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Thread: Leopard gecko biting?

  1. #1
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    Leopard gecko biting?

    Hey guys. I have had my new leopard gecko for about almost a week now, and I want him to start getting used to me. I have held him before (just when I first got him really) but left him after that. Every time I put my hand in the tank (to do maintenance and such), he gets terrified, and backs away. If I rest my hand in there for a couple seconds, he walks up to it, and goes into his typical 'striking' stance. I'm pretty sure that if I left my hand in there, he would bite me, just by the way he stands and moves his head. (That's what he does when I give him his food) I don't want him to start biting me, as this would be a habit that would be nearly impossible to break. (Or so I think)

    Is there any way to stop him from biting me, so this doesn't become a habit for him? He hasn't bitten me yet, but I don't want it to even start.

    Thanks in advance.
    -Stephanie.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Poctalip's Avatar
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    Let him bite you one or two times and he'll quit. He probably thinks your food.

  3. #3
    I'd work on acclimating him to the presence of your hand. Every day, put your hand in the tank a few times a day for ~5 minutes each. Eventually, work on moving the hand (slowly) closer to the gecko. When he seems comfortable with that, try to slowly scoop him up. If you're patient and consistent, and take it one step at a time, it should work. Don't rush it. The main thing is that you don't want to freak the gecko out (any more than you have to) when you put your hand in, because that will just reinforce the notion that "hand=scary." Try to be still and unobtrusive until it seems comfortable with your unmoving hand, and then move on from there.

    Another way to get a leopard gecko to be happy with your hands (after the initial acclimation) is to feed it outside of the enclosure. Over time, it comes to enjoy being picked up because it takes "hand picking me up" as a dinner gong. I often hand feed one of my geckos who's a poor hunter (I think she might be blind in one eye?), and she LOVES my presence. She's gotten to be like a dog who gets way to excited every time it hears a can opener. She follows my movements up and down the tank, whether it's feeding time or not.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by jclee View Post
    I'd work on acclimating him to the presence of your hand. Every day, put your hand in the tank a few times a day for ~5 minutes each. Eventually, work on moving the hand (slowly) closer to the gecko. When he seems comfortable with that, try to slowly scoop him up. If you're patient and consistent, and take it one step at a time, it should work. Don't rush it. The main thing is that you don't want to freak the gecko out (any more than you have to) when you put your hand in, because that will just reinforce the notion that "hand=scary." Try to be still and unobtrusive until it seems comfortable with your unmoving hand, and then move on from there.

    Another way to get a leopard gecko to be happy with your hands (after the initial acclimation) is to feed it outside of the enclosure. Over time, it comes to enjoy being picked up because it takes "hand picking me up" as a dinner gong. I often hand feed one of my geckos who's a poor hunter (I think she might be blind in one eye?), and she LOVES my presence. She's gotten to be like a dog who gets way to excited every time it hears a can opener. She follows my movements up and down the tank, whether it's feeding time or not.
    all good stuff.... might add to use tongs on the feeding though. Not a danger concern but you probably don't want to associate fingers with food.

    @JClee.... any set up photos the avatar photo is cool?
    "any man willing to trade freedom for security deserves neither and will lose both." -TJ ;-)

  5. #5
    how old is the gecko? if its an adult, then he/she hasnt been handled too much in his/her life. So it may not know what to do but bite. But if its a baby then its perfectly normal for it to act all afraid and try to bite. Dont worry. The bites dont hurt. Just make sure that when you go to handle it to get it used to you, that you put your hand in front of it and kindof poke it gently to make it walk into your hand. once you keep on handling it this way then it will be alright just to pick it up out of its enclosure. and like they said above, it probably thinks your food.

  6. #6
    I have some old photos on my profile's album, but they seem to come up as "picture" until you click on them, and then they're horribly oversized. (I don't remember that being the case, but I haven't logged on in the better part of a year.) I'll re-load some pics, and hopefully, they'll resize appropriately.

  7. #7
    Senior Member reptichick's Avatar
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    Leo bites don't hurt at all. The males usually get hyped up and think that they can hurt anything. If you hold him a little every day while cleaning out the tank let him rest on your shoulder and he'll get used to you. My male is all excited right now because its breeding season and he's been slightly more agressive then usual, but he is housed with my female so they are pretty attached, he feels the need to be protective

  8. #8
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    Mine does the same thing. if you got him from a pet store the owners usually just shoot their hands in and pick them up and don't care for the animal. I have had mine for almost a month and he is still not fully used to me yet. Just stick your hand in and separate your fingers like spock from star trek lol and let him/her run around. It takes mine about 10 minutes to get on my hand then I just let him go in my covers, get warm and let him sit there for a few minutes, put him back in his cage and feed him a cricket. Mine is just now starting to not bite at me lol. They are just afraid if its a baby like mine.

  9. #9
    Senior Member reptichick's Avatar
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    You also have to think of how much bigger we are then them, like giants. They're just being defensive

  10. #10
    Member latshki's Avatar
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    you must remember that you can not expect him to love you over night, I have animals that hate my guts and I handle them everyday and even one little girl that casually bites me
    if he thinks your food, that will change after a quick bite and it doesn't hurt
    so just take your time and he'll come around
    After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.
    Nelson Mandela

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