Veiled chameleon tame ability

Jc555

Member
Hi this is just a post about handling and tame ability of my veiled chameleon in this case. I just don’t understand i mean i get chameleoms dont like to be held and people in their business but i think my chameleon goes to a whole new level with avoiding holding. He used to live holding from his ages of 0-2 months old, afterwards has been rough. I handfeed him everyday, i put my hand in there to try to get him used to my hand and know im not a threat. And let me tell you how much this has done for me taming wise... its gotten me nowhere. If i even look at him he starts to run and tries to hide, its a hassle trying to get him to eat because he runs so fast and burrys himself within his enclosure, at just the sight of me who he is most familiar with. And if i stick my hand in there i can approach slowly and start petting him a little, if he sees a second hand he starts to hiss, if i try to move him he hisses and he gets really mad when he gets mad. My only way of getting him out right now without him biting me is a branch i get him out with and he gets really mad when he sees this branch because he knows that means i want him out. Its a hastle, its not like i want to hold him much at all i really just want to ability to hold him per say family are over or friends so it dosent look like i have a completely useless lizard. Does anyone have any suggestions? thanks
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Hi this is just a post about handling and tame ability of my veiled chameleon in this case. I just don’t understand i mean i get chameleoms dont like to be held and people in their business but i think my chameleon goes to a whole new level with avoiding holding. He used to live holding from his ages of 0-2 months old, afterwards has been rough. I handfeed him everyday, i put my hand in there to try to get him used to my hand and know im not a threat. And let me tell you how much this has done for me taming wise... its gotten me nowhere. If i even look at him he starts to run and tries to hide, its a hassle trying to get him to eat because he runs so fast and burrys himself within his enclosure, at just the sight of me who he is most familiar with. And if i stick my hand in there i can approach slowly and start petting him a little, if he sees a second hand he starts to hiss, if i try to move him he hisses and he gets really mad when he gets mad. My only way of getting him out right now without him biting me is a branch i get him out with and he gets really mad when he sees this branch because he knows that means i want him out. Its a hastle, its not like i want to hold him much at all i really just want to ability to hold him per say family are over or friends so it dosent look like i have a completely useless lizard. Does anyone have any suggestions? thanks
Unfortunately some chams will just never tolerate even the slightest bit of handeling. Your only tools you have to establish trust is hand feeding, hand misting, trips into the sunshine, and most importantly patience!

Are you currently trying to handle him in front of other people or is that a goal your trying to get to? Chams are really more of a hobby than a pet to be held/played with. A look but don’t touch kind of thing...
 

Jc555

Member
Unfortunately some chams will just never tolerate even the slightest bit of handeling. Your only tools you have to establish trust is hand feeding, hand misting, trips into the sunshine, and most importantly patience!

Are you currently trying to handle him in front of other people or is that a goal your trying to get to? Chams are really more of a hobby than a pet to be held/played with. A look but don’t touch kind of thing...
My goal is to hold him every once in a while period like once a month even would be fine.
 

Tucklander

Avid Member
My guy gets a real tude and hissing and snapping when he is trying to be handled...I’ve accepted he may be ill tempered and am backing off on holding him unless very necessary...like already said, some Chams don’t like it...I have heard that kneeling down and making sure your hand is below their eye level is important...just my two cent
 

Frigga

Established Member
All the tips and tricks in the world might not fully "tame" him.
But you can work with him to build the trust, and he may surprise you one day, I just don't want you to get your hopes up. When my male chameleon was young, he used to come to me. I'd just walk past his cage and he'd run to the front to be let out. We couldn't open the door with out him lunging to get on arms. It shocked me because all the research I did before getting him said that he would not be like that. As he got older some of that "friendly behavior" faded. Every once in awhile he still comes to me, but I'm never expecting it from him. Sometimes he'll come to me, I'll be holding him for a couple seconds when he decides he doesn't want me to hold him anymore turns to me and hisses. So I take my queues from him.
Have patience, move slow, don't rush it and follow his lead. Prepare yourself for a pet you get to look at but not touch, if it changes then you get to be pleasantly surprised with his company.
Also I never take my guy out when I have friends or family over, it can be too stressful for him. But everyone still loves him, even though they only get to look, he's like the most popular person in my house.
If you want a pet to take out for friends to see and hold, I suggest a bearded dragon. My dragon comes out when we have a bunch of kids over and will calmly let everyone pet her and hold her, and she always gets juicy wax worms as a treat for being a good girl lol
 

Jc555

Member
All the tips and tricks in the world might not fully "tame" him.
But you can work with him to build the trust, and he may surprise you one day, I just don't want you to get your hopes up. When my male chameleon was young, he used to come to me. I'd just walk past his cage and he'd run to the front to be let out. We couldn't open the door with out him lunging to get on arms. It shocked me because all the research I did before getting him said that he would not be like that. As he got older some of that "friendly behavior" faded. Every once in awhile he still comes to me, but I'm never expecting it from him. Sometimes he'll come to me, I'll be holding him for a couple seconds when he decides he doesn't want me to hold him anymore turns to me and hisses. So I take my queues from him.
Have patience, move slow, don't rush it and follow his lead. Prepare yourself for a pet you get to look at but not touch, if it changes then you get to be pleasantly surprised with his company.
Also I never take my guy out when I have friends or family over, it can be too stressful for him. But everyone still loves him, even though they only get to look, he's like the most popular person in my house.
If you want a pet to take out for friends to see and hold, I suggest a bearded dragon. My dragon comes out when we have a bunch of kids over and will calmly let everyone pet her and hold her, and she always gets juicy wax worms as a treat for being a good girl lol
Thank you all for the responses i will take note. And i already have a bearded dragon.
 

Graves923

Chameleon Enthusiast
Good luck... Veileds go through a terrible teen stage and are known to have mood swing all through their lives. A lot are just very territorial and defensive. Some can be nice and tolerant.

One thing I did notice with you said you try to get the chameleon onto your hand. Dont do this. Let him come to you. Putting one hand in front and another behind will make the chameleon uncomfortable. As you may know, he will see and keep an eye on both hands....

If he is running every time you come near the cage, he isn't comfortable with you. Hang out around him without looking into the cage or going near it. Move slowly around the cage. Eventually, he will stop reacting to you when you are in the room.
 

Syreptyon

Chameleon Enthusiast
A "useless lizard"? Is that a joke or an insult? What does a useful lizard look like? Is the only reason you want a chameleon so you can show it off to your friends and family? I mean, come on. Lizards are not objects of utility, but animals we keep for the beauty and love of it. It sounds to me like you need to be more concerned about how your chameleon feels than you friends and family. If you really think your friends are going to be bothered by an antisocial lizard, then you need better friends.

You also said you pet your chameleon? Your chameleon does not want you to pet it. Hands coming from above triggers a fearful prey response. Your cham is sending you very clear signals to leave it alone and you should stop trying to force it to be your friend. All good things come in time, with lots and lots of patience.
 

Jc555

Member
A "useless lizard"? Is that a joke or an insult? What does a useful lizard look like? Is the only reason you want a chameleon so you can show it off to your friends and family? I mean, come on. Lizards are not objects of utility, but animals we keep for the beauty and love of it. It sounds to me like you need to be more concerned about how your chameleon feels than you friends and family. If you really think your friends are going to be bothered by an antisocial lizard, then you need better friends.

You also said you pet your chameleon? Your chameleon does not want you to pet it. Hands coming from above triggers a fearful prey response. Your cham is sending you very clear signals to leave it alone and you should stop trying to force it to be your friend. All good things come in time, with lots and lots of patience.
Are you kidding me? You take offense very easily to things it was obviously a sarcastic statement, i have many lizards and animals i care for them very well and its rude and offensive that you call me out like that with no other knowledge of my reptile care. Nobody wants you on this forum if you are gonna make this personal and i know people agree that personal things arent meant to be brought up in an open discussion like this with my friends. I mean ive spent hundreds on this chameleon, and thousands on animals and caring for just my friends and family to see them thats an understatement to say thats all i want it for, in fact i took a lizard that an owner was going to kill because they didnt want to care for it anymore i was referring purely to the topic of handling wise that i only want to handle him when around friends and family because hes very unhappy when i do and i care about how he feels, dont take my words out of context. And to reply to the people who keep this forum about the discussion yes i put my hand near him out and slowly creep forwards and pet him a little to assure im a good presence thats why im doing that. As well the two hand situation was when he began to be mad at me i stupidly thought two hands would calm him down. Beginners mistake.
 
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jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Dude you got way too sensitive about that. Why would they think otherwise with how you worded your question. I don't think anyone was offended, just messing around because you said "you don't want your friends/family to think you have a useless lizard". How else is that supposed to be taken? How was anything said personal? @Syreptyon is on here daily helping people, I doubt they meant to upset you like that
 

Jc555

Member
Dude you got way too sensitive about that. Why would they think otherwise with how you worded your question. I don't think anyone was offended, just messing around because you said "you don't want your friends/family to think you have a useless lizard". How else is that supposed to be taken? How was anything said personal? @Syreptyon is on here daily helping people, I doubt they meant to upset you like that
Sensitive about being told i dont care about my animals the right way and i should change my friends and i shouldnt be sensitive about that. Of course im going to be thats a little far to say on a reptile forum site. The only person offended was syreptyon or he wouldnt have taken it to a personal level, he literally told me that i need to change friends how is that not personal. Its just rude for someone to say that on a website without contributing to the actual discussion as he used half his post just criticizing me on my supposed views with reptiles. Furthermore i went with the joke i saw your comment i didnt care, he made a fuss out of it. As well i hope you know i wasnt mad at you for your comment earlier, just this user for what he said.
 
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Frigga

Established Member
@Jc555 I wouldn't say he literally told you to change your friends.. he said "if" they really are bothered by the fact they don't get to see you hold your chameleon or it's useless then you need better friends. That is not the definition of literal.
So if your friends don't really feel that way, just brush it off because obviously it doesn't apply.
I do feel based on your original post his questions and concerns were warranted, because it can come off like you were concerned about holding your cham to show him off to people. And if it's not the case, just put that concern to rest by saying so ;)
 

Graves923

Chameleon Enthusiast
Bringing this back around to the topic at hand....

Remember that chameleons are generally solitary animals and will only come in contact with other living creatures when they are trying to mate. The other times are if they have to defend themselves or their territory. Petting your cham is not going to reassure him of anything other than the fact that you are a big creature that is reaching out and touching him. They have a natural instinct to hide and avoid anything bigger than themselves.

Point being, any contact is stressful and unnatural to them. If you want an animal to pet, get a dog or cat. Reptiles are not pets and cant be "tamed" but you can learn how to work with them. Thats why youll see a lot of keepers here talk about building trust with their chams. This trust isnt built overnight, obviously. Take things slow, learn to read your chameleon and pick up on when he is nervous or calm.

If I remember correctly, you said you are able to hand feed which is a good thing. Keep doing that since thats a good way for the cham to associate you with food. Never go at the chameleon with two hands or from above and behind since this is how most predators would approach. If the chameleon gets nervous or backs away from your hand, back off slowly and try again later.
 
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