As a pet leopard geckos are one of the easiest to keep and care for successfully. Most leopard geckos are captive bred which means that they are much easier to tame than wild caught geckos. The wild caught geckos are much harder to tame and many do not adjust well to the captive environment. It is also worth noting that adults are much calmer than juveniles and are therefore easier to tame. Although this makes little difference to which leopard gecko you get as they all have different personalities. When first bringing your leopard gecko home the taming process has already begun. Of course you don’t have to tame your leopard gecko if you don’t want to hold it but many owners like to hold their leopard geckos.
For the first two week of your leopard geckos arrival do not try and pick him/her up. This is a big no no. The leopard gecko will be scared and frightened and many will just run away. If you hear a hissing sound then you know that this is the case and you should just leaved the leopard gecko alone. It takes around two weeks for any gecko to adjust to a new home and after a two week period, you can then slowly start to tame your gecko. I mean tame in a relatively loose sense here as they will never truly be tame unlike cats and dogs. Although many cat owners will say that it is the cat who has tamed them.
To begin with do not try and pick up the leopard gecko. It will scare it and it may drop its tail, which is why you NEVER grab a leopard gecko or approach from behind. Always come in from the front so the leopard gecko will see your hand approaching. Try to stroke your geckos head to start with for a day or so, just to get it used to your touch. Your leopard gecko will run away a few times but will gradually get used to you over time.
After a few days of this, its time to pick up your leopard gecko. When you pick up the leopard gecko do not bring it out of its cage. It may be skitty and jump out of your hand and run away. At least if it jumps out of your hand in the cage it won’t get onto the floor. To pick up the leopard gecko for the first time, gently reach round its waist very slowly with one hand, lift it up and cup it with the other. Hold the leopard gecko there for a few seconds and put it back. Do this for a few weeks so it gets used to you picking it up, so it know that you mean it no harm. Do this for longer and longer each time and if your leopard gecko keeps jumping off, persist but never force it to stay on your hand.
When your gecko is not running away from your hand you can take it out of the vivarium as the chances are it won’t run away. Still be wary as the slightest move or noise can startle your leopard gecko. Once you have does this a few times then your leopard gecko is pretty much tame and knows you well enough to trust you.
This taming opens up a few new traits for your leopard gecko. Now that it knows are trusts you it can come out of its hide to greet you and sometimes indicate that it actually wants to be held! One of my leopard geckos always runs onto my hand and goes to sleep! In the next blog post I will look at the top 5 do and don’ts of leopard gecko handling and taming.
Leopard Gecko Guy