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Thread: How I Handle My Male Iguana

  1. #1
    Moderator Takacha's Avatar
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    How I Handle My Male Iguana

    Find the comfortable way to pick up the iguana as a priority

    Itís very important that I can pick up my iguana no matter what mood he is in. I carry him around several times a day & everyday even during his mating season. It keeps my confidence up.

    Dominant iguanas or untamed/sick iguanas can show aggression even if they are not in the mating season. This is why I always try to be capable of handling my iguana.



    Always interact with the iguana and learn his behaviors and signs


    A lot of handling will help me learn his personality and what makes him grumpy. Iguanas do have their facial expressions & also body languages other than obvious puffing up, crab walking & tail waving. Charby can suddenly charge at me without obvious puffing up sign but I can pretty much tell when he is thinking it. Also I can tell when he is thinking about jumping at me.

    When he becomes aggressive

    I tell Charby to chill out then ignore him for a bit. I make no eye contact. I just pretend Iím busy caring something else ( I will not show my back to him ) but I stay put there. When he gets less tense I just walk up to his side ( never from front or back ), press my open palm behind his ear, push his neck a little so his face is away from mine. I swiftly slide my other arm under his belly & scoop him up just like I do in the video.

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    If he keeps being aggressive I have 2 choices. If Iím not confident to handle him I walk away for my safety. If Iím confident I will walk up to his side then do the same with open palm. This time I will press down behind his ear with my open palm towards floor ( just slowly but firmly ). I would expect that his open mouth protest, tail whipping or even croc roll coming lol. Keep my palm on his neck until he calms down.

    Always keep the open palm there & never let it go no matter what he does

    If he keeps the tail whipping & croc roll going I would press down his hind legs & base of tail with my other hand. When he goes extreme I place my knees on the floor, sandwiching his hind legs & base tail between my knees while keeping my palm behind his ear. Itís a wrestling lol. I do this especially when he goes nuts near furniture. I donít want him to hurt his tail.

    I hold him down until he calms down a bit ( or until he is exhaustedÖ). Carry him up to his room or enclosure and give him some alone time.

    Itís also part of dominant male iguanaís sports & exercise to test his power & boundaries so oh wellÖ I will try to be his worthy opponent for his wrestling entertainment. Donít be too scared or discouraged from it.

    Also donít ignore his aggression. You need to work on it with your iguana. Many people want to have male iguanas & your wish granted.

    Dominant male iguana requires constant handling, interaction & a lot of time with you. ***Donít lock him up in his enclosure because it wonít help his aggressive behaviors & it wonít help your fear. Stay safe but face him & work with him.

    Make some open space

    I hate it when Charby goes aggressive in cluttered area with furniture. It makes much harder to handle him and not safe for both of us. It helps to have some good open space where you let your iguana roam/walk free.
    Hello~ my name is Taka. I have a red iguana Charby

  2. #2
    Snr Moderator dimzel's Avatar
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    Taka, thank you very much. This is an excellent article. And a great video. I'll even show this video in a Russian forum.
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    My name is Irina. Sorry my mistakes in English.

  3. #3
    Administrator coolmoon's Avatar
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    Wonderful, thank you Taka.
    Saving the world, one reptile at a time. They make me want to be a better person. My name is Ann.

  4. #4
    Moderator Takacha's Avatar
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    Thank Irina

    I'm sorry Irina. I wish I could make translatable text in the video but I'm not that good at video editing
    Hello~ my name is Taka. I have a red iguana Charby

  5. #5
    Snr Moderator dimzel's Avatar
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    I also thought about translating into Russian. Maybe someone in the Russian forum will be interested to help.

    And I just want to say .... I have a bad experience with Boris. You can not to skip this process of making connections with the iguana. Time may be missed, and it will be harder for you. Now I almost do not see the opportunity to establish relations with Boris. Unless a miracle happens.


    Better if the owners of iguana boys at the very beginning of communication with the iguana will pay attention to this article.
    My name is Irina. Sorry my mistakes in English.

  6. #6
    Moderator Takacha's Avatar
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    I totally agree with you Irina.

    When the time has passed too long it will be harder & more dangerous to correct iguana's behavior & aggression. We all know how stubborn iguanas can be. I feel sorry for Boris's situation but I also do know how dangerous it can be to deal with his aggression.

    I spend a lot of time with Charby everyday but I admit I get really scary moment from his aggression sometimes.

    That's why I really emphasize people to start building good bond with their iguanas while they are still small/young and always interact with them.
    Hello~ my name is Taka. I have a red iguana Charby

  7. #7
    Moderator Johnny's Avatar
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    This is excellent, Taka, thank you.
    I agree, handling them from a young age is the best thing you can do.
    Even if the iguana does not develop the bond with that person, he learns his place in the pack instead of believing he is the Alpha male.

    Sent from my LTAB701QD using Tapatalk
    Hello all my name is Mariana, mother to the green iguana Johnny

  8. #8
    Valued Contributor Scarl's Avatar
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    That is a wonderful video, thank you! And not just for the information, it is truly lovely to see how gently you interact with Charby.
    My name is Stephen. I have a male green iguana named Darwin (since March 17th, 2016), and another green iguana named Bill (since October 5th, 2018).

  9. #9
    Moderator sdellin's Avatar
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    Taka, thank you and Charby (and your husband for recording)! This is awesome. I always pick Malakai up with my hand uner his belly from the back, with my palm under his chest. I will try the opposite way, as you do in the video. I have not had aggression problems with Malakai yet, he may be female in a male body, but I'm ALWAYS aware and on the lookout for that behavior during breeding season.

    Thanks for taking the time to make the video. I think it will be very helpful to iguana owners learning how to hold their iguanas.
    My name is Sharon, mommy to Malakai. We live in Vacaville, CA in the US.

    If it's meant to be it'll be, if it ain't it won't... it's life, live with it.

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