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  • Help with handling

    I have had my crestie for about a year now, but I haven’t been handling him. I want to start up now but I don’t know what to do. He was properly socialized at the breeder so I know he can be but when we brought him home I didn’t wait long enough before handling him and he was already stressed so it caused him to be more skittish. I haven’t handled him since. When I get my hand near him he moves his head away but he doesn’t run or move when I pet his head. But when I try to pick him up he walks away and is clearly stressed. He isn’t exactly skittish or jumpy though, just scared. So I don’t know how to start handling him. If I tried putting a paper towel roll or stick he wouldn’t walk on it and if I try to pick him up with my hand he hides in his leaves. Any tips?

  • #2
    Try not to pet his head. A hand over their head is a predator to them, so they either freeze or take off. Start slow by letting him see your hand in the tank for a minutes, for a couple of days, then keep it near him without touching him for a few minutes for a couple of days, then try putting your hand in front of him and slowly slide it under so that he walks on your hand - in the tank, for a couple of days...just keep going with baby steps until he is comfortable with you picking him up. Just a minute or two at a time. It's slow going, but you can usually condition them this way. He may be one of those geckos that is just not comfortable being held (most only tolerate it, they don't enjoy it), and if that's the case, try to be happy with him as a display animal.

    Slow and steady is the best way to work on it.
    Eileen
    TAD "Tiny Ancient Dinosaur" (Crestie), Hidey (Garg), O.G. "Office Gecko" (Bauer's Chameleon gecko), TBD "Tiny Badass Dragon" (Western Bearded Anole), 3.1.0
    Rody Jane (cattledog/stinkwad mix), Dixie Moonpie (rattledog) George P-Dog (lab/Great Pyr) 1.2.0, Ringer (barn cat) 1.0.0

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    • #3
      Ok thanks! He usually is on the side of the tank though so if we do get to the point where he is ready to be held how can I slide my hand under him while he’s stuck to the tank?

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      • #4
        It's good to start slowly. Talk to him gently, let him sniff your hand, let him walk onto your hand of his own accord. Make sure that he can see ahead of himself at all times -- place your hand so that he has a clear view over it. As TAD mentioned, this helps him feel in control and calm.
        3.3.0 Correlophus ciliatus (crested geckos)

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        • #5
          *update
          For a week now I have been sitting down and putting my hand in his cage for about 3 minutes, not necessarily near him but just in the cage. It’s been going good: he started to actually walk around while I my hand was in the cage, but today when I walked up and was about to open the cage he frantically ran around the cage to his hiding spot. I don’t know why today or what I should do. Should I continue, give him a break, or do it less often? This was the first time he did it and maybe I just spooked him? Thanks in advance

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          • #6
            Chances are you just startled him. Try to start talking to him before you reach the tank. Keep trying.
            Eileen
            TAD "Tiny Ancient Dinosaur" (Crestie), Hidey (Garg), O.G. "Office Gecko" (Bauer's Chameleon gecko), TBD "Tiny Badass Dragon" (Western Bearded Anole), 3.1.0
            Rody Jane (cattledog/stinkwad mix), Dixie Moonpie (rattledog) George P-Dog (lab/Great Pyr) 1.2.0, Ringer (barn cat) 1.0.0

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            • #7
              Ok thanks! I will keep this updated with his progress

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              • #8
                Ok it has been three weeks since I started. All I’ve been doing is putting my hand in his cage for five minutes at about 9:40. He has been coming out of hiding consistently, but slowly. Other than that there hasn’t been a lot of progress. Should I start putting my hand closer to him? I tried once and he sort of crouched down and leaned away so I stopped. Is that the approach I should take? Side note does looking in their eyes calm them or scare them? I haven’t been doing this but I want to know

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                • #9
                  Yes, baby steps are good. A little closer at a time now. I don't know about looking in the eyes, I never had a problem with that, and I look at mine all the time. Do it briefly to start with. Same thing - a little at a time. Start by sliding your hand under his chin without making him step up on your hand.
                  Eileen
                  TAD "Tiny Ancient Dinosaur" (Crestie), Hidey (Garg), O.G. "Office Gecko" (Bauer's Chameleon gecko), TBD "Tiny Badass Dragon" (Western Bearded Anole), 3.1.0
                  Rody Jane (cattledog/stinkwad mix), Dixie Moonpie (rattledog) George P-Dog (lab/Great Pyr) 1.2.0, Ringer (barn cat) 1.0.0

                  Comment

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