bearded dragon behavior

Bearded Dragon Behavior and Health

Beardie gestures are not random. They all means something, and it tells you something about their health, mood, and environment. Here is a guide on bearded dragon behavior and health, you’ll learn what is good for beardies, where they go, how they eat, and much more. Reptiles are cold and distant, but they actually communicate quite well. Many people think that, but that’s just not the case. You may have heard, or noticed the following signs:

  • Bearded dragons wave their arms.
  • They can change color.
  • Bearded dragons are not prone to diseases.
  • They are hardy dragons.

But did you know that:

Beardie gestures don’t randomly do different things, there’s always a meaning to each one of them. Bearded dragons are generally hardy animals, but they can fall victim to several common diseases that you should pay attention to. Although they are not truly social creatures, bearded dragons have their own unique language to communicate with you, and even to other beardies.

More important than how your bearded dragon looks, is how healthy it is, and how it looks. Keeping your bearded dragon healthy and happy is a lot easier than you think.

Bearded Dragon Behavior & Body Language

Bearded dragons aren’t known for being loud, but they are known for communicating. You have to look for signs. Bearded Dragons are social animals, and they use body language to interact with members of their own species, as well as other creatures they encounter. People do not have an intuitive understanding of this signal. We can learn about them through study and observation. Understanding your pet’s gestures is critical for all bearded dragon owners, as it helps us identify our pets’ needs.

bearded dragon behavior

Common behaviors of bearded dragons include:

  • Head bobs
  • Waving
  • Mouth gaping
  • Beard puffing up
  • Tail pointing upwards
  • Changing color
  • Basking
  • Hiding

Abnormal behaviors of bearded dragons include:

  • Lethargy
  • Wobbly walking
  • Moving the front legs only
  • Twitching or jerking movements
  • Lack of movement
  • Soaking too much
  • Looking upwards for no reason

Abnormal behavior should be interpreted as such if it is prolonged or appears in an unusual context. While it’s normal for a dragon’s beard to turn black when he is excited, a beard that is dark all the time indicates that your beardie is distressed or in pain. Because of this, it is worthwhile to take a deeper look at the common behaviors of bearded drag

Why Do Bearded Dragons Wave?

When you see your bearded dragon waving at you, you might feel flattered. Your bearded dragon may be trying to tell you how much he loves you. That was a funny situation when he said “Hi!” to you because he didn’t even know you. Of course! It was so simple to tell that this beardie said “Hi!”. This greeting basically says, “I am present, and I’m not going to hurt you.” It’s both a signal of presence and submission. There’s a reason why insecure young beardies perform the wave more than mature adults. Members of the bearded family will use waving among the members of their own species, as well as with humans and other animals they encounter.

Why Do Bearded Dragons Bob Their Heads?

Head bobbing is a sign that bearded dragons are establishing social hierarchies among themselves. Faster bobbing serves as a warning that someone will try to hurt you if you don’t do what they want. Slow and jerky is a male’s sign of submission. Male beardies also make slow and jerky movements when they are courting a female. Some beardies will bob obsessively when going out of brumation, especially if they can feel the scent of a female. If a male bearded dragon is bobbing his head at you, it’s because his hormones are running wild. This could be a result of springtime or mating season.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon changing color?

Why do bearded dragons sometimes turn black? Their color comes from heat regulation. Dark skin absorbs more heat than lighter skin, so bearded dragons that are black will feel warmer when the light is on and may lay down their heads in the morning. If you take them outside to bask in the sun, they may turn ashy-grayish. Some beardies grow darker when they get aggressive, but others stay brown, grey, or white.

Why is Dragon’s Beard Turning Black?

The bearded dragon’s trademark beard enlarges and darkens when he is excited, scared, aggressive, and when he’s ready to mate. In these cases, the black beard is a passing occurrence. If your beardie has been getting in trouble recently, he might have a persistent beard. He could be sick, or there might be something wrong with his habitat. Some older bearded dragons will have blackish patches on their faces and skin.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Suddenly Pale?

Your bearded dragon might be ready to shed his old fur and look a little different when it emerges. You can read more about how to shed below. Also, some beardies will get lighter while sleeping.


Bearded boars bask in full sun or under a heat lamp all day long. This will help them collect heat and UVB radiation, which helps metabolize calcium and create vitamin D3. Like other reptiles, bearded dragons also flatten their bodies and darken their skin to soak up as much warmth and ultraviolet light as possible. Although it’s common for bearded dragons to flatten their bodies and turn darker to soak in as much sunlight and warmth as they can.

Why Do Bearded Dragons Open Their Mouth?

The main reason for a beardie to keep his mouth open is to control his body temperature. It’s important for bearded dragons to open their mouths when basking to help regulate their body temperature. Keeping the mouth open all day is completely normal if done in short sessions. If your terrarium goes on for a long time, it might mean that it’s too hot, or that there are underlying health issues. Heavy breathing combined with an open mouth can signal a respiratory infection.

bearded dragon behavior

Why Do Bearded Dragons Lick?

One of the bearded dragon’s most important tools is his tongue. Like other reptiles, bearded dragons have a Jacobson’s organ, which lies at the roof of their mouth. The tongues of many snakes are forked so that their tongues can curl in and out to sample their surroundings. So that way they use licking for both tasting and smelling.

Do Bearded Dragon Yawn?

The best lizard is the bearded dragon. It can yawn and blow air through its beard and then open and close its mouth. Yawning usually occurs first thing in the morning, or when a person wakes up from a nap. And why do bearded dragons yawn? It sounds as strange as it is that no one knows the real reason behind a yawning in any species.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Tail Curling?

The curled-tail sign in bearded dragons is used by lizards as a signal to alert other lizards that they are ready to attack. A bearded dragon’s tail will curl up when it’s excited, chasing its prey or running around. Your babies will also exhibit the tail curl reflex as a reaction to warmth, either from heat or from being in the presence of warm surroundings

Do Bearded Dragons Hibernate?

Reptiles have a variation of hibernation called brumation. It takes place within the same time period (fall and winter) as hibernation, but it is different from hibernation in the sense that reptiles don’t shut down their metabolism completely. Instead, they slow their metabolism down. They also don’t really sleep. Each bearded dragon will hibernate in a different way and may move more or less during the day. Although all reptiles need to drink water during brumation, they are more likely to lose moisture if their environment is dry. If you have an animal that’s a good brumation, they’ll fall into a deep sleep that will last for months, during which they may not eat much or drink at all – or not at all. Read more about bearded dragon brumation.

What are the Signs of Bearded Dragon Brumation?

  • Frequent hiding
  • More naps and “sleepy look;”
  • Sluggish movement
  • Poor appetite

How Often Do Bearded Dragons Shed?

Lizard shedding is a normal process in all other lizards and snakes. Reptile skins are shed in one piece. Or, they’re shed in small chunks like a bearded dragon. Bearded dragon shedding is the result of a lizard growing older than its skin can handle. One reason why juvenile and young bearded dragons that grow fast will shed much more often is that they grow quickly. Shedding happens for three to ten days during which time your beardie’s appearance and behavior change.

Signs of shedding in bearded dragons

As the shedding begins, your beardie’s skin will become dull and will likely turn a dark shade of gray. At this time, the little boy will get itchy and uncomfortable, causing him to avoid food and possibly sleep a lot. A lot of beardies don’t eat through the entire shedding process, but it is perfectly normal.

How to Help a Bearded Dragon with Shedding?

  • Warm soaks and scrubbing with a  toothbrush
  • Not bothering him too much in general
  • Misting your beardie’s body

It’s tempting to cut the skin off your beardie. But only pull off that piece if the skin around it is completely loose. If you find a lizard that resists you and you have no idea what to do, there are several products to try to help. Beards tend to grow back in places where they have been cut and shaved, so it’s a good idea to trim them often.

Bearded dragons don’t need to be handled, but some of these behaviors are essentially normal – digging is part of their natural behavior. Other behaviors, such as constant gaping of the mouth, are undoubtedly signs of sickness.

Why Are Beardies Hissing and Biting?

Bearded dragons are feisty and energetic lizards that can get angry for many reasons. Hissing is the first warning sign when a bearded dragon feels threatened. Hissing is the first sign that a bearded dragon is feeling threatened. Bearded dragons use hissing as a warning and a defensive mechanism. At the time of hissing, his beard will puff up and black as well. Biting is more of a progression of a submissive dog’s behavior toward a dominant dog.

Bearded Dragon Aggressive Towards Humans

If you bought your bearded dragon as an adult, he has probably not been handled by a human hand, so he may react defensively to any touch. Handle your dragon carefully and gently so he feels safe. When approaching a dangerous predator like a venomous snake, never try to touch it without a bite suit on. You should wear thick gloves to make sure that they don’t get scratched up while they’re still babies. Your dragon will eventually quit biting your hand when she realizes it’s not painful.

Bearded Dragon Aggressive to Other Bearded Dragons

If several bearded dragons live together in one enclosure and become aggressive toward each other, the best solution may be to separate them. Beardies are very territorial, and if you try to keep two males in the same tank together, they will definitely fight. While males typically fight over territory and females often live peacefully together, always remember that every beardie is different. Whether you have two beardies or twenty, there are ways to keep your beardies safe and healthy.

Why Bearded Dragon Scratching at the Glass?

Glass surfing means that your beardie is stressed because of something in his environment. New decorations, new tanks, and enclosures that aren’t the right size can all cause problems that lead to glass surfing.When the beardie wants to escape the world of men and get away from it all, he will try to climb a tall glass window. In contrast, bearded dragons will often be taken outside and enjoy it, even though they are often picked up and carried around.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Digging the Substrate?

Bearded dragons dig to create dens in order to provide shelter from rain and snow. This is a behavior that all bearded dragons share. There’s no such thing as a cool and humid environment when it comes to bearded growth. You can dig where you want to. If a female is digging a lot during the day, she’s most likely to be ready to lay eggs. Eggs don’t need a male to form. A lack of good substrate will cause your female many problems, one of them being stress. The best thing to do if the female is having trouble laying eggs is to put her in a separate tank that has about a foot of sand in it.

The Signs of a Sick-Bearded Dragon

Like any other creature, bearded dragons can get sick and become lazy. They are especially prone to certain diseases. Unfortunately, the number of health problems that bearded dragons can get is very few. Here are the most common ones:

  • Viral respiratory infections or pneumonia
  • Metabolic bone disease (MBD)
  • Parasitic infections
  • Photo-kerato-conjunctivitis
  • Adenovirus
  • Mouth rot

Bearded Dragon Respiratory Infection and treatment

Bearded dragons are sensitive to changes in their environment, especially temperature and humidity. This change causes respiratory problem in bearded dragons. Also, stress, a bad diet, and overcrowding can also cause respiratory disease.

Most signs of respiratory illnesses are: 

  • Difficult and raspy breaths
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Coughing-like exhalation
  • Mucus around the nose and the mouth
  • Gaping mouth

Respiratory Infection Treatment

You need to deal with the possible cause of a respiratory infection immediately. Check the temperature and humidity. All respiratory infections are best handled in veterinary clinics. To keep your beardie healthy, you’ll probably be prescribed oral doses of antibiotics. You may want to experiment with home remedies for respiratory infections, but if you get into trouble you need to seek help immediately and don’t try anything on your own

How Does Normal Bearded Dragon Poop Look Like?

This is normal poop for a bearded dragon, but it should have a more distinct shape. Lizards have two different types of feces – one is dark and the other is white or light pink. There are actually small white areas on the skin of bearded dragons, but they’re actually urates, not feces. They can’t pass waste products into the feces because their bodies don’t conserve water enough. If the urine test is yellow, that means that your pet might have a problem eating an excessive amount of insect food. Yellow urine is a good sign that your pet needs more dietary protein. Insect meals will cause your stool to be firmer, darker, and dry. Feces from herbivores contain fewer nutrients than those of carnivorous animals. Water is often present around the main part of the poo, but it is only clear if there is no fecal debris in the water.

How Often Should a Bearded Dragon Poop?

Your bearded dragon will often poop once per day. Its size also determines how frequently it poops. You should eat at least 1 and up to 7 times a week.

Is Watery or Runny Poop a Cause For Concern?

When it comes to keeping pets healthy, a bearded dragon’s poop is a good indicator of their overall health. When it comes to your poo, runny poo is a clear sign of a health crisis. This could be due to a parasite, or an underlying illness. If your beardie’s stool is unusually large, has a foul odor, or if it requires frequent bathroom breaks, you should call a veterinarian and have it checked out. 

Bearded Dragon Impaction

Bowel impaction is when an animal swallows indigestible matter that blocks the intestines. You’ll need to have a digestive system that can digest tough materials such as shellac, or an animal that digests it.

Some symptoms are

  • Lack of bowel movement
  • Swollen, bulging, or hard stomach
  • Lack of appetite
  • Inability to pass excrement
  • Other signs related to pain and discomfort 

Treatment of Impaction in Bearded Dragons

Mild cases of beard itch can be cured by giving your beardie a couple of drops of olive oil and following that up with a 20 to 30-minute bath in lukewarm water and a really gentle belly massage. Although this is a home treatment, it’s important to consult with your vet before starting your new service.

Types of Bearded Dragons

Central bearded Dragons

Bearded Dragons

Bearded Dragons Matting

Eastern Bearded Dragon

Western bearded dragon

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