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Lizard Target Training

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Posted by: jensenbreck at Wed Nov 15 02:53:20 2017  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by jensenbreck ]  
   

Hello all,

I've started target training two of my lizards. Ice the iguana (c pectinata), and Anuket the nile monitor.

I made a target stick--pretty much a dowel with a red end. The red is brightly colored. When the red part of the stick is touched or tasted, I click with a clicker and say, "Yes!" And then I give a piece of food.

Ice is taking really well to it. I've only done a few sessions over the past couple of days. But already she is coming to the target. Whether or not she has learned she will be fed or not is a different story. At this point she is attracted to the bright red color.

Anuket is just starting. Right now I'm feeding her with tongs. This is more to gain her trust. So currently I just click when she takes food from the tongs. This will make her associate the click with getting food. It should not be long before she is eagerly taking food from the tongs. Right now it still makes her scared and nervous to do it since she does not trust me. Once she is flying at the tongs for food, I will introduce the target stick and begin teaching her. It should not be too long before I can get her to that point since monitors are very food motivated.

Monitors are smarter than iguanas. So Anuket will likely surpass Ice in training once she is not so afraid of me. I will probably begin training Steel too once he learns to like his greens and veggies more.

As they get further along, I want to test them and see how much they can learn. Reptiles are basic animals, but lizards are much more intelligent than most people believe. Crocodilians as well can learn their own names, when to come when called, and when to "load up" into vehicles. As well as tricks like "sit."





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