Can I Take My Leopard Gecko Outside? {Gecko Leash Training}

We all have strange dreams, but my fantasy was to always be able to go out with my reptile companions. Can I take my leopard gecko outside the way I did with my iguana years ago? What are the risks?

The safest location and the best times to take a leopard gecko outside are important, but there is more to it than that. What else do you need?

In this article, we will discuss what it takes to take a leopard gecko outside.

Can I Take My Leopard Gecko Outside?

Yes. Taking a leopard gecko outside comes with risks that you can mitigate and reduce. A reptile leash is available for added safety, but please consider the timing of this event as well.

Your crepuscular reptile companion is not interested in activities such as going outside during daytime hours. Schedule these outdoor sessions during dusk or dawn hours to better match the moments when your leopard gecko would feel more energetic and alert.

If this doesn’t suit your own schedule, do not feel that it is necessary to perform this action and keep your leopard gecko safely indoors and under your care in a comfortable enclosure.

Where and When To Walk A Leopard Gecko

I remember the first time I saw the reptile leash of my dreams at the exotic pet shop near my neighborhood. This was a revelation for me as I soon realized that this leash would fit my leopard gecko perfectly.

There were plenty of adjustable sizes and the next thing I needed to do was set up a location and plan for this walk with my reptile companion. I looked for a spot free of debris, animal droppings and pesticides.

This patch of grass near my house was perfect for a walk that needed to be planned accordingly. I wanted to make sure my leopard gecko would be alert and willing to go out with me.

Knowing that crepuscular reptiles like leopard geckos only like to be active during early mornings (dawn) and later in the evenings (dusk) made it possible for me to set up times before I went to work and after I returned home.

Strutting around with my leopard gecko is strange to some people, but that’s partly why I love these little reptiles.

Do not disturb a sleeping gecko. Find out why here.

How long Can A Leopard Gecko Go Out?

When you wish to play, interact or even go outside with your leopard gecko, keep in mind what it takes for them to be comfortable. Geckos are susceptible to getting cold easily when gusts of wind or temperature changes are easily felt.

Unless you have knitted warm winter clothes for your leopard gecko (just kidding), you should be aware of appropriate temperatures to make sure that this gecko is warm and safe.

Stressed out geckos would rather stay in their warm enclosure if they don’t feel comfortable with the conditions outside of their safe space.

Restrict your time with this leopard gecko to 10-20 minutes outside of the terrarium, cage or enclosure. Check the belly to make sure it is not getting cold. Observe and react to their apprehension, tension or any perceived fears from being taken out of their habitat.

YouTube video

How To Leash Train A Gecko

Teaching your leopard gecko or any other reptile to respond to a leash assisted walk with you is a tough task that requires repetition and lots of patience.

No matter how hard I tried, I could not train my first leopard gecko to use a leash during the first month of practice. I gave up and so did he. We waited a couple more weeks and tried again.

A gecko that refuses your touch and doesn’t like being handled has a much lesser chance of being able to positively respond to a leash.

If a leopard gecko has not bonded or trusted a human companion to the point where they continue to dart away and flee or hide at every attempt for direct contact, then a leash assisted walk is not going to work yet.

Start with moving your hands in the cage with slow, gentle motions that do not startle your reptile. Once your gecko allows you to deliver food, clean up and possibly make contact, then you can advance to the next stage of leash training.

Food training is linked with gut loading mealworms. See why I needed a separate article about this.

Can Geckos Go For Walks?

Not all geckos will be able to handle going out for a walk with you. This is due to other species’ specifics or their personality. Leopard geckos have been proven to be more easy-going than some of their gecko counterparts. Do not walk a gecko if they appear:

  • Skittish
  • Upset
  • Stressed

If this gecko is displaying the following actions, avoid the walk or trip outdoors today or save it for later:

  • Making hissing sounds
  • Trying to bite you
  • Excessively hiding
  • Warm or cold belly

Make sure you watch out for cold weather and signs of brumation in leopard geckos.

Can I Use A Leash On A Gecko?

We have introduced the topic of a leash on a leopard gecko in this article and we wish to recommend a harness instead. I used a neck leash when I first discovered that I could do so for my reptile companion back when I saw a perfect sized one in the exotic pet shop.

I soon discussed this with the gecko community online and realized that a harness is a better way to go. It can fit snugly and reduce the risk of pulling against their sensitive necks. There are even custom made models available online for hardness that will suit your leopard gecko.

Lashing away at a leash and tugging at it in defiance will add the risk of injury for a gecko who does not like this feeling and wishes to return home.

A harness might give you a better chance of prolonging this walk during their favorite hours around dusk and dawn when they are most alert and ready for an adventure.


Thank you for visiting for the best information to help you enjoy the life of your pocket pet companion in a fun, safe & healthy way.


My name is Anna and I work full time in my local pet shop where we sell many animals that I write about on this site. I love all animals and love writing about them.