Where Do Bearded Dragons Like To Be Pet?

Where Do Bearded Dragons Like To Be Pet?Petting your bearded dragon is a great way to build a better relationship with it. An important aspect of keeping pets for many people includes this bond, so it is important to know where you should pet the bearded dragon.

Most bearded dragons enjoy being petted, despite not being the most sociable animals. One of the best ways to do this is to gently stroke its head and to make sure that you only pick it up by the belly. If you notice that it’s stressed, make sure you put it back.

You will want to make sure that you move slowly and avoid scaring your bearded dragon as much as possible. With time, you will be able to build trust with your pet.

Now, let’s see some of the different ways in which you can pet your bearded dragon.

How to Pet Your Bearded Dragon

Some people believe that bearded dragons don’t like to be pet at all. This isn’t exactly true. There are plenty of bearded dragons that want to be handled by their owners.

One of the best things that you can do for your bearded dragon is to handle it in the right way. Some people go on to lift their bearded dragon by the tail, which is the worst way to build trust with your companion.

The first thing that you should do is approach your bearded dragon’s cage slowly. Try not to make any quick movements, and do your best not to stand right above it. And when you slowly move your hand inside its cage, really do your best not to move quickly. This is because bearded dragons are territorial creatures and might become afraid, or might attack you for “invading” their territory.

Once you have calmly and slowly put your hand inside the bearded dragon’s cage, you will want to gently start to pet it using your fingers. You may want to have a treat in your hand to help the bearded dragon feel safer in approaching you.

You can, essentially, pet the beardie anywhere. Try to pet its head, and lightly pet it from head to tail. But don’t pet it backwards- so from the tail up to its head.

Picking up Your Bearded Dragon

If you have started to grow comfortable, and you notice that your bearded dragon has as well, you can carry it. Of course, be sure to examine how your bearded dragon is behaving before you do so. You really don’t want to disturb it if it is eating, and if you notice that your beardie is rather uncomfortable, then picking it up could make the situation worse.

Once you have decided that you should pick it up, here’s what to do.

As you are gently stroking your bearded dragon with your fingers, pay attention to how it is reacting. If it seems to be comfortable, gently place your hand under its belly to pick it up. It is very important that you never, ever try to pick up a bearded dragon by the tail or by its legs.

You need to make sure that its weight is balanced evenly. If your bearded dragon is a baby, getting picked up might cause it to feel worried. You can calm down some of its fears by putting your finger on its chin.

Now, let’s talk about how you hold the bearded dragon.How To Pet A Bearded Dragon

How to Hold Your Bearded Dragon

The best way to hold your bearded dragon in a way that will make it feel safe and calm is by holding it up to your chest. Since bearded dragons like to be in warm environments, and since your chest is warm, this is an ideal area for you to keep your bearded dragon near.

Continue to have your hand underneath its belly. A great way to have it positioned is to place its tail on your arm and hold its body with your hand. You can then pet it with your other hand.

Some other things you can do during this petting session is to reward your bearded dragon with a treat, causing it to feel much more trusting towards you. In reality, petting your bearded dragon will indeed establish a much more bonded relationship between the two of you.

If you live with other people, make sure that none of them speak too loudly or make sudden movements especially while the bearded dragon is out of its territory. Make sure to remind them to speak softly, move slowly, and if they also wish to pet the bearded dragon, instruct them how to, and how they can keep an eye on it to see if it is feeling stressed or agitated.

You can also play with your bearded dragon a bit. If you notice that your bearded dragon wants to walk around, you can allow it to climb on your arms. But make sure that it can’t fall.

It is important to keep an eye on how your bearded dragon is feeling. If you notice that your bearded dragon seems relaxed, then you’re doing great. However, if your bearded dragon starts to seem stressed or upset, that might mean it is time to put it back in its terrarium.

How to Put Your Bearded Dragon Back

It is important to also know how to put your bearded dragon back properly. You don’t want to cause it to feel unnecessarily worried, or even worse, you don’t want your bearded dragon to not feel comfortable with being around you anymore.

Once again, you have to make sure that you are doing everything slowly. This is due to the fact that bearded dragons are afraid of fast movements.

Once you recognize that your bearded dragon might be scared, upset, or simply doesn’t want to be pet anymore, make sure that you go to put it back in its cage. And try not to spend too much time with it, either.

Slowly take the bearded dragon back to its cage, holding on to the bearded dragon firmly (but not too tightly so as not to hurt it) so that it won’t fall out of your arms. When you approach its cage, slowly hold your arm out and into the cage, creating a sort of diagonal line with your arm.

This will allow your bearded dragon to be able to walk back into its habitat. You can perhaps give your bearded dragon a treat too to reward it for its splendid behavior.

With all of that, there are some very important things that you need to keep in mind about your bearded dragon’s body language, behavior, and the best ways for you to handle it.Do Bearded Dragons Like To Be Petted On Their Head?

What to Keep in Mind

One of the most important things for you personally to remember is that you have to wash your hands before and after you touch your bearded dragon. This is because, first off, you don’t want to get any foreign bacteria that you might be carrying onto your bearded dragon- after all, they are a different species, and what might not be harmful to you could be harmful to it.

And secondly, you must wash your hands when you are finished, because bearded dragons carry salmonella. Wash your hands very thoroughly. You should especially take good care with washing your hands if you get bitten or scratched by your bearded dragon- both are rare instances, but they do happen sometimes.

There are also things for you to keep in mind about your bearded dragon and its behavior.

Your bearded dragon might display behavior that will indicate that it is feeling stressed out or angry. If this is the case, you should not be petting your beardie at this time. Some examples might include if it puffs out its chin (often referred to as its beard), if it’s eating, hissing at you, or if it is trying to mate with its partner.

Bobbing heads is also an indication that you should not pet your bearded dragon at this time. This could either mean that it is preparing to mate with its partner, or they will soon start a fight for dominance.

Just as you would avoid bothering any other animal that seems to be stressed at the moment, you should not go on to bother your bearded dragon at that time. Wait until it feels calm, see what the problem is, and try to focus on being slow and quiet in the presence of your beardie.

If you do end up in a situation where your bearded dragon ends up biting or scratching you, don’t worry too much about it. While this should not happen often whatsoever, it does happen to everyone sooner or later. Make sure that you treat the wound immediately and clean it up.

Petting a bearded dragon involves a lot of trust and patience. You need to make sure that you approach its cage slowly and try not to make any fast movements. When you are petting your bearded dragon, be sure to apply as little pressure as possible so as not to hurt it. And finally, never, ever pick up your bearded dragon by the legs or by the tail- only pick it up under its belly.

Related Questions

What does it mean if my bearded dragon closes its eyes while being pet? Many people believe that this is an indication of happiness and contentment, but this is not the case. If you notice that your bearded dragon is closing its eyes when you hold or pet it, this is due to the fact that it feels threatened. It may also not like what you are doing.

How can I make my bearded dragon happy? You have to make sure that your bearded dragon’s needs are completely met. This includes making sure its terrarium is set to all the right settings, it has all the proper nutritional needs, and through allowing your bearded dragon enough time to explore and have fun.

Do Bearded Dragons Need Heat at Night?

Do Bearded Dragons Need Heat At Night?All experienced bearded dragon owners know that their reptile friends require a heat lamp during the day, but they may find themselves wondering if it is necessary to keep it on at night as well. After all, in the wild a bearded dragon is subjected to warmer days and cooler nights, so it makes sense to mimic that for your pet.

So, do bearded dragons need heat at night? Probably not. Unless you live in an area where your house gets chilly in the evenings (below sixty-five degrees Fahrenheit) it is not necessary to provide your dragon with heat. Remember, because his terrarium has been heated throughout the day, his cage will hold some heat on its own as well.

There are many factors to consider when determining what your bearded dragon’s requires at night, such as your dragon’s habitat and preferences. Let’s dissect his nighttime climate needs a bit further.

Bearded Dragons in the Wild

To fully understand a bearded dragon’s needs, you must first have some knowledge regarding where they come from. This will help you provide them with a similar environment in your home.

Bearded dragons originate from the dry, desert-like regions of Australia. They are ectotherms — also known as cold-blooded animals.

Reptiles, including bearded dragons, depend on their surrounding environmental temperature to regulate the temperature of their own bodies.

To stay warm, dragons bask for a good portion of each day, often enjoying the sun from a perfect perch, such as a large rock or tree trunk.

They tend to move in and out of the sun to control their body temperatures, but they prefer their basking spot to be between ninety-five and one hundred and ten degrees.

At night, bearded dragons prefer to move away from their basking spot and find some type of shelter so that they can sleep safely.

Because the desert cools off considerably each night, dragons become used to sleeping in temperatures around seventy degrees, sometimes even a bit cooler.

Nighttime Needs

While cooler temperatures at night are normal to a bearded dragon, it is very important to make sure that your pet dragon does not get too cold while he is asleep. This is dangerous for any bearded dragon and can make him quite ill.

The temperature in your bearded dragon’s cage should be monitored at all times with one or more thermostats to avoid any significant, harmful dips in temperature. There are even thermostats that connect to your smartphone that can alert you via an app to any concerning temperature changes.

Ideally, your dragon’s nighttime habitat temperature should hover between seventy and seventy-five degrees. 

If you live in an environment in which it gets very cold at night, you may find your bearded dragon’s cage dipping below sixty-five degrees occasionally.

In this case, you will need to look at some other options for your bearded dragon come nightfall, as the bright lights of his normal daytime heat lamp are very likely to disrupt his sleeping patterns.Bearded Dragon Night Bulbs

Nighttime Heating Options

  1. Ceramic Heat Emitters – These give off a good amount of infrared heat, but they do not emit any light that may disturb your bearded dragon. Ceramic heat emitters are also fairly inexpensive and very long-lasting. Most dragon owners consider these to be the best nighttime heat solution.
  2. Infrared Bulbs – These nighttime bulbs usually have a lower wattage than normal bulbs. They are used to supply a bit of heat while giving off very little light. The black bulbs provide a dim purplish glow, while red bulbs emit a soft red glow that bearded dragons cannot see. They are cheaper than ceramic bulbs, but they also last a fraction of the time. 
  3. Heating Mats – These are flat pads that stick to the bottom, side, or even the top of a habitat. These can be used to provide extra heat from outside the cage. Remember, a heating mat may cause a fire when placed against a cage made of wood or other flammable material. These are usually recommended for bearded dragon enclosures made of glass, but they have been known to crack the glass if they get too hot, so make sure to get one with settings you can control.
  4. Heat Rocks – These are widely sold and may seem like a great idea for extra heating.  However, most lizards can generally only gauge how hot they are getting if the heat is given from above as the sun would naturally do. Your bearded dragon may sit on the rock for an extended period of time and not realize just how hot the surface really is, causing severe burns on your bearded dragon’s belly. These are NOT recommended for a bearded dragon.
  5. Heating Cables – These are flexible, insulated cables that emit heat when they are plugged in. The cables can be placed in the enclosure in large loops or tight coils. They can also be attached to the outside of the cage using electrical tape. Because heat cables are resistant to water, they are a smart choice for a bearded dragon’s high-humidity enclosure.

Night and Day

So how long does a dragon’s day and night need to last to maintain a bearded dragon’s health and prevent metabolic bone disease? It varies from season to season.

  • During the summer months, you should give your bearded dragon at least fourteen hours of daytime UV exposure and eight to ten hours of nighttime.
  • During the winter months, you need to decrease his UV daylight exposure to ten to twelve hours and allow him a longer twelve to fourteen hours of nighttime. 


If your bearded dragon gets way too cold at night, he will shut down and become very hard to wake up. If this happens, it is imperative that you warm him up immediately.

Make sure his cage is warmed to a toasty one hundred and ten degrees, and then give him a warm bath in a fifty-fifty ratio of warm water to plain Pedialyte. This mixture will be absorbed through his vent area and help him warm up in a safe way. Take care not to overheat the mixture.

After he has soaked for twenty to thirty minutes, dry him thoroughly and place him in his basking area. This should help him recover quickly, but you will want to talk to your trusted vet to be sure your bearded dragon is out of danger if you notice any unusual behavior.

Related Questions

Can I sleep with my bearded dragon? While some owners do admit to letting their dragons sleep in dog beds next to their bed or even under their covers each night, it is not recommended. Even if your dragon stays nice and warm, co-sleeping can lead to your dragon’s injury or death if you unknowingly roll over on him while you sleep. It is better for him to rest in his own space.

How long can a bearded dragon live without heat? A bearded dragon can live without heat for a short window of time. If your heating element goes out, he will most likely be okay for twenty-four hours, so replace it quickly. If you are unable to provide heat after that, you run a good chance of damaging his health or even killing him.

How Social Are Bearded Dragons Really?

Are Bearded Dragons SocialAffable emotions are typically not associated with reptiles but in the case of bearded dragons, there are some notable exceptions. Accordingly, in this post, we will be exploring the social quotient of bearded dragons to determine whether, and to what extent, do they score on this front.

Are bearded dragons social? Bearded dragons are social up to a reasonable point. As compared to many other species of their ilk, bearded dragons are able to display a fair number of behavioral tendencies which point towards their sociability, especially the ease with which they form a bond with humans.

In this post, we will explore a number of behavioral manifestations that are a clear sign of gregariousness on the part of bearded dragons. At the same time, we will also clarify some behavioral aspects which are not linked to sociability but simply to traits characteristic of them as a species.

Rapid Bonding with Humans

An aspect characteristic of bearded dragons – which is a clear sign of their social disposition, is the ease with which they bond with humans. Typically, when you first handle bearded dragons at pet shows, you will find them warming up to you at the venue itself.

Then, once you have brought your chosen pet beardie home, again you will find it bonding with others at home – including other pets that you may have such as a cat or a dog, within no time.

Moreover, in its native Australia, humans are known to handle bearded dragons out in the wild with remarkable ease!

All of this is a clear pointer towards the social nature of bearded dragons. As compared to a lot of other reptiles, bearded dragons do tend to form bonds with humans quite fast.

Communicative Gestures

Some behavior as displayed by bearded dragons is more a matter of communicative gestures than of sociability per se; below, we highlight some of these gestures.

  • Arm Waving

Most often done by young beardies by raising and waving a front limb, this is a sign of submission or being intimidated, especially as you first walk up to your bearded dragon’s enclosure. If your bearded dragon is waving all the time, you should read this article.

  • Flared Beard

This is the most well-known gesture of bearded dragons; in fact, it gets its name from the “beard” on its chin, which in this case, it flares up. It is typically a sign of feeling threatened. At the same time, males sometimes flare their beards simply to sway the ladies!

  • Head Bobbing

Bearded dragons often tend to bob their heads up and down, as if giving an affirmative response to a question posed to them but in reality, they are simply asserting their presence.

This is especially true in case of male beardies when more than one is present in the same enclosure, and one wants to prove to the other “who’s the boss” by bobbing its head! If your bearded dragon is head bobbing very often, read this article!

Watch out for Stacking

An unusual behavior pattern, especially seen among young bearded dragons, is to stack up one on top of the other. This is not really a sign of strong sociability which many pet owners inaccurately perceive.

Rather, it is simply about dominating and capturing resources such as light and heat to the maxim; the one(s) stacked over are compromised while the other(s) on top is able to maximize the light and heat they get.

Remember this is far from ideal behavior and as a responsible pet owner, you must do everything possible to prevent it. That is because the one(s) at the bottom will continue to remain depleted of resources essential to them.

So, the solution lies in either avoiding housing more than one beardie together in the same enclosure, or if you really have to, then providing them with more than adequate space so that they simply do not resort to stacking in the first place.Do bearded dragons need a friend?

Females Flaring their Beards

While males are known to be more pro-active when it comes to flaring their beards, females do it too but often for a different set of reasons, especially to be left alone by their male counterparts. The quirky thing to note here is that males do “get it” and usually tend to leave females alone if the former tried to approach it and was flared at by the female.

Interestingly, when females are “not in the mood”, besides flaring, they are also known to take on a unique posture of their own. Yet again, males do understand this and tend to shy away.

Talk about our male human species learning a thing or two about consent from bearded dragons!

Physical Characteristics that Boost Sociability

It would also be pertinent to mention certain physical characteristics that actually unwittingly end up boosting the social quotient of bearded dragons with humans.

  • Size

Bearded dragons are just the right size for humans to handle them with ease; neither too big (like iguanas) nor too small.

  • Easy to Feed

In the wild, bearded dragons stretch out their sticky tongue to catch their food without involving their teeth. In a domesticated setting, this behavioral tendency negates any chances of being bitten by bearded dragons when you feed them.

  • Thorns on their Neck

The thorns on their necks are really easy (and feel great!) to bristle, whether done by fellow beardies or you!

Mistaking Optimal Resource Utilization for Loneliness

A common mistake made by bearded dragon pet owners is to perceive solitary beardies as “loners” when they may simply be looking to optimally use the resources that are available to them.

An excellent example would be the food that you provide to your bearded dragon within its enclosure; the presence of another beardie would mean competition for that seemingly precious resource.

Accordingly, most bearded dragons would much rather be by themselves and have such resources to themselves, than be compelled to share with others.

It really does not have anything to do with loneliness.

Moreover, bearded dragons have a strong sense of competitiveness among themselves (males not being very comfortable in each other’s presence being a suitable instance). Therefore, ideally, you should avoid housing too many beardies together, whether males or even a male-female pair (which can lead to excessive breeding, causing immense undue stress to the female).


“Reasonably social” as we described in the introductory section, is the best way to describe the social quotient of bearded dragons. You certainly cannot equate their sociability with common household pets such as cats and dogs.

Yet, as highlighted above, bearded dragons have many unique behavioral manifestations of their own, which ultimately render them as even more special pets!

Related Questions

Armed with a solid background on the social quotient of bearded dragons, you might also want to know:

Do bearded dragons feel love? Bearded dragons do not feel a wide range of emotions which we humans (and various other species of animals) do. Love is one of them. At the same time, they have no emotion such as hatred either; “indifference” would be the apt reference in this case.

Do bearded dragons need a friend? Notwithstanding some of the social characteristics reasonably applicable to bearded dragons, for the large part, they are loners and therefore, can make do very well without a friend per se. They certainly do not have a “need” for friends as such, the way we humans do.

Can Bearded Dragons Drink Apple Juice?

Can Bearded Dragons Drink Apple Juice?If you have a bearded dragon, you may already feed them small pieces of apple. Naturally, a lot of pet owners think; can bearded dragons drink apple juice too? Of course, we all want our reptiles to be as happy and healthy as they can be. So, let’s find out the answer to this question.

Can bearded dragons drink apple juice? Well, the answer to this question is yes, they can drink apple juice. But it’s important that it’s only in small amounts and that it’s diluted with water. It’s often a way to persuade your bearded dragon to stay hydrated and train them to drink from a bowl.

Let’s take a look at the answer to this question in a lot more detail so that you can understand why bearded dragons should only have small amounts of apple juice and what their diet should be.

Bearded Dragons and Apple Juice

Apples are a safe fruit for bearded dragons to eat. When they’re cut into small pieces and peels, it’s a snack that these reptiles enjoy. But when it comes to apple juice, it’s important that they’re only given small amounts.

This is because it’s a sugary drink and too much can be unhealthy for them. It can lead to loose stools, which can create a mess in their living environment.

In addition, any apple juice that is given to your bearded dragon should be organic and with no added sugars, additives or other ingredients that are not natural. Otherwise, these chemicals can make your bearded dragon sick.

Apple Juice for Training

When you first get your bearded dragon and bring them home, they won’t be used to drinking from a water bowl. After all, they wouldn’t do this in the wild.

Most of the time, they won’t realize this water is anything important, which means they don’t know they can be hydrated from their bowl. But with the help of apple juice, you can help your bearded dragon learn how to use a water bowl.

The apple juice added flavor to the water and makes it tasty. The sweet smell will make it enticing to your bearded dragon and they will realize they can drink from this bowl. Over time, they will learn this is where they need to come to be hydrated.

So, you can use apple juice for training and add a small amount to the water. After a while, you can stop doing this once your bearded dragon has learned about using a water bowl.

Of course, it’s important for bearded dragons to stay hydrated. While they live in hot and dry environments, they are used to getting most of their water from insects they eat, as well as other plants. But when they become a pet, they need a source of water. This is where the water bowl comes in.

Just make sure that you continually change your bearded dragon’s water every day to make sure it’s clean. If it’s a big bowl, your bearded dragon may bathe in the water, which will make it dirty. In addition, they are known to use it as a toilet too. So, add some fresh water to their bowl every day, as well as cleaning the bowl.

Signs of Dehydration

If your bearded dragon becomes dehydrated, it can make them very sick and it can even be fatal. So, that is why it’s important to look out for the symptoms of dehydration so that you can get help from a veterinarian.

The most common signs to watch out for are lack of appetite and sunken eyes. They may also be lethargic and not move around a lot. A good way that you can see if your bearded dragon has become dehydrated is by pinching their skin with your fingers.

The skin should roll back very quickly. But if it doesn’t, it could be a sign that your bearded dragon is suffering from dehydration. Be sure to take a trip to the veterinarian as soon as possible so that you can help your pet regain their health.Bearded Dragon Drinking Other Liquids Than Water

The Best Diet for a Bearded Dragon

Alongside fresh water every day, a bearded dragon should enjoy a varied and delicious diet. It’s recommended that your adult bearded dragon’s diet is made up of 40 to 50 percent of insects. This includes foods such as:

  • Hoppers
  • Cockroaches
  • Crickets

They’re going to find these creatures very tasty. They’re easy to purchase from your local pet store.

Your bearded dragon’s diet should also consist of around 50 to 60 percent vegetables and fruits. The majority should be vegetables, as fruits that have a lot of sugar may make your pet obese.

Eating too much of the wrong foods can lead to obesity and threaten their health. There are a lot of vegetables that bearded dragons can enjoy. This includes:

  • Peas
  • Sweet potato
  • Bell peppers
  • Kale
  • Rocket

You can mix it up and see what your bearded dragon enjoys the most. Fruit should only be enjoyed as a treat every now and again.

It’s recommended that you peel any vegetables and fruits, as well as cut them into small pieces. This is going to make it a lot easier for your bearded dragon to eat. Since these foods often contain water, they can become dehydrated under the lights and with the temperature of their living environment.

So, it’s best to take out the vegetables and fruits they don’t eat at the end of the day. Then they can enjoy clean and hydrating foods the next day.

Foods to Avoid

There are some foods that bearded dragons should never eat. Often this is because they’re poisonous and they can make your pet very ill. In some cases, it can even be fatal. So, some foods that you avoid include avocados.

They’ve got substances in them that are classed as toxic for bearded dragons. They should be avoided at all costs. Another food that is highly dangerous for your bearded dragon is rhubarb. This contains something known as oxalic acid, which is poisonous for your reptile.

When it comes to insects, fireflies are poisonous to bearded dragons too. They contain toxins, which can do some real damage and may cause fatal consequences if they’re ingested.

Related Questions

What fruits can a bearded dragon eat? There is a wide arrange of fruits you can feed to your reptile. This includes apples, peaches, apricots, and melon. Be sure to remove any fruit at the end of the day so that bacteria can’t grow and harm your bearded dragon.

Can I give my bearded dragon wild insects from outside? It’s always recommended to avoid doing this. They may have parasites that could harm your reptile. The best thing you can do is to purchase insects from your local pet shop or online.

How many insects should a bearded dragon be fed a day? Adult bearded dragons can eat 3 to 5 big insects one to three times per week. Juvenile bearded dragons should eat 20 to 40 small insects every day for proper growth.

Here Is How Affectionate Bearded Dragons Really Are

Are Bearded Dragons Affectionate?Wait, what? Reptiles and affection? Well, as surprised as you may be, reptiles are fully capable of displaying emotions, including an affectionate demeanor. In this post we will be focusing on bearded dragons in particular, gauging their ability to showcase affection.

Are bearded dragons affectionate? Bearded dragons are among very few reptiles that display affection. They easily warm up to their owners and eagerly look forward to their presence. Moreover, their consistently gregarious behavior in the company of their owners is a sure shot sign of their affectionate disposition.

In this post, we will look at a variety of behaviors that confirm the affectionate nature of bearded dragons. Every instance would be based on real life examples where people have actually seen for themselves the affectionate nature of bearded dragons so make sure you read on till the end.

Pace of Displaying Affection

A major aspect that stands out in the case of bearded dragons is the pace with which they begin to display affection. To give you an example, when we first started feeding our brand spanking new member of the family – a bearded dragon of course, she very quickly associated our coming to her habitat, with the fact that she would be fed.

In turn, she started showing signs of warmth and affection towards us quite fast.

This is unlike a lot of other animals – reptiles especially; either do not show any signs of affection as such or take a fair bit of time to bond. In this instance, which we have noticed with many other bearded dragons as well, the speed with which a bond was formed with owners was really rapid.

Voluntary Keenness on Handling

Another aspect which is a clear sign of the affectionate nature of bearded dragons is the way they voluntary seek handling, often taking the initiative on their own. For instance, even before you have extended your hand to your bearded dragon, it would start making attempts to get on it – in anticipation of being handled.

This kind of behavior is unlike most other reptiles that prefer to shy away from being handled. You might notice that in spite of repetitive handling sessions, many reptiles – snakes being a good example, prefer to just shy away.

At best they might “tolerate” being handled but nothing more. But with bearded dragons, it’s a whole new ballgame where they are really happy to be handled and will even volunteer for that!

The More Time you invest – Greater will be the Affection!

While reptiles, in general, show little if any emotion, leave alone affection, some reptiles (like bearded dragons in this instance), do manage to show a reasonable amount of affection or at least some form of attachment.

Snakes, for instance, are known to get fairly comfortable with their handlers over time. They will not try to bite them or make the hissing sound which they usually do whenever they perceive a threat.

So as you can see, time spent with reptiles is of the essence; with bearded dragons – as we outlined in a previous section, in fairly less amount of time, you can gain greater confidence of your pet.

It is in that context that we make our point here – the more time you spend with your bearded dragon, greater will be the affection that it will display towards you.

Actions such as:

  • Petting your beardy
  • Letting it comfortably walk over you
  • Feeding it at certain fixed times such that it gets a cue of being fed
  • Treating it with food which you have noticed it relishes more

All of these actions will ultimately contribute towards accentuating the bond between you and your bearded dragon. So make sure that you frequently spend time “interacting” with your bearded dragon.

At the end of the day, greater the time invested, higher will be the returns in the form of accelerated and intense affection from your pet. As a corollary, if you remain aloof, you will unlikely be privy to much affection from your beardy.Bearded Dragon Affectionate Behavior

Affection increases with Age

With bearded dragons, age makes a significant difference as far as display of affection is concerned. Typically, the younger your bearded dragon, especially if it is in its initial stages – perhaps even an infant, the lesser will be its affection. Instead, it will be jittery and will not appreciate being handled.

This is completely due to the nervousness that it feels at the outset in your foreign presence. As your beardy gets older, it recognizes that you are not a threat – and in fact a trustworthy “friend”. At this juncture, the affection shown towards you will be incrementally higher.

The Way they Display Affection Varies

As a new (or prospective) bearded dragon owner, you must keep in mind the fact that beardies do not showcase their affection the same way; instead, it varies considerably from one bearded dragon to another.

We ourselves have seen instances where one pet owner had their bearded dragon curl up to them every time it was handled while in another instance, their bearded dragon was happy to prepare itself in anticipation of being handled, and once that was done, would happily prance around the owner’s arms and shoulders.

Putting Off your Bearded Dragon

While it is fairly easy to form a bond with your bearded dragon, some callous owners end up turning off their bearded dragon. Examples of such irresponsible behavior include:

  • Handling their beardy very roughly
  • Holding it by its tail
  • Playing loud music or making loud noise, in close proximity to the bearded dragon’s habitat

Actions like these will turn your beardy off you, and chances of a strong bond forming will diminish unless the reckless behavior is done away with quickly and replaced with warmth towards your pet.

Remember that like their reptilian cousins, bearded dragons can also get agitated if handled poorly like in the above-mentioned instances. They can then puff up their big beards in aggression; the last kind of behavior you want to see in your pet.

Also, poor handling is quite likely to cause stress in your bearded dragon, which in turn will lead its own set of detrimental impacts, including the completely undesirable one of your beardy falling ill.


Domesticated bearded dragons have clearly come a long way from their natural habitat down under, to show definite signs of affection. While back “home” in Australia they would be quite comfortable by themselves, once in the midst of new owners, they warm up fast and display the affectionate side of their personality quite quickly.

Related Questions

Now that you have a clear perspective on whether bearded dragons are affectionate (of course they are!), you might also want to know:

Do bearded dragons like being petted? Yes, bearded dragons enjoy being petted! Try petting one for yourself and see – the expression of sheer content in its eyes will say it all! Of course, there may be exceptions to the rule but by and large, bearded dragons do enjoy being petted.

Can bearded dragons recognize their owners? Yes, bearded dragons do recognize their owners. Bearded dragons are especially sensitive to the touch and smell of their owners, and can distinctly recognize those facets fairly quickly, with each feeding or handling session reinforcing their ability to recognize.