If you are a new leopard gecko owner, you may be wondering do leopard geckos like to be held? Or can you handle them any time you want?
Before I answer those questions, you need to know that handling leopard geckos is not hard. Leopard geckos are docile reptiles and do well at handling.
Although they are docile animals, you will need to be careful when handling them and do it the right way. Handling them correctly helps prevent falls or scaring your gecko. When leopard geckos are frightened, or you pick them by the tail, they can drop their tail and will be stressed.
In this article, I will reveal the truth about do your leopard geckos like to be held? We will discuss how you can handle your leopard gecko and how to have fun with your leos.
Do Leopard Geckos Like To Be Held?
The answer is Yes, leopard geckos are docile reptiles and will do well with handling. Generally, leopard geckos do not get excited about handling. However, if you can successfully tame your leos and trust you, it can tolerate handling very well.
Furthermore, you can gain your gecko’s trust by being slow and gentle when handling them. However, some leopard geckos cannot be tolerant of handling. This is common in leopard geckos with a bad past.
You should also note that you don’t need to handle your gecko unless it turns 3-4 months old or 5-6 inches in size. This is because baby geckos are usually moody and are very fragile. They are also likely to drop their tail if you handle them roughly.
Have Your Leopard Gecko Like To Be Held WHen Having Fun With Them
The best way to interact with leopard geckos is by playing with them. Some of the ways that you can play with leopard geckos are stated below.
When you are playing with your leopard geckos, try to hold them as much as you can, holding when they are happy will help you gain their trust.
By their, your pet leopard gecko will be more likely to be held.
Exploring The Environment Outside Their Cage
Playing with your gecko doesn’t need to be anything fancy. You can give your leos time to explore you or the area outside of their cage. Since leopard geckos are active creatures, they enjoy exploring your body.
They can even climb your body for a warm spot to settle. Another way to play with your gecko is by allowing them to explore new places like an empty room or a bed. However, you need to ensure you keep an eye on them, or you could lose them.
Giving Treats To Your Leopard Geckos
You can place some worms in a small box so your leopard gecko can hunt them. Another great way is by putting a hollow cat ball in their tank and putting some worms there. Your leopard geckos will surely love getting the worms out of the ball.
Leopard Gecko Toys And Activities
You can also buy or make your own leopard geckos toys.
Note: you should avoid changing your leopard gecko’s tank layout too often because a sudden change in their environment can stress them. You should ensure the house temperature is about 85-86 degrees Fahrenheit if you want to play with your gecko.
This is a great way to provide a fun and entertaining playtime for your gecko. You can easily set up the course by grabbing a large box or bin and place the obstacles there. Your obstacles can be paper towel tubes, small boxes, wooden blocks, or small old toys.
Furthermore, if your box is very large, you can add small trees to crawl and climb for your gecko. You can also add different items to give the obstacle course a unique look. Your gecko will surely love the course because they are curious animals.
Excavator Clay Tunnels And Digging Spots
If you don’t want to change your leopard gecko’s tank landscape, you can place a separate plastic container for them. You can then add excavator clay substrate in the container for them to dig. You can mix the substrate with water and mold it to the shape that your gecko will enjoy.
How To Make Your Leopard Gecko Trust & Love You Then You Can Easily Handle Them
If your leopard gecko does not like to be held, you can practice these exercises to gain more trust from your leos.
Gaining trust also means that your leopard geckos will become calmer when you handle them. Then you can solve your question for “do leopard geckos like to be held?”
The joy of every leopard gecko owner is to make their gecko tame and love them. Some of the tips that you can use to make your leopard gecko love and trust you are stated below.
Tame And Bond With Your Leopard Gecko
Taming a leopard gecko can make it love you. You can use around 3-6 weeks to tame a gecko after you bring it home. However, you can start the taming process over again if you did something wrong. By taming your gecko, it will be very comfortable in your presence.
Taming gecko is not the only acclimatization and socializing. It is also about providing your gecko with a proper tank and setting up their habitat. Note: before you start handling your leos, allow it to acclimatize for the first 3-4 weeks.
Give Your Leopard Gecko A Name
You will be surprised to hear that leopard geckos can get used to a specific name or sounds. After you get a gecko, you can give it a name. After acclimatizing for 2-3 weeks, you can call it by a name and call them before you approach the tank.
You will see that they start reacting to the name or sound.
Handle Your Leopard Gecko
You can really bond with your leopard gecko by handling. This will also make your gecko love you more. However, you need to ensure that you are patient and consistent when you are handling them.
You can start to handle your gecko four weeks after you bring it home. You can start by handling it for 5 minutes when cleaning for the first weeks before increasing the timing gradually. It is advisable not to handle your baby leos until it is 5-6 inches long because they are very fragile.
Respect Your Leopard Gecko’s Needs
Your gecko will love you more if you can respect their needs. You should keep in mind that the leopard geckos are crepuscular and will be active at dawn and dusk. This means you should avoid disturbing it during the day, and you can only interact with your gecko when it is active.
Some of the other important leopard gecko needs are hideouts, creating a stimulating environment, diversifying their diet, avoiding handling your gecko too often, etc.
Feed Your Leopard Gecko Regularly
One of the main leopard gecko’s needs is food. One of the best times that you can bond with your leopard gecko is during the feeding times. When you are about to feed your gecko, ensure you approach your gecko slowly and make some sound to see you coming.
To further bond with your gecko, you can feed your gecko with tongs. However, ensure the tongs’ tips are covered with a cloth to prevent injuries or use a tong with soft tips.
Talking To Your Gecko
Although this may look weird to you, it is important if your gecko can easily recognize your voice. For example, once you enter your leopard geckos room, you can start by calling their name or saying hello.
This helps to alert them that someone is in the room, which helps them recognize your voice.
Hang Out With Your Gecko
If you plan to hang out with your leopard gecko, you should keep in mind that hanging with them during the day can be stressful. Your gecko may not come out of their caves during the day, but you can do quiet activities close to them as your gecko watches you.
This helps to make them grow comfortable with you.
Let Them Get Used To Your Smell
Like other reptiles, leopard geckos use their sense of smell for survival. They can easily detect a foreign smell from a familiar smell. One way that your leos can get used to you is by allowing them to get used to your smell.
There are lots of ways that you can make your gecko get used to your smell, such as handling your gecko or putting something that has your scent in their enclosure, etc.
Put Your Hand In The Cage
You can also get your leopard gecko to trust you by getting them used to your hand in the cage. However, this method can scare your leos if you do not have a lot of trusts built up between you and your gecko. You need to be cautious when trying this method.
You don’t have to rush or force this method, as it can be counterproductive if not done well. You should be patient and allow your gecko to come and inspect you at their own time. You can also allow the gecko to climb, touch, or sniff you without picking them up for the first few times.
Pick Your Leopard Gecko Up
This is the ultimate goal of a leopard gecko owner. This is because if you can pick your leopard gecko up comfortably, it shows that your gecko trusts you. However, you need to respect their timing and trust by picking them up properly.
When picking up your leos, it is best to cup your hand and gently slide it under their chin and forelegs. You should avoid picking them up from above because it triggers their natural defensive response.
You should also ensure that they can see you coming before you pick them up.
Tips To Pick Your Leopard Geckos The Right Way
In this section, you are going to learn the best way that you can pick your leopard gecko to avoid undue stress and injury to your pet.
Put your hand in the tank away from the gecko where they can easily see it.
After putting your hand in their tank, watch the reaction of your pet. If you notice that your gecko shows extreme stress, you should avoid picking it or try to get your gecko used to your presence.
Some of the signs of stress that you can be on the lookout for are
- Running away
- Eyes locked on your hand
- Dropping tail
- Open mouth
Note: always wash your hands with warm water and antibacterial soap before and after handling to prevent spreading germs to your pet or body.
Move your hand slowly towards your gecko
After your gecko has accepted your presence in the tank, you can move your hand slowly towards them. Avoid sneaking up from behind as you may startle your gecko. You should also avoid moving closer to your gecko from above because it might trigger their defensive mechanism.
Scoop your hand underneath your gecko
After your hand is close to your pet, you can then try the scoop method. You will flatten your hand on the ground while smoothly scooping your leos body into your palm. However, avoid pushing or bumping into your leos leg or body as possible.
Lift your leopard gecko
Once the bulk of your leopard gecko’s body is on your palm, you can then lift it off the ground. Ensure that the bulk of your gecko is secure in your hand, or it will panic when you carry it up.
Keep your other hand nearby
After lifting the gecko, try to keep your other hand nearby as support. The second hand also helps to trap the gecko if it starts to run away. This is because most geckos do struggle on occasion when you initially pick them up.
Note: you should avoid grabbing using your second hand to grab your leopard gecko’s tail.
Put your gecko down
The best time to handle your gecko is between 10-15 minutes. After that, it is time to put it down. You can then put your gecko down by lowering your hand. Furthermore, flatten your hand on the ground and raise your wrist for your gecko to slide off.
Now, you can wash your hands with warm water and soap to prevent getting any reptile diseases.
Leopard geckos are docile animals and love handling sessions. However, some leos can be unhappy and stressed about handling. I hope you have learned how to pick your gecko up safely and detect signs of stress when handling your gecko.