At first you are going to have to be assertive and put them into a situation where you can prove that you don’t want to eat them, that you want to be their friend. The amount of time this will take depends on the background and DNA of your baby. Angel was a baby and would play it cool, then when the coast was clear she fled the scene in terror. It took a long time to develop trust with her. Babe was rescued when he was a mature 4 or 5-year-old, very happy about being rescued by me, so it was much easier.
First read the section below about how to dress, basically long tight gloves with the fingers cut off and long sleeves. This will help you relax in knowing that any aggression won’t hurt you and above all keep him away from your face.
Begin with tossing a towel on him. A large, but not heavy towel. You’ll calm the energy field between you both by being still and simply thinking love and kindness. Feel the thought radiate from your being.
Gently pull the towel away enough to put his head and front legs into the harness. After wards, let his little head out and allow him to see you. If he struggles hold him firmly. Stroke his head gently. Let him begin to realize that your intent is not to eat him.
Give him time. Release him slowly and allow him to move away abit. Let him go and let him take you for a walk. Spend time allowing him to be himself and hide if he wishes.
Remember you are smarter than an iguana. It will take a few more days or weeks to get him comfortable. Once he begins to understand you, he will begin to respect you, then trust you. It takes time, but it will be well worth it in the end.
By understanding what to wear you will be less likely to lose your temper when claws clamp down and you favorite silk blouse is shredded in an instant.
Protection will ease your fear of being bitten, which calms the aura of energy around both of you. When training it is easy to confuse bad behavior with simple instinct. It is easy to get angry and take two steps back from establishing trust.
- Choose a natural color of clothing
Vibrant colors and shiny trims can produce high energy and animals can interpret this. They can feel color and perhaps they interpret the aura it produces, just as we do in our subconscious mind.
- Avoid snake skin, animal patterns and furry slippers
My iguana Babe would freak out and run at the site of any of these, so all clothing, shoes, and purses with even a hint of them, had to go. Angel was scared to death of some funny looking furry slippers, causing immediate run or be eaten mode!
- Iguanas snag things easily
When their scales run backwards on material, your clothes are at risk. Fine silks and smooth polyester can be damaged, so a nice cotton blend is always good.
Large iguanas develop sharper scales and the tail can be like a hacksaw blade, which means your best it’s best to have one pair of jeans, just for taking him out and about; one you can allow him to unwillingly snag.
- A long sleeved hoodie
A hoodie or a long sleeve zippered top is good to wear over your clothes, one that can be zipped up to your neck because you’ll want to cover yourself as much as you can. Also you’ll want to avoid him crawling on your head. I am guilty of allowing this at times and use a big hat, but you are inviting a scratch on your face and delicate skin can be scarred, so be aware!
- Wear tight fitting gloves
By wearing gloves you will be able to handle him without fear of clawing and biting and they need to be tight fitting. Never scare them with large leather work gloves. These are terrifying to them.
I find the best thing to wear is a pair of evening gloves with the fingers cut off. If you are a guy, get a pair of driving gloves and wear a long sleeved sweatshirt.
Gloves not only save your skin, it eliminates anger you’ll naturally bestow upon him from the pain of his non-stop clawing. It’s not his fault, it is natural for him to dig his claws into things and hold on tight. When they are spooked they dig their claws into you as they leap and these can be the worst scratches.
Broken Toes and Dropped Tails
They are also very stubborn and once they engage those claw, they lock them in place and won’t let go. The harder you try the harder they dig in. You can easily break their toe by yanking them away in anger, so be very, very careful.
A good way to release their grip is to let them relax and gently take each toe and release them one by one. This is easier said than done at first.
I find another trick that works well. Iguanas naturally want to go the opposite way you pull them. By pulling then backwards, they will want to go forwards.
Always pull them from the back of their body over their legs, don’t ever pull them from their tail, they just may drop it and you don’t want that to happen.
If they run away and are in their “run or be eaten mode” DON’T chase them an grab for them by the tail. A young, fearful iguana being chased by a giant like you is frightful. It is very easy for them to drop their tail instinctively and though it will grow back, it is can easily be avoided if you are careful and are aware of the way he feels.
- Keep his nails manicured
Sharp claws can result in scars. I know. Even if tame, iguanas get restless and fuss. They decide they want down and instinct drives them. They don’t understand that they could hurt you. Many times they want to climb on your shoulder or on your head and sharp claws by the face can result in permenante scarring, So be careful, avoid the inevitable by keeping his claws polished.
Each nail needs to be held firmly and if they are young be careful because it is easy to over do them.
Friction of the pedipaw causes heat, so polish them for a only few seconds, stop and check them each time for a smooth result.
Keeping his claws manicured is important, but remember, they still need to climb and should be able to have some sharpness so they can exist in a normal fashion.