How to Tame a Leopard Gecko

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Leopard geckos are one of the most popular reptilian pets out there today. It is for good reason as they are pretty hardy and, once tamed, with a bit of knowledge, are pretty easy to take care of. The taming process is important as this will allow you to interact with your pet and build a bond between them and you.

So in this brief article, we are going to give you several tips to help you learn how to tame a leopard gecko. Hopefully, this enables you to build a more engaging relationship with your scaly little friend.

Tips to Tame Your Leopard Gecko

The process of taming your gecko is a lot easier to do with a baby gecko than a grown one. Though no matter the age, these tips we are about to give you will work. It just might take a little more effort with a gecko that has already built up a distrust when it comes to humans or bad behaviors from poor handling.

Here are tips to help you tame your leopard gecko.

Let It Get Your Scent

Like with most animals, the way to gain the gecko’s trust is to allow them to get used to your smell. In order to do this, you will need to put your hand in the tank every day for a week or two. A key thing to remember is when you do this, not to make any sudden movements.

You will want to make slow movements and ensure the lizard can see you at all times. This is to be done for no more than 10 minutes a day. If they seem scared or aggressive, then you should remove your hand and try again later.

Nice & Slow

Once they seem to have gotten used to your scent, you can move on to touching the gecko. Make sure you approach from in front of them and do so slowly. Do not pick up but gently pet them from the head and down their back. This should be done daily for several minutes.

Hand Feed Them

While using the tip above, you should begin feeding your leopard gecko by hand. On meal days, you should hold the insects you are feeding them and offer them to the little guy. This helps build positive associations with your scent.

Hold Them

Once they get used to your scent and you touching them, you can begin to pick them up. You will need to move slowly and make sure they can see you at all times. When you go to pick the gecko up, scoop them up under the body and make sure to support their weight. Your other hand should support the other hand. Make sure not to lift them too high.

Use Hands to Build a Bridge

One way you can also handle your gecko is something called hand walking. This is where once you have picked up the gecko, you place your hands next to each other. Then gently urge the lizard to walk to the other hand.

Once they are on that hand, move the free hand to the other side of the current hand they are standing on. This is a good form of exercise for the little guy. Just watch for cues and make sure they aren’t getting ready to make a run for it.

Sample Schedule

Now that you have a few tips on how to tame your leopard gecko, we thought you might like a loose outline of a good timeline for these steps:

  • Wk. 1 – Every day, you should put your hand in the tank for up to 7 minutes. Each day gets a little closer.
  • Wk. 2 – Now, you should be able to get close enough to gently stroke the gecko. Do this once a day for up to 7 minutes. You should also feed your gecko by hand on days where they have meals.
  • Wk. 3 – You should be able to pick the gecko up at this point. Don’t raise them too high; instead, leave your hand pretty low to the ground. Do this for up to 10 minutes.
  • Wk. 4 – This week, you can start picking up the little guy and raising him a little farther off the ground. This should be done for up to 10 minutes.
  • Wk. 5 – Pick the gecko up a little higher this week, every day for up to 15 minutes. You can also start to do a little hand walking.
  • Wk. 6 – Now pick up with your second hand over the top of the gecko. Do this every day for up to 15 minutes. You can also continue hand walking.
  • Wk. 7 – Now, you should handle the gecko for about 15 minutes a day. You can also let them explore a bit. Also, hand walking should be continued.

Final Thoughts

Taming your leopard gecko takes patience and time. If done right, you will find that your scaly friend is more sociable and you will have more meaningful engagements with them.