What is The Best Pet Lizard?

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion' started by rainmonitors, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. rainmonitors

    rainmonitors Not so new Member

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    EDIT

    what is THE best handleable & behaviourally appealing lizard available in WA? since us Western Aussies don't have too many choices to pick from, it's not a huge list. some options are ruled out because of how unpopular they are. basically my options are;

    - kings skink
    - blue tongue skink (northern, western, centralian, bobtail)
    - bynoes gecko
    - western bearded dragon
    - spiny tailed gecko (northern, south-western)
    - western netted dragon
    - knob tailed gecko (smooth, banded)
    - western marbled velvet gecko
    - thick tailed gecko
    - ackies monitor

    i currently have a western blue tongue skink, bought as an adult, whom has an attitude whenever my hand is near him. i wish to home a baby lizard that i can work with handling better, later this year.
    my question is, what is my best bet for a handleable lizard, one that with regular handling 'training' from babyhood, would happily sit on my shoulder or in my hands comfortably?
    i would ideally like an ackies monitor, but people seem to be split on whether they're actually handleable or not
    but, this thread is to guide me to what could possibly be the best pet lizard on the list, so give me your opinions and advice!
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2018
  2. GhoulGecko

    GhoulGecko Not so new Member

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    I've owned a leaf tailed gecko so I'm not sure on the species, but you might want to go for the knob tailed. But only because there a lots of people who own them and lots of care sheets on the internet. Either knobs or thick tailed, I'm not sure about the velvet gecko.

    Again, I'm not an expert so you don't have to take my advice.
     
  3. rainmonitors

    rainmonitors Not so new Member

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    Any advice is appreciated, so thank you! Leaf tails look awesome, wish we could get them in WA
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Sep 26, 2018, Original Post Date: Sep 18, 2018 ---
    updated, change to most available WA lizards up to category 3
    still looking for advice and opinions! i will still work with my moody bluey Chai, to have him more tolerable of handling
    but would definitely love to home another lizard, preferably a baby, that i can hand tame
     
  4. Kirk1701

    Kirk1701 Active Member

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    Beardies are generally pretty good with handling
     
  5. Chris1

    Chris1 cupcake Subscriber

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    Shinglebacks are great! Do you guys have access to the goldfields variety over there?
     
  6. Nero Egernia

    Nero Egernia Subscriber Subscriber

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    The choices in Western Australia are indeed slim.

    If you're looking for a reasonably placid lizard that tolerates handling well, you can rule out all gecko species. They don't tolerate handling well and they can be quick and flighty. There's also the risk of them dropping their tails. They're small and fragile, and on top of that they're nocturnal. Pulling them out during the day for regular handling sessions would subject them to high levels of stress.

    Blue-tongues and Bobtails are all good options. They're large and reasonably placid. Depending on species, some are more readily available than others, with Centralians being the more rare. I'd personally recommend Bobtails (and yes, we do have access to Goldfields Bobtails).

    Captive bred Western Bearded Dragons are pretty good too. Although they're smaller and and can be more flighty in comparison to Blue-tongues and Bobtails.

    Western Netted Dragons, while although they can be friendly and highly interactive, they would not be a good lizard to handle regularly. They're small, fragile, and can be quick and flighty. They're also not readily available in Western Australia, and can have relatively short life spans.

    King's Skinks and Ridge Tailed Monitors can be good to handle, but this all depends on the individual's personality. They don't trust easy, and there's a lot of work and time involved on the road to "tame" them down. Forced handling is not recommended. In my experience, it tends to make them wilder. Your best option is to give them time and let them come to you. I'd personally choose King's Skinks over Ridge Tailed Monitors. They're both quick, and they both can be flighty. They both can deliver a painful bite, with King's Skinks often accompanying a motion similar to a crocodile death roll to go with it - ouch! There's also the risk of King's Skinks dropping their tails, although this risk does lessen the bigger they get.

    I've kept both wild caught and captive bred King's Skinks and with time they almost always calm down. While some may not like handling, they'll readily hand-feed with relatively little effort. One of my girls handles as well as a Bobtail, although I don't really handle my lizards much at all. The others used to be absolute nutters and when you'd pick them up they would twist and squirm in your grip, attempting to bite you. Now they sometimes squirm only a little and don't really attempt to bite. This was all achieved with relatively little effort. Although it took them a fair amount of time to become that way. I wonder what would happen if I actually put in the effort to gain their trust?

    I may be a little biased towards King's Skinks, though. Awesome, and massively underrated in my opinion. ;)
     
  7. rainmonitors

    rainmonitors Not so new Member

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    Thank you all!

    I was definitely interested in king's skinks when I was looking for my first reptile, but I unfortunately only found a presumably wild-caught one (it came from a sanctuary or something similar) that hated handling, so that was a no go. But if I ever find a captive bred king's skink, I'll still be interested, because they do look awesome.
    Netted dragons also have my interest, but if they're not good with regular handling, then they'll be a no-go for now.
    Thank you for the advice! It's good to know I can completely rule off geckoes for handleable species, since I still had some doubt myself, and focus more on other species.
    As for bobtails, I was wondering if they bonded with their humans better than other blue tongues, due to the fact that they mate for life? And would social lizards (eg. ackies) bond after trust and handling training?
     
  8. Imported_tuatara

    Imported_tuatara Well-Known Member

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    "bonding" is a pretty strong word. I wouldn't say any of those lizards "bond" with people. reptiles in general don't usually "bond" with people. The closest to such would be an iguana/tegu or in this case, the monitor, But even then "bonding" is to be said with a grain of salt, along with of course varying personalities.
     
  9. rainmonitors

    rainmonitors Not so new Member

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    I know many many people don't think reptiles bond with people, but I truly believe if one tries hard enough with the right techniques, anyone can bond with almost any animal! But of course that's an opinion. Still, it's nice to know that the monitor would be the closest lizard to 'bond' with!
     
  10. Imported_tuatara

    Imported_tuatara Well-Known Member

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    i don't think you downright can't. it's just not gonna mean the animal will constantly want to be held and such, and even then isn't always the case. Reptiles in general are pretty bad companion animals for the most part. A bird would probably be your best bet for the bonding thing.
     
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  11. cris

    cris Almost Legendary

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    It really depends on what you mean by bond. It is not like a dog that could be capable of fighting to the death to protect you, but more like it sees you as an ally that looks after it and does not pose a threat.

    I guess the thing to understand is that the lizard has no interest in being handled, but rather learns to tolerate it or associate it with rewards. I'm not familiar with western bearded dragons, but other bearded dragons are often fairly content to sit still and cruise around on someone's shoulder.

    I would get an ackie if you want one, just don't expect it to sit on your shoulder without running away under the fridge or into some other place where it cannot be easily found.
     
  12. rainmonitors

    rainmonitors Not so new Member

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    Oh I've tried owning a bird, definitely not an animal I want as a pet. Can't have dogs, or cats, or small animals either. Plus, I've loved reptiles since I was a little kid. I would love to 'bond' with it, but I guess it doesn't matter too much if it doesn't. Honestly just want one that won't try to bite my hand, and/or will happily just chill with me as I watch videos/etc. I'm not too fussed on holding the reptile, rather just taking it out of its viv and letting it roam on my bed a little, and what I said above.
    But thank you all for the replies. The opinions are very helpful!
     
  13. ronhalling

    ronhalling Subscriber Subscriber

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    @rainmonitors In my honest opinion and without trying to create a crap storm if you want an animal that will handle well and sit on your shoulder "GET A PARROT " PUTTING ANY LIZARD ON YOUR SHOULDER AND EXPECTING IT TO STAY THERE AND GIVE YOU THE WARM FUZZIES IS NOT ONLY NOT FEASIBLE BUT DANGEROUS FOR THE LIZARD. They do not have a balance mechanism suitable for that type of situation and will at any given time just jump or walk off your shoulder and land very hard on the floor, they are not like cats so when they fall they have no inclination of their situation in space so when they hit the floor it is usually head and leg injuries that insue. If this really is your reason for wanting a lizard please please rethink it, it can only end up bad for you and the lizard (rant over)

    [​IMG]
    ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) -ronhalling-
     
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  14. AnthonyL

    AnthonyL Not so new Member

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    Learned this myself with a 3 wk dragon hatchie the other day. No more standing and holding. I was over confident in it to keep its balance as I walked from their tank to the couch. Partially due to many referring to them as the parrot of lizards. Thank goodness no jaw or leg injuries when it jumped (with seemingly no depth perception) from my hand, down to the porcelain tiles 1.3 mtrs down. Will only hold them sitting down, with the comfort of a shoe box underneath until they are older and a little more robust. Can't rely on their balance, and nor should I have especially whilst still so young.
     
  15. nuttylizardguy

    nuttylizardguy Active Member

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    I think (just my opinion) that it all comes down to how you nurture the reptile and I think more goes on in their brains than just instinctive reactions to stimuli and behaviours can be learnt by them that they would never display in the wild. Including bonding with their primary carer, it's not like what you'll get from a dog but it seems to be there nonetheless.
     

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