There’s no denying that reptiles of all varieties have become commonplace companions for a variety of homes. All around the world, people have become more enamored with the scaly and serpentine than ever. However, many would-be first-time reptile owners may still be unfamiliar on how they behave, and the variety of temperaments they display. Here, we hope to review some reptiles that are known for being exceptionally friendly to people. In fact, many would say that individual animals that belong to certain entries on this list enjoy being cuddled and actively seek out human attention.
While many reptiles have a reputation of not seeking physical contact or seeming affectionate, the bearded dragon is certainly an exception to this rule. While they are typically solitary in the wild (as is the case with most reptiles), many bearded dragon owners describe their pets actively wanting to be held or even enjoying head and chin scratches. In fact, they are often described as “dog-like”, and certain bearded dragon owners allow their pets supervised time to explore outside of their tanks. Some even purchase harnesses and leashes to safely “walk” them around their homes and cute Halloween costumes to pose in. This reptile is also diurnal, meaning that its natural activity level will match up well with your own.
The blue-tongued skink is known to share a variety of similarities with bearded dragons. This includes their size (around 18-20 inches), temperament, and intelligence. Two attributes that are unique to this reptile, however, would be their beautiful snake-like head and gorgeous, eye-catching electric-blue tongue. If you are looking for a unique, conversation starting pet that will be easy to handle and even actively enjoy your company, this reptile may be for you.
The leopard gecko is yet another lizard that is known to enjoy human contact. However, these critters are notably smaller than the aforementioned, blue-tongued skink or bearded dragon, making it easier for you to handle it for an extended period of time. When properly socialized, they will enjoy perching on your hand or arms for an extended period.
Now, it is true that these small reptiles don’t tend to enjoy human contact as much as the previously mentioned lizards. They do, however, tend to enjoy relaxing on their owners’ hands and drawing the heat that comes from that contact. Remember, every individual reptile is different, and will have varying levels of tolerance for handling and socialization.
Ball pythons (also known as the royal python) are a mid-sized constrictor famous for the variety of morphs and mild temperament. Native to Central and West Africa, they usually live a solitary life making their homes in various burrows and trees. These snakes are naturally relaxed and slow moving, happy to sit or perch in one spot for hours. That includes your arm or shoulders. In fact, these snakes enjoy relaxing so much that they have a technique for sticking to one spot for an extended period of time. When comfortable, they will naturally coil themselves into a tight ball to hang on to what they are perched on, creating a tight “ball” shape. This is indeed where they get their name from. Many snake fanciers find the sensation of this action to be rather enjoyable.
The corn snake is another moderately sized non-venomous snake that has recently become popular in a variety of homes. Being easy to handle and naturally docile, this is another snake that can be interacted with for an extended period of time. They are also noticeably lighter than the bulkier ball python, reaching a more svelte 1 pound in contrast to 4-6.
Understanding which reptiles for sale have the temperament to best match your preferences and expectations is an important first step of research. With that being said, it’s important to remember that any relationship with a pet is a process. It needs to be developed and maintained, and what you receive may not be what you initially wanted.
Overall, one of the best ways to develop a quality relationship between you and your reptile is to provide it with plenty of positive interactions in which it initiates contact. To invite your reptile to an interaction, slowly place your hand within its enclosure, and wait for it to perch on your hand. This will build up trust and a positive association with contact from you. Treat your pet as an individual, and its personality will eventually blossom in front of you.
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