpy, wouldn't stay in our hands for more than a minute, she was so tiny, I really thought she was going to kill herself. But the advice I read said, to pick them up when they are sleepy, at night right before you go to bed and right when you wake up. They are very lethargic in the morning especially, because their temps are lower so they move less. Once I started doing this, I was more comfortable, and she was too. She'll let me do anything now, even put her on my head lol!!
 

TerryG

Member
My boyfriend never said so, but I think he was afraid of our bearded dragon when I got her. At first he would "it's your pet" and wouldn't even touch her.

I used to hold her and encourage him to pet her. It took a few months but now he'll pick her up and let her climb all over him and even feed her.

Is there someone else you know that's not afraid that you could have let you get used to your Beardie while it's not in the enclosure? If you have a third party there that you see having positive interactions with it, that may help you feel more comfortable. A few of the other posters said that the Beardie can sense your mood so if the other person is relaxed, it may help the Beardie stay relaxed too.
 
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