Can a tarantula get used to being handled?

tarantulaholic

Arachnoknight
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Tarantulas cant get used to handling, imo tarantulas is better for viewing purposes only. However snakes do get used to handling, but thats another topic.
 

Beardo

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Even though I don't personally believe that arachnids are neurologically advanced enough to formulate cognitive learning behaviors, just for argument's sake lets say they could "get used" to handling......IMO, it is still completely unecessary. Sure, a dog can "get used" to skydiving.....but whats the point of throwing your dog from a plane (an activity that could kill it, just as handling a tarantula could)?
 

Chris_Skeleton

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Even though I don't personally believe that arachnids are neurologically advanced enough to formulate cognitive learning behaviors, just for argument's sake lets say they could "get used" to handling......IMO, it is still completely unecessary. Sure, a dog can "get used" to skydiving.....but whats the point of throwing your dog from a plane (an activity that could kill it, just as handling a tarantula could)?
A skydiving dog? That would be an instant Internet sensation {D.
 

SamuraiSid

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A skydiving dog? That would be an instant Internet sensation {D.
The dog lovers forum is going beserk!!!

The Allies threw at least one dog out of a plane during ww2, and there are plenty of youtube videos of owners skydiving with their dogs, exclaiming, "The dog loves it!"... But this is an animal that also finds great joy in eating cat turds...

Back on point, though, I think the idea of being handled, from a T's POV is so alien that they could never get used to it, assuming they're aware of whats going on.
 

L4M4R

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It is part of the hobby, if you really want hold it and it lets you that's all that really matters. The fact that no one can answer
the question means if it does stress them then it can't be too much of an impact on their lives or we wouldn't be at a 50/50
on this topic, someone would have noticed shorter lifespans for frequently handled t's by now.


..and this thread is dead I should've looked at the date.
 
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Keith B

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I've seen T's exhibit some learning behavior. My B. smithi would only climb the cage walls when I would get home from work and she felt me walking around, and knew if she could reach the cage top, I'd open it and put her down to avoid any falls. And she would keep doing this until I took her out for a half hour or more. So she seemed to like handling, moreso than I. I disturb her as little as possible after the rehousing, to encourage her to be a pet rock lol. Seems to be working. Also, most of them are very skittish and take a while to eat when I disturb the cage, and over multiple feedings, appear to know it's for food and take it readily. As for starting a thread on handling, that's something that just rolls on and on, because it's opinion. It's like starting a thread on obamacare or something. Eventually you just get tired of reading it, and it intercepting other threads. MUCH of what people have to say about handling can be found in just about any thread on here, no matter what the topic, once somebody says "I handle" or "I don't handle". The thread expands for pages after that, with handling taking over the conversation. That said, some will handle, some won't blah bla... Just adding my experience with possible learning behavior.
 

Stan Schultz

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Threads such as this almost always get shut down within a day or two, so I'm going to post this in a hurry, before it becomes a flame war rivaling the American Civil War!

It's a subject that seems to divide a lot of people: Some strongly advise AGAINST handling tarantulas, whereas others ENCOURAGE frequent handling

By handling a tarantula, you're putting both yourself and the spider at risk. ...
Too general a statement. There are lots of circumstances when and where handling a tarantula can be as safe as petting the family dog... for both handled and handler.

... Most accidental T deaths are a result of people dropping them while handling. ...
Pure conjecture. Not supported by any studies or even by the preponderance of anecdotal evidence. The jury's still out on this one.

... And the tarantula doesn't get anything out of the handling, ...
Pure conjecture. Not supported by any studies or even by the preponderance of anecdotal evidence. The jury's still out on this one. No one's ever asked the tarantula!

... it would probably much rather be left alone then be forced to crawl over your hands and arms. ...
My pet Shelties would probably also rather be left alone until they learned...

a) I'm not going to harm them.

b) There's a correlation between handling and food.

c) Handling tends to break the boredom.

... Some also argue that it puts Ts under unnecessary stress. ...
Read Stress? You Wanna Know About Stress?

... However, on the other hand, I am pretty sure I remember reading a section in 'The Tarantula Keeper's Guide' on how to and how not to handle a T, ...
And thank you for the mention.

... and encouraging frequent handling/manipulating so the T can become accustomed to it. Some people claim that Ts do get used to handling if done often enough. ...
Not just a claim. Demonstrable, verifiable, well known fact.

... And there are definitely times when we need to 'handle' our tarantulas, even if it isn't direct contact with them. Moving a sling or juvenile into a larger enclosure as they get bigger is just one example. ...
Amen.

... Personally I don't handle any of my spiders, mainly because I just don't see the point. ...
To each his/her own. Personally, if I wanted to keep a pet that I wouldn't handle, I'd get another pink, plush Valentine's Day toy like the ones Marguerite left behind. No feeding. No grooming. No cage cleaning. Etc...

... Plus, I really don't think a tarantula can get used to being handled. ...
It's official, the Berlin Wall has fallen, and it's a free world. You're now able to think or believe just about anything you like. But in this case you're dread wrong. Certainly there are tarantulas that are not readily handleable, but there are also those that learn to recognize their keepers and even come across the cage to be fed, handled, or whatever. Your thoughts are too general to be credible.

... They aren't mammals that exhibit learning behaviour, ...
Illogical. No where is it written that only a mammal is capable of a learning behavior. A lot of birds, reptiles, squids, octopuses, planaria, and even a fair number of our tarantulas have clearly demonstrated the ability.

... nor do they have complex emotions. ...
Unproven conjecture. Just because they don't exhibit facial expressions doesn't mean they can't have emotions, complex or otherwise. Just because their emotions may not be analogous to ours or recognizable to us doesn't mean that tarantulas don't have them.

Few things in the universe are strictly black and white. Almost everything exists as a point somewhere along a long gray line, darker at one end than the other.

A question now for you, "If you are unable to perceive the possibility that a creature as vastly different from us as a tarantula can possess learning ability, emotions, or likes and dislikes, what are you going to do when space aliens finally land on Earth? And you find out that they're not little green men in Spandex bodysuits, smoking Marlboros?

... primitive instinct?
Contrary to popular opinion, "primitive" does not necessarily mean deficient, retarded, or obsolete and outdated. Much more commonly it means that the organism in question has had vast amounts of time to invent all sorts of new, unexpected, and wonderful means of meeting the challenges of life, and then fine tuning and perfecting them to the point of an almost endless survival. Primitive is a goal, not a dead albatross.


... I'm just wondering what other people's opinions are on this matter. ...
You asked for it. You got it. Toyota!

:roflmao:



Birthdays are good for you. The more you have the longer you live!
 
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Poec54

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I think handling is deffinitely part of the hobby!
Regrettably.

---------- Post added 11-17-2013 at 01:44 PM ----------

Personally I don't handle any of my spiders, mainly because I just don't see the point.
Exactly, there is no valid point to it. Kind of a freak show thing. Besides, I'm an accountant and play guitar, I need my fingers to work properly. To me, one of the dumbest things you can do is show up to an emergency room in excrutiating pain and explain that you got bit holding your big Poecilotheria. They'll of course ask why, and you tell them...
 
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goodoldneon

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Regrettably.

---------- Post added 11-17-2013 at 01:44 PM ----------



Exactly, there is no valid point to it. Kind of a freak show thing. Besides, I'm an accountant and play guitar, I need my fingers to work properly. To me, one of the dumbest things you can do is show up to an emergency room in excrutiating pain and explain that you got bit holding your big Poecilotheria. They'll of course ask why, and you tell them...
For what it's worth, you're much more likely to end up in the ER as a result of a cat bite. I think most of us would agree that Poecilotheria shouldn't be handled. I assume when we refer to handling we're discussing docile species - keeping in mind of course that some fools will handle anything.
 

AzJohn

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I don't think any one here knows enough to answer this question with any sort of certainty. The truth is we just don't know enough to really even guess. I feel that tarantulas have demonstrated enough "personality" and evidence of food preferences to leave me very open minded to the possibility that some tarantulas may become more accustomed to handling.
 

Stan Schultz

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Alright Stan, you can go back to sleep now.
Sleep H***! I'm driving an 11 ton motorhome at 65 mph between Checotah, Oklahoma and Ft. Worth Texas on US-69, one of the roughest and most poorly maintained US highways in North America! Every time I try to catch a nap the motorhome hits another bone-jarring tank trap, and wakes me up!

:laugh:


Your tarantulas spend a lot of time meditating. Their Lotus Position is nothing short of unbelievable!
 

BobGrill

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MY Opinion::

I think handling is deffinitely part of the hobby! The process of adaptation is very effective for animals and humans, basically all living organisms now I would think adapting to handling is such a minor action and i believe to some extent it may be true...
Whaaaa? You do understand that handling stresses out the spider don't you? If you care about the health of your animal, then you won't handle it if doing so is not good for them. THEY DO NOT LIKE TO BE HANDLED. I don't see what's so hard to understand about that. They are secretive animals by nature, and want nothing more than to be left alone.

Also have fun in the E.R. after handling an OW.
 

Will240393

Arachnopeon
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Jun 27, 2013
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I try not to handle a tarantula as much as possible... the only time i do is when the tarantula willingly walks onto my hand without prodding otherwise no i do not handle them and believe they should not be handled.

Weather or not they can be conditioned to not mind handling i do not know.
 

Beary Strange

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From my own personal experience and reading posts here for a time, I'd say tarantulas are certainly capable of some learning. Obviously, on a very basic level but I don't think they'd have gotten very far if they weren't capable of learning to some extent.

Now, to handle or not to handle, I think that's up to the owner. Regardless of what anyone here says, if they want to handle, they're going to. And I think that's where the advice for handling comes in. If people are going to (or have to, because it got on them), they might as well do it as properly as may be. Personally I try not to handle mine as much as possible, mostly out of concern for the spiders. I'm afraid that should they bite me, for example, I will have an instinctual reaction that could harm them, even kill them. But it's not always up to me. Some spiders will come out during feeding, cleaning, etc and sometimes they end up on you. It happens.
 

Poec54

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Sleep H***! I'm driving an 11 ton motorhome at 65 mph between Checotah, Oklahoma and Ft. Worth Texas
Now I'm worried.

---------- Post added 11-17-2013 at 05:40 PM ----------

For what it's worth, you're much more likely to end up in the ER as a result of a cat bite. I think most of us would agree that Poecilotheria shouldn't be handled. I assume when we refer to handling we're discussing docile species - keeping in mind of course that some fools will handle anything.
Had cats almost my entire life and never been bit. Yes, Poecs shouldn't be handled, especially adults, but it only takes seconds online to find a picture or video of some idiot holding one. One of my biggest issues with handling is that the average tarantula owner doesn't differentiate between species, and thinks if you can handle one, you can handle them all. I've seen pictures of people with big Theraphosa's on their face. And we're supposed to be the most intelligent life form on the planet.
 
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