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  1. #51
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    Re: Wiggles, the Children's Python

    One thing I love about teeny tiny snakes is that they make teeny tiny turds. So, spot cleaning after a Children's python is so easy, even compared to a ball python.

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  3. #52
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    Re: Wiggles, the Children's Python

    Wiggles has successfully moved on to step two in his target training.

    For those of you who don't know, in target training, you reward your snake for interacting with a target. As you progress through the steps, the snake is required to perform more complex behaviors in order to get its reward (food). In step one, you present the target and the reward at the same time. Your goal is to have the snake associate, in its mind, the target with the reward. In step two, you present the target by itself and reward the snake when it directs its attention to the target. This is the step Wiggles successfully completed last night.

    I've been pairing food with a target since I got him, so, he spent 8 sessions in step one. Last night was his first session in step two. My ultimate goal is to be able to direct Wiggles wherever I want him to go using the target. For those interested in learning more, Lori Torrini has a great video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vkqbJWHwwk.

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  5. #53
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    Re: Wiggles, the Children's Python

    I just had an hour long conversation with Wiggles. You'll say I'm crazy, but I swear I can practically hear him talk. The conversation went something like this:

    Wiggles: Excuse me?
    Me: Yes?
    Wiggles: Are you food?
    Me: No. Sorry. I'm not food.
    Wiggles: Are you sure?
    Me: Yes. I'm certain.
    Wiggles: Mind if I smell you?
    Me: Be my guest.
    Wiggles: Oh God no! You are not food. Get away from me!
    Me: Fine!
    Wiggles: How about you? Are you food?
    Me: No. I'm the same guy that wasn't food before.
    Wiggles: Are you sure?
    Me: Yes. I'm certain.
    Wiggles: Mind if I smell you?

    Over and over for an hour. I never managed to convince him that I wasn't food. I just gave up and closed up his enclosure. My question is: Is this a healthy interaction? For my part, it was kind of fun even if it was also a little maddening. I mean, I never had conversations with my ball python. For his part, he was certainly engaged. I would imagine interacting with a living creature is more stimulating for him than interacting with the inanimate objects in his enclosure. On the other hand, the subject of the conversation doesn't seem healthy. I mean, he spent the whole time trying to figure out if he could eat me. What do you think?

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  7. #54
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    Re: Wiggles, the Children's Python

    Quote Originally Posted by Homebody View Post
    ... My question is: Is this a healthy interaction?........the subject of the conversation doesn't seem healthy. I mean, he spent the whole time trying to figure out if he could eat me. What do you think?
    Some snakes are charter members of Densa, but most finally get it thru their heads that we're not edible- some king snakes are like that too- hard to convince, especially if they've not been well "socialized". But you haven't had him that long to change him- and it's not as if the seller didn't warn you about this, though I don't recall if that was before or after you paid for him? Hopefully it was before. When the seller says a snake "may mistake fingers for food", believe them!

    From what I've read, Children's pythons are more likely to be "nippy" than the very similar Spotted Pythons, like the one I have- I've never had a problem with my Aussie. And for what it's worth, I've never had such a problem with a rat snake, & I've known MANY- no matter how big their appetite & no matter how feisty their personality, they appear to know better- on the whole, rat snakes seem to be smarter snakes-IMO. I think your snake's former owner just didn't spend much time with this snake, so he's late to learn his limits.

    Now supposing there might be a medical reason for this endless hunger- has he had a stool check for worms? A snake with worms might show excessive hunger- & it won't be their fault. Just a thought.

    Apart from that- snakes are wild & instinctive creatures- they each do have their own personality, & some just make better (or "easier") pets than others. Be glad- very glad- he's tiny!

    Anyway, didn't you just say how well his target training is going? Sorta hard to tell if your question is real or in jest.

    And you gotta hand it to him- he's not "a quitter"!
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-05-2022 at 11:29 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  9. #55
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    Re: Wiggles, the Children's Python

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Some snakes are charter members of Densa, but most finally get it thru their heads that we're not edible- some king snakes are like that too- hard to convince, especially if they've not been well "socialized". But you haven't had him that long to change him- and it's not as if the seller didn't warn you about this, though I don't recall if that was before or after you paid for him? Hopefully it was before. When the seller says a snake "may mistake fingers for food", believe them!

    From what I've read, Children's pythons are more likely to be "nippy" than the very similar Spotted Pythons, like the one I have- I've never had a problem with my Aussie. And for what it's worth, I've never had such a problem with a rat snake, & I've known MANY- no matter how big their appetite & no matter how feisty their personality, they appear to know better- on the whole, rat snakes seem to be smarter snakes-IMO. I think your snake's former owner just didn't spend much time with this snake, so he's late to learn his limits.

    Now supposing there might be a medical reason for this endless hunger- has he had a stool check for worms? A snake with worms might show excessive hunger- & it won't be their fault. Just a thought.

    Apart from that- snakes are wild & instinctive creatures- they each do have their own personality, & some just make better (or "easier") pets than others. Be glad- very glad- he's tiny!

    Anyway, didn't you just say how well his target training is going? Sorta hard to tell if your question is real or in jest.

    And you gotta hand it to him- he's not "a quitter"!
    To the extent that I'm asking a question, rather than just relating a funny story, it's this: Is it unusual for a highly food motivated individual (seller warned me in advance), from a species in the upper tier of highly food motivated species, to be fixated on food 24 hours after its last meal?

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    Re: Wiggles, the Children's Python

    Quote Originally Posted by Homebody View Post
    To the extent that I'm asking a question, rather than just relating a funny story, it's this: Is it unusual for a highly food motivated individual (seller warned me in advance), from a species in the upper tier of highly food motivated species, to be fixated on food 24 hours after its last meal?
    Yes. Snakes may stay in "feed mode" for hours, or even a day or days after feeding. It's a very individual thing- I've had snakes that I can feed & handle right after, but not all. Yours obviously enjoys "feed mode" more than most.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  12. #57
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    Re: Wiggles, the Children's Python

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Anyway, didn't you just say how well his target training is going?
    I did and I'm very excited that Wiggles is at step 2, but there are 7 steps. So, I guess I have a ways to go before Wiggles learns that no target means no food.

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    Re: Wiggles, the Children's Python

    Quote Originally Posted by Homebody View Post
    I did and I'm very excited that Wiggles is at step 2, but there are 7 steps. So, I guess I have a ways to go before Wiggles learns that no target means no food.
    Maybe he misunderstood his lesson?- "you're the target!" (hang in there)
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  15. #59
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    Re: Wiggles, the Children's Python

    Last night I had a bit of a set back in my choice-based handling program with Wiggles. For those that don't know, choice-based handling seeks to reduce the stress inherent in handling by only handing the animal when it chooses to be handled. Unfortunately, sometimes you just have to handle the animal whether it wants it or not, like last night.

    After dinner, I noticed that Wiggles was surfing the glass, so I decided to let him out to roam around a bit. There is only one FREAKIN' place in my whole living room Wiggles is not allowed to go. It's in the narrow space between his tub and the side of the enclosure.

    So, of course, that's where he went. 3 times. The last time he reminded me why he's not allowed to go there.

    Now, I can see why he wants to go there. I don't blame him. It's a cave, a tight dark place. The problem is that I can't get him out of there. The first couple times I caught him before he got too far. But that damned reptile patience got the better of me. He just sat there, still, for like an hour. I get distracted and the next thing I see is his tail disappearing into the crevice.

    I decide to wait until he chooses to come out. Two and half hours later, it's midnight, my patience is worn out and I'm falling asleep. I can't leave him there all night. Who knows where he'll end up? So, I decide a more forceful approach is called for. Fortunately, I can see him, so when I remove the tub I can see that he's not getting pinched against the side. Unfortunately, he can see me too and he buries himself in my carefully secured electric cables. I try to pull him out, but he's wound himself in there. So, I fix myself a cup off coffee and go back to waiting him out. I changed his substrate and secured the heat tape that had come loose. While I was working, I noticed that he was no longer so tightly wound among the cables and managed to pull him free.

    In any training program, there will be set-backs, but I really need to figure out a way to avoid this one. I like giving him the freedom to move about on his own. Watching him do so is my favorite thing to do, but I've got to figure out a way to keep him from going back in that gap.

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  17. #60
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    Re: Wiggles, the Children's Python

    I'm considering taking Wiggles outside tomorrow, but I'm concerned about the reception he'll receive from my neighbors. The weather should be beautiful, sunny, 85 degrees, but I live in a city and the only outdoor space I have is a public park. I imagine I'll encounter both people that are terrified of snakes and those that can't keep their hand off them. Frankly, I doubt the UV and pretty pics are worth the drama, but maybe my imagination is running away with me.

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