4 Aggressive Bearded Dragon Behaviors to Look Out For

Bearded Dragons are peaceful pets and they don’t usually show aggressive behavior. But if they act aggressively, it can be quite alarming. Common aggressive acts along with reasons for aggressive behavior are as under:

This is a rare behavior for bearded dragons, but alarming nonetheless. Usually, a dragon will only bite for two reasons:

  • Hunger. If your dragon is hungry or poorly abused, then he will bite you. Biting is his way of telling you that he needs more food.
  • Intimidation. A new dragon who doesn’t have any human experience may bite you as he fears you. In that case, you may use rubber gloves to save your hand and try to interact with him, calm him down, and make him comfortable in his new home. When interacting with them,
    • Never Pick a Bearded Dragon directly from above. That is how predators pick them in the wild and they fear it.
    • Never pick them when they are aggressive and their beard is puffed out.
    • Also, learn how to handle your dragon.

If bearded dragons feel threatened, they will hiss. If you are new to them or there is another pet in the near vicinity that they don’t like even if you have got another bearded dragon, they will hiss. They also feel threatened when they see their reflection, or you pick them from above. You need to make them feel comfortable and let them take their time in their new home.

The name “Bearded dragon” is due to their black beard which they puff when they are aggressive.  The following are several causes for their beard puffing:

  • Stress or fear. If the Bearded Dragon is feeling stressed or feared, they tend to puff their beard. Several reasons caused this stressed or feared behavior, i.e. new tank, new décor in the tank, new home, new owner, other pets, etc. You need to observe and understand what is bothering them.
  • SheddingIn some cases, when bearded dragons are undergoing shedding, they tend to puff as they are desperate to remove their skin. This is normal and it will last till the time shedding is in process.

A behavior aptly termed “pancaking” occurs when your bearded dragon flattens its belly against the ground, resembling the shape of a pancake. Typically, pancaking can stem from one of two possible causes:

  • Fear: In their natural habitat, bearded dragons employ the “pancake” behavior as a defensive mechanism to hide from potential predators. Pancaking also serves to toughen the dragon’s spikes, creating a more formidable appearance. Domesticated bearded dragons may exhibit pancaking when outdoors, especially if it’s an infrequent occurrence, or in response to sudden movements.
  • Drop in Temperature: Bearded dragons might flatten themselves out when the terrarium environment is too cold. This behavior is an attempt to maximize heat absorption and regulate their body temperature. If you observe frequent pancaking within the enclosure, it could indicate insufficient warmth. Ensure the basking spot maintains adequate heat, and monitor that nighttime temperatures do not drop too low. Know Your Bearded Dragon’s Behaviors. (Learn about temperature setting in the bearded dragon tank setup and Bearded Dragon Complete Lighting, Heating and Humidity Guide article).

As a bearded dragon guardian, it’s your responsibility to take care of him, understand him, understand his behavior, and try to learn what they want to communicate. To provide them good home and to take care of their health. I hope this article helps you do your job in a much better manner. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us

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