Do Leopard Geckos Like to Be Held?

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 08/10/21 •  6 min read
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Are you new to being a leopard gecko pet parent? If so, then you may be wondering if your leopard gecko likes to be held. That’s a very common question, and no wonder when these little guys are so cute! You can’t help but want to touch them.

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In this article, we’ll answer the question of whether or not leopard geckos like to be held. We’ll also share some tips on how to get them used to you!

Can You Hold a Leopard Gecko?

Leopard geckos are great for beginners who are new to keeping pet lizards. That’s because leopard geckos don’t seem to mind being held, for the most part. Keep in mind that each gecko is different. There will be some who don’t mind being held, while others just don’t like it.

Remember, while you are the pet parent and want to handle your gecko, it’s important to remember that you are responsible for his care. That means if he doesn’t want to be held, then don’t force the issue. Doing so will only cause your little lizard to end up stressed and unhappy. However, if your gecko does enjoy handling, then you’ll want to do it in the right way!

How to Handle Your Leopard Gecko

There’s a right way to pick up your leopard gecko. Using the right method will help you to avoid accidentally injuring your lizard or causing him lots of stress. And one more note—it’s always a good idea to wash your hands both before and after handling your leopard gecko. This way, you won’t have germs on your hands that can make him sick. And you won’t get sick from handling him, either.

1). Put your hand in the gecko’s habitat, but not directly on him. Put your hand where he can see it. Does he seem comfortable? If he seems stressed out, remove your hand right away. Signs of stress can include:

2). Slowly move your hand toward the gecko if they seem to accept your hand in the tank. Never come up behind your lizard, as this can scare him.

3). Gently scoop your hand under the lizard. Do this slowly and carefully so as not to injury your gecko.

4). Slowly lift your leopard gecko out of his habitat. Make sure your lizard is firmly in your hand. You want to avoid scaring him, which could cause him to jump out of your hand.

5). Keep your other hand nearby in order to keep your leopard gecko from running away or jumping. Never grab your lizard’s tail, as he will drop it.

6). Gently put your gecko down after holding him for a few minutes. You can usually hold him for about 10-15 minutes and then return him to his habitat.

The name of the game is to be gentle and slow when picking up your leopard gecko. And remember not to try to hold him if he’s showing signs of being scared or stressed. You need to do this his way, not your way. Try to hold him a few minutes every day when he’s ready and wants to be handled.

Get Your Leopard Gecko Used to You

Before you start handling your leopard gecko, there are some ways you can help him grow accustomed to your presence. This can seem like a silly process, but it can actually help your gecko get used to you.

When you enter the room where the lizard’s habitat is kept, start talking to him. For this, it’s a good idea to give your gecko a name. Call him by name and then start talking to him. This way, your gecko will become used to your voice. You can also try to talk to him and feed him at the same time.

Another thing you can do is to spend time in the same room with him. You can do quiet activities near your gecko’s habitat. These can include reading or other quiet activities. Chances are your leopard gecko will come out of hiding and see what you’re up to. He’ll have a chance to get used to your presence.

Putting your hand in the gecko’s habitat will also accustom him to your smell. Geckos have a very developed sense of smell. If they smell something “foreign” in their habitat, this can stress them out. However, if they are used to your smell, they may be more willing to come out and say hi!

Taming Your Leopard Gecko

Taming a leopard gecko can take some time, so you’ll need to be patient! It can take between 3-6 weeks to tame a gecko once you have him home. Taming is all about getting your gecko to feel safe and comfortable with your presence and handling.

Experts recommend not trying to handle your gecko until he’s been in his new home for about 3-4 weeks. This way, he has a chance to become used to the environment, you, and your family. Once he’s comfortable, then you can start the taming process.

Playing with Your Leopard Gecko

This is another way to help your lizard become used to you. You don’t need any type of special equipment to play with your little guy. It can be as simple as allowing him to climb on you! They do love to climb on their pet parents, often in search of a warm place to hang out for a while!

Leopard geckos are very docile and gentle. They’re perfect for beginners and are usually pretty good about being handled carefully. However, this is not a pet like a dog or a cat. You can’t sleep with a gecko, dress them up (though we’ve seen pictures of lizards decked out), etc. Instead, they may like to explore you and then find a nice place to snuggle, where it’s nice a warm.

This is the type of interaction you can expect from your leopard gecko. Just be patient and always do things on his terms, rather than your own. And soon, you and your leopard gecko will be the best of buds!

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Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!

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