Care, Health and Growth, Crested Geckos, Geckos

The Ultimate Guide on How To Bond With Your Crested Gecko 2022

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by The Pet Engineers

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For many new pet owners, and for pet owners with no experience in handling reptiles, it can be difficult to understand how to bond with your new crested gecko.

Crested geckos are, after all, known to be very solitary. What most pet owners have to understand is that you cannot expect a crested gecko to get as cozy with you as a dog or cat would.

However, that does not mean that you cannot bond at all.

Crested geckos can get familiar enough with you to not feel threatened in your presence, and with time they may start getting comfortable with you handling them.

The key to bonding with your crested gecko is threefold: food, patience, and ease.

Do Crested Geckos Bond With Their Owners?

Yes, crested geckos do bond with their owners provided they are given the time and required calm environment for it.

You cannot expect your crested gecko to gel up in the same way as a dog or cat would. A crested gecko will not wag its tail excitedly when it sees you coming, nor will it go out of the way to cuddle up to you.

But that is not an indication that they dislike you. Crested geckos are simply more solitary than most animals by nature.

If you have enough patience and let your crested gecko take its own time getting acclimated to you and the environment, your crested gecko will surely become comfortable having you around and being handled by you.

crested geckos can bond
You can bond with your Crestie

How Long Does It Take For A Crested Gecko To Get Used To You?

Honestly, the time for a crested gecko to bond with you varies depending on 3 main things:

  1. The age of your crested gecko.
  2. The time it needs to adapt to its new surroundings.
  3. Its personality traits and preferences.

The Age of Your Crested Gecko

If you have adopted a hatchling or a very young crested gecko, especially one who isn’t even 6 months old, you will face some extra challenges in getting your crested gecko to trust you.

Things become even harder if your crested gecko is of 3 months of age or younger.

The reason behind this is that at such a young age, the crested gecko is in a stage of discovery.

It is exploring the environment and is curiously trying to figure out things.

But this curiosity comes with a fair amount of skepticism and alertness when a new animal or human being approaches it.

The best thing to do in such a case is to let the crested gecko take its own time. Do not rush into the process of bonding – it may become counterproductive and may cause your crested gecko to be stressed.

3 months old crested gecko
3 months old crestie

The Time Your Crested Gecko Needs to Acclimate to its Environment

If your crested gecko is new to its enclosure, it will be on alert for some time.

Your crested gecko will only be able to make any kind of progress towards bonding with you after it gets completely familiar with its environment.

So, depending on how long your crested gecko needs to get used to its surroundings, it may take some time to develop a bond of familiarity with you.

The Personality Traits and Preferences of Your Crested Gecko

It is a widely known fact that crested geckos, even in the wild, are extremely solitary creatures.

They only interact with other crested geckos when they either accidentally cross paths while going from one place to another, or when they want to mate.

Even in the latter case, they part ways as soon as they mate.

So, it is very expected that your crested gecko may, even in captivity, depict such behaviors of preferring solitude and isolation. And every crested gecko has a unique personality.

While some crested geckos get social enough to even cohabitate with other crested geckos, some stay solitary enough to simply “tolerate” the presence of their owners.

Depending upon how social your crested gecko is, it may bond with you sooner or later.

In either case, remember that you must respect its boundaries and not rush the process of bonding because it can cause your crested gecko to stress out.

Too much stress can further cause your crested gecko to either lose its tail or develop some health problems.

holding your crested gecko
Some cresties don’t like it when you hold them too long

4 Methods For Bonding With Your Crested Geckos

While there isn’t much you can do to get your crested gecko to bond with you quickly, some key pointers may help you smoothen out the process and bond with it without stressing it out.

Have Patience

This is the most important piece of advice that every new and experienced crested gecko owner must always keep in mind.

These animals are solitary by nature. They will need time to get acclimated to you and their enclosures. Let them do so at their own pace.

Frequently Visit The Enclosure, But Don’t Force Your Crested Gecko

This simply means that be around the enclosure often, especially in the initial days. Spend time around the closure.

Let your crested gecko get familiar with your presence and your smell. However, do not directly put your hand in the enclosure or forcefully pick it up. That will cause more harm than good.

Feed Your Crested Gecko With Your Hands

Once your crested gecko gets comfortable with your presence, you can try feeding it with your hands.

This will accelerate the bonding as your crested gecko will look at you like someone it can rely upon for food and safety.

feeding your crestie
Feeding your crestie

Begin With Gentle Handling

The thing to remember here is that crested geckos are very jumpy when startled. And they can get startled pretty easily.

So, firstly, keep the enclosure on the floor so that even if they jump, the height is low and the landing will be safe. Next, open the enclosure very slowly and gently.

Although, while doing this, ensure that the room is completely calm and the windows and doors are shut.

There should not be any sources of loud noise or any other stimuli that may potentially spook your crested gecko. Then simply place your hand in the enclosure and wait.

If the crested gecko comes toward your hand, it means it has started feeling comfortable with you.

If, however, the crested gecko does not come toward your hand, and instead just stays still or goes into hiding, it is an indicator that it needs some more time to adjust.

In that case, remove your hand from the enclosure and don’t rush the process. Let your crested gecko take all the time it needs.

holding a crested gecko
Gently Handling a crestie

Give Your Crested Gecko A Piece of Cloth or Toy From Your Hand

The idea, here, is to get your crested gecko familiarized with your natural scent. This is a step you can skip if your crested gecko is relatively more open to bonding.

If your crested gecko is a little too closed off, you may try this step – using a piece of your cloth, such as a hand towel or an unused piece of sock or tie could work better than a toy.

If you do use a toy, go for a soft plushie as it retains your scent longer than a plastic toy.

What To Do If Your Crested Gecko Isn’t Bonding With You

Now while this is a very rare case, sometimes some crested geckos simply do not bond. And as much as it feels like extreme bad luck, there is nothing you can do about it.

Crested geckos, by nature, are solitary animals. It is not in their natural behavior to warm up to anyone. So, first things first, if your crested gecko is not bonding with you, do not take it personally.

It’s okay. It happens. You cannot force an animal out of its natural behaviors.

What you can do about it, perhaps, is to just keep repeating all the steps mentioned above with patience, and hope for the best.

More often than not, crested geckos do come around even if they take a little extra time to warm up.

What you absolutely should not do, however, is not stress them out. Do not force bonding.

It can stress them out. Under that stress, they might lose their tail – which they will never regrow.

Moreover, they may even start having health issues, stop eating, and become ill because of the stress. So, at any cost, do not force a bond. Let it take its own time.

crested gecko biting
it’s ok if your crested gecko can’t bond with you

FAQs:

Do Crested Geckos Bond With Their Owners?

Yes, more often than not, crested geckos do bond with their owners. They may not get overly cozy as cats and dogs do, but they will eventually get comfortable with your presence.

How Do You Get A Crested Gecko To Trust You?

The key to getting your crested gecko to trust you is threefold: patience, food, and gentle handling.

Feed your crested gecko with your hands, handle it with care, and have patience – do not rush the bonding. It will be counterproductive.

How Long Does It Take For A Crested Gecko To Get Used To You?

It varies from one crested gecko to another – but on average, a new adult crested gecko may need at least 2 weeks to warm up to you.

Younger crested geckos, especially ones below 6 months of age, may need more time.

How Do You Know If A Crested Gecko Likes You?

The best way to know if a crested gecko likes you is to observe its body language around you. Crested geckos are often solitary animals.

They prefer to be on their own. But if they seem pretty comfortable with your presence, if they willingly walk towards your hand, and if they let you handle them even for a little while, it means they like you.

Conclusion

Crested geckos are by far one of the easiest pets to have. However, they need their own sweet time to warm up to you.

As a crested gecko owner, you will need to show utmost patience and hold a safe space for your crested gecko while it acclimates to the new environment and your presence.

But it will be worth the wait because they are really fun to have as pets once you bond with them. Keep in mind, however, to not force or rush bonding as it may be counterproductive.

About
The Pet Engineers

A team of pet lovers. We have owned various pets over their years. From dogs to reptiles, etc. Our love of pets, strive to us to create up-to-date and accurate helpful guides on pets.

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