The many different behaviors of bearded dragons is one of the many qualities they possess that make them desirable pets. Some of these behaviors are often cute and can be downright comical at times.
Bearded dragons are semi-social creatures, and use many forms of behavior as a crude communication tool. Here are a few of the behaviors you may find in a captive-raised bearded dragon.
There are times when you may find your bearded dragon rapidly bobbing its head up and down. Generally this occurs when another bearded dragon is present, but not always the case. Head bobbing is a signal of a challenge, or warning, to the other bearded dragon in the area.
This typically happens when there are two males in the same area, and can lead to a duel over territory.
Usually the larger of the two will win, and the smaller will become submissive. There are instances when the two can duke it out in a fight.
Arm waving is a very common behavior in baby and juvenile bearded dragons. The bearded dragon can be backing upon a perch and all of a sudden raise a front limb and rapidly wave it above its head. This behavior can be very amusing, because it appears that the bearded dragon is waving “Hello”, or “Good-bye”.
This is generally a signal of submission. It’s the bearded dragon’s way of say, “hey, I’m friendly!”.
This is probably the most famous behavior of bearded dragons. Whenever a bearded dragon feels threatened it will hold its chin up, close its mouth, and flare out the impressive beard. Many times the threatened bearded dragon will even make a hissing sound.
The swelling beard will darken in color, and the bearded dragon will give a threatening display. This behavior is used by the bearded dragon to give the threatener the impression that it’s a very dangerous creature.
The flared beard is simply a natural defense mechanism it uses to ward off enemies and would-be predators.
Many times when more than one bearded dragon is housed in the same enclosure you will see a peculiar behavior called stacking.
Stacking is the bearded dragons will lay, one on top of the other, in a basking spot. This behavior is most common with baby bearded dragons. You will witness this often in pet stores that have many babies in one enclosure.
Although this behavior is adorable, it can be dangerous for the bearded dragons. Having a bunch of babies piled on top of each other means the ones closest to the bottom are receiving the least amount of UVB rays. It could also hamper the breathing of the bottom bearded dragon, because of the extra weight on top.
If you plan on having more than on bearded dragon in an enclosure, it is best to have ample basking space for each one to help reduce this behavior.
I have question my baby bearded dragon eats a little bit of the food I give him and runs every where in his tank but trys to jump out of his cage or climb his way out I don’t know what this mean please help
My bearded dragon used to do that. Does he close his eyes? If he does then he probably going though something like hibernation. They do that in the fall and winter months. It usually lasts about 2-6 weeks. If he does it for more than 6 weeks and/or doesn’t sleep, I would get that checked.
My bearded Dragon has been odd lately. She scratches at the glass at night and follows people along her cage, seemingly for attention.
Tonight I’ve brought her out and she almost instantly closes her eyes and goes completely limp on my chest after snuggling down. It appears to be sleep as far as I can tell.
Do Beardies ever close their eyes and play dead?
When I attempt to put her back in her cage, she goes back to following me and scratching or tapping the glass when i’m nearby. Even if I get her in without her appearing to wake up. If I bring her out she goes back to sleep.
This is has only happened the past few days.
I have owned her for around 2 weeks, but known her since she was 6 months. She’s now 10months.
She’s brought out daily for a run and handling, and if I’m going past her cage I’ll usually say hi to her verbally.
Her cage is 6ft long, 3 ft high and 2 ft wide. Its heat goes from around 36deg to 26deg ((measured on the floor)) It has UV tube lighting and a 2ft long raised area for a basking spot with climbing down to the ground. Several hides and logs.
She’s fed live food every 2nd day
Has access to 24/7 water. One is large enough for her to soak in, the other water container is smaller.
Vetcheck says she is 100% healthy, perhaps a little cold at her basking, though it sits around 38deg Cel. Vet says get it to 40deg.
Is this a fear thing from my beardie over her cage? Or is it some form
Of wanting human comfort?
I have a baby beardie and at first we got along great. Sweet little guy!! I started feeding him crickets and now he is wild with me. He doesn’t bite or is he aggressive. When I hold him he wants to jump out of my hands. I am talking sky diving to the floor kinda jump. When I first got him he would sit with me all day now he doesn’t want to be held and is very active. I would let him have the crickets all the time so somebody told me they are over exciting him. I took them away and only give them to him now when it is time to eat but he is still very overactive. Please help!
hey that totally normal i have a 6 month and they need crickets every day so when he does start doing it again just put him on the floor and let him run around and sit lower to the ground that is what i did
danielle livesley says
I have a 2 year old I think and he’s been sleeping a lot and not poowing for days is this normal.
Yes beardies are supposed to do that in fall and winter
Dakoda C says
I have a bearded dragon that is basically refusing to eat. She also immediately tried to get back in her aquarium as soon as we get her out. We set her on the ground and she starts running face first into the aquarium trying to get back in. Does anyone have any kind of insight/advice? Please and thank you.
Mimi Lian says
I have an adult male bearded dragon which I’ve keep for almost one and half years. His age almost 2 years old. He acts very strange and aggressive recently where he don’t like to stay inside his tank and keep knocking the glass tank with his mouth whenever I put him back. Now his mouth was injured due to the knocking and when I take him out of the tank, he will run all over. He used to be very tame and he likes me to carry him. But know he will try to jump to the floor when I carry him out from the tank. He seems like lost appetite too and can you advice what can I apply to his wound.
Please help. Thank you.
hey try force feeding him with a baby syringe also try a back drop he probable sees his reflection like my 1 year old does so try that hope it works for ya
I have a situation with my female bearded dragon. She is attacking my male constantly biting him and I’m feeding them both regularly and really well. She has bitten off his toes and I’m worried because she was never this aggressive with him before. This was all recently I’m worried for my males safety. I moved him to a different tank but now she is even more agitated. What do I do?
It would be too much of a risk to put him back in the cage, keep them seperate and away from eachothers sight while in their enclosures. When you let them out its fine if you let them near eachother just watch them carefully. It could simply be territorial issues or cage aggression. Oh also make sure to take them out of their enclosures when u feed em, it helps to stop aggressive behavior in the cage.
I have a female Beardie that recently started demonstrating a disturbing behavior. When she is placed near another Beardie (ie playpen or when we are cleaning cages) she gets very pale her beard darkens and she acts like she is choking. When she is alone she is fine. When we do put her with other beardies they are females ( “playpen” is my daughters room with a baby gate and they are supervised).
My bearded dragon turned 1yr in October2016 We have had him since February 2016. He has never been aggressive. We hold him a lot. He eats very good. Spend lots of money on him. Has a 67 gallon tank. Has hammocks and logs and stuff to make it multiple levels as well. Has red heat lamp for night, white heat lamp for day, and has uvb light on daily. All his lights are set to a timer so they are consistent. He is not shedding. He measured at about 19 niches last time we measured him. He eats daily to every other day. Has normal poop. Has water available in his tank.
He has gone aggressive overnight.
What could be wrong?
We love Spike so much but are very worried about this behavior.
He also gets calcium 3 times a week.
Where do you feed him? This could be a classic sign of cage agression. Its pretty common in many lizards if you feed them in their enclosures. If you feed spike inside his usual enclosure stop, take him out and feed him, but not directly after you take him out, wait about an hour or so. You could feed him on your floor if you are okay with that, from a plate, or in a large but shallow clear bin.
Cage agression is usually the result of the association of your fingers in their cage with food. When they see you in their cage they are thinking food time. It could also be caused by feeding them worms or grubs (meal worms, superworms, earthworms etc.) and them confusing the shape of the worms with a finger. If you are feeding them worms, stop alltogether and switch to crickets. Its a fairly simple solution, though worms admitedally are easier to care for and live longer then crickets
My bearded dragon keeps Hiding and sleeping under his rock. It is starting to scare me. Is this something I should be worried about?
D. Ozley says
I have a 2 yr old female that hasn’t been eating and she used to be a real pig. She also has been sleeping a lot. I bought a new UVB light and it has helped some. She has started eating her greens, but not but one or two crickets. When I bring the crickets in to her, she will lay very still and slowly (like slow motion) move her head up and down. I know about the rapid up and down movement, but she only moves her head up and down slowly when I bring her her crickets. She hasn’t always done this movement until recently. Her Vet doesn’t know why either. Does anyone know why she does this?
I adopted a three year old male dragon several months ago and I have a Shih Tzu & a cat. I just noticed for the first time the dragon ball being his head up and down slowly without extending his beard then he charged towards the dog and was snapping at him . Should I be concerned about letting the other animals be around the dragon is this a temporary behavior because of mating season?
Your bearded dragon is just trying to show dominance it’s fine
Introduce them slowly
Shelley Henderson says
I have a 2 year old bearded dragon. Just recently he has been acting really strangely. He runs all over his cage, head bopping and his beard all black. Is this normal or what? What is he trying to say or do? I find if I turn out his lights, he calms down or I give him a bath. Another issue is that he doesn’t eat hardly anything in the form of protein. He will not eat crickets. I give him horn worms, king worms, butter worms. But he will only eat them maybe once a week. Is this normal? More times then none, the worms will die before he eats them. Any advise or opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
What temp are it’s lights what size tank is it in??? He could be too hot or too cold
Space could be too small or too large
What does its poop look like
Solid and wet is ?
Jennifer L Hudson says
I’m Jennifer and I just got a adult breaded dragon and at first he was fine he would sit on my chest and chill but ever sense I moved him from a 10 gallon terrarium into a 40 gallon terrarium he has been clawing at the sides and trying to climb out is he just scared or nervous or trying to adapt to new home
Jaedyn Danko says
Everyday my male dragon would bob his head, Then at times his beard would turn black and he would get very hyper with the female, and the female will slowly go up and down with her head. My male will start to bite and grip on to her frill.Its like he trying to have her make eggs. I would take one of them out and let them talk through the glass. Her frill is messed up and they talk a lot all day. My males loves his female. I think this is normal. They share a cage and they are fine together. If anyone can give advise, please do. Thank you.
Everything I’ve read says they should be housed separately except during mating activity. Once the mating is fine put them back in separate homes
I have 3 beardies with me, two big (male&female) and a 3d, rescued from a pet shop (she doesn’t have a leg), kept separately.
I have a curious situation: the female shows to be the master, bobbing her head and sometimes running all over after Gork (the male).
Is it normal that Lucy (the female) is the alpha? Sometimes she runs all over the place after the poor boy.
Jenniferer Grisetti says
Help! This is my first reptile EVER! I have a beardie that is about 5 months old. Adorable, FULL of character, has everything he/she could need to live. Draco likes pooping on my boyfriend, but won’t on me! Draco purposely antagonizes my cats, other times he sleeps with them. Draco LOVES to be with me around the house, riding on my shoulder. Problem is he won’t eat ANYTHING but crickets (I did get him to lick a piece of fresh tomato!). I bought the powdered supplement to ensure his well-being b/c he started twitching a bit. Now I’m concerned b/c he’s in seemingly perfect health, but when it comes to my boyfriend (we’ve bought him together), Draco plays? like he’s wounded or being watched by a predator when he’s handled or watched by my boyfriend. As soon as I say, “Oh quit faking!” Draco stops the behavior! Is he really that smart or is something seriously wrong?! Draco makes himself look like he has an injured leg, & it’s NEVER the same one, twitching it slowly, or dragging it like it’s broken, or bending it funny…No, he’s not been to a vet yet b/c he truly seems to be faking it! Please advise. Thank you.
a true born actor