Crested Geckos make amazing pets- they are tiny dinosaurs with the loveliest eyelashes. They are quite docile and like being handled. It’s no secret why humans have so much affection for Crested Geckos, but you may wonder if they can feel that same affection for us. The answer may surprise you!
Are Crested Geckos Affectionate? In the traditional sense of the word, Crested Geckos are not affectionate. It is because reptiles are not social creatures. They do not have the means for affectionate feelings. However, Crested Geckos can favor a human if trust is established.
When you have your Crested Gecko’s absolute trust, you can consider it the same as having its complete affection. Want to know how to get that coveted trust? Keep on reading for some helpful tips.
Table of Contents
Reptiles and affection
It’s not just Crested Geckos that don’t show affection, it’s all reptiles. They don’t want to snuggle, they won’t give you kisses, and they won’t run to your side when you’re feeling down. It’s not because they are heartless- they just can’t feel those emotions that other species can.
Reptiles feel basic emotions. Mostly, they are hard-wired to feel fear and aggression. However, reptiles can feel delighted. These pleasurable emotions mostly come from being fed. Some also feel pleasure when being gently handled or petted.
Despite the lack of returned affection, it’s incredibly satisfying to have a reptile as a pet. Like any other animal, you have to work to gain its trust, which is rewarding for both pet and owner. So, don’t be discouraged. You can still maintain a great relationship with your scaly friend.
The importance of gaining trust
Do you want your lizard to run up your arm and perch on your shoulder? How about eating from the palm of your hand? Your lizard can be your hang out buddy, but only if there is trust.
At first, your lizard views you as a threat. In your lizard’s eyes, you’re a gigantic, warm-blooded stranger. Combine that with a brand new enclosure in a strange place, and you have a recipe for a scared lizard.
But, it does not always have to be that way.
It takes some work, but it is necessary to build trust with your reptile if you want an ideal relationship. With trust, your reptile can confidently enjoy its surroundings and its human companion. Below, you’ll find the best tools to help you build a trusting relationship.
But remember, trust is not built in a day. To help you a bit, we have created an entire Crested Gecko Bonding Guide that you can read here!
We also have listed a couple of taming tips for you below!
How to get your Crested Gecko to trust you
Get a captive bred gecko.
Your gecko’s background can make or break your bond. It is best to get a gecko that is bred in captivity. Each new generation of gecko born in captivity loses a bit of its wild instinct. This makes them easier to care for.
Wild-caught geckos are much more difficult to tame. If they are used to a life of hunting and hiding from predators, the adjustment into captivity is terrifying.
Additionally, captive geckos are bred by people who care about the animals well being. You do not have to worry about parasites or diseases.
Get a hatchling.
It’s hard to build trust if your Crested Gecko has been around the block a few times. You don’t know what a previous owner has done. Unfortunately, some gecko owners do not know how to properly handle their pets and negatively impact how the animal views humans.
If complete trust is your goal, look for a captive-bred hatchling.
Have a proper setup.
If you want your Crested Gecko to trust you, it must first have a comfortable enclosure. Make sure its tank is vertical. They live in trees and need a tank with height. That being said, make sure there’s plenty of leaves, vines, and branches for your gecko to climb.
Since they don’t spend time on the ground, purchase food and water dishes that adhere to the side of the tank.
It’s also necessary to have some hiding spots in your Crested Gecko’s tank. It’s important for building trust because it gives your gecko private safe spaces. Some plants make great shelters for Crested Geckos. You can also purchase a coconut hide.
Besides that, we recommend reading the following articles. This way you can make sure that you have a proper setup:
- Do Crested geckos need UVB?
- Do Crested geckos need a heat mat?
- Do Crested geckos need a heat lamp?
- Do Cresties need light at night?
Don’t force handling.
Force handling is a great way to scare the life out of your gecko. It’s difficult to refrain from touching your new pet when you only want to love it. But remember, your gecko does not yet know you are harmless.
Premature handling will either make your gecko run and hide, or freeze with fear.
Earn its trust with food.
This is the best tool to earn your gecko’s trust. At first, it’s best to feed your gecko with tongs, ensuring minimal interaction. It helps to stay present while your Crested Gecko eats. When you believe your gecko feels comfortable with this feeding method, you can hand feed.
With luck, your Crested Gecko will eat from your hand.
Once your gecko is comfortable with hand feeding, it is ready to be handled. It’s best to let your gecko come to you rather than picking it up. Let your gecko explore your hand and climb up your arm. Don’t force interaction in the early stages of handling; it can unravel your progress.
Have a proper approach.
Once your Crested Gecko is comfortable in your hand, you can begin handling it. However, it is important to handle your gecko properly. Never approach your gecko in a threatening manner.
For example, do not tower over your Crested Gecko and reach for it like a metal claw grabbing at a stuffed animal in a toy machine.
Instead, let your lizard be in control. It’s best to approach your gecko from the front, not from above or behind. Keep your hand lower than your gecko. A towering hand can feel like a threat. Lastly, be gentle.
Nudge your gecko to encourage climbing on your hand. With luck, your gecko will climb into your hand and up your arm.
Use familiar sounds.
It may be hard to spot a Crested Gecko’s ears, but they are there. Use this to your advantage to build trust. Repeat familiar sounds or words when you spend time with your gecko. They can recognize their owner’s voice and can relate it to a positive experience.
Talk in a pleasant tone, or make soothing sounds. Loud noises can frighten your reptile.
Yes, Crested geckos can hear pretty well even though it seems like they do not react to sounds. They can even sense vibrations. We explain more about that in this article!
Don’t lose hope.
Building a strong bond with your Crested Gecko takes work, and it can be discouraging if things don’t go as planned. For some, it takes months or years to earn complete trust. Even when you have that trust, your gecko will have some days when it does not want to be handled at all.
Don’t take it personally. It is all instinct to protect themselves. Regardless, Crested Geckos are beautiful creatures and make excellent pets. Enjoy your gecko, whether it’s in your palm or from a distance.
Can Crested Geckos feel love? Your Crested Gecko cannot feel love for you the same way you feel love for it. They do not have the necessary part of the brain needed to feel love. This goes for all reptiles. However, Crested Geckos can have feelings of trust towards their humans.
What is a Crested Geckos behavior? These nocturnal reptiles are easygoing. They are cautious and enjoy spending their time resting on a branch. They are study critters that make a great pet for both gecko beginners and gecko experts. They are low maintenance and enjoy being handled.