What’s the Temperament of a Ball Python?

Ball Python 

I did some research to find out what the temperament of a Ball Python is. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to trust snakes I know nothing about. I never want to risk getting bitten by a pet snake when I hold one, poisonous or not. 

So, what is the temperament of a Ball Python? Ball Pythons have a gentle disposition, making them great pets for those looking to own a snake. A Ball Python’s docile nature makes it easy to handle and care for, an important factor for first-time snake owners. Captive bread Ball Pythons are particularly gentle, but there are always exceptions to this.

Some snakes have their own temperaments that defy the common disposition of the species. There is no evidence to prove that there is a difference in temperament between the different pattern morphs of the Ball Python species. There is also no difference in temperament between males and females. However, a female Ball Python may become aggressive when she is guarding her eggs.

Choosing a Good Ball Python

It is best to acquire a Ball Python in person at your local pet store. This allows you to see the Ball Python beforehand, and you can also hold each one to get an idea of its temperament, especially since not all captive bred snakes are the same.

Also, going to a pet store allows you to ask certified professionals who care for the Ball Python questions about the snake’s nature and habits. A trip to the local pet store also gives you a chance to pick up any additional items you might need so you can properly care for your new snake.

Chain pet stores can also be a good place to buy your Ball Python, but not all of the employees in the store may have the snake knowledge you need to choose your first snake.

Snake breeders are another good option you should research when acquiring a captive Ball Python, but just like most things in the world, there are good breeders and bad breeders. The best way to find out if a particular breeder is a good fit for you is to do your research in the reptile community.

Find out what other snake owners are saying about a particular breeder and make your choice after you have researched. Breeders often raise extremely docile Ball Pythons and have extensive knowledge about each snake.

Another bonus of finding a good breeder to buy from is that they might have a variety of morphs ( snakes with different colors and patterns) of Ball Pythons to choose from.

In all of these cases, you should take time to hold the snake you are thinking of buying so that you can get a feel for its temperament firsthand.

Another thing to look for when buying a Ball Python is how healthy the snake looks. Keep an eye out for signs of sickness or undernourishment. A healthy snake tends to have a better temperament than a sick snake. 

Ball Pythons and Children

Like I’ve mentioned before, Ball Pythons generally have a very gentle temperament. They don’t often strike out or bite, preferring to instead coil themselves into a tight ball when frightened. Ball Pythons generally make good pets for families with children, but constant parent supervision is needed when owning a Ball Python. 

Though a Ball Python’s bite isn’t fatal or even serious, it may still break your child’s skin if it bites. Remove the Ball Python, clean and disinfect the wound, and give the snake time to calm down before letting your child handle it again. 

Ball Pythons can get stressed if they are handled too much, so if you know that your child will want to take the snake out and hold it often, you might want to consider a different snake or pet altogether. When a Ball Python is handled too much and gets stressed, it can become sick. Ball Python Cafe has a great article about how parents can protect their children and still keep their Ball Python.

Ball Pythons don’t require much care, making them good pets if you want your children to learn responsibility without fearing they will neglect their pet. They only need to be fed once every two weeks and their cages will also need to be cleaned, but those are the main responsibilities. 

Always make sure your Ball Python can’t escape from its cage so that no accidents happen.

Other Snakes with Docile Temperaments

Ball Pythons are probably the most docile snakes, but there are several other species of snakes that have good temperaments. Here are a few popular breeds with good temperments: 

  • Corn Snakes: Corn Snakes are an attractive and popular option for snake owners looking for easy temperaments. Though they are not as gentle as Ball Pythons, they are also easy to care for and small in size. They are okay with being handled and aren’t too shy. However, a baby corn snake is more likely to strike out when it is frightened. 
  • California King Snakes: This species of snake can be prone to biting if it is not handled often, but with attention and care, it makes a great snake. Generally, California King Snakes have docile natures and are easy to care for. 
  • Kenyan Sand Boa: Kenyan Sand Boas are small in size, making them easy to handle, especially for first-time snake owners who are intimidated by large snakes. This species is extremely docile and will hide when frightened. 
  • Rosy Boa: A Rosy Boa can be a docile breed of snake, especially if they are acquired in captivity. Their attractive coloring also makes them a popular breed of snake. 
  • Milk Snakes: This species is very similar to the California King Snake in temperament and handling. Its docile nature makes it a good snake to own. Given time to settle in, they will become docile. These snakes, like the California King Snake, are constrictors. They will wrap themselves around your arm (not a dangerous thing) and constrict if they feel too threatened. 

Whatever species of snake you choose, make sure to do your research. Captive bred snakes are often your best choice if you want to make sure that, no matter the breed, the snake is docile.

As I mentioned above, the advantage of buying a snake from a breeder or pet store is that you can hold it and get a feel for its temper, since not all snakes are the same.

Snakes caught in the wild will often behave more aggressively, striking out more than those bred in captivity. Snakes caught in the wild are not used to human interaction, so if you catch a snake, that snake may never get used to human interaction.

Related Questions

Can a Ball Python hurt you? Ball Pythons tend to curl up into a ball (like their name suggests) and hide when they are frightened. In rare cases, a Ball Python will bite its owner or the individual handling it. The bite itself might initially sting, but it won’t do fatal or even serious damage.

Are Ball Pythons good pets? The simple answer is yes. If you love snakes and are looking for a good tempered easy-to-care-for pet, Ball Pythons are the perfect fit. They are relatively small and have a docile nature. They are also easy to care for, preferring to eat only once every two weeks.

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