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Reptiles That Love to Be Handled

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It's hard to think of a reptile as a creature that likes to be handled and loved, but there are many species that enjoy human interaction. Whether you're looking for a small lizard or a large snake, reptiles can be docile companions that will enjoy lying in your lap while you watch TV or read a good book.

Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons love to interact with humans and will actually dance back and forth in their enclosure to get your attention. This reptile will sit in your lap for hours on end, but also enjoys chilling on the back of the couch. Some owners do wear gloves when handling their bearded dragon because of the spikes and sharp claws, but beardies love to be handled. Beardies are also awake during the daytime hours, which means you won't have to worry about disturbing them. Bearded dragons can grow up to 2 feet in length.

Leopard Geckos

Leopard geckos are a docile species that do well with handling. The leopard gecko is a relatively small reptile, growing to only 10 inches in length. This is a nocturnal reptile, which means it's best-suited for those who will be awake in the later hours of the evening. Be careful to never frighten the gecko or pick him up by the tail, as the leopard gecko's tail will come off for protection.

Blue-Tongued Skink

The blue-tongued skink is a medium-sized reptile, growing to 14 to 18 inches in total length. With regular handling, this reptile will remain docile and easy to handle. Awake during the day and nighttime hours, you can enjoy the company of your blue-tongued skink no matter what your schedule is.


There are a number of snakes that do well with being handled. Corn, king and ball python snakes have good temperaments and are easy to handle. Corn and king snakes reach 5 feet in length and remain slender, while the ball python reaches 4 feet, but is much bigger around. The ball python is best suited for children, as it is easier for the child to handle without hurting the snake. Snakes sleep when it's convenient for them and may be awake during the day or nighttime hours, or both.

Green Iguanas

As the largest reptile on this list, the green iguana can measure up to 6.6 feet long and weigh 11 pounds when fully grown. However, his large size shouldn't scare you. The green iguana tolerates being handled quite well and will let you know if he's uncomfortable by whipping his tail. Owners sometimes allow their green iguanas to have free-reign of the house as if they were a small dog. Do note that the green iguana is a nocturnal species.