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Thread: trouble handling young bearded dragon

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    trouble handling young bearded dragon

    i've had a young dragon for about 2 months now, and i like everything about him except he detests enormously being handeld. If I motion my one hand slowly toward him I get threat displays and then flight, bedsding fyling, uncannily slamming into the glass walls, etc. I have to kind of corral him with both hands until I can trap him between my cupped palms, and then I have to pin his tail with a figner if I want him to stay on my hand, otherwise he leaps. Is this correctable? he seems to want to crawl up on my shoudler, but I haven't let him becuase i'm arfiad he'll jump and hurt himself.

    he's about 8-9 inches long, very active crikcet hunter, window watcher, and bather.

    any recommendations? I'm fine just watching him, but I had hoped, given what I've read, to be able to hold him.

  2. #2
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    re:trouble handling young bearded dragon

    Start whispering to him before you ever pick him up. Make this a habit every time you are working in or around his cage.

    Lay your hand flat on the bottom of the cage, palm up. Keep whispering or talking softly. Then scoop your hand quickly underneath him and lift him directly out of the cage, blocking escape with your other hand. Keep whispering or talking softly.

    Now sit down in a secure location where he cannot escape and hide under the couch or something. Now place him on your pectoral muscle (I put my beardie right on my boob) and keep your hand over his back, with thumb and forefinger lightly holding his neck/shoulders to prevent forward motion.
    Keep whispering. If you're sitting down, a jump will hopefully not be far enough for him to make a real break for it.

    I hold my beardie on my chest while doing a variety of other things, and he is very used to my touch.

    Another thing that's helped is that I hand-feed my beardie a lot. They have great aim and that nice sticky tongue. Grab mealworms and just pinch their tail, put your hand somewhat close to him and hold still. It might take a while the first time! My beardie is very used to my hands because I hand feed him, I feed him from my palm while holding him, and I generally handle him a lot even if he's squirmy. I always whisper or talk to him and I don't give up. Don't reward a squirming lizard by putting them down - they'll just learn that's how to get put down.

    My beardie is still a spaz, but he doesn't try to leap off me anymore and he genuinely seems to look forward to handling. Probably because I reward him with treats and take him out into the sun and warm aluminum roof to bask!

  3. #3

    re:trouble handling young bearded dragon

    My boyfriens beardie is the same towards me. He actually jumps up at my hand trying to bite me. But once i let him calm down i pet his head and get him out hes completly fine.

    However my juvenile loves me to death, when i open the cage he greets me. He knows Mommys got his water to spray him or some kind of treat for him.

  4. #4

    re:trouble handling young bearded dragon

    this is good advice. almost all animals require taming weather captive bred or not, however these guys have personalities too and some of them are just jerks. I think yours just doesn't like having it's tail pinned you have to prove to the animal that you mean no harm.

    saib wrote:
    Start whispering to him before you ever pick him up. Make this a habit every time you are working in or around his cage.

    Lay your hand flat on the bottom of the cage, palm up. Keep whispering or talking softly. Then scoop your hand quickly underneath him and lift him directly out of the cage, blocking escape with your other hand. Keep whispering or talking softly.

    Now sit down in a secure location where he cannot escape and hide under the couch or something. Now place him on your pectoral muscle (I put my beardie right on my boob) and keep your hand over his back, with thumb and forefinger lightly holding his neck/shoulders to prevent forward motion.
    Keep whispering. If you're sitting down, a jump will hopefully not be far enough for him to make a real break for it.

    I hold my beardie on my chest while doing a variety of other things, and he is very used to my touch.

    Another thing that's helped is that I hand-feed my beardie a lot. They have great aim and that nice sticky tongue. Grab mealworms and just pinch their tail, put your hand somewhat close to him and hold still. It might take a while the first time! My beardie is very used to my hands because I hand feed him, I feed him from my palm while holding him, and I generally handle him a lot even if he's squirmy. I always whisper or talk to him and I don't give up. Don't reward a squirming lizard by putting them down - they'll just learn that's how to get put down.

    My beardie is still a spaz, but he doesn't try to leap off me anymore and he genuinely seems to look forward to handling. Probably because I reward him with treats and take him out into the sun and warm aluminum roof to bask!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kitsunegirl's Avatar
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    re:trouble handling young bearded dragon

    I have a lot of luck with handling my dragons, when I get a new one or when I work with the hatchlings I pick them up gently and hold them till they stop squirming. I keep my hand over the cage during this time, and once they calm down I hold my hand open for them to hop off or say there. A lot of the little babies will stay on my fingers even if they're cooler then the heat rock, They seem to enjoy being held once they realize I'm not going to eat them. Oh and I do talk to them daily too.

  6. #6
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    we had a very mean breaded dragon that it would try to bite us everytime we try to pick him up, all we did was to talk to him in a calm voice and when he try to bite us we would tap him on the nose very gentle and tell him no, plus we pick him up from the back, now he is so gentle everyone can't believe is is the same lizard, it only took us a few weeks to calm him down. Now after he does his bowel movement we allow him to run around the living room for about 15 minutes, he sits on my shoulder while I clen house. Good luck

  7. #7
    Administrator dee's Avatar
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    Thanks for the addition to this Tinynomo, but as this thread is several years old it will be locked.
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