Decoding 5 Adorable Bearded Dragon Behaviors

If you want to communicate with your bearded dragon and know what they want? What they are trying to communicate? What do they need? You want to know what is meant by the common behaviors of your dragon and what they are trying to say to you. Understanding these behaviors will bring you more closely to your pet dragon and it will have a very positive effect on its health and mood. Your bearded dragon will remain healthy and happy in your captivity.

Bearded Dragons are exotic and figuring out Why, when and what they need is intuitive. By understanding these common behaviors you will understand their cute gestures, their potential illness, and their aggressive behaviors.

Bearded Dragons usually bob their head when they are trying to attract females in the wild or mating season when they are in captivity. This behavior is more common in males as compared to female bearded dragons. To show dominance, they also bob their head. Bearded Dragon can bob or node their head due to the following reasons:

  • New dragon. When a dragon is placed in a new environment/ home, like you have bought a new dragon, he will bob at you until he gets used to his new surroundings.
  • Ongoing stress. Sometimes dragon bobs their head along puffing out their back. This is an indication of severe stress or fear. It can be caused by a new tank, new décor, or live insects that are left behind in the tank or maybe biting your dragon.
  • Too much light. If your dragon is bobbing in his sleep, he is uncomfortable due to light. In the wild, dragons sleep in complete darkness or the soft light of the moon or stars and your dragon will have the best sleep if you provide the same at home, i.e. complete darkness.

Watching your dragon digging the floor or trying to dig the substrate is quite fun. But what does this cute gesture indicate? Let’s find out:

  • BrumationDragons undergo this natural process in the cold season. When bearded dragons are ready for brumation, they get lethargic and start digging the floor.
  • Pregnancy. Your female bearded dragon also starts digging when she’s ready to lay her eggs. When you notice this, provide them with more calcium to save them from metabolic bone disease as eggs require more calcium.
  • Temperature issuesTo regulate the body heat, your dragon may start digging. This will happen when the temperature of the tank is too hot or too cold for the bearded dragon. Other indications are panting, lethargy, or panicking along with digging. (You can read about temperature settings in Bearded Dragon Tank setup article)

You must have noticed your dragon scratching or pushing the glass of his terrarium, it’s called glass surfing. This behavior looks cute like he’s trying to give you a pose for a photo but there are several reasons and the most common is the space issue. Let’s discuss all the reasons one by one:

  • Lack of space. Small terrarium is the main cause of glass surfing by Bearded Dragon. It can also caused by a proper size of tank but with less space available for a dragon when there is too much décor in the tank. Following are the guidelines for tank size:
    • Dragon Babies (under 10 inches long): Size of Tank is 20 gallons
    • Dragon Juveniles (10 to 16 inches long): Size of Tank is 40 gallons 
    • Dragon Adults (over 16 inches long): Size of Tank is 50 to 75 gallons
    • Dragon Adults (over 20 inches long): Size of Tank is 75 to 125 gallons 

You can also read an article for Tank setup where you can find everything about the tank and your dragon’s needs including the size, décor, material of tank, substrate, lighting, heating, and place in the house for the tank, etc.

  • Pregnancy. As already discussed, females do digging during pregnancy. They also tend to do the glass surfing as well. You can notice a rock-shaped bulge in the pregnant bearded dragon’s abdomen. Surprise. Dragons may glass surf because they are startled by their reflection. If the walls of their glass terrarium are very reflective, this may be the case. 
  • Poor temperature. Too cool or too hot temperature push your dragon out from his tank. Glass surfing is his way of telling you that he is not comfortable due to the improper temperature of the tank. Guidelines for temperature are as under:
    • Set the temperature of the basking point around 95 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit during the day.
    • The temperature of other areas of the tank is around 70 Degrees Fahrenheit.
    • The temperature of the entire tank during the night is around 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Boredom. If your dragon is bored in his tank, he will do the glass surfing as he has nothing more to do in the tank. Dragons love hollow logs, rocks, hammocks, etc. You need to provide all these in his tank. Furthermore, you may spare some time to play with the dragon so that he may not feel boredom.
  • Poo. Some bearded dragons are clean-natured like me and don’t like a dirty tank so when they poo they need you to clean it immediately or they will try to escape the tank and start the glass surfing.
  • Fear. When dragons are afraid of something in the tank like some new installation, décor, or some hidden live insect, they will try to get away from it. In that case, they also do the glass surfing.

This behavior is very common and very easy to understand. Your dragon tail is up when he is alert. You have noticed it all the time when the bearded dragon is chasing live insects.

Waving is one of the most adorable behaviors of a bearded dragon. Bearded dragons are not saying you hello, they show submission by waving. It’s a peace sign, a white flag from Tom & Jerry, a sign that “I come in peace.” A female dragon also waves to a male bearded dragon when she’s attracted to him, especially in mating season.

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 contact us.

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