Aug 23, 2012

Gecko Talk

Today's featured topic is Geckos and how they can become the most lovable creatures ever. They're certainly better than people. We'll talk about taming your Leopard Gecko, because they are the best Geckos and certainly the most underrated ones. Most people think Geckos are all green and they can talk and sell you insurance.  Leopard Geckos don't do that, sorry.

Taming is a fairly easy process when dealing with Leopard Geckos.  The process doesn’t take long at all and is very simple.  A widely accepted practice involves daily taming techniques.  But first, remember to allow your new gecko to adjust to his/her new environment.  You never want to start the taming process the day you bring your new gecko home.  Geckos need some time to adjust to the new environment and human contact is only going to stress them out even more than they already are.  I suggest starting the taming process 3-7 days after you bring home your Leopard Gecko and put him/her in her new home. 

When it is finally time to start taming your gecko, remember that all geckos are different, just like people.  These little guys and girls do have somewhat of a personality.  They’ll develop as they grow.  So your gecko may take less or more time than average.  Be patient. 

To tame your gecko simply start by placing your hand in the cage with them.  Try not to come over top of the gecko.  Wild predators, such as birds, attack from above/behind.  The gecko will be startled and get stressed if you approach them like that.  Place your hand flat on the floor of the enclosure in front of the gecko, but not too close.  Let your hand rest there for a few minutes without moving.  The gecko will know your hand is there.  At first he/she might not even come out from hiding.  That’s ok.  Be patient.  Do this every day.  Eventually the gecko will come out from hiding and inspect your hand.  At first they might just come over to smell you (or lick you even) and then leave.  Eventually they will crawl over your hand. 

When the gecko becomes comfortable with your hand in their home, let them crawl on it and SLOWLY lift your hand while they are on it.  Do not go too far at first, as the gecko will probably jump/crawl off your hand once you move it.  Eventually they will get comfortable with movement and just go for the ride. 

When you’re finally confident enough that the gecko will not jump off, you can remove your hand from the cage with the gecko on it.  This may be a few days after starting the taming process or possibly up to 2 weeks after.  Be patient.  When you do get to this point, allow the gecko to crawl around on your hand/arm.  Keep placing one hand in front of the other so that they may climb around.  Use slow movements.  Do not talk loudly or put your face down near the gecko.  You’ll start to learn what startles the gecko as you do this. 
Eventually your gecko will get used to you and be comfortable with crawling on your hands/arms.  I don’t usually pick up my gecko by hand.  I let Artemis climb onto me and then I lift her.  Artemis isn’t quite comfortable with being grabbed yet.  It will take a while for your gecko to get to that point.  Some geckos never get used to being grabbed.  Remember, they have personality.

So there’s your basic overview of taming and handling.  There are other techniques as well.  This is just the technique that we prefer.  Feel free to share other ideas in the comments.