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Thread: Still Shy :)

  1. #1
    Registered User Gottalovesnakes's Avatar
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    Still Shy :)

    Hello all!

    ĎRubyí, my 5.5 month old Lavendar noodle, is growing. Time passes so fast . She seems to be doing well. Temps are good - feeding has been overall very good except when I moved to a larger enclosure so Iíve recently moved her back.

    Despite handling a few times a week (by slowly lifting hide and removing her) she is still scared of hands. She initially curls up when trying to handle, then moves around a lot - but always to get away or find a hiding place. I can tell she is scared and doesnít like handling. Is this normal at her age? I want to try choice-based handling but I feel like she would never come out unless coaxed. Any thoughts/insights would be much appreciated.

    I recently uploaded some pictures of Ruby to my gallery

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    BPnet Veteran BeansTheDerp's Avatar
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    Re: Still Shy :)

    Part of choice based handling is creating a bond/trust first and during the practice. Lori Torrini has videos on how to do choice based handling and how to start that bond. One thing people recommend to start any sort of trust is to start hanging out near the enclosure more (for example, reading a book, watching videos on your phone, calling someone or texting someone, maybe even taking a nap) and visiting the enclosure to move things around without bothering the snake at all (to move/fix a plant, to check temps, to mist the enclosure etc.) It gives them the chance to realize that you aren't going to pick them up every single time they see you, and that you are not a threat to them. When I first got my male bp I took something off my bed with my scent on it and placed it in his enclosure so that he could immediately become accustomed to my scent, combined with the handling, he got used to me pretty quickly.
    P.S. how are you picking up your snake? If you are going in from above then you can scare him/her into thinking you are a bird/predator, try scooping the snake up from the side instead.
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    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Still Shy :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gottalovesnakes View Post
    ...Despite handling a few times a week (by slowly lifting hide and removing her) she is still scared of hands. She initially curls up when trying to handle, then moves around a lot - but always to get away or find a hiding place. I can tell she is scared and doesnít like handling. Is this normal at her age? I want to try choice-based handling but I feel like she would never come out unless coaxed. Any thoughts/insights would be much appreciated....

    Some snakes are shyer than others, but there's usually things we can do to help them relax. Remember that hiding is how they survive in the wild, & even if captive-bred, snakes still "wild" animals that rely on their instincts to survive. So your snake is very "normal".

    It's best if you avoid lifting a hide to remove them, because that's their only "safe place" they have. And remember they're normally more active at night, which is the BEST time to catch up to them being out of their hides & moving around. I would advise waiting until after dark- leaving lights off in the room for a while, then gradually turning on a dim light & if your snake is "out" (moving around & not hiding), that would be a good time to try some gentle handling.

    Be careful not to approach too fast- & first, give your snake your scent & touch using an empty (previously-worn) garment sleeve, otherwise you may get a defensive nip. But when we take the time to identify ourselves as someone they're familiar with, bites rarely happen, & with repeat good experiences, snakes usually get much better about handling with us- some may even welcome it.

    Also, when holding a shy snake- "be the ground". IE. keep your hands "quiet" (move slow) & under the snake as much as possible. "Snakes don't bite the ground they crawl on."
    Snakes also don't like to be out in the open because instinctively, that's where predators can get them for dinner! But by keeping your snake close to your midbody when handling, they start feeling warm & safe (ie. sheltered by you) & with repeated sessions, learn to regard us as "safe".

    (I personally see nothing wrong with full-on "choice-based handling" but I don't practice it, nor do I have the time.)
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    BPnet Veteran Homebody's Avatar
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    Re: Still Shy :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gottalovesnakes View Post
    Hello all!

    ĎRubyí, my 5.5 month old Lavendar noodle, is growing. Time passes so fast . She seems to be doing well. Temps are good - feeding has been overall very good except when I moved to a larger enclosure so Iíve recently moved her back.

    Despite handling a few times a week (by slowly lifting hide and removing her) she is still scared of hands. She initially curls up when trying to handle, then moves around a lot - but always to get away or find a hiding place. I can tell she is scared and doesnít like handling. Is this normal at her age? I want to try choice-based handling but I feel like she would never come out unless coaxed. Any thoughts/insights would be much appreciated.

    I recently uploaded some pictures of Ruby to my gallery
    I would advise you to give choice-based handling a try. Forced handling is stressing your snake, and chronic stress can lead to health problems. You don't want that.

    Open Noodle's enclosure. If she chooses to come out, then handle her. If she doesn't, then don't. It's as simple as that. A snake that chooses to be handled isn't going to be stressed by it. You're concerned that she won't come out. Then, why do you need a door on your enclosure? You need a door because she will come out.

    Now, I'm not going to say that this isn't going to require some patience. As Beans suggested, it's a good idea on days when she doesn't come out leave the door open and hang out nearby (fully conscious ). In her own time, she'll choose to engage with you. Keep it positive and you'll be well on your way to building a healthy relationship with your snake.
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    Re: Still Shy :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Homebody View Post
    I would advise you to give choice-based handling a try. Forced handling is stressing your snake, and chronic stress can lead to health problems. You don't want that.

    Open Noodle's enclosure. If she chooses to come out, then handle her. If she doesn't, then don't. It's as simple as that. A snake that chooses to be handled isn't going to be stressed by it. You're concerned that she won't come out. Then, why do you need a door on your enclosure? You need a door because she will come out.

    Now, I'm not going to say that this isn't going to require some patience. As Beans suggested, it's a good idea on days when she doesn't come out leave the door open and hang out nearby (fully conscious ). In her own time, she'll choose to engage with you. Keep it positive and you'll be well on your way to building a healthy relationship with your snake.
    Ah yes thank you, I meant take a nap with the doors closed
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  10. #6
    Registered User Gottalovesnakes's Avatar
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    Re: Still Shy :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Homebody View Post

    Open Noodle's enclosure. If she chooses to come out, then handle her. If she doesn't, then don't. It's as simple as that. A snake that chooses to be handled isn't going to be stressed by it. You're concerned that she won't come out. Then, why do you need a door on your enclosure? You need a door because she will come out.
    Thank you all for these thorough responses. I greatly appreciate it. Ruby only seems to come out at night, when I’m just falling asleep or when I just happen to wake up in the middle of the night. But maybe if I leave the lid open a bit when I’m supervising, in the evening for example, she will get curious and come out. I would be kind of be surprised if she did, but it’s worth a try.
    Last edited by Gottalovesnakes; 02-03-2024 at 07:13 PM.

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    Re: Still Shy :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gottalovesnakes View Post
    Thank you all for these thorough responses. I greatly appreciate it. Ruby only seems to come out at night, when Iím just falling asleep or when I just happen to wake up in the middle of the night. But maybe if I leave the lid open a bit when Iím supervising, in the evening for example, she will get curious and come out. I would be kind of be surprised if she did, but itís worth a try.
    That's right. Give it a try. Be patient. Boger's suggestions are great too. The important thing is to reduce your snake's stress when you're handing her. Good luck.
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  14. #8
    Registered User Gottalovesnakes's Avatar
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    Itís really important to me that sheís happy and healthy. Iíll do what it takes! Thank you all so much

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  16. #9
    BPnet Veteran BeansTheDerp's Avatar
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    Re: Still Shy :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Gottalovesnakes View Post
    Itís really important to me that sheís happy and healthy. Iíll do what it takes! Thank you all so much
    Keep us updated on your journey with the sweet thing!
    Be kind, and inspire others to be kind.

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