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Savannah Monitor Taming

Discussion in 'Not So Spineless Wonders' started by MalevolentScorp, Jan 30, 2008.

  1. MalevolentScorp

    MalevolentScorp Arachnoknight

    I just bought a juvenile sav today, and she/he's a bit on the aggressive side. She squrims a lot when handled, and when allowed to put on the floor she bolts for it when touched and hisses. She hasn't tried to bite me though. I know what I was getting into, I just wanted to know if there is any techniques I can try to tame her. When I hold her, she calms down a lot when I stroke her underneath her chin and rub near her ear openings, she even starts to fall asleep. But as soon as I put her down she's doesn't really want to be picked up again.

    Any tricks to taming with handling?
  2. Tleilaxu

    Tleilaxu Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Yes one main tip: PERSISTANCE! And try to end things on a positive note, meaning the monitor was calm and relaxed before being place back in its cage. Also do not apporach from above or make fast movments. Handle for a half hour once a day.(Twice is better) Do NOT backdown from a bite, or other defensive behavior as they will learn that, that behavior can get them what they want, to be put back in their cage.

    As for handling make sure you support his body and allow all of his feet to be in contact with you, make sure your wear long sleeves when doing this, until he tames down he is going to scratch but when little thats not a problem. Also your monitor is displaying normal behavior for a baby, they will calm with age and handling. NEVER EVER hand feed a monitor, this is the easiest way to get a serious bite as when it comes to food its bite first ask questions later, feed witrh tongs.
  3. MalevolentScorp

    MalevolentScorp Arachnoknight

    Today i went out and bought handling gloves from the local pet store, to prevent excessive scratching (my hands are already tore up). Thanks for the tip, any others?
  4. i know im a little late for this thread but hey!

    im currently calming down a young female Sav thats come into rescue becasue she litterally ran at them when they opened the doors to her vivaria, she was hissing and was trying to bite them, luckily no one got bitten.

    again, like has already been said the best thing to do is be persistant, if being picked up is what it doesnt like then this is what is going to have to be worked on. i had the same trouble with "Cuddles" as we called her. she hated my picking her up, everytime she would defecate on me and everyone else in the room, hiss, mouth open and try to bite everything that she could swing her head round to. but i knew that if id of put her down she would of thought "right that worked im going to do that again!" put them down whan your happy with their behavious, ie, they are sitting nicely, not intentionally digging claws into your arms and they are relaxed with you, they soon learn that this is how you get put back into your enclosure.

    this has worked with Cairo, he is my 4 year old Ornate Nile Monitor. yes i have the odd scar here and there from the early years but now i have no trouble with him at all!!

    all the best!
  5. suicidepill

    suicidepill Arachnopeon

    taming monitors?really, how much research did you do before you got it? you should know monitors dont tame. if its letting you hold it, chances are its sick and/or stressed. think about it this way, in the wild, those are where the healthy monitors live. you could NEVER go near it or hold it without it tearing you up. this is how it should be in captivity unless its sick or stressed. hissing and biting is a good thing. its a sign that says its healthy and that you cant over power it so it tries to get away.just like it would in the wild.if it lets you hold it, that means your stressing it out and it lost its will to fight back.

    if you got kidnapped or adult napped or whatever, by a big mean guy, if you were healthy, you would fight back.after a while, you would eventually give up since hes alot stronger than you, think about how that would make you feel.the monitor is the one being kidnapped, and your the big meant person. the monitor prefers to be left alone unhandled.

    can you describe your set up?
    you know they need AT LEAST a 3x6x3.
    and all savs are wild cought.

    i highly reccomend you read this guys caresheet, he knows his stuff.

  6. Galadriel

    Galadriel Arachnoknight Old Timer

    I have to back suicidepill up here. A varanid is not a lap dog and, if healthy, should always be defensive. Yes, even savs.
  7. jonnysebachi

    jonnysebachi Arachnosquire Old Timer

    Don't agree with this last post at all or the "caresheet". Savannah monitors can make great pets that don't mind being handled. They are just like other creatures. Some dogs don't like being petted, but that doesn't make all dogs "untamable". Enjoy that monitor you got. And not all savs are wild caught.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Bigboy

    Bigboy Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Tame as a term when applied to reptiles means calming them to be able to have a relaxed animal who doesn't act aggressively when approached or handled. Monitors will absolutely tame up. They are incredibly intelligent animals and after having spent nearly a year providing care for 200+ monitors I can tell you with certainty that they do tame up. They readily recognize patterns and recognize when they will be fed, when you are going to clean, when they will be held etc. Do not underestimate a monitors ability to learn and adapt. No, they will never come when you call, or fetch, or wag a tail excitedly at you but neither do cats, hamsters or gerbils but people still consider them animals that can be tamed. I've had a lap"lizard" sav who used to stretch out on my stomach and sleep while I watched tv because I raised it myself from a hatchling and handled it every day from when it was less than one month old. No joke, it would No, they should not always be defensive. An animal will only be defensive if it perceives danger. Routine gentle handling and proper husbandry will teach it that you are no threat. Hell I know people who have tamed croc monitors! They aren't dogs, but they're damn intelligent enough to become tamed with proper handling.
  9. squeaky10199

    squeaky10199 Arachnosquire Old Timer

    that is a great caresheet, and if you dont think it is, then you obviously dont know much about savs. name one thing wrong. nothings wrong with that caresheet.

    - suicidepill
  10. jonnysebachi

    jonnysebachi Arachnosquire Old Timer

    LOL, looks like I offended the author.
  11. suicidepill

    suicidepill Arachnopeon

    you know the author?
    if you think im the auther, im not. i dont have a sav. and
    my name on rz isnt kap10cavy, its suicidepill.
    im just saying, its a good caresheet, and if you dont agree with it, then you dont know much about savs, thats all.
  12. Choobaine

    Choobaine Arachnobaron

    Y'know what? I'm going to go from a book.

    "Monitors, Tegus and related lizards, a complete pet owner's manual" Written mostly by R.D. Bartlett who is a herpetologist and began a reptile breeding and research institute in 1970 according to this.
    So after going through this person's achcheivement's I'm going to assume they are right.

    And they say exactly what we all know, persistance! "Many monitors and tegus can become tame and trustwrothy if obtained young and given careful, gentle and persistent handling. At one herpetological meeting we attended, a young lady arrived toting under one arm one of the biggest savanna monitors we have ever seen, and under the other arm what was certainly the largest black and white tegu we had ever seen. She had both from babies, expended oodles of care and affection on the animals and the results were gratifying."

    It's not saying those reptiles will ever like you, I figure reptiles don't have that programming, but it does say with time and effort they will tollerate you and not try to kill you at first sight. It's been proven time and time again!
  13. Nivek

    Nivek Arachnoknight Old Timer

    I have read in a couple monitor care books as well as various online caresheets that there have been several instances where monitors (Including Savannahs) have even been clicker trained to know that the sound of a clicker is equal to "Hey, foods here." It can be a real hassle to calm a monitor down, I know that much. I've dealt with Savannahs, Argus, Timor (cute little guys, lol). Mangrove, Ackie, Water monitors, Niles and Blackthroats. With extensive work, lots of bandaids, and the realization that I like creatures without claws/savage tails a lot more, I noticed a very obvious difference over months of dedicated work and handling. When people say "Don't back down from a bite" though, take it seriously. Don't show any reaction at all. If you so much as loosen your grip, move your hand back, etc. they have gotten what they want. Also, don't expect a quick change. It takes months like I said, to calm them down, and even longer with the more skittish ones. I can only imagine trying to get a croc monitor to calm down! Bandaids just wouldn't cut it there haha.
  14. Bedlam

    Bedlam Arachnobaron

    NOT the right attitude to accomplish ANYTHING on a message board! Respecting peoples rights to their opinions is the only thing you can do if you plan on having anyone respect what you've got to say, so grow up!

    I've got no experience with monitors but some people on here seem to and, IMHO, first-hand experience outweighs anything I'll read on a care sheet. Never forget that anyone is capable of writing a care sheet. Not to discredit what some people have written, but I've seen Tarantula care sheets saying that they need heat bulbs and are best kept on wood shavings or sand, so I've learned to take care sheets in stride and prefer to seek advice from people I meet with direct and extensive experience over a long period of time.
  15. tyrant963

    tyrant963 Arachnosquire

    I know suidcidepill, just messin with him ;P We have our differences.
  16. Hey,
    It's Andrew.Make sure you get that thing a fecal check and vet checked.I advise at least three clean stool samples after meds or an intitial ''clean'' check,to be sure it is free of worms,ameobas,and other nasties.Let it settle in a few weeks under proper housinf with good lighting,correct temps,basking spots,food,water,and so forth.Then, start handling,doing as stated.Avoiding grasping from above(this is a predatory move to the frightened reptile,b/c bird swoop in form above.Follow the advice,about not backing down from struggles and bites.Look on the internet and read books about iguanas....the same handling techniques apply.It is true that montiors can settle and even enjoy human contact,but it is not to be expected.You have a good chance with consistencey and proper technique.