B/w Tegus are „character animals“. Ours cannot be compared. Every animal has their own likes and kinds of behaviour. While Theo is the “perfect” lizard… the kind of tegu you read about in books… “dog-like” behaviour… the other ones are rather intelligent lizards.
But to make sure I have big welder’s gloves… but I have never used them. I only wear them for the little hasty Tegus sometimes… you don’t feel the teeth but the pressure is enormous.
Theo is always „friendly“, trusting, curiously, never aggressiv and always fixated on one person. He likes body-contact.
The other ones are rather shy. The biggest one has good and bad days. But because of the tegus strong body language you will notice immediately.
A gentle raise of the body (pushing the legs through) shows that the tegu wants to be left alone. It hardly ever means “pet me“ as many pages say. He doesn’t mean but raising the body is a threat „See how tall I am!” The next step is a slight wriggling of the tip of the tail which moves a few centimetres. A wriggling of the upper area of the tail follows and in the end the whole tail. While our girls tend to run away our big one would NEVER budge.
A „loaded“ Tegu has enormous power. The tip of his tail can reach up to 140 km/h.
And I can take away the illusion of the possibility of escaping a Tegu that is hitting with its tail.
The teeth should not be underestimated, either. They bite… into EVERYTHING.
When our big one was laying under the „real“ sun all day he didn’t want to go back inside. And he definitely didn’t want to be touched. Aggressive wriggling of the tail and hints of turning were the start. When I still tried to grab it he ran towards me and bit EVERYTHING… and a 6.5 kg heavy animal which jumps against your shin and bites is NOT HALF BAD.
So far that was the only “incident” and it’s a long time ago. But since then I pay close attention to the animal’s behaviour.
I only noticed similar behaviour with hatching females.
Other than that you can say that Tegus are very curiously… everything gets explored and they try to climb onto everything. Tegus soon learn when it’s time for food and they will come towards you… even when you don’t offer food.
It is IMPORTANT, though, that they don’t affiliate your hands with food…