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Eastern Water Dragon Taming

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niltiac221

New Member
Hi all,

I've had my little EWD for a month now, he's going a good 2-3 months old now. Enclosure is 60cm x 40cm x 40cm.

I've had no luck with taming him compared to my beardies.

Other than trying to get him used to handling/used to me I've been trying to get him to the idea of been put into a feed box at cricket time, but he just ignores the crickets in there and runs around panicking. I'm not sure how to gain his trust as he just closes his eyes when I offer him food, yet he does let me touch him/sometimes pick him up.

Any tips on taming for a new EWD owner? (He's not my first herp I have a few carpet pythons, 2 beardies and a blue tongue.
 

Nero Egernia

Well-Known Member
Baby reptiles tend to be very shy compared to their adult counterparts. It helps to keep them safe from predators. What's your routine with your Water Dragon? Do you try to pick him up every time you walk by his enclosure? If so, then that may not be a good idea. Forcing yourself on a shy lizard only reinforces the notion that you are something to be afraid of.

First, start off by just walking by his enclosure and totally ignoring him. He will soon get the idea that your presence doesn't warrant unwanted handling of him. While you do some spot cleanings, refrain from handling him. Make sure that before you begin to handle him that he is comfortable in your presence. This may take a while. He might only become confident when he gets larger. An indicator of when he is more comfortable in your presence is when he eats in front of you. Also, I don't think it's a good idea feeding him in a separate tub. Most lizards, in my experience, will only eat when they feel safe. Removing him to a different environment is not going to make him feel safe. It may be best to feed him in his enclosure. He may only wish to eat when you're not around at all! If so, then let him. Just make sure that he knows you bring the food. When he's older and feels more confident he should begin to eat in front of you, and then maybe soon, he may eat from your fingers/tongs. When that happens, you may begin to touch or handle, but make sure he's comfortable with it otherwise you could undo all the hard work you've done.

It's going to take a lot of time to get him used to you, in all probability. Taming shy lizards does not happen overnight, it can take weeks, perhaps months. Patience and restraint is the key in taming shy lizards. Only ever handle him if it's absolutely necessary. When you handle don't restrain them of movement. Allow him to move from hand to hand. The first big step is getting him to feel comfortable in your presence. Good luck with your Eastern Water Dragon, they're beautiful lizards and I wish I could keep some.
 
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pinefamily

Very Well-Known Member
EWDs are naturally shyer and more skittish than beardies. They take a lot longer to tame, or at least get them used to you.
Try holding the cricket container in the enclosure for him to eat out of. Or hold the container of greens for him to eat from. That way he'll get used to your hand.

Sent from my SM-G900I using Tapatalk
 

niltiac221

New Member
Cool thank you guys.

My routine is normally just greeting him with a hello outside of the cage while I pay more attention to the other reptiles in the room then offer him some crickets. I've found the best way to feed him is to behead crickets and placed into a dish for him to eat. (they still wriggle and jump so he thinks theyre live, horrible I know) and maybe once every two days a tiny pat on the feet which he has let me do. Maybe it's because I thought he was ready to come out of the enclosure for a run around the room. Clearly not haha hopefully with more patience and time he'll get used to me :)
 

pinefamily

Very Well-Known Member
Just be mindful as you get him used to your hand that he may give you a nip or two. Ours did on several occasions, thinking my finger tip was food.
 
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