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Old 04-28-17, 02:48 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Re: So it seems I'm now taking care of a snake

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Originally Posted by GyGbeetle View Post
Tap training involves tapping the side of the tank to give the snake a cue that a hand is entering their enclosure. If the enclosure is closed, which is usually what's been recommended to me, simply tapping with your hand or a hook won't involve any biting from the animal. The idea is to give them a consistent trigger to let them know a hand, not food, will be entering the tank.

What you're describing is hook training, which involves taking the hook into the enclosure in order to handle the snake. If OP feels a bite is imminent, then yes, don't use your hand when trying to touch/handle the snake. But the 2 should not be confused.

For adult and baby boas, providing them their enclosure after a bite only encourages the behaviour. i.e. if they bite and are always put back into their enclosure, they will learn when they DON'T want to be handled, they can bite and be rewarded with solitude. There are ample cases where vets, herps, and breeders alike discourage this reward system. yes, it's scarier with older and large snakes (I have retics and burms, and it's very scary), but it also teaches a sense of acceptance between the snake and the handler, so that the snake understands the handler is in charge.
At one point you probably were right on those definitions. However, as with everything, things change and hook/tap training became interchangeable using the definition of hook training you provided.

I think your definition of tap training isn't a good idea because it leaves things out of your control. You can accidentally tap the enclosure during feeding time a couple times and all of a sudden the next handling session and the snake takes a bite. The best method in my eyes and experience is simply hook training.

Further to your handling choice. It's rather archaic. That method of force isn't getting a snake to respect you it's applying enough stress that it eventually just becomes placated and probably will lead to an early death. You mention you handled a boa for 2 weeks every single day to "acclimate" it. That's forcing stress on an animal until it's so stressed that it doesn't fight anymore.

Acclamation would be leaving a defensive (snakes are never aggressive) animal alone and keeping a routine. Eventually over time they mellow out and grow to understand the routine isn't harmful to them. I have and has a few snakes like this. It isn't 2 weeks though it's a process of months and years.
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Old 04-28-17, 05:05 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Re: So it seems I'm now taking care of a snake

Well, that's promising. She seems to understand to some extent. Not sure if this is just natural or if she remembers the training from a few years ago before her last owner/the former roommate brought her home. Regardless, I still have a process ahead of me to get her on a schedule and properly trained.

Tapped the left front edge of the tank, slid the lid open a few inches, the tell-tale S in the neck was present, tapped the top of her head with the bent metal rod I procured, gently stroked her head and body until she settled down and started relaxing a bit. I then slid the lid open more, slowly reached in, she was starting to compress, looking ready to strike, so I did it again, calmed her down a little, pulled the water dish and grabbed a few shed skins, and slid the lid shut--foregoing the clips as I was just cleaning the dish and she doesn't really test the lid (she did months ago but seems to accept that the lid is a barrier now)

Had to tap and stroke her head a little with the rod again before I could return the water dish, but that worked to get her to settle down long enough to set the dish down and straighten it out before pouring in two gallons of water (I picked up spring water for this refill!). She was on the box so I couldn't move it back into place--she pushed it toward the dish when she last fed and blocked the opening. I'll try to get that tomorrow, and clean up the other end.

To clean the glass and replace the coco fiber, I'll need to remove her, but this is a refreshing bit of progress over the spotty reach in, grab, and shut that I've been having to do. In due time!

That said, she's happy with her fresh water and clean dish, as always. Climbed right in, so the third and final gallon will have to wait for later--she doesn't appreciate it when water is poured on top of her.



EDIT: To be clear, way I see it, snakes are, like other reptiles, modern dinos. They're smart, but they don't understand emotions and bonding like us squishy mammals. They tolerate us, they don't *like* us. So you teach them a system that's good for both of you--minimizes their stress, lets them just live, and lets you be a comfortable caretaker.

Last edited by Kortanul; 04-28-17 at 05:11 PM..
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Old 04-28-17, 05:11 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Re: So it seems I'm now taking care of a snake

Bravo, bravo! And so your journey begins...I wish you the best of luck...both of you!

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Originally Posted by Kortanul View Post
Well, that's promising. She seems to understand to some extent. Not sure if this is just natural or if she remembers the training from a few years ago before her last owner/the former roommate brought her home. Regardless, I still have a process ahead of me to get her on a schedule and properly trained.

Tapped the left front edge of the tank, slid the lid open a few inches, the tell-tale S in the neck was present, tapped the top of her head with the bent metal rod I procured, gently stroked her head and body until she settled down and started relaxing a bit. I then slid the lid open more, slowly reached in, she was starting to compress, looking ready to strike, so I did it again, calmed her down a little, pulled the water dish and grabbed a few shed skins, and slid the lid shut--foregoing the clips as I was just cleaning the dish and she doesn't really test the lid (she did months ago but seems to accept that the lid is a barrier now)

Had to tap and stroke her head a little with the rod again before I could return the water dish, but that worked to get her to settle down long enough to set the dish down and straighten it out before pouring in two gallons of water (I picked up spring water for this refill!). She was on the box so I couldn't move it back into place--she pushed it toward the dish when she last fed and blocked the opening. I'll try to get that tomorrow, and clean up the other end.

To clean the glass and replace the coco fiber, I'll need to remove her, but this is a refreshing bit of progress over the spotty reach in, grab, and shut that I've been having to do. In due time!

That said, she's happy with her fresh water and clean dish, as always. Climbed right in, so the third and final gallon will have to wait for later--she doesn't appreciate it when water is poured on top of her.
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Old 04-28-17, 05:29 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Re: So it seems I'm now taking care of a snake

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Bravo, bravo! And so your journey begins...I wish you the best of luck...both of you!
Thank you! All of you, really. This has been quite helpful. I look forward to this snake becoming part of the collection rather than "that snake over there". Never planned on a snake, but I did want an iguana. Close enough!
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Old 04-28-17, 05:32 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Re: So it seems I'm now taking care of a snake

Uh, yeah...they're the same...no difference...etc. If anything, the snake is sexier!

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Thank you! All of you, really. This has been quite helpful. I look forward to this snake becoming part of the collection rather than "that snake over there". Never planned on a snake, but I did want an iguana. Close enough!
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Old 04-28-17, 05:49 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Re: So it seems I'm now taking care of a snake

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Uh, yeah...they're the same...no difference...etc. If anything, the snake is sexier!
I mean, the snake is somehow less dangerous, bigger, cooler, and more entertaining to feed (like that grouper I used to have. Loved feeding that thing.)

Iguanas just scratch/cut the hell out of you without trying but look cool. Boa > iguana, I lucked out in this matter.
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Old 04-28-17, 09:36 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Re: So it seems I'm now taking care of a snake

Welcome to the forum and be warned you're about to catch the sickness MUAHAHAH . She is a nice looking boa. Any questions we'll help you out.
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