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Old 10-14-2018, 04:58 PM   #1
shaunfe23
Aggressive Behavior

My BP seems to be completely fine and dandy whenever he's in his tank, and when being taken out of his tank but about 5 minutes after he's been out of his tank he starts to get really aggressive for apparently no reason. He'll start lunging at random things or coil and squeeze around my arm and latch on. Was wondering if anyone had any advice on how to deal with this type of behavior or if it's just his personality and he doesn't like being handled.
 
Old 10-14-2018, 05:13 PM   #2
Helenthereef
He sounds scared. Are you handling him somewhere calm and quiet, or somewhere with lots of activity and movement?
 
Old 10-14-2018, 08:15 PM   #3
Robert Walker
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helenthereef View Post
He sounds scared. Are you handling him somewhere calm and quiet, or somewhere with lots of activity and movement?
Great thoughts Helen.

How long have you had him?
How often do "you" handle him?
 
Old 10-14-2018, 08:17 PM   #4
bcr229
The latching on is fear of falling, the striking out is defensive behavior. Sometimes they strike out at things like shadows on the walls, or if someone/something passes them that is backlit and a shadow falls on them.

How old is this snake?
 
Old 10-14-2018, 08:32 PM   #5
shaunfe23
Quote:
He sounds scared. Are you handling him somewhere calm and quiet, or somewhere with lots of activity and movement?
Whenever I take him out I try to keep the area relatively calm and relaxed so that he doesn't feel threatened.

Quote:
How long have you had him?
Almost 2 years now. He's not always like this but the majority of the time he seems to get this way.

Quote:
How often do "you" handle him?
I've been trying to handle him a few times a month so that he'd be more used to being handled but also trying not to overwhelm him. I know I shouldn't really be scared of him but his reactions to being handled make it harder for me to want to pull him out of his tank without the fear of being struck at.
 
Old 10-14-2018, 08:33 PM   #6
shaunfe23
Maybe it's also worth mentioning I own a cat so I'm also wondering if he picks up her scent and thinks its feeding time or something.
 
Old 10-14-2018, 08:36 PM   #7
Robert Walker
Are you familiar with what stuck eye (cap) shed is? If so does he have that or any other eye condition that you can see. Any chance of attaching a picture of his eyes?
 
Old 10-14-2018, 08:42 PM   #8
shaunfe23
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
The latching on is fear of falling, the striking out is defensive behavior. Sometimes they strike out at things like shadows on the walls, or if someone/something passes them that is backlit and a shadow falls on them.
So today when I had taken him out he seemed to keep wanting to move closer to my head which makes me nervous because he's attempted to strike at my face before, which then I decided it was time for him to go back and as I was opening his tank up he thought it was a good idea to strike at the tank opening.

I've always tried to hold him so I'm supporting his entire body so that he doesn't feel like he's going to fall.
 
Old 10-15-2018, 01:37 AM   #9
Helenthereef
I think that Robert's question about his eyes is a very good one. I had a very "strike-y" snake who was blind in one eye and sometimes struck out inappropriately.

I don't think he'd take the smell of your cat as food, but I always think it's a good idea to wash hands thoroughly before handling a snake anyway - gets rid of any food smells you have on you, as well.

I understand completely that you are now nervous of him - the problem is you may be communicating this to him as well. If you are nervous and jerky, he'll feel less secure and will tighten his hold, making you more nervous , etc etc.

Just a few suggestions that have worked for me...

Limit handling to once a week or less. More is probably too much.

Make sure the environment is calm and slightly dim, not too much light or other people dashing about (perhaps no TV...)

When you handle him, concentrate on the back half of his body, stay away from his face

Don't let anyone else handle him for now - stick to just you and him

Sit down to handle him so that he is on your lap, not grasped in your hands

Handle him on a towel laid over your lap, with a few folds in it so that he can hide under it if he wants to. (And so that you can throw it over his head if you feel he is getting agitated)

Let him roam around a bit, only move him gently back onto your lap if he is getting away from your area of control

If you are really nervous, wear gloves for a while until you have regained trust. Don't make them too thick though - you do need to feel that you are not squeezing him too hard.

And finally - my snakes feed every 2 weeks. I like to handle them about 5 days after I have fed them - not too soon after feeding so that they stress out and regurgitate or poop on me, but not when they are most hungry. Can you work out a handling schedule on a similar basis?
 
Old 10-16-2018, 01:48 AM   #10
Helenthereef
PS - this may seem extreme, but it gave me more confidence with a rather nervous and unpredictable snake - as well as gloves, wear glasses - reading, safety or sun - it just stops you worrying so much about a strike to the face, and enables to you to relax more.
 

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