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i recently got a baby asian water monitor Varanus salvator marmoratus. the seller claimed it's a CB specimen from WC parents but it is very skittish and hisses and tries to bite whenever i'm doing maintenance in its tank. it is very active, loves to soak in its "bathtub" and eats about one f/t small mouse three times a week (it wont eat insects). i would like to hear from monitor keepers in the forum about their taming method. TIA
 

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YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.


This dude says it all quite well. The fact that he's active is great, it's certainly the first step. watch all the parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the link. very informative.


when i fed it today, it didnt hiss or try to bite but is still flighty.



i hope to hear from people with first hand experience regarding taming baby monitors.
 

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with ours, we didnt try to force handle her or anything... just built up a trust, tooks a few months but basicly just leaft my hands in her tank having a look around for about half an hour a day
before no time she'd come up and have a good smell see what i was, and eventually gets to the stage where she would climb onto my hands, and eventually she wasnt bothered at all.

she's just under 4ft now... and loves to come running over for a fuss, she even uses my hands as a scratching post bless her, dont get her out so much now though... only when its viv cleaning time and i take her and leave her in the bath...
 

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by tieing steak to your fingers and waggling them around in front of his face.

I am using this technique on my new bosc.

but seriously that video is well good :2thumb:
 

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with ours, we didnt try to force handle her or anything... just built up a trust, tooks a few months but basicly just leaft my hands in her tank having a look around for about half an hour a day
before no time she'd come up and have a good smell see what i was, and eventually gets to the stage where she would climb onto my hands, and eventually she wasnt bothered at all.

she's just under 4ft now... and loves to come running over for a fuss, she even uses my hands as a scratching post bless her, dont get her out so much now though... only when its viv cleaning time and i take her and leave her in the bath...
I have/do use the same way of taming mine. I never force them to do anything. Picking them up never happens with any of mine. I can how ever do anything inside the viv even clean it out with monitor just watching so on. It worked with my white throat, croc monitor which i can also touch for around 30secs before it moves, i have had no change in my nile monitor its to fearfull. Its ok until i open viv then it normal runs away at 3ft 9" think it would stop. Also used it on water monitor and tegu with great results but both i sold while young.
 

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I have/do use the same way of taming mine. I never force them to do anything. Picking them up never happens with any of mine. I can how ever do anything inside the viv even clean it out with monitor just watching so on. It worked with my white throat, croc monitor which i can also touch for around 30secs before it moves, i have had no change in my nile monitor its to fearfull. Its ok until i open viv then it normal runs away at 3ft 9" think it would stop. Also used it on water monitor and tegu with great results but both i sold while young.
agen same as this when u tame my monitors just takes time realy

and with the nile monitor philipnniceguy mine is just over 5ft now and he still the same as when i first got if not worse try and tame as much as i can trust me when they get bigger they hert alot more , i have had several bites, scratched to pieces and tail whiped many atimes ha ha

good luck with the tamein thow mate hope you have more luck then me ha ha
 

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agen same as this when u tame my monitors just takes time realy

and with the nile monitor philipnniceguy mine is just over 5ft now and he still the same as when i first got if not worse try and tame as much as i can trust me when they get bigger they hert alot more , i have had several bites, scratched to pieces and tail whiped many atimes ha ha

good luck with the tamein thow mate hope you have more luck then me ha ha
:lol2: i have never been biten or tail whiped though my nile trys it always misses me got my partner with its tail a few times :lol2:. scratches i don't count as they not trying to hurt you just trying run away.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
with ours, we didnt try to force handle her or anything... just built up a trust, tooks a few months but basicly just leaft my hands in her tank having a look around for about half an hour a day
before no time she'd come up and have a good smell see what i was, and eventually gets to the stage where she would climb onto my hands, and eventually she wasnt bothered at all.

she's just under 4ft now... and loves to come running over for a fuss, she even uses my hands as a scratching post bless her, dont get her out so much now though... only when its viv cleaning time and i take her and leave her in the bath...
yes i have decided not to force handle my monitor. it doesnt hiss and try to bite anymore just runs away. i hope in time it will get used to my presence and wont run away from me anymore. :)
 

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yes i have decided not to force handle my monitor. it doesnt hiss and try to bite anymore just runs away. i hope in time it will get used to my presence and wont run away from me anymore. :)
Definatly the best way to go and a much less stressfull way for the monitor : victory:
 

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'...cos if he comes out in a feeding frenzy, My chihuahuas are on the ground and I'm here in me boxer shorts...Things could get pretty messy'

:lol2::lol2::lol2:


yeah it is funny. it's good to see someone with some kind of sense of humour.

OP - search for a guy on youtube called MDFMonitor. I've had some good results luring my bosc onto my hand with food on tongs as shown in some of his vids. start by luring him out of his hide and build your way up from there.
 

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Have a read of this. Makes sense when you think about it and it is the method I am now using with my 3 monitors.

Quote:
He does not like being petted/held. He has bitten me twice...

Quote:
you go to pick him up and well he just runs away, and when held he sometimes will try turn and bite

Qoute:
I walk into my Rep room and he bolts for his hide as soon as he sees me

You can see the common thread, here. The one thing all of these monitors are trying to tell their keepers is "stop trying to pick me up". Holding an animal that clearly does not want to be held is no way to get it to like you. All you’re doing by grabbing him each day is reinforcing the already bad experience it’s had with you so far. Eventually, it will be untouchable.

Try this: Picture yourself in a park with two wild squirrels, Squirrel A and Squirrel B, that you would like to befriend. You decide to perform a little experiment, to compare ’taming’ methods.

Experiment A:

1. Your perspective: You grab Squirrel A and hold it until it stops struggling. The plan is to do this daily until it becomes tame. When you let it go, it runs away as fast as it can. The next time you see Squirrel A it is at a distance of 100 metres, from where it chatters angrily at you before running up a tree. With the help of some friends, you manage to corner it and grab it to continue the training process and it bites your hand. You never see Squirrel A again, either because it felt so threatened it decided to leave the park or because it hides every time it sees you.

2. Squirrel A’s perspective: There it was minding its own business when this giant predator grabbed it. It thought it was going to die. It managed to escape, but it got grabbed again the next day. It managed a second escape what wasn’t going to count on a third, so every time it saw this predator from then on, it remained hidden. That predator was clearly dangerous and persistant.

Experiment B:

1. Your perspective: You don’t try to touch Squirrel B but sit there quietly and let Squirrel B become curious about you. This takes weeks and weeks, maybe even months, of visits to the park, but you’re patient. You start to notice that Squirrel B sees you as less of a threat and so your offer it some food. At first you just offer it on the end of a pair of feeding tongs. It starts to really take interest in you. One day you leave your hand on the ground, palm up, to see what it does. After a long while Squirrel B comes over and sniffs it. A week or three later, it actually puts its hand on your palm. Weeks after that, it climbs up. Because Squirrel B never has a bad experience with you, one day you realise (maybe a year later) that Squirrel B is so comfortable with you that it happily sits on your shoulder and nothing much frightens it any more.

2. Squirrel B’s perspective: There’s this giant predatory looking primate in the park. I kept my distance for the longest time. Eventually I realised that it wasn’t really a threat at all, for even when I got really close to it, nothing happened. One day I noticed that it had food. After a while I recognised this thing as a source of food. It is also warm, so when I sit on it, I feel comfortable. I trust it now.

Now, picture your baby water monitor is a wild animal. Wait, it IS a wild animal - no imagination required. At the moment you are doing the ’Squirrel A’ experiment. The only difference is that your monitor does not have the option of running away. It knows that no matter where it hides, you’ll be able to grab it again the next day. When a monitor doesn’t like being held and puffs, squirms and/or bites you, it is telling you that it doesn’t like being held. Listen to it. Leave it alone. Let it get used to your presence before even touching it. Clean its water dish, pick faeces out of its enclosure, but leave the poor thing alone. NEVER remove it from its hide spot. Eventually, it will stop seeing you as a threat - probably when it’s a fair bit bigger, for small monitors are eaten by everything in the wild. That behaviour it is showing is an adaptation for survival honed after several million years, it’s not going to disappear overnight by force handling it.
Patience, grasshopper. It may take a fair while, but monitors live a very long time so in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter.
 

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Have a read of this. Makes sense when you think about it and it is the method I am now using with my 3 monitors.

Quote:
He does not like being petted/held. He has bitten me twice...

Quote:
you go to pick him up and well he just runs away, and when held he sometimes will try turn and bite

Qoute:
I walk into my Rep room and he bolts for his hide as soon as he sees me

You can see the common thread, here. The one thing all of these monitors are trying to tell their keepers is "stop trying to pick me up". Holding an animal that clearly does not want to be held is no way to get it to like you. All you’re doing by grabbing him each day is reinforcing the already bad experience it’s had with you so far. Eventually, it will be untouchable.

Try this: Picture yourself in a park with two wild squirrels, Squirrel A and Squirrel B, that you would like to befriend. You decide to perform a little experiment, to compare ’taming’ methods.

Experiment A:

1. Your perspective: You grab Squirrel A and hold it until it stops struggling. The plan is to do this daily until it becomes tame. When you let it go, it runs away as fast as it can. The next time you see Squirrel A it is at a distance of 100 metres, from where it chatters angrily at you before running up a tree. With the help of some friends, you manage to corner it and grab it to continue the training process and it bites your hand. You never see Squirrel A again, either because it felt so threatened it decided to leave the park or because it hides every time it sees you.

2. Squirrel A’s perspective: There it was minding its own business when this giant predator grabbed it. It thought it was going to die. It managed to escape, but it got grabbed again the next day. It managed a second escape what wasn’t going to count on a third, so every time it saw this predator from then on, it remained hidden. That predator was clearly dangerous and persistant.

Experiment B:

1. Your perspective: You don’t try to touch Squirrel B but sit there quietly and let Squirrel B become curious about you. This takes weeks and weeks, maybe even months, of visits to the park, but you’re patient. You start to notice that Squirrel B sees you as less of a threat and so your offer it some food. At first you just offer it on the end of a pair of feeding tongs. It starts to really take interest in you. One day you leave your hand on the ground, palm up, to see what it does. After a long while Squirrel B comes over and sniffs it. A week or three later, it actually puts its hand on your palm. Weeks after that, it climbs up. Because Squirrel B never has a bad experience with you, one day you realise (maybe a year later) that Squirrel B is so comfortable with you that it happily sits on your shoulder and nothing much frightens it any more.

2. Squirrel B’s perspective: There’s this giant predatory looking primate in the park. I kept my distance for the longest time. Eventually I realised that it wasn’t really a threat at all, for even when I got really close to it, nothing happened. One day I noticed that it had food. After a while I recognised this thing as a source of food. It is also warm, so when I sit on it, I feel comfortable. I trust it now.

Now, picture your baby water monitor is a wild animal. Wait, it IS a wild animal - no imagination required. At the moment you are doing the ’Squirrel A’ experiment. The only difference is that your monitor does not have the option of running away. It knows that no matter where it hides, you’ll be able to grab it again the next day. When a monitor doesn’t like being held and puffs, squirms and/or bites you, it is telling you that it doesn’t like being held. Listen to it. Leave it alone. Let it get used to your presence before even touching it. Clean its water dish, pick faeces out of its enclosure, but leave the poor thing alone. NEVER remove it from its hide spot. Eventually, it will stop seeing you as a threat - probably when it’s a fair bit bigger, for small monitors are eaten by everything in the wild. That behaviour it is showing is an adaptation for survival honed after several million years, it’s not going to disappear overnight by force handling it.
Patience, grasshopper. It may take a fair while, but monitors live a very long time so in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter.

:notworthy:Good advise , and i agree the best way by far : victory:
 

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dont be scared

with mine she tried to bite me when she was a baby, got me once and god dam did it hurt lol but just stay with it when they are little the are wriggly little things but when they get big you will be fine, mine lets me peel the skin out of her ears at bath time, never had a problem with them, gotta show them who is boss but be nice to them at the same time. beautiful lizards like a part of the family, keep telling my dad heres your gran daughter
 

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Not an easy situation

Waters are sissies. You may reinforce the bad experience it has with you , you're doing more harm than good. Provided it continues to eat and appears healthy in the brief glimpses you have of it you really can't ask for much more.
The fact it can spot you and hide is great it indicates health and alertness. Mine notices me watching it as it sleeps.
They look like a four legged velociraptor from Jurassic Park there's nothing cuter save perhaps the rodent Chinchilla. :flrt:
I'm definitely going with Aesops fable " slow but steady wins the race.".
Thanks to phillipniceguy for supplying the little beast. Great chap :no1:
 
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