How to Find a Good Crested Gecko Breeder
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If you are searching for a Crested Gecko, there are many things to consider. Is the lizard healthy? Does it have any abnormalities? Was in raised in an ethical manner?
But really, you should only be asking one question:
How do I find a good Crested Gecko Breeder?
If you find a good breeder, all of these other questions can easily be answered. Good breeders will only offer healthy geckos, will show you and explain any abnormalities on a lizard, and always raise their geckos in an ethical and healthy manner
First Off… Avoid the Chain Stores
Chain pet stores, like PetCo and PetSmart, often source their animals from the largest breeders in the country, which isn't pretty. This is necessary because these massive stores must keep a constant stock of lizards and other animals in order to attract and entice customers. However, this leads to many poor conditions for animals.
When a company is this size, a single crested gecko is seen only as a number on a balance sheet. If the gecko gets injured, it is much cheaper to euthanize the lizard than to try and give the lizard proper veterinary care. Further, because of the massive amount of animals in production, poor methods are often used. Some reports have said that these organizations often have escaped lizards and other animals that they capture using sticky paper - a cruel and abusive method of trapping.
In fact, there have been many reports by PETA and other animal rights organizations over the years that have shown systematic animal abuse in these organizations. While these companies are surely trying to fix their culture of poor animal treatment, they are nowhere near as good as a committed crested gecko breeder.
What to Look For in a Crested Gecko Breeder…
First and foremost, you want to find a breeder that is friendly and ready to answer questions. If a business is too busy to answer questions from their customers, it is very likely that the operation is overwhelmed and is not providing quality care to its product. In this case, the product is your future pet, so you should ask a lot of questions and get a lot of good answers.
Ask Breeders These Qualifying Questions
Here are some good questions for your potential future breeder:
- Does a Veterinarian regularly check your animals and facility?
- Who is the head breeder, and what qualifications do they hold?
- Where is the facility, and how are the geckos housed?
- What are the shipping policies, and does the company have a high success rate?
- ANY other questions you may have about getting or raising your crested gecko…
The last point here is one of the most important. A good breeder loves to help people be successful pet owners, so they should have no problem answering any questions you may have. Plus, a good breeder will take questions at any point in the process: before you buy a lizard, during the shipping process, and long after you have received your pet.
Good breeders are compassionate towards their animals, passionate about raising animals, and totally willing to help their customers.
Take a Tour of the Breeding Grounds
If you are close enough to the operation, you may want to go take a tour for yourself. This will allow you to see with your own eyes how the animals are treated, and how much the employees care about their jobs and raising the animals. Good care is easy to see.
Check out their website, and ask for testimonials
If you cannot travel to the breeder’s location, check their website for photos, videos, and other media about their operation. Those unwilling to share pictures may not be housing or caring for their geckos in the most ethical way.
Whether your breeder is found locally or they operate online, these standards should be met. Do not settle for a mean, rude, otherwise unappealing breeder. Crested geckos are not overly hard to breed, so you have many choices in where to find one. If something does not seem quite right, just back away. You can always find someone more friendly and open who would be happy to take your money and provide you with a healthy pet.
Have you thought about Reptile Shows?
Reptile shows tour the country at different intervals, and the show nearest to you can easily be found through an online search. Reptile shows are great places to meet many different breeders at once and get a feel for the company you want to work with.
At the show, you may even be able to handle some animals. However, crested geckos are rarely handled at shows because they can be pretty quick and a good breeder would not want them to escape in a convention center.
That being said, you will still get to see the animals in person and talk directly to employees from each company. These are some of the most knowledgable people in the world when it comes to specific species, so don’t be shy! Ask them lots of questions and really try to get a feel for why they are in the reptile breeding business.
Even if you don’t leave the show with a new pet, it is a great place to meet fellow reptile enthusiasts, find a good company, and learn as much as you can about crested geckos before you buy!
If you do tend a show, just remember…
- It’s your money. Don’t give it to just anyone.
- It’s your pet. Make sure it is healthy and happy.
- It’s your time. Don’t let anyone rush you into a decision.
- Reptiles are fun! If the process is anything but fun, you should probably find a different breeder.