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  1. #11
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    Re: How do I built trust with my snake if it' possible

    Quote Originally Posted by arpowell View Post
    It sounds like you're primarily trying to handle your snake while he's awake and out and about in his enclosure - have you tried handling him during the day when he's sleepy and less active? It sounds like him seeing you in front of glass and trying to get away is a major stressor for both of you during these experiences, so maybe helping to eliminate the chances of him seeing you coming will also help you both out. I always give my snakes a gentle tap before I pick them up, though, just to let them know I'm there and it's handling time - don't want to startle a sleeping snake by picking it up suddenly. Also, how are you picking him up? I'm sure you already know this, but just in case, if you hesitate while picking him up, that's probably scaring him, too. You want to pick him up in one fluid, confident motion, regardless of how he's acting.

    Like others have said, empathy, patience, and consistency will go a long, long way. You mention that your snake seems to feel insecure out in the open - try to remember where he's coming from. He's still so small, you're so much bigger than him, and for baby snakes the world is a very scary place. Handling him calmly, gently, and letting him explore over your hands rather than trying to pet or restrain him will eventually teach him that handling time is nothing to fear. Also, make sure you end your handling session on a high note, when he's reasonably calm and you're both having a good time. I never want my snakes to associate stressed behavior with getting to go back into the enclosure. I've noticed that when some snakes are nervous they respond well to being held over your head. In the wild, snakes are mostly attacked from above, so holding him above you seems to help some of them calm down. That might be something to try and see if it works for your snake.
    No I do it only during the day. When he's out it's too risky since he is more alert then.
    But he always wakes up when I open the cage and then he is scared again. I lift up his hide carefully and if he doesn't follow my hand too close for comfort I gently graze his flank to let him know I am there and then I pick him up in the middle without waiting.
    He just gets very lively once he's on my hands.

  2. #12
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: How do I built trust with my snake if it' possible

    Quote Originally Posted by CakeLike View Post
    No I do it only during the day. When he's out it's too risky since he is more alert then.
    But he always wakes up when I open the cage and then he is scared again. I lift up his hide carefully and if he doesn't follow my hand too close for comfort I gently graze his flank to let him know I am there and then I pick him up in the middle without waiting.
    He just gets very lively once he's on my hands.
    Personally, I prefer not to wake up a snake to handle. Sure, they might be more groggy but it's a LOT scarier to be awakened suddenly. If you've ever been suddenly awakened to a stranger standing next to your bed, you'd know what I mean, & why it's not a good idea for the snake.

    As far as your snake getting "very lively" once he's in your hands, that's just his instinctive reaction to being caught & restrained by a large predator & thinking he's about to be your dinner. Maybe you're holding him a little too tightly? I'm not saying to let him fall, but just keep a softer touch- hands on his mid-body, & not holding his neck, or touching his tail. That's another reason it's best to take your time- sit down someplace soft, & relax while handling your snake- if you're tense, how can you expect him NOT to be?
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  3. #13
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    Good suggestions and advice so far. I'll add that I try to make sure my hands are warm. With juveniles, I use my hand to simulate a hide and let them stay there until they are ready to explore on their own. They grow to associate your hands with warmth and security.

    It's also important to always remember that ball pythons are relatively low on the food chain and most predators come at them from above like birds of prey so when our hands come at them from above, it's normal for them to initially assume our hands are predators coming to snatch them up. It's easier to act with empathy when you have an understanding of their natural instincts and act accordingly to reduce their stress.
    Last edited by HoosierHerper; 01-08-2022 at 06:27 PM.

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  5. #14
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    I've tried it today with a pillow case.
    First he didn't want to stay in the pillow. He wanted to slither far away as usual.
    I had to point him in the direction of the pillow case a few times.
    Then he crawled into it and stayed put for a while.
    But I don't know if this is progress since he used the pillow case like his hides. Once he hid in it he got. scared if me again being outside and watching him when he puts his head out. It doesn't seem like he is less scared with it. He is just scared while hiding.
    You think it will be better after more times?

    Here's a funny pic of our pillow time.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CYg1XMgM...dium=copy_link

  6. #15
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    You're not going to fix him in one session. It could take weeks of doing this daily.

    Remember to him you're a Godzilla-monster predator.

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  8. #16
    Registered User arpowell's Avatar
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    It'll definitely get better with time, don't get discouraged! The important thing is to give him consistently positive experiences. It'll take time and lots of patience from both of you, but eventually he'll put it together that being handled doesn't end with him getting hurt and he'll come to recognize you as being safe. Just don't expect miracles overnight.

  9. #17
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    Re: How do I built trust with my snake if it' possible

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Personally, I prefer not to wake up a snake to handle. Sure, they might be more groggy but it's a LOT scarier to be awakened suddenly. If you've ever been suddenly awakened to a stranger standing next to your bed, you'd know what I mean, & why it's not a good idea for the snake.

    As far as your snake getting "very lively" once he's in your hands, that's just his instinctive reaction to being caught & restrained by a large predator & thinking he's about to be your dinner. Maybe you're holding him a little too tightly? I'm not saying to let him fall, but just keep a softer touch- hands on his mid-body, & not holding his neck, or touching his tail. That's another reason it's best to take your time- sit down someplace soft, & relax while handling your snake- if you're tense, how can you expect him NOT to be?
    Yeah I know it's bot polite to wake him up but I don't know how to take him if he isn't curled up and calm.
    When he id out at night he is very aware and cautious. I am worried he won't let me take him out without a hassle when he is in the open and stretched out over the enclosure. Since this is his hunting time I am worried he will be more defensive and more eager to stand against me.

  10. #18
    Registered User Hugsplox's Avatar
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    Re: How do I built trust with my snake if it' possible

    Quote Originally Posted by CakeLike View Post
    Yeah I know it's bot polite to wake him up but I don't know how to take him if he isn't curled up and calm.
    When he id out at night he is very aware and cautious. I am worried he won't let me take him out without a hassle when he is in the open and stretched out over the enclosure. Since this is his hunting time I am worried he will be more defensive and more eager to stand against me.
    If he's out already that's the perfect time to reach in there and pick him up. Night time is when I do all of my handling, and with the exception of if I'm doing big enclosure cleanings when the snake just has to come out, I try never to pull hides and pick them up during the day. Slow deliberate movements, support his body but try not to touch his head or tail, and be gentle with him. Time will make him a little more comfortable being held, but you can't rush it, he'll get comfortable on his own time not yours.

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  12. #19
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    Re: How do I built trust with my snake if it' possible

    Quote Originally Posted by CakeLike View Post
    Yeah I know it's not polite to wake him up but I don't know how to take him if he isn't curled up and calm.
    When he is out at night he is very aware and cautious. I am worried he won't let me take him out without a hassle when he is in the open and stretched out over the enclosure. Since this is his hunting time I am worried he will be more defensive and more eager to stand against me.
    Remember, BPs are "ambush predators", so he's really not "hunting" when he's out in the open & moving around. (He might actually be looking for a place to "go".) And most will REFUSE food offered at that time. He is more defensive when out in the open, because even though snakes are predators, there are plenty of things that prey on them too. That's what he still assumes you are- a predator. But with your patience, he'll LEARN otherwise.

    You just want to avoid startling him, so give him as much information as you can so he learns not to fear you. You're obviously worried that he'll turn quickly & bite you in self defense- & while for most of us long-time keepers, that's not a big deal or a big risk, I agree that's best avoided.

    So take a shirt you've worn (it will have your scent on it) & dangle the sleeve onto his mid-body*- he'll probably turn & sniff that, & then decide it's a non-issue.

    Then with your hand behind it, gently pet his mid-body (they know by our touch that we're not predators) & then slip it under his mid-body, & lift him out. He'll likely still be nervous, so when you restrain him, do so lightly & keep your hands under his body as much as you can. Shy snakes don't appreciate hands that are moving quickly around them- they don't understand that all these "moving parts" are part of some big friendly giant- they may perceive a stray hand as a separate threat, especially right at first, when they're first learning to feel safe around us.

    *I suggested mid-body rather than confronting him "head-on" because it's friendlier, less threatening to him. OK? Predators often grab snakes by the head/neck or tail- so they are FAR more sensitive to approaches (initial touches) to those areas. Mid-body approach tells him you're not so much of a threat, especially a LIGHT touch from you. And a mid-body pick-up is needed to support his weight anyway.

    Your snake won't learn to feel safe with you with one session- & no one can tell you how long it will take, but it will get MUCH easier with practice- for both of you. And if you watch him closely, you'll get much better at reading his body language- that will save you so much time & stress, I guarantee.

    And one thing I NEVER do with snakes is grab them firmly behind the head to restrain them- that causes as much fear & panic in any snake as if some stranger on the street grabbed you with a choke-hold- okay? The absolute worst thing you can do (to ruin the trust you're trying to build with a snake) is to grab & tightly hold their neck. That's behaving like a predator- see? If you want a snake to trust you, you have to trust them some also... Trust is a 2-way street.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  14. #20
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    Re: How do I built trust with my snake if it' possible

    As above really ..

    I get mine out and quickly sit down with them and let them slither around on my lap .. just let it have a mooch around but not too far .. keep the bulk of itís body on your lap .... after a few minutes they just settle down .


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro




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