If you’re a first time leopard gecko owner, then chances are that you have a whole host of questions you want answered. Leopard geckos can be tricky animals to figure out, and unless you’ve owned one for a while, it feels almost impossible to tell how they’re really feeling.
One of the most common questions that people have regarding their leopard gecko is whether or not they really like to be held. Is this the way in which they prefer to receive affection? If you’ve found yourself pondering this question, then thankfully, you’ve come to the right place.
Below, we take a closer look at if geckos like being held by their humans, as well as the best ways to hold them. To find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look.
Does My Leopard Gecko Like Being Held?
So, why not just jump straight into the titular question, and see whether or not your leopard gecko likes to be held. Of course, there is no straight answer to this question, and each pet is unique and has their preferences in terms of being held, no matter the species.
As a general rule of thumb, however, leopard geckos don’t generally like to be held by human beings. Although they don’t absolutely abhor it, leopard geckos show a great deal of indifference to being held, and find it an overall uncomfortable situation.
Some leopard geckos really don’t like it, and you’ll be able to tell that they’re feeling anxious if they turn themselves away from you. If this is the case, make sure to place them back in their habitat right away. This normally only happens at the very beginning, however, before the animal has gotten the chance to familiarize itself with you.
Some of you reading this article might be wondering why leopard geckos don’t like being held like other pets. Well, this is all to do with the fact that they’re reptiles. Reptiles as a whole don’t crave connection and companionship like mammals such as cats and dogs.
In fact, they don’t have the capacity to develop an emotional connection either with members of the same reptile family, or human beings in general.
Can I Hold My Leopard Gecko?
Some of you reading this article might be wondering if there’s a way that you can train your gecko into being held. The answer to this question is, yes! Absolutely.
As we mentioned before, your leopard gecko might feel distrustful at the very beginning, simply because they don’t know you that well, and they haven’t ascertained whether you’re a threat or not. But, there are some ways that you’re able to train your leopard gecko into letting you hold them, without them feeling stressed in any way.
Below, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the different ways that you can help build up some trust with your leopard gecko, so that they allow you to handle them with no issue. Keep reading below to find out more.
Give Them Some Snacks
One of the easiest ways that you can help to build up trust with your leopard gecko is to simply use food as a reward. This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to get your leopard gecko to do what you want. Just as you would train a cat or a dog, you can use treats in order to get your gecko to perform different tasks.
If you want them to feel more comfortable being held by you, simply offer your gecko a treat whilst they’re sitting on your palm. This will teach them that you’re not a threat.
Use Your Scent
Another way that you can help your gecko to tolerate being held, is simply by introducing them to your unique scent. You can do this simply by placing a few items that belong to you within your leopard gecko’s habitat, and allowing them to get used to it.
The more they are able to smell you around, the more likely they are to trust you when you attempt to hold them, because you’re no longer a complete stranger.
Gradually Introduce Yourself
One of the best things you can do for your gecko in terms of limiting stress, is to introduce yourself at a gradual pace. We know how exciting it can be when you get a new pet, and all you want to do is hold and play with them, but for the long term, it’s best to introduce yourself gradually.
At first, you should only be feeding your gecko, with no actual touching. Once it sees you putting food in the cage on a regular basis, it will start to associate you with mealtime. As soon as you notice that your gecko appears super relaxed with this process, you can slowly begin to touch them. We’d recommend simply stroking their back.
To sum up, unfortunately, leopard geckos don’t typically enjoy being held. This isn’t just exclusive for this variety of gecko, as all reptiles are the same. But, you can gradually build up trust with your leopard gecko, so that they’re no longer fearful of you and allow you to hold them.