Leopard geckos are a favorite among reptile enthusiasts for many reasons. They are docile and gentle, making them perfect for beginners. They also have a cute leopard print pattern that is sure to charm anyone who sees it. But one of the most interesting things about leopard geckos is their behavior. Do leopard geckos get attached to their owners? Can they recognize their owners? Let’s take a closer look at this fascinating creature!
What Is the Reptilian Brain?
The reptilian brain is the part of our brain that controls basic instincts such as fight or flight, hunger, and sex drive. All of these things are things that you may do without really thinking about them.
The leopard gecko does not have a reptilian brain, a reptiles’ brain is more concentrated on survival. A reptile’s main concerns are self-defense, food and water, and reproduction. So, their brains are unable to handle issues beyond that. As a result, humans do not have the same emotional connection with a leopard gecko as they would with a dog or cat.
However, this should not make you think of them as unintelligent or able to enjoy your presence!
As leopard geckos do not have a reptilian brain, they are unable to recognize their owners on a cognitive level. But, they simply associate the person handling them with positive experiences, such as being fed or handled gently.
Do Pet Leopard Geckos Like to Be Held?
Leopard geckos do not like to be touched. They may not run away from you or show any fear, but that does not mean that they enjoy being handled. Holding leopard geckos is uncomfortable for them because leopard geckos like to move, so being held can cause stress.
However, leopard geckos can become accustomed to handling. Also, you should do so gently and only for a short time. This is especially the case if you handle them regularly as a baby leopard gecko. You can also train leopard geckos to be held by gently putting your hand in their enclosure and allowing them to walk onto your palm.
Why Don’t Leopard Geckos Like Being Held?
Leopard geckos do not like to be held because it is uncomfortable for them. Leopard geckos are active, and when they are held, they cannot move as much. This can be stressful for leopard geckos because it makes them feel trapped and vulnerable.
The leopard gecko’s brain is also not wired to attach emotionally to its owners in the same way that a mammal’s brain is. but leopard geckos can still enjoy human interaction. As long as you handle leopard geckos gently and provide them with positive experiences, they will continue to be a popular pet choice!
Building Trust with Your Leopard Gecko
The leopard gecko is a docile and gentle reptile that makes the perfect pet for owners of all experience levels. Even though leopard geckos don’t enjoy being handled, you may nonetheless handle them without stressing your pet out as long as you first establish trust.
Introduce Yourself Slowly
Your leopard gecko needs time to get used to you. To do this, introduce yourself slowly and carefully. Instead, you should start by gradually acclimating yourself to the gecko so that it learns you are not a danger.
After that, you may gently extend your hand into the cage and allow the gecko to approach you. If the gecko does not appear to be afraid of you, it may be time to try picking them up. When your leopard gecko is comfortable with your presence, you can begin to handle it.
Handle your leopard gecko for only a few minutes at a time. This will help to reduce stress and ensure that your leopard gecko remains comfortable around you.
Build Trust with Food
Unlike dogs, leopard geckos don’t tend to enjoy being handled. They do, however, have one important thing in common: they both love to eat!
Since leopard geckos do not enjoy being handled, it is important to build trust between you and your leopard gecko. You can do this by offering leopard geckos food, such as insects or worms, in hand. When your leopard gecko sees that you are willing to provide it with food, it will be more likely to trust you.
Let the Gecko Explore
When handling leopard geckos, you should never force them to do anything that they are not comfortable with. Instead, let the leopard gecko explore. You can do this by providing the leopard gecko with a secure, comfortable, and fun-filled place during the handling process.
Because geckos are nocturnal, they will be intrigued by your home. They’ll have a lot of fun exploring the strange terrain! At the same time, you’re confident that the environment is secure, so the gecko can relax.
When leopard geckos are comfortable with their environment, they will be more likely to interact with you and other people.
Create Obstacle Courses
Leopard geckos are extremely curious creatures that love to explore their surroundings. One way to encourage exploration is by creating obstacle courses for your leopard gecko to navigate through.
You can do this by placing leopard geckos on a table or in a box and then creating an obstacle course for leopard geckos to navigate by placing objects such as cardboard boxes, paper tubes, and rocks in their path.
The leopard gecko will enjoy the challenge and learn to trust you.
Try a Treat Bag
Treat bags are a fun way to keep leopard geckos entertained. You can make a treat bag by filling a small, zippered pouch with interesting objects that your leopard gecko can explore.
You can also use a treat bag to give leopard geckos treats while you are handling them. This will help to keep them calm and relaxed.
How to Handle Leopard Geckos
Leopard geckos do not like to be handled. But leopard geckos are still relatively docile reptiles, and they can tolerate short periods of handling.
Picking-Up the Leopard Gecko
When you go to pick up your leopard gecko, make sure that it is not stressed out or anxious. If your gecko is avoiding being picked up, drooping its tail, fleeing, or chirping, it does not want to be handled. If you try to force your gecko into your palm if it is already terrified, it might bite.
To pick up leopard geckos, you should first scruff them with your fingers. You can do this by grabbing the leopard gecko’s head, then moving your thumb down to its neck and gently squeezing. When leopard geckos are picked up in this way, they feel secure and will not struggle.
Putting the Leopard Gecko Down
Be gentle with your leopard gecko while holding, but be ready to catch it if it tries to run away. If the leopard gecko tries to take off, don’t try to grab it by its tail. You should only handle the gecko for 15 minutes.
When you are finished handling the leopard gecko, slowly put your hand into the cage, and the gecko should slide off.
Don’t Use Scented Soap, Perfumes, and Colognes!
Leopard geckos have excellent eyesight, but their most common method of recognizing you is by scent. Leopard Geckos do not like the smell of soap, perfumes, or colognes.
If you notice that your leopard gecko is avoiding you or seems stressed out when you are around, try to avoid using any of these products. Wash your hands with unscented soap before and after handling your gecko. If you don’t do this, the Leopard Gecko will attack you because it won’t be able to identify the strange odor it sensed to form a bond with you.
Although you undoubtedly adore caring for your leopard gecko, the gecko is unenthusiastic about being held in the best-case scenario. This is because leopard geckos are not domesticated and do not naturally enjoy being handled. It’s possible that a gecko is scared of being handled if you don’t allow it enough time to get to know your hand.
For this reason, it’s critical to establish a solid relationship with your gecko so it understands that it is not in danger when being held. It will take time, but if you be patient and gentle with your gecko, it will learn that you are no danger and will allow you to hold it without any problems.