Reptile Series: A Guide to Choosing Your First Snake

Learn about important things to consider when buying your first snake, good choices, & how to recognise a healthy snake.
Free tutorial
Rating: 4.6 out of 5 (25 ratings)
309 students
35min of on-demand video

Different types of snakes available and the best options for a first time owner;
Signs of good health and signs of ill-health in a snake to reduce the risk of buying an unhealthy snake;
Suggested questions to ask the seller when purchasing your first snake;
Important things to consider when choosing which type of snake to buy;
Considerations for where to buy a snake from;
Considerations for the legalities of keeping a snake.


  • No prerequisites to taking this course.


Maybe you’re considering getting your first pet snake, or maybe you have already made the decision to get a pet snake. This course is one in a series of courses. The focus of this course is to help you decide which type of snake would be best suited to your personal circumstances and motivation, and to help you avoid making a choice you later regret! (This particular course is not about how to care for your snake).

Make an Informed Decision about the Best Pet Snake for you

If you are new to keeping reptiles you may have a number of questions buzzing round your head that include:

· What type of snake should I buy?

· Where should I buy it from?

· How do I know if I'm buying a healthy snake?

At the end of this course you will be able to answer these questions and more.

Learn to Differentiate Between Snakes and Find a Healthy Specimen

There are many different species of snakes, as well as subspecies and morphs within species, so I will give you a basic understanding of different types of snakes. I will also give you my recommendations for first time snake ownership.

Did you know, or ever wonder why so many giant snakes get handed into animal rescue facilities? It is common place for people to buy a pet snake only to find themselves with a giant snake on their hands a few years later that they don’t have the space for!

Sure you could spend time watching YouTube videos, and there are some great keepers giving great advice on YouTube, but there are also bad ones and why waste your time sifting through the bad to get to the good! And what if you can’t tell if someone is giving you good or bad advice, after all you can’t judge every book by its cover right!?

This course has been put together to put you on the right track by giving you what you need to know in one place.

Contents and Overview

During the course I will show you video footage and images to demonstrate some of the information I am giving you. This course contains 17 lectures and about 35 minutes of video content.

I have added a practical exercise, multiple choice quiz, and a printable checklist to help you.

At the beginning of this course I start by introducing you to the different families of snakes.

I will ask you to reflect on your motivation for wanting a pet snake and make recommendations to you.

We will also address the following questions:

· How much room will I need to give it?

· Should I get a baby snake or an adult for my first pet snake?

· Should I get a male or female?

· If I see a snake for sale that I want, how will I know if it is healthy?

· What sort of questions should I ask the seller before I buy?

· Do I need a permit to keep snakes where I live?

If you are new to the reptile hobby then this course will give you some confidence about the right questions to ask a seller and basic, sound knowledge before you head out to buy.

Who this course is for:

  • First time snake owners;
  • People new to the reptile hobby;
  • Someone looking to get their first pet snake.


Reptile keeper & breeder; Podcast co-host
Steve Crawford
  • 4.8 Instructor Rating
  • 51 Reviews
  • 341 Students
  • 2 Courses

Steve has been keeping and breeding snakes for more than 30 years both in the UK and Australia. He got his first Garter snake when he was a young boy and his passion for snakes (and all things reptile) grew from that point on.

Whilst keeping his own collections of pet reptiles, Steve also spent a great deal of time as a child and young adult gaining hands-on experience and first-hand knowledge from expert snake keepers.

Having owned all of the different pythons of the world over the years, and successfully bred many of them, Steve is extremely well placed to instruct and guide others on their journeys, whether that be as the beginner hobbyist wanting to get their first snake, or the seasoned reptile keeper looking for effective tips to build on their own experience and collections.

In recent years Steve has become most passionate about enrichment for animals kept in captivity, and wants to encourage every keeper to ensure their animals not only have their basic care needs met, but also have the best quality of life possible, and that means enriching their lives by activating their senses with positive experiences.

Inevitably, with the years of experience Steve has, comes his fair share of disappointments when things within his collections haven’t gone as planned. Every reptile enthusiast has those times when things go wrong, it may be the result of keeper error or something that could not have been foreseen or prevented, but whatever the reason these are all learning opportunities. Steve decided to create these courses because he is highly motivated to help other keepers and breeders avoid some of the common pitfalls and errors, and ensure the best care is being provided to reptiles in captivity.

Steve is well-known and well-regarded by many in the reptile industry. He is also co-founder of the Aussie Wildlife Show podcast which you can find on Podbean, or via other podcast providers, and on all social media as Aussie Wildlife Show.

Check out Steve’s reptile website, Instagram and Facebook pages for Prestige Pythons, and his Youtube channel, The Reptile Plus Network.

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