Interested in taming a Leopard Gecko in 7 easy steps? This guide is for you!
Different leopard gecko experts give slightly different versions of how best to tame this lizard. But, all these instructions have core ideas that we have captured in this post.
Taming a leopard gecko calls for tact, dedication, and patience. Don’t expect your leopard gecko to be tame within the first one or two weeks. You must subtly convince this lizard that you are a friend and wish him no harm.
Keep physical contact to a minimum in the initial period. Also, move slowly and avoid surprising your leopard gecko.
You don’t want your gecko marking you as a predator from the onset; it would be tough to convince him otherwise later.
Whatever you do, never pick your leopard gecko by the tail or from above.
When is the Best Time to Start Handling a Leopard Gecko?
When your leopard gecko comes to your home for the first time, give him some time to adjust. He will need to acclimate to the conditions in your home.
Allow him the time to get used to the noises, sights, and sounds of his new habitat. During this time, he will explore the enclosure to get comfortable with its topography.
Within the first day or two, your leopard gecko may choose to remain cooped up in his hide. This is normal; it’s nothing to worry about.
Start handling familiarizing yourself with your leopard gecko as soon as he gets a feel of his surroundings.
Experts opine that leopard geckos handled at a young age are better behaved. They are calmer, more accommodating, and more tolerant than those handled at a later age.
By the time your leopard gecko is 5 or 6 months, he should be comfortable around you. Even so, avoid over-handling this lizard, as your efforts could backfire.
How to Pick a Leopard Gecko in 7 Easy Steps
#1 – Leave Your Hand in the Tank for Short Periods
For the first week, put your hand in the tank and allow the leopard gecko to get used to your scent.
Start with brief moments of about 3 to 4 minutes and gradually increase this to ten minutes by the end of the week.
Move your hand slowly as you put it into the tank. Any sudden movements will likely scare your pet and send him scuttling back into his hide.
Also, avoid moving your hand from above or behind the lizard. In other words, don’t surprise him.
#2 – Gently Stroke Your Lizard Gecko
By week two, the lizard should have been used to your smell and the look of your hand. Now, you can move a step further and start to gently stroke him.
Gently stroke his head, back, and belly. By the end of this week, you should be able to stroke your pet with both hands, without lifting him.
Remember not to pinch him or make him uncomfortable in any way.
#3 – Talk to Your Leopard Gecko
This is an excellent way of letting your leopard gecko get used to you. Talk to him in calm, soothing tones. Let him get used to your voice and associate it with the gentle strokes of your hand.
At the same time, make as much eye contact as possible. Avoid making sudden or loud noises.
#4 – Feed Your Leopard Gecko by Hand
You should be able to achieve this by the 10th to 14 days of this lizard’s stay in your home. However, this varies from one leopard gecko to another.
Don’t panic if you don’t achieve any of the milestones we describe here at the time stated. Remember that some leopard geckos are late bloomers, while others learn very fast.
Feeding by hand should start slowly. Hold the insect at the very end of the tip and offer it to your pet. Your leopard gecko may mistake part of your finger for food and bite it, so act cautiously.
However, leopard gecko bites are nothing to be feared.
#5 – Handle Your Leopard Gecko
This can happen either at the end of the second or third week. Take cues from your leopard gecko and adjust the taming process accordingly.
Don’t pick your leopard gecko from above or by the tail. Instead, scoop him from below and allow him to rest on your hand.
In the initial stages of this exercise, your leopard gecko will want to crawl away. Allow them to do this, and don’t pursue it; try some other time again.
If the leopard gecko is comfortably lying on your hand, gently stroke them with the other hand for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Again, don’t restrain him if he wants to crawl away.
#6 – Hand Walk Your Leopard Gecko
Once the leopard gecko is comfortably lying on your hand, and has no problem being stroked, move to the next step.
Place one hand next to the other and encourage your pet to move from the first hand to the second. Remember, leopard geckos are no climbers.
This exercise needs to be carried as close to the ground as possible. As your leopard gecko gets used to walking from one hand to the other, you can gradually increase the height to medium and then high.
#7 – Patience Pays
Leopard geckos in the wild consider all the big animals a threat. It is no wonder, therefore, that your leopard gecko needs time to take you as a friend and not a foe.
Be patient with your leopard gecko, even when he wants nothing to do with you. It is in this animal’s nature to distrust creatures as large as humans.
Allow your pet to get used to you and your home. Instincts tell him that this is not his natural habitat and that he has been displaced.
However, your patience, care, and kindness will gradually pull him over to your side.
To make things easier, create a safe and comfortable enclosure. Ensure that it has enough hides, and that the temperature and humidity levels are top-notch.
Provide your leopard gecko with an adequate supply of water and a variety of insects for his diet. Give him the right supplements so that he feels well taken care of.
Additionally, ensure the lighting system is set to create the correct day-night cycle. All these will make your pet feel safe and comfortable in your hands.
Leopard geckos are darling pets in many homes because of their spotty scales and awesome demeanors.
Once you get this lizard to your home, you can have fun together in many ways. But first, you need to get him used to you and your home.
We hope this post gives you great ideas and pointers on how to go about this.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Do You Tame a Baby Leopard gecko?
As earlier noted, leopard geckos tamed early are better behaved than those tamed at a later age. In the same vein, it is easier to tame a baby leopard gecko than an adult.
The process of taming leopard baby geckos is the same as those of adults. However, you’ll achieve results faster with the babies.
When is the Best Time to Start Feeding Your Leopard Gecko by Hand?
You can gradually introduce hand feeding as soon as your leopard gecko gets comfortable resting on your hand.
In most cases, this happens by the second or third week. However, every leopard gecko is unique. As such, take cues from your leopard gecko’s behavior and adjust accordingly.
Can I Handle My New Leopard Gecko?
Avoid handling your new leopard gecko until he’s used to your home. Leopard geckos get easily stressed when they find themselves in new environments.
To make things easy for your pet, avoid physical contact until he is well acclimated.