He still won't let me hold him.

Sketchie&Apollo

New Member
I've had Apollo for around 5 months and I've tried many times by slowly inching my hand closer under him so he doesn't feel threatened and his usual is response is to ignore it but sometimes he will hiss and puff out his neck. When do you think he is going to finally go on my arm?I would only take him out for outside time or more natural sunlight.
 

Reptofreak

Chameleon Enthusiast
I know most say to approach from the front and herd them onto your hand, this absolutely doesn’t work with my boy Jungle Jim. I have to put my hand under his belly and then he steps on it with his hind legs and then I start to lift up and he backs up all the way onto my hand. With him this works 95% of the time.
 

Sketchie&Apollo

New Member
These are good suggestions, but I just I just tried them and neither of them worked. He hissed at the stick and freaked out, (I don't know why) and started to puff out at my hand so I pulled it away. Any others?
 

Sketchie&Apollo

New Member
Okay, so I just tried holding my hand out and gently putting one of his feet at a time on my hand and didn't try to move another one until felt him tightly grasp my hand and then moved each hand on and for a second he went on my hand and then he move off onto another branch in the cage.
 
I’d say use a branch and maybe a worm as a motivator, but if a chameleon doesn’t want to be held then it’s best to just respect that so you don’t stress them out. Keeping the cage door open will help them realize that they don’t have to be overly protective of their habitat. That might help your chameleon feel more comfortable around you.
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Work on hand feeding. My female veiled wants very little to do with me, but the second I have food she'll sprint down my arm trying to get at it! I started off just holding food up to her between my thumb and forefinger, and then increased the distance until I was holding the food near my elbow and she had to walk on me to get at it. Now she doesn't hesitate, and it's very easy to love her from point A to point B.

With my female panther (who is a foodie but also supremely uninterested in chasing food), I place one hand under her front legs/chest and then gently tap her hind legs with my free hand. She isn't at all a fan, and walks forward to get away from me harassing her. For her compliance, she gets a treat afterward.

It's all about finding something they find rewarding. Works with pretty much any animal!
 

Molly1443

Member
You can try handfeeding him some worms, but if he does not want to be held, you should respect that. Once your cham sees that you truly understand and respect him, he’ll maybe even come to you by himself. ?
 

Ramrod

Chameleon Enthusiast
It takes a while, some never want to be held. Food is a great motivator but as said"if they don't want to go along with the idea then back off" always work at thier pace and not yours. I have a male veiled that is just now tolerating being held for short periods and it's taken 10 mo.
 

Panda26

Member
It is extremely difficult to find a chameleon that likes to be held I have 3 and not one would let me pick them up willingly, I usually go from underneath, in the wild one of their predators is a bird so if you go from the top they will go for you and get angry. I have a calm male chameleon he has never gone for me but he runs away when he goes to get picked up, I usually start by hand feeding them a scoop him up from underneath.
 

IotaPhi936

Member
Here is what has worked for me in the past, try these baby steps:
(1) Do things around the cage (not jumping jacks, just being present is enough). For example, I moved the cage near a desk where I do work frequently. The goal here is for the chameleon to learn your presence does not equate to harassment or threats. Eventually, he will learn that you are something to be watched, but not necessarily a stress-producing threat.
(2) Leave the cage door open (while you are nearby). It's perfectly fine if he doesn't take the opportunity to explore. The real aim here is to keep him from equating the cage opening (and you nearby) to harassment and threats. If he does take the opportunity to explore, watch him to make sure he's safe, but try to be hands off. My theory is that chameleons don't like you, they like things they associate with you. Exploring is one of those things.
(3) Put your hand in the cage for a few minutes, but ALWAYS have your hand holding food. Repeating this should get your chameleon to equate your hand with food. It's fine if he doesn't eat, mine wasn't crazy about cup feeding, but it didn't take long for him to not be afraid of a hand that consistently presented him with food.
(4) Once he is comfortable with (1)-(3), make him think you are a tree, once he climbs on you, take him straight outside. If all of this is done correctly, you will be positively associated with food, freedom, and the outdoors.
Best of luck!
 

RGWilby

New Member
I've had Apollo for around 5 months and I've tried many times by slowly inching my hand closer under him so he doesn't feel threatened and his usual is response is to ignore it but sometimes he will hiss and puff out his neck. When do you think he is going to finally go on my arm?I would only take him out for outside time or more natural sunlight.
He hissed at my wife the very first morning he spent the night but JJ just got used to it, man. And then he doesn't. He tries to run sometimes but to me it's the same way a cat will run when they don't wanna be brushed. Sometimes you just HAVE to get them to observe their mouth and their spikes and see how their legs are operating or if there's any signs of impaction. If he won't take to me gradually going in front of his legs then I just go under his belly and grab him and he'll move onto my fingers. When you get them out and let them crawl a little on you they start to figure out that you're not actually a threat. JJ still gets defensive about me taking him out of his enclosure and flares his neck and hisses a little but he calms down once he's out and climbs to my shoulders and head.
 
I have a panther chameleon and i cannot open his cage door without him wanting out,i think it has a lot to where you get your chameleon at.i got mine from a personal breeder that take there time with them. I am getting another one saterday from the same breeder.
 

salty dog

Chameleon Enthusiast
I have a male for 1 year now, and he hisses and sways at me when I walk by, if he's not in his favorite hiding spot that he feels safe in.......IN NATURE CHAMELEONS ARE THREATENED BY HUGE ANIMALS=US HUMANS............. if you want a cuddly pet, I would recommend getting a cat or dog
 
I've had Apollo for around 5 months and I've tried many times by slowly inching my hand closer under him so he doesn't feel threatened and his usual is response is to ignore it but sometimes he will hiss and puff out his neck. When do you think he is going to finally go on my arm?I would only take him out for outside time or more natural sunlight.
[i had a chameleoner one and he would hiss and want to bite me but my other one would come out of the cage when i would open his door because he would come out; I think it is all to who you get them from. I am grtting another one next weekend So it is very inportant that you know where he is coming from
 

salty dog

Chameleon Enthusiast
Your chameleon is not a cuddle animal, please read about chameleons......please!!!! They don't have the mental capacity for compassion & love
 
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