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How To Tame An Iguana

Is your iguana more aggressive than you would like?

Would you like to be able to interact more with your pet iguana?

If you are attempting to work with your iguana more, you might ask:

How can I tame an iguana?

With an iguana taming them requires patience and predictability. Show your iguana who is in charge and don’t give them any reason to think you are a threat. Iguana proof the room and slowly begin working with the animal, picking it up and only putting it down once it is again calm.

For more information and tips on how to train your iguana to be more tame, continue reading this article.

how to tame an iguana

How To Tame An Iguana

Whether you are bringing a new iguana into your home, or your iguana has developed a bad habit of being aggressive, it is best to work with the animal to make it tamer.

We have gathered tips and tricks to help you as you go through the process of taming your iguana and getting it to like you.

Allow For An Adjustment Period

If you are bringing a young iguana into your home or have adopted a rescue iguana, you will want to give the animal some time to adjust to the new surroundings.

Do not immediately try to pick the iguana up, try to pet it, or make attempts to hold the animal.

This period is necessary to help the iguana get acclimated to their new surroundings.

Being moved to a new home with new surroundings and a new person is sometimes traumatic for the iguana, and allowing it time to settle in is the first step to taming your pet.

This will also give the animal time to get used to you being around and moving throughout the home.

Remain Calm

While you are working on taming your new pet, it is vital to remain calm.

The iguana is still getting to know you and working on building trust, so you must maintain a calm attitude.

Your iguana will be able to pick up on your emotions, so try not to act jittery, nervous, frustrated, or scared.

Keeping a calm attitude might not be easy if you are anxious or if you get frustrated, work on doing this by not doing things you know will scare your iguana.

Try not to make any loud noises, or any sudden movements as this will trigger a panicked response from your iguana.

The iguana might see sudden movements, loud noises, or making attempts to constantly pick the animal up every time you are in the same room, like something a predator will do, and this will not help you build any trust.

Remain calm and in control of your emotions when you are around and when handling the iguana.

Talk To Your Iguana

Another great tip to keep everyone calm and get your iguana used to you is to talk to your iguana.

Talking to it in a smooth and calm voice will not only help the animal get used to your presence, but it will also help it understand you aren’t a threat.

If your iguana recognizes your voice and associates it with good things, you will find handling easier when you do get there.

Hand Feeding

One of the best ways to get your iguana used to you being around is to start hand feeding them.

The iguana will begin to see you and your presence as being a good thing, rather than a threat.

This will be especially effective if you feed them their favorite foods, once you learn what those are.

Even if the iguana won’t eat it from your hands right away, the bigger idea is getting used to you being around and building trust.

As you build trust with the iguana, it will be more likely to accept the food from your hands, so don’t get frustrated at first.

The process takes patience, so keep at it, and eventually, you will see results.

Understand The Signals Your Iguana Is Giving You

We all give off signals to other humans or even to other animals when we want them to stay away or to be social.

People might be able to tell something is wrong from your facial features or how you carry yourself.

Iguanas give off signals too, and if you learn to read them, you will be better able to understand your pet and know when is a good time to try to handle them or to leave them alone.

When an iguana is feeling threatened, it normally will raise its head upright, look towards you and move its tail.

The tail is very strong on an iguana and is often used to fight off predators, and iguanas have sharp teeth and spines, so be careful if the animal is not in a good mood.

Start With Gentle Touching

Once you have given your iguana time to acclimate and grow accustomed to you, start gently stroking it.

Don’t try to pick it up right away or even every time you enter the room.

Always pet the iguana in the same directions as to its scales.

If you go against the scales, the experience will be very unpleasant for the animal.

Picking Up Your Iguana

Since your patience has paid off and you are finally at a place where you’re able to pick up and handle your iguana, there are a few tips to making it a pleasant experience for everyone.

When you go to pick up your iguana, gently lift and support it from under its belly.

If you grab at your pet from above, they are likely to see the maneuver as predatory and will be frightened.

It could also decide to put up a fight and use its strong claws, teeth, or tail to fight back.

When you are lifting the animal from its perch, lift gently and slowly to give it time to release its sharp claws from the perch.

If you lift too quickly, you risk injuring your pet by ripping a claw.

Make The Room Iguana Safe

When you decide to let your iguana roam outside of its cage, be sure to start small.

Begin the exercise with a smaller room, as any room will be larger than its cage and seem huge to the iguana.

The room should be iguana proofed, so your animal does not become trapped or get hurt as it moves around and explores.

Check high places for anything dangerous as well, because remember iguanas are serious climbers.

They are curious, so shut any doors to prevent wandering to other rooms and, at first, keep an eye on the iguana.

Keep It Up

Once you have developed a relationship with your iguana, don’t let all the work go.

Keep handling the animal regularly, even if it only lasts for a few minutes.

Persistence will pay off when it comes to taming your iguana and keeping it tame.

If you stop regular handling, you will break down a lot of the progress you have made, and you will likely be forced to start all over again.

Repeated handling is best to keep your iguana tame, so don’t think just because you have achieved it once, you don’t have to keep working at it.

What If My Adult Iguana Is Aggressive?

If your iguana has become aggressive, definitely devote more time to work with the animal.

Refer to the steps listed above, especially remembering to stay calm.

What you don’t want to do is immediately put the animal down the minute it starts struggling.

This will make the animal think it has won and is in charge of the situation.

Keep a steady hand, and try to calm it.

Protective gloves are a great tool for you to avoid being hurt if bitten, and will teach the iguana biting doesn’t work in achieving its goal.

Also, try to lift the animal above your head to help it calm down, as being higher makes them feel more secure.

Remember to be patient and keep working with the animal.

Is It Easier To Tame A Juvenile Or An Adult Iguana?

Young iguanas are going to be a bit easier to tame than an adult because you will be able to have more time to train it, and young iguanas are more open to new experiences.

There are benefits to taking in and working with an adult iguana.

They are already more likely to be aware of and used to humans and are possibly used to being handled.

There are, of course, exceptions, life if you take in a rescue iguana who was mistreated.

Young iguanas allow you to bond at a young age, but it depends on your desires and commitment.


Taming your iguana might seem like a lengthy process, and in truth, it definitely sometimes is, but ultimately it is worth it.

Having patience, remaining calm, and working slowly are sure ways to build trust and make your iguana comfortable with you.

Keep these tips in mind as you teach your iguana to be tame and come to like you.

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