Handlability / general behavior

I know that environment can affect a reptiles disposition and ability to be handled (as well as many other factors), but having a general idea of how handle-able a particular animal is with their current keeper could be a useful way to filter searches. Obviously, this would not be a guarantee of an animal being exactly the same with the new keeper. But, it could be useful if someone was specifically looking for something they can easily interact with vs a more challenging animal or one that is more for looking than handling


Not just environmental change can effect behavior. I think it wouldn’t be possible for babies of most of any species to have a “label” for disposition, simply because most need time, growth, and handling to even begin to come into their personalities. If you are talking about older reptiles it may be possible and a lot of sellers do mention the reptiles attitude. Such as “this retic is cage/food aggressive, this water monitor is great with handling, ect. The other factor why this probably won’t work is behavior is up for interpretation, and different to everyone to a certain extent, and the seller may get “bad reviews, or even cancelled/refunded requests if the animal isn’t behaving to the exact way it was advertised according to the buyer. Which obviously would be a whole new issue with this request. My advice is filter out babies and look for adults/sub adults and some buyers may have already mentioned the behavior of the reptile.


I have had more than one ball python be sweet as can be and then become spicy when moved to a new location.

My first fancy was shipped to me and went from sweet out of the bag to trying to smack anything that moved past her enclosure.
The solution for her was never keeping her in anything but a tub. When she sees people or movement she gets defensive.

That’s not something that you can easily figure out with a reptile before sales. I’ve seen many people post about how sweet the animal is, but that can definitely change


Tbh I really don’t see anything stopping anyone from just saying an animal is handleable to get it sold if this were added. Obviously most casual buyers aren’t going to be interested in an animal that is already described as problematic. Hatchlings can be unpredictable at best, much like any young animal learning how to survive and interact with the world.

Best bet for an animal that will be handleable is, as @banereptiles said, looking for an older animal. I’d also suggest if you want a hatchling, looking at smaller scale operations. I do know at least in the corn snake world, there are breeders working on behavior projects to try to produce animals with consistent temperaments, idk about other species, though.


There are definitely breeders picking up on handling monitors more. Kevin at NERD has been very vocal about the intelligence in reptiles, but monitors especially. More people are starting to work with them closely from the egg and even start target training them at an early age for feedings.


I have a baby banana BP that hates me. He was a sweetheart at the beginning. It’s a good thing he is in a tub because if he was in a glass tank he probably would have broken his neck by now striking at the glass to get at my face! Lol! So yeah, personalities seem to develop with age, surroundings, etc


Perhaps an optional status a seller could choose to use (or not use) if they think it’s an important thing to know about that particular animal? Something super simple, like ‘Easy,’ ‘Average,’ ‘Advanced,’ or ‘Unknown’ to designate handleability relative to other members of its species. Most people probably wouldn’t bother to use the feature, but it would make it convenient for sellers that want to share that info.