How To Calm And Tame Angry Bearded Dragon

Like all pets, your bearded dragon also wants to communicate with you can let you know how it feels. For this, they use their body language and show different behaviors. Each bearded dragon behavior depicts a gesture and to understand what they are trying to say, you must know the meaning behind this specific behavior. The following articles will help you to decode common behaviors shown by bearded dragons:

Bearded dragons are friendly pets, they are not generally aggressive by nature but they can become mad at you and show you aggressive behaviors. There can be several reasons behind this madness or angry behavior including mishandling, threats, poor diet or tank setup, etc. You’ll only know the reason behind aggressive behavior when you can interpret it correctly.

So, recognizing the cause of an angry bearded dragon is an important skill that all bearded dragon owners should develop. Understanding the reason behind madness will help you treat them better.

Considering the above, whenever your pet dragon is angry, you need to pay more attention so that you can resolve the issue and offer better care.

When your bearded dragon is mad, they show anger in several ways including glass surfing or trying to escape their tank, twitchy tail, fluffing their beard, or even biting.

This article will discuss the common signs of angry bearded dragons along with how to calm and tame them when they are angry.

The first question that comes to mind is, how do you know if your bearded dragon is angry? Or how do you know if your dragon is mad? As bearded dragons can’t talk or communicate directly that they are angry, so they communicate through their emotions depicted through body language.

Bearded dragons show many warning signs to let you know that smothering is bothering them and they are mad angry or stressed.

Many new bearded dragon owners take these signs as play or as common habits but it is necessary to understand them.

The following are a few warning signs that indicate an angry bearded dragon:

We all know that bearded dragons are friendly and calm pets. But do they bite? and Is their bite is venomous?

Yes, bearded dragons do bite and their bite is not poisonous. Biting is the most obvious sign that you are dealing with an angry bearded dragon who is not happy due to poor handling or any other reason.

To be on the safe side, always use protective gloves while handling your bearded dragon.

Bearded dragons rarely bite, if they are threatened, they try to scare off the predator or opponent by hissing or puffing up. You can say that biting is the last resort, a last-ditch effort, an ultimate expression of anger.

Before biting, there will be many warnings and bearded dragons only bite when they are too upset and don’t like handling at all.

In addition to anger, a new bearded dragon can also bite you as he has not yet settled with you. For him, you may be a predator and he’s just trying to save himself from you. It’s instinct. A bite from a full-grown bearded dragon will be more painful as compared to a baby or young bearded dragon.

Hissing is the first sign that you will receive from an angry bearded dragon. They hiss when they are uncomfortable, threatened, or stressed.

Hissing followed by an open mouth and a flared beard is a common sign of anger or aggression.

Like snakes, bearded dragons also hiss to scare off other predators or persons who they think as predators.

After hissing, bearded dragons will bite you, so be careful and don’t handle your dragon, instead isolate the issue that is bothering them and making them angry.

If your bearded dragon is hissing on you, stay back and give him time to calm down. At this time, check the tank setup, diet, room for other animals or pets, or any other reason that is causing discomfort.

Bearded dragons usually puff up after hissing and it is also a threat sign. Fluffing beard makes them bigger and scarier, especially when their beard turns darker. It can also indicate an incorrect relationship with the owner, your bearded dragon thinks you are a danger, and in this situation, you need to back off.

A fluffing beard is also a sign of excitement or dominance, so it doesn’t mean that your bearded dragon is always angry when he puffs up.

A black beard is also an indication of an angry bearded dragon. He’s stressed due to some discomfort which is also making him angry.

Head bobbing is moving the head up and down. If you observe your bearded dragon bobbing their head quickly, it sign of territorial aggression or dominance or watching their reflection. Bearded dragons don’t like sharing of tank and if you put two bearded dragons in the same tank, they will bob their head quickly. Similarly, if your bearded dragon sees its reflection in glass walls, he might think that it is another bearded dragon with whom he’s sharing the tank, so, he’ll start bobbing quickly.

Bearded dragons bob heads quickly to show anger and to scare away other bearded dragons.

Bearded dragon also bob their head to show dominance over female bearded dragons. It is a common sign that you can observe when a male and female bearded dragons share their tank.

Gaping is opening your mouth wide open. Gaping is usually accompanied by hissing or puffing up. An angry bearded dragon does the gaping to make himself look bigger and scarier.

Gaping is a defense mechanism that bearded dragons adapt to scare away other predators.

If your bearded dragon is angry due to the presence of another pet, another bearded dragon, or even you, he can do the gaping, hissing, or puffing up beard.

Glass surfing is the most critical sight as many bearded dragons misread it. They find it amusing that their bearded dragon is running into the tank and trying to escape it.

Glass surfing is when your bearded dragon runs back and forth in the tank, trying to escape glass walls.

Glass surfing is a sign of extreme stress or anxiety. It can happen when your bearded dragon is angry due to the small size of the enclosure or feeling not safe in the tank when he’s extremely bored or feeling threatened, or when something else is housed in the room. Glass surfing can result in injury due to chafing against the glass walls of the tank.

Tail twitching is a sign of bearded dragon anger when they are not comfortable due to poor handling, your presence, the presence of any other pet, etc. If you hold your bearded dragon and he starts twitching his tail, you need to work on your relationship with your pet.

Till now, you know the signs of angry bearded dragons. But, why bearded dragon is angry? Why your dragon is mad?

Like all pets, bearded dragons also get angry due to several reasons.

In many cases, anger is the byproduct of stress or manifestation of stress.

For a good mood, bearded dragons need a good tank setup, good heating and lighting arrangements, a good diet, toys, exercise, etc. They usually dislike changes. The following are the common issues that can put your bearded dragon in anger:

Usually, bearded dragons don’t mind handling, they enjoy it. Handling and cuddling with your pet dragon is a way to bond with them. So, if you are fond of cuddling, bearded dragons are good to go.

But like all pets, bearded dragons also need some alone time. So, handling them round the clock can cause some problems.

If you are handling your bearded dragon round the clock, it might make them angry.

Bearded dragons will only get annoyed and get angry when handling is too much. Especially, if you handle them after their meal, bearded dragons will get angry. They need proper time and heat to digest their food. So, after a meal, let them rest at a basking spot and enjoy the view of your dragon taking a sun bath.

Bearded dragons also get mad when strangers of excited children handle them. Try to minimize the handling of strangers so that your bearded dragon remains calm.

Shedding is a natural but painful process in which bearded dragon remove their old skin from the new one. Bearded dragons shed as their skin is not elastic and don’t grow as the dragon grows. That is the reason growing bearded dragons shed more as compared to adult bearded dragons. Bearded dragons also shed to remove injured or broken skin.

Shedding is a natural but painful process that causes discomfort for your bearded dragon and makes them angry.

During shedding, your bearded dragon will be stressed and need some alone time. So, if you approach them, they will get angry. Handling during shedding even cause injuries or skin problems to your bearded dragons.

Bearded dragons need alone time when shedding starts and if you handle them, they will get angry.

You can ease shedding by providing them with a well-balanced diet, good heating, lighting, humidity levels, warm baths, etc.

When it’s mating season, hormones in your body start to become a bit crazy and your dragon will become a nightmare. They get pretty annoyed and angry about everything which they don’t like.

During mating season, bearded dragons can’t help it and get angry about everything that they don’t like.

Usually, male bearded dragons are more affected by mating season as compared to female bearded dragons. They get a little less angry. Unfortunately, there is nothing which you can do to help your bearded dragon. You just have to wait and care for your dragon and time will pass and your dragon will be calm.

For overall well-being, a good tank setup with proper heating, lighting, and humidity level is very important. If you successfully replicate their natural habitat in the tank, bearded dragons will be happiest.

New bearded dragon owners usually can’t provide a good tank setup and end up with an angry bearded dragon. They need to check the tank material, tank location, tank size, basking point, and other issues Do bearded dragons see their reflection in the walls? Do they have good substrate in the tank? Do they have toys in the tank? Do they have activities that will keep them exercised? Etc.

You may have seen several bearded dragons sharing a tank in a pet store but it’s not the ideal condition. Bearded dragons don’t like sharing and they prefer to have a complete tank for themselves.

Bearded dragons are territorial in nature and sharing of tanks results in an angry bearded dragon.

In the wild, bearded dragons don’t live in packs, rather they live alone. If you keep several bearded dragons in a single tank, it is against their natural environment and it will cause trouble for you and your bearded dragons.

Bearded dragons get aggressive when sharing the tank. They can even fight and injure themselves.

When bearded dragons share a tank, especially male bearded dragons, they will be stressed and the dominant bearded dragon will have the best basking spot and best food for himself.

Your bearded dragon also doesn’t like proximity to other pets. Even if you are keeping a cat dog or any other pet in the room, your bearded dragon will be stressed. They will think of other pets as a huge predator who will hunt them. This life-threatening situation can cause a lot of stress and anger in bearded dragons.

Sharing space with other pets is stressful for bearded dragons as they think they are predators who will hunt and eat them.

Sharing of space will compel your bearded dragon to react according to his defensive instincts, they will hiss, puff up, and try to be the dominant one in the space or if they are scared, they will simply try to run away from the predator.

Bearded dragons love familiarity and once they get settled in, they don’t like any change in their enclosure. They take time to settle in and adapt to the changes.

If you suddenly make any change in the enclosure, even a simple change such as changing a dish, bearded dragons get angry.

If you change the complete tank or shift them to the new tank, bearded dragons might take several weeks to get settled. At this time, you need to be careful and try to avoid handling. If you have to handle them, use protective gloves. All you can do is give them time to settle in in their new environment.

Bearded dragons are very sensitive to noise and they simply hate loud noises. Noises can scare them and your bearded dragon will get angry.

Loud noise and vibrations scare the bearded dragon and cause anger and stress.

Like noise, vibrations are also a problem for them. Vibrations can irritate them and cause anger and stress. You need to place the bearded dragon’s enclosure away from the TV or other loud noises.

A good heating setup is very important for bearded dragons. In the wild, they live in warm environments but still, like all animals, bearded dragons also have some limits. The following table will help you to set the ultimate temperature at different parts of the tank:

If the temperature is beyond these limits, your bearded dragon might end up angry. To keep track of temperature, always use a digital thermometer or temperature gun.

As already discussed, bearded dragons like similarity and they don’t like any changes in the tank. If you change the tank of your bearded dragon, they will be annoyed and they will take several weeks to settle in in their new tank. You need to be patient and let them take their time to adapt to the changes.

Like all pets, bearded dragons also don’t like to be in pain. Sickness or injuries will cause stress and make them angry.

Usually, a sick or injured bearded dragon seems calm while resting, but if you pick them up, they will show aggressive behavior and even bite you.

Besides visible injuries, your pet dragon might be suffering from internal diseases like metabolic bone disease (MBD), yellow fungus disease (YFD), prolapse, mouth rot or impaction, etc.

Changing of location of an enclosure will have the same effects on bearded dragons as changing anything in the tank or shifting them to the new tank. They will need some time to get used to a new environment. Some bearded dragons might take a few days, while other bearded dragons may take several weeks.

So, till now you know the signs of an angry bearded dragon and the causes that are responsible for this anger. But what to do with an angry bearded dragon? How to calm them down?

First, you need to isolate the reason for anger then you can easily resolve it and calm your bearded dragon.

Below is a list of common solutions to bearded dragon’s anger:

Your bearded dragon might be feeling angry due to the small size of the enclosure or the enclosure is too filled with accessories, taking all place and your bearded dragon can’t run around.

To cheer them up, you need to select the proper size of the enclosure. The following table will help you to estimate the size/  age of the bearded dragon and select the enclosure accordingly:

Similarly, if the enclosure is according to their age, you need to check the accessories. If there are too many accessories, you need to reduce them and make room for your bearded dragon.

Bearded dragons also get bored and you can cheer them up by providing toys like reptile bridges, hammocks, and tunnels in the tank. There are also many enriching activities that you can do with your bearded dragons to keep them exercised, i.e. giving them warm baths, taking them out for walks, etc.

Who doesn’t like a warm, relaxing bath? If your bearded dragon is stressed, a warm bath will be helpful for them. It will make them relax, hydrate them, and also help them to digest their food easily. A warm bath also bonds you with your bearded dragon.

Like humans, a hungry bearded dragon is always angry. You need to provide them with a well-balanced diet that is also calcium-rich.

Remember that, an adult bearded dragon needs 80% greens and 20% insects while a growing bearded dragon needs 20% greens and 80% insects.

Bearded dragons are omnivorous, which means they eat plants and insects and you need to keep a balance between them for their better health. The following articles will help you to select the proper diet for your bearded dragon:

Bearded dragons like handling and cuddling but too much handling or improper handling can make your bearded dragon angry. They need some alone time too.

While handling, you need to observe whether they are happy with it or not. If they are not happy and showing aggressiveness, you need to reduce the handling time and you need to learn how to handle your bearded dragon.

Just for guidelines, approach slowly to your bearded dragon while picking them up, Never pick them up from the back side, and to keep them familiar, always keep a regular handling session with your bearded dragon.

Shedding is the process of skin removal and bearded dragons go shedding all by themselves. It is a natural but painful process and you can do the following to keep them calm:

  • Give them warm baths.
  • Place rough material in the tank with which they can rub off their old skin.
  • Provide calcium supplements.
  • Never pull off skin or force shedding.
  • Limit the handling.

A good tank setup with proper heating lighting and humidity level is very necessary for a bearded dragon’s well-being. If anything in the tank is out of order, your bearded dragon will be sad and angry. So, to keep them happy and healthy all the time, ensure that you are providing them with a tank that nearly replicates the Australian desert in it.

Bearded dragons are territorial and they don’t like sharing tanks, rooms, or even spaces. To keep them happy, try to do the following:

  • No sharing of the tank with another bearded dragon.
  • Don’t place their tank near another pet.
  • Don’t place the tank in a room that has another pet like a cat or dog.

Bearded dragons don’t like any changes in tank or environment, they simply get mad when something is changed. To keep them happy, you need to set up a good tank with all the necessary accessories and décor. Once you have shifted them into the tank, they will take some time to readjust to a new environment. Once they settle in, don’t change anything.

Bearded dragons are very sensitive to sound, and can use the smallest of vibrations to pinpoint a person’s movement.

While some loud noises can’t be helped, if someone in your family is prone to yelling, loud music, or turning the TV up, you may be causing your dragon some serious angst. Therefore, try to keep noise at a sociable level.

If your dragon is sick or injured, you need to be patient as he can get angry about anything. You need to carefully handle them, and provide them with good medical care, a good diet, and a proper living environment.

Bearded dragons are naturally calm and friendly pets and they don’t show aggressive behavior. But if they get too irritated or threatened, they can show your anger to let you know that they are not feeling well. Something is bothering them.

Showing anger is a way of telling you that they are not happy and something is bothering them.

So, if you ever find your bearded dragon angry, be calm and try to find the reason for anger. Once you know the reason, the half work is done and you can easily resolve the issue.

Hopefully, this article has helped you. If still, there is something with which you need help or you need to provide feedback, feel free to contact us.

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