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Old 11-06-17, 06:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Need Help With Snake's Reaction to Being Pet

I have had my BP for 4 years now, they're rather docile and have only bitten me 4 times. I am working on rehabbing them right now, and taking them out more often is part of that. However, when I don't take them out right away and pet them so that they can get accustomed to my hand they kind of "hit" me with their body, I'll provide a video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rFG...ature=youtu.be

I really need help, I can't find advice for this anywhere online and I'd really like to know if this is normal behavior or if something is wrong with them.
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Old 11-06-17, 06:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Need Help With Snake's Reaction to Being Pet

That is completely normal behavior, your snake is just not used to being touched. Especially when they are asleep and feel safe, they will react threatened. I don't recommend you pet ball pythons inside their enclosure until they are really comfortable with you. Continue to handle your pet regularly everyday (besides feeding days), and this behavior should decrease.

Hope this helps!
-DJC Reptiles
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Old 11-06-17, 09:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Need Help With Snake's Reaction to Being Pet

Snakes don't really do petting. They'll adjust to being touched varying amounts with handling but it's not exactly "normal" to them. Holding on to one area, letting them wrap around you, crawling through your hands themselves, etc... becomes easily accepted but lots of movement while touching can make wiggly, irritated snakes. Lightly rubbing areas I want them to move is how I've irritated some into removing themselves from places they've lodged that are too tight or with multiple odd angles that make trying to forcefully get them out a risk for injury. Dang rosy boa that is a couple inches thick (she's turned into quite a sturdy thing despite her start in life and how often she decides to be picky about her food) weaved through maybe inch thick gaps of folded up layers of wire panels. I couldn't unfold the panels as they swing open and she was basically tying them together and pulling her when she's having to squish slowly in bits through the gaps would have done something bad. I had to just keep brushing fingers along her last 3rd while directing her head down my arm instead of back into the wire to get her to keep squishing herself out. Luckily she decided that when out weaving through the folded dog crates in the corner by the small snake cages is uncomfortable and sticks to wandering up the stack of smaller enclosures instead.
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Old 11-07-17, 12:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Need Help With Snake's Reaction to Being Pet

Akane pretty much sums it up nicely. Snakes are 'petting' animals and get little from human interaction fill stop.

Mine are rarely handled - indeed the Madu retics I got in September still haven't been held other than to try and remove a rat in a bar from the females mouth.

I do appreciate though that people sometimes get snakes as a proper pet and want to hold them and cuddle them. In this case slow, calm movements always, try and keep away from the head and particularly at first keep handling sessions to 10-15 minutes once or twice a week.

Don't handle for at least 24 hours after feeding, preferably 48 hours and learn to read your snake. If it's looking stressed or scared (can be hard to judge admittedly) then put it back.

Every snake is different. My boa seems to tolerate pretty much any handling and I'll happily pass her around children and people who have little experience of snakes. My carpet python is ok but he starts to get flighty and nervous much quicker.

My little boy's black rat snake goes from being fine to bring very grumpy very quickly. I can see the mood change, my little boy is still learning (I've let him take a couple of bites so he can see what happens if he isn't concentrating on the mood of the animal).

My baby make your Madu retic is fine as well - very chilled. My female adult - only I will hold or someone else with good experience.

I don't believe in forcing the issue. Some people say if a snake strikes or gets defensive not to put it back as then the snake is 'rewarded' for this behaviour and will continue it. I don't believe in 'breaking' an animal's will like this and would rather earn its trust over time. If it gives me a clear indication it doesn't want to be held it goes back and I'll try again in a few days. None of my snakes have become unhandleable using this method.
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Old 11-07-17, 06:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Need Help With Snake's Reaction to Being Pet

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Originally Posted by dannybgoode View Post
Akane pretty much sums it up nicely. Snakes are 'petting' animals and get little from human interaction fill stop.

Mine are rarely handled - indeed the Madu retics I got in September still haven't been held other than to try and remove a rat in a bar from the females mouth.

I do appreciate though that people sometimes get snakes as a proper pet and want to hold them and cuddle them. In this case slow, calm movements always, try and keep away from the head and particularly at first keep handling sessions to 10-15 minutes once or twice a week.

Don't handle for at least 24 hours after feeding, preferably 48 hours and learn to read your snake. If it's looking stressed or scared (can be hard to judge admittedly) then put it back.

Every snake is different. My boa seems to tolerate pretty much any handling and I'll happily pass her around children and people who have little experience of snakes. My carpet python is ok but he starts to get flighty and nervous much quicker.

My little boy's black rat snake goes from being fine to bring very grumpy very quickly. I can see the mood change, my little boy is still learning (I've let him take a couple of bites so he can see what happens if he isn't concentrating on the mood of the animal).

My baby make your Madu retic is fine as well - very chilled. My female adult - only I will hold or someone else with good experience.

I don't believe in forcing the issue. Some people say if a snake strikes or gets defensive not to put it back as then the snake is 'rewarded' for this behaviour and will continue it. I don't believe in 'breaking' an animal's will like this and would rather earn its trust over time. If it gives me a clear indication it doesn't want to be held it goes back and I'll try again in a few days. None of my snakes have become unhandleable using this method.
I agree with dannybgoode. One of the things I had to learn stating out is most snakes don't understand much emotion, and it could even stress snakes out more then others. People like ball pythons because they are generally shy captives and won't normally bite out of the hatchling faze. It is fine to handle your animal, but don't expect it to become a puppy dog, although I have seen some eastern indigos that make me reconsider this.

Last edited by DJC Reptiles; 11-07-17 at 06:27 AM..
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Old 11-07-17, 03:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Need Help With Snake's Reaction to Being Pet

Him pushing you away, basically tells you "leave me alone"

Snakes are not cats/dogs, don't think they'll ever be like that either regardless of the amount of affection you show.
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Old 11-07-17, 11:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Need Help With Snake's Reaction to Being Pet

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Snakes are not cats/dogs, don't think they'll ever be like that either regardless of the amount of affection you show.
A number of my snakes are fairly consistent in wanting me dead but that's the closest I get to a show of emotion from them
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Old 11-08-17, 12:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Need Help With Snake's Reaction to Being Pet

My scrub is pretty snuggly, but hed never let me pet him inside his viv. https://youtu.be/TNrP4x9ONO0

Yes, I realize this is probably less about his love and more about him wanting to wear my skin. Allow me my delusions, ok?
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