Chameleon handling question?

Hi Guys I was just wondering if it's possible for a chameleon to trust you enough to handle and let's you play with him? I'm trying to ask if it's possible for a chameleon to eventually let you handle it at anytime in the future? If this is possible then how do you Guys make your chameleon to trust you without stressing out?
 

Lingling

New Member
How do you "play" with a reptile? Some chameleons don't mind being handled (still minimally, even if they don't mind it), but if you want something to "play" with, then get a dog.
 

djfishygillz

Established Member
I feel hand feeding builds trust... But in the end they never really "want" to be handled because it isn't natural for them. They are in deed a wild animal.
 

Hoj

Friendly Grasshopper
my guy loves to be handled and crawling on my head, so far we cant agree on any games, and hes no good at fetch, so we just chill..
 

lazzara8478

New Member
I found a Jackson today and handled him for 20 minutes strait... had to finish my walk to get my daughter and get home. He stayed bright green the entire time and didn't seem to mind. Whoever owned him before clearly handled him, but as a rule I think chameleons are generally "decor" pets that don't need handling.
 

allencg101

Member
I found a Jackson today and handled him for 20 minutes strait... had to finish my walk to get my daughter and get home. He stayed bright green the entire time and didn't seem to mind. Whoever owned him before clearly handled him, but as a rule I think chameleons are generally "decor" pets that don't need handling.
I agree to but i had jacksons when i was in the military and all my buddies handled them and they did just fine. I think fischers are like that too but don't keep alot of peeps around cause i let my nephew in my cham room and that was the first time i ever seen him hiss at a person. when he left he was cool as can be even my baby pandora puffed up shook and hissed at him and he didn't even go by her cage to look at him and both chams are on different sides of the room.
 

bigfink909

New Member
we are avidly trying to get Dory used to being handled so it will be easier to give her medicine when she needs it, but she is fighting us hard. Today when i tried to take her out i got bit three times. shes still little so it didnt hurt but it was still alarming.
 

ferretinmyshoes

Veterinarian
Staff member
Definitely do not push the matter. You have to work in very gradual baby steps because these are not animals that bond to you or "like" you. They see you in one of two ways: threat or non-threat. If you force them to have to get on your hand and make them do what you want they will see you as a threat. They are a prey animal and their instincts are to escape, not confront. By the time they try to bite you they are so scared of you that theyre going to risk sticking around in hopes that theyll scare you away before you decide to eat them. Some chameleons can't ever be convinced otherwise, but some will not mind the occasional handling after time proves you're not scary to them. (Remember you are a giant predator that every instinct in them is telling them to escape from.)

Start slowly by merely standing near the cage for several minutes several times a day. Do not even open it, and certainly do not try to touch them. Once they stop diving for cover or puffing up or hissing then progress to hand feeding. Offer them tasty treats like a squirming cricket or wiggly butterworm. It may take a while for them to realize that they can eat from your hand. Patience! You can't force it. Just stand there quietly and still. Once they start taking food from your hand you can start touching their feet. Always come from below to touch them because anything from above is very scary for them (swooping birds). After a while if they don't mind you just touching their feet you can try to gently ease your finger under a foot. Not pick them up completely, just let them see that them touching you is not a bad thing. That will eventually progress to multiple feet on your hand and eventually you wil be able to pick them up in that manner.

This may or may not work depending on the individual personality of your chameleon! It's the method I used on my panther (who is a social butterfly by nature so it worked very quickly), and then on my jacksons. My Jackson took much longer to see me as a non-threat (months) and the biggest step was he realized that I was the taxi to go to the big outdoor cage with the great plants to hide in and real sun. He certainly doesn't like me, he just knows that if he tolerates me then I'll take him to the outside cage. But my dad tried to do the same, rushed it and freaked him out. Now if he sees my dad he runs, and it took him a few weeks to get back to trusting me. My veiled that I've had the longest of any of them hates me, the world and anything that moves - there's no changing that no matter what I do.

You can't force them to be friendly. You need to realize that your chameleon never may be handleable, like my veiled who STILL dives for cover even though I haven't touched him in like a year. But if you're going to try you need to do it very slowly and know how the animal interprets your behavior so you can be as least threatening as possible. Don't rush it or you could ruin any progress you've gained and have to start all over. Good luck. :)
 
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Neptune11

New Member
hitching a ride

my cham will put her arms out when she wants you to come get her..she climbs all over and has certain places in our apartment she likes best..she hates getting off our hand to go back into her cage..everywhere i read they tell me its bad to handle them..im lost she comes to us?? should we ignore her??
 
my cham will put her arms out when she wants you to come get her..she climbs all over and has certain places in our apartment she likes best..she hates getting off our hand to go back into her cage..everywhere i read they tell me its bad to handle them..im lost she comes to us?? should we ignore her??
You're lucky :( you have a friendly chameleon that actually likes to
Be handled. People only say it's bad to handle them because it usually stresses them out but since your chameleon likes to go
On your hand then you have a friendly chameleon :D nothing bad about that. People say you have to be lucky to have a friendly chameleon.
 

pieter089

New Member
I have had mine since baby and its used to being handled, he knows I feed him because he eats from my hand mostly. I've found that letting him get on my hand by himself makes him feel more secure, like when he walks away from one hand put the other on the other sides and he has to get on one or the other. Sudden movements really freak them out but everyone knows that.

Being able to handle your cham might largely depend on its temperament and previous experiences, but it should eventually become more tolerant of you if you don't scare it.

When I accidentally scare mine by moving to fast it seems upset with me and wont eat from my hand for a few days.lol
 

allencg101

Member
we are avidly trying to get Dory used to being handled so it will be easier to give her medicine when she needs it, but she is fighting us hard. Today when i tried to take her out i got bit three times. shes still little so it didnt hurt but it was still alarming.
man you gotta love veileds!!!:D:D:D
 
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