Socializing Chameleons for Handling

ChamyLove

New Member
I have a 6 1/2 month old panther, and he doesn't really like human company. He is getting better, but he still gets upset when i put my hand anywhere near him, even if it is just to clean up dead leaves and poop. How would you suggest i start socializing him? It will be necessary for me to handle him in a few months when i move him to his new cage, and I don't want to have to make a stressful experience for either of us. I heard that chameleons get more social as they age, should i just keep leaving him alone and see how he gets?
 

DekuScrub

Avid Member
they do tend to mellow with age.

but thats shouldnt stop you from some basic conditioning.

hand feeding is a perfect first step. he will see hands and think FOOD instead of THREAT

as he gets more comfortable with it hold the feeder in one hand and use the other as a "bridge" make sure you hold the feeder far enough away that he has to climb on your hand to reach it.

make sure you stay steady, patience is paramount here. once hes a little more tolerant of handling start taking him outside to hang in a tree for an hour or so at a time. then he will associate you with food, new environments to explore and a nice dose of D3

most of all be steady and deliberate. no jerking away if he gapes or lunges.
 

ocnuke

New Member
yeah i did the dekuscrub "bridge" method... first 2 weeks i fed my new chameleon (he is about 5-6 months old now) from a bowl.. (followed by some free ranging ones for exercise.. ).. then i did the bridge.... after a week of that i would slowly back the bridge away from the branch... he still gets a lil nervous (as u can tell by the pics i hopefully was able to attach here).. but he will come around... i hope..
 

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Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
I definitely recommend hand feeding if you can. A lot of people don't believe in touching chameleons at all, but I think that it's better in the long run for them and everyone if they do not go into histerical panic and fury whenever they need to be weighed, or taken to the vet, or given medicine, moved for their own safety, etc.

Here's how I approach "taming" mine: http://muchadoaboutchameleons.blogspot.com/2012/04/to-handle-or-not-to-handle.html?q=handling
And then lots of patience, patience, patience!
 

Tanner Grisak

New Member
Hand feeding works wonders! I've only had my new six month old panther for a week and hand feeding him has already started to calm him down when my hand enters the cage and he is now willing to climb on me as well.
 

DekuScrub

Avid Member
try to literally hold the feeders btw. it can be tiresome especially if the crix are ripping their own legs off. try holding the crickets by the hind legs. if you only have a hold of one at a time they easily rip off.

to get ahold of the hind legs gently grab the head/body with on hand and the hind legs should then be easy to grab, but make sure you have both. it may help if you use silkworms or some other feeder you dont commonly use something he might view as a "treat"
 

ChamyLove

New Member
Thanks everyone!

Hey thanks for all the advice! I've been trying to hand feed, but the stand he is on is really wobbly, so It is hard to rest my arm while waiting. I'm getting a more stable stand for his cage though, so that should help. Just showing him that my hand brings the food has been helping though, so I'm excited to start hand feeding. Thanks again!:):D:p:rolleyes:
 

bbprinting

New Member
I definitely recommend hand feeding if you can. A lot of people don't believe in touching chameleons at all, but I think that it's better in the long run for them and everyone if they do not go into histerical panic and fury whenever they need to be weighed, or taken to the vet, or given medicine, moved for their own safety, etc.

Here's how I approach "taming" mine: http://muchadoaboutchameleons.blogspot.com/2012/04/to-handle-or-not-to-handle.html?q=handling
And then lots of patience, patience, patience!
Fantastic article, just read the whole thing with my son, tons of great pointers! Thanks
 

DekuScrub

Avid Member
It is hard to rest my arm while waiting.
lol thats the problem. and why patience is paramount. its absurd how dificult it is holding your arm outright and stationary. i would have never expected it to be so difficult before chameleon keeping.
 

swick

New Member
Wow. Great info. I had been wondering myself about this. I am going to start trying this. Thanks for sharing your know how.
 
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