Do Leopard Geckos Recognize Their Own Names? (And Can you Train Them?)

*This post contains affiliate links, if you buy through a link on this post we may receive a commission.

Most people name their pets because they want them to have a unique and individual designation. Calling them is much easier, and you have a way to show them when they’ve been naughty. 

Is it necessary to name your leopard gecko? Find out if they can recognize their names and how to teach them!

Can Leopard Geckos Recognize Their Names?

Leopard geckos can recognize their own names. However, its more about the tone of voice and sounds you make than it is about the name itself. If you continue making the same noises while near them, they will respond positively. Leopard geckos will also learn your scent and recognize you.

Just be aware that it can take your Leo a long time to recognize its name. Some people have reported training their geckos for years before the gecko will respond. Leopard geckos are just not that smart.

Can Leopard Geckos Learn Their Names?

It can be possible for leopard geckos to learn their names. However, don’t expect to call them by name while they are playing and have them run to you. 

When someone says your name, it makes you turn around and ask them what they need. They can ask you to put something down or pick it up, and you oblige. However, your leopard gecko probably can’t understand your words. 

Leopard geckos can’t understand the human language (English, Spanish, French, etc.)

For example, if you call your leopard gecko’s name and say, “Come here,” they aren’t likely to run to you. Their brains aren’t programmed like that. 

If you have a dog, you can call it and give it commands. Over time, the dog learns to understand what those sounds and tones mean. They get bashful if you sound angry at them and run excitedly when you’re happy.

However, leopard geckos aren’t necessarily like that. They learn to distinguish you as positive energy in their lives as opposed to an enemy. Plus, they hear very well and can discern different sounds after a while.

How Does Forming a Bond Help Leopard Geckos Learn Their Names?

Leopard geckos get attached to their owners through physical bonds. If you handle them with care, they learn to trust you because you don’t harm them and aren’t aggressive.

It’s also possible to provide enrichment activities for them. This includes running around on your body, feeding them by hand, and stroking/petting them.

Generally, leopard geckos are attracted to their owner’s scent with time. They trust that smell because it means they are likely to get picked up and taken on an adventure. Plus, they might get food.

You probably shouldn’t touch your leopard gecko when you first get your leopard gecko. However, you can still be near the tank and do quiet activities around them. They are curious creatures, so they’re likely to come out of their shell and get comfortable with your presence.

As they become used to seeing you outside the tank, you can put your hand inside it. Do so gently at first to not scare or agitate them. It may also be wise to put your hand on the opposite side of where the gecko sits.

Just don’t force or rush this step because it’s counterproductive. Over time, they may even go up to your hand, allowing you to pet them. From there, you can pick up the leopard gecko and let them sniff and climb on you.

When picking them up, consider the scooping method. You cup your hand and slide it gently under the forelegs and chin. Don’t grab a leopard gecko from above because they are naturally defensive and fear a bird is attacking them.

Just be mindful that forming an attachment with a leopard gecko can take a long time so be patient. If you rush it you may cause it undue stress which can impact is health and reduce trust.

How Do You Teach a Leopard Gecko Its Name?

Since leopard geckos can learn their names and even respond to them, it’s important to know what to do.

You learned about forming a bond with your leopard gecko. All of the pointers above can help you create trust with your new pet.

From the very beginning, you should be talking to them. Yes, they respond primarily to scents, but they learn to identify your voice after a period.

There are no specific rules in place to help you teach your leopard gecko its name. However, it’s best to enter the room of the tank, move to the gecko’s level, and then say hello or hi. Acknowledge that they are there.

They’re likely awake and already know someone’s in the room. Therefore, they learn that the “hi” sound is one of welcome.

You may also want to say their name while you hand-feed it. That way, they associate feeding time with your voice and their name. When they hear those sounds, they know food is coming.

Do these things every single time you interact with your leopard gecko. That way, they get used to it. Likewise, you may choose to make another sound, like a click of the tongue. They may think that their name is all of those sounds, but it signals to them that you want them around.

Can a Leopard Gecko Be Trained?

While you’re focused right now on getting your leopard gecko to recognize its name, it’s more about training. They can perform simple tasks if you work with them enough, stay positive, and have patience. 

It all starts with building that bond and having that trust, so consistency is key. Humans have different characters and behavioral traits, and your leopard gecko is the same. They may respond differently to similar training, and there are no strict rules.

Overall, it would be best to start when the leopard gecko is very young. From that age, they haven’t developed their instincts of survival yet. You can become their support system. From there, the sky is the limit.

You can teach them to go through obstacle courses, respond to your voice (their name), and hunt for crickets.

Final Thoughts

Leopard geckos are like other types of pets. They can learn their names and recognize them over time. Though it’s easier to teach dogs and cats their names, a lot of patience and positivity go a long way. It all starts with creating a bond and building trust. Keep working on it!

Leave a Comment