Help, I left my monitor go wild, (need help socializing an older monitor) - FaunaClassifieds
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:24 AM   #1
crossfire79
Help, I left my monitor go wild, (need help socializing an older monitor)

My black rough neck is almost 3 years old, and a bit after I built him his new enclosure I sorta stop handling him for like a month or two, and now he is scared of me again, and when I get him out he tries harder than ever to get away from me. He has also reached maturity. Can anyone please give me some tips on how to get him used to me again so I can pick him up without him wanting to get away form me/hissing/afraid?

I also need some advice on how to better socialize with both the BRN and my Argus monitor, because I don't think my technique of removing them from their cage then making them sit with me on the couch is the best method. Even my Argus monitor is still kinda afraid of me (who i had been working with alot latley).

Is keeping them completely covered with a towel or blanket until they settle down a good way to start a handling session if they are acting real flighty?

The Argus monitor is more tolerant of me not allowing him to run away, and holding him to keep him from running away for most of the sessions. Either by placing two fingers in front of his front legs, or by holding his torso in my palm, until just the weight of my hand on his back is enough to keep him in place. But the black rough neck won't stand for that, if you try to restrict his movement he gets frustrated/scared/mad. He will increasingly get mad and fight against you until you left go, or stop using your hand to block his path. The only way I have been able to work with him in the past is by using my hands and arms as a treadmill until he tired out.

What about when they are tired, is it better to pick them up and handling them then? When I get home from my 2nd shift job, I;ll sometimes get one out and sleep with them on the couch for a few hours until their lights come on? They go to sleep also after a lil bit and calm down from being awoken/removed from their enclosure.

Or do i have to slow it way down, back up to what I was doing when I first got them home, and get them to let me pet them in their cage first, then slowly work on letting me pick them up in their cage, and slowly work on moving them to the spot in the living room where I want to handle them??

Before they get too big I want to get them to the point that I don't want them to have a fight/flight reaction to me, and would like to take them with me to the pet store sometimes, or chill with on the couch. I understand that each monitor species has its own unique temperament, and may never been cuddle buddies.

The Argus monitor is allowed to roam while I am at home, and I'm starting to let the BRN do the same. This is creating a lot more interaction and closer content between me and them. I can walk past my Argus monitor now without him even taking notice of me, and the BRN is quiet like a ninja so I am able to nap while he is out. I put a basking spot on the living room floor, have everything blocked off that needs to be with fun noodles, and neither one has yet to attempt to ingest anything they come in contact with. After things have been quiet for awhile, I'll check to see if that are too cold and stuck somewhere, then show them basking spot or put them back.
Is it helping to let them walk around freely at home? Do I need to take more time to try to pet them or get close to them while they are out walking about?

Thank You
 
Old 10-22-2018, 10:26 AM   #2
E.Shell
Quote:
Originally Posted by crossfire79 View Post
My black rough neck is almost 3 years old, and a bit after I built him his new enclosure I sorta stop handling him for like a month or two, and now he is scared of me again, and when I get him out he tries harder than ever to get away from me. He has also reached maturity. Can anyone please give me some tips on how to get him used to me again so I can pick him up without him wanting to get away form me/hissing/afraid?

I also need some advice on how to better socialize with both the BRN and my Argus monitor, because I don't think my technique of removing them from their cage then making them sit with me on the couch is the best method. Even my Argus monitor is still kinda afraid of me (who i had been working with alot latley).
I'm not an expert, but seeing that your thread has a lot of views and no suggestions, maybe I'll do until an expert comes along...

First off, grabbing them in their cages is recognized by most animals as threatening behavior, especially when it comes from above. If one continues to do that, there is usually one of two responses: 1) Just close your eyes and give up, knowing you're about to be eaten by whatever gargantuan being just grabbed you up, or 2) Defend yourself.

Many animals, and monitors in particular, are aggressive/defensive when in the enclosures, then become less sure of themselves once out. If you try to overcome this "cage aggression" with brute force, you are making yourself threatening and the animals equate you with danger.
Quote:
Is keeping them completely covered with a towel or blanket until they settle down a good way to start a handling session if they are acting real flighty?
Inducing a sleep response as one would with diurnal animals like certain birds and reptiles may be a decent way to recover them from their fear at being picked up, but if they are calm to begin with, this shouldn't be necessary and again may be interpreted as threatening behavior until they give up and relax into sleep.
Quote:
The Argus monitor is more tolerant of me not allowing him to run away, and holding him to keep him from running away for most of the sessions. Either by placing two fingers in front of his front legs, or by holding his torso in my palm, until just the weight of my hand on his back is enough to keep him in place. But the black rough neck won't stand for that, if you try to restrict his movement he gets frustrated/scared/mad. He will increasingly get mad and fight against you until you left go, or stop using your hand to block his path. The only way I have been able to work with him in the past is by using my hands and arms as a treadmill until he tired out.
Part of why they resist being held is that they are afraid you're going to eat them and you're just staging them for consumption. They think they are the fries that go with your burger. This fear is normal for almost all animals, especially those that start out small in dangerous environments.

Another part of why they resist is why you selected monitors to begin with: because they are active and inquisitive. They spend a lot of time in a very restricted area when compared to their natural home range. Even a box turtle can have a 2 square mile range. When they are out, they want to explore their new and expanded territory, and avoid donating protein to it's other inhabitants.
Quote:
What about when they are tired, is it better to pick them up and handling them then? When I get home from my 2nd shift job, I;ll sometimes get one out and sleep with them on the couch for a few hours until their lights come on? They go to sleep also after a lil bit and calm down from being awoken/removed from their enclosure.
I'm not sure how well this works. I would think that the disturbance from being awakened would negate the positive side of the interaction. To get them used to your scent, using some recently worn clothing as bedding can be helpful.

In order to be secure and act naturally, they really need a place they can feel safe. Most monitors burrow to some extent and enjoy the secure place to rest. When you retrieve them from sleeping in their secure place, it demonstrates to them that their secure place is not at all secure. A lack of security contributes to the overall stress level, and if the animals are stressed, they cannot be expected to interact favorably.
Quote:
Or do i have to slow it way down, back up to what I was doing when I first got them home, and get them to let me pet them in their cage first, then slowly work on letting me pick them up in their cage, and slowly work on moving them to the spot in the living room where I want to handle them??

Before they get too big I want to get them to the point that I don't want them to have a fight/flight reaction to me, and would like to take them with me to the pet store sometimes, or chill with on the couch. I understand that each monitor species has its own unique temperament, and may never been cuddle buddies.
Were they mine, I think I would drop back on the intensity and pick up on the frequency.

I would just feed them small morsels in their enclosures, then tempt them out onto your hand/arm as they are occupied with feeding. Just draw them out, and if they retreat, let them.

The end game here is TRUST. They have to be able to look at you and know that you will not exhibit threatening behavior. They have to be able to know that you are not trying to catch them, and that they can interact with you more on their terms.
Quote:
The Argus monitor is allowed to roam while I am at home, and I'm starting to let the BRN do the same. This is creating a lot more interaction and closer content between me and them. I can walk past my Argus monitor now without him even taking notice of me, and the BRN is quiet like a ninja so I am able to nap while he is out. I put a basking spot on the living room floor, have everything blocked off that needs to be with fun noodles, and neither one has yet to attempt to ingest anything they come in contact with. After things have been quiet for awhile, I'll check to see if that are too cold and stuck somewhere, then show them basking spot or put them back.
Is it helping to let them walk around freely at home? Do I need to take more time to try to pet them or get close to them while they are out walking about?
I think that letting them roam around while you're there is good for them, as long as you don't have to scare them to get them out. If your enclosure arrangement is such that they can walk out, them tempt them out with small scraps of food, then feed them occasionally as they move around. This will help them learn to trust you and that you can even be beneficial.

At some point, you can tempt them with food to climb your hand/arm or leg, and have them be able to voluntarily come to you. If the room is a little cool, they may even come to enjoy laying on something warm.
 
Old 10-22-2018, 10:31 AM   #3
E.Shell
As an afterthought, there are some youtube videos on handling that may be helpful:
https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...onitor+lizards
 

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