Bearded Dragon Behaviors

Photo of author
Written By Esrat Jahan

Esrat is a well-regarded animal rescue expert and writer with nearly a decade of experience in animal advocacy. Esrat is the former editor of Tails Pet Magazine and volunteers in animal rescue, including Chicago’s Anti-Cruelty Society and Starfish Animal Rescue.

Bearded dragon behaviors include head bobbing, waving, glass surfing, hissing, beard puffing, digging, twitching, aggressiveness, and changing color. These behaviors can vary and may indicate different emotions or needs.

Bearded dragons are typically gentle, curious, and active during the day. They are popular as pets, with the central bearded dragon being the most common species kept. Owners must understand their bearded dragon’s behavior to ensure their well-being and address any abnormal behaviors or signs of disease.

Signs of disease may include swelling, lack of appetite, depression, lethargy, and other non-specific symptoms. On the other hand, signs that a bearded dragon may like you are approaching willingly, being relaxed and calm, showing curiosity, and enjoying being handled. Understanding bearded dragon behavior helps owners provide appropriate care and build positive relationships with their pets.

Normal Behaviors Of Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons, specifically the central bearded dragon, are known to be gentle, curious, and active during the day. They are popular pet reptiles and display behaviors such as head bobbing, waving, glass surfing, hissing, beard puffing, digging, and twitching.


Bearded dragons are known for their gentle nature, making them an ideal pet for reptile enthusiasts. They are generally calm and docile and enjoy being handled by their owners. It is important to note that each bearded dragon has its unique personality, so there may be some variations in behavior from one dragon to another. However, as a whole, bearded dragons are known for their gentle and friendly demeanor.


In addition to being gentle, bearded dragons are also curious creatures. They are curious about their surroundings and love to explore them. This is why providing them with an enriching habitat with plenty of hiding spots, climbing structures, and toys is essential. You can keep your bearded dragon engaged and mentally stimulated by allowing them to satisfy their natural curiosity.

Active During The Day

Unlike many other reptiles primarily active at night, bearded dragons are diurnal creatures, which means they are most active during the day. This makes them an ideal pet for those who want to interact with their reptile during waking hours. You can watch your bearded dragon explore its enclosure, bask in its heat lamp, and engage in other activities that are part of its daily routine. This active behavior during the day also allows you to establish a regular feeding, cleaning, and socialization schedule with your pet.

Most Common Species As A Pet: Pogona vitticeps

The most common species of bearded dragon kept as a pet is Pogona vitticeps. These dragons are native to Australia and are known for their beautiful color patterns and friendly personalities. Pogona vitticeps are relatively easy to care for, making them a popular choice among reptile enthusiasts. They can live for up to 10 to 15 years in captivity when properly cared for.

In conclusion, understanding the typical behaviors of bearded dragons is essential for providing them with a suitable and enriching environment. By recognizing their gentle, curious, and day-active nature, you can ensure that your bearded dragon feels comfortable and happy in their habitat.


Bearded Dragon Behaviors

Abnormal Behaviors Of Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons exhibit abnormal behaviors, including head bobbing, waving, glass surfing, hissing, beard puffing, digging, twitching, aggressiveness, and changing color. These behaviors may indicate underlying health issues, so owners must monitor their pet’s behavior and seek veterinary attention if necessary.

Signs Of Disease In Bearded Dragons

Like any other living creature, bearded dragons can experience abnormal behaviors that may indicate an underlying health issue. Pet owners must be aware of these signs and take appropriate action to ensure their dragon’s well-being. While some signs of disease may be specific to certain conditions, others can be more non-specific and indicate a general health problem.

Specific And Non-specific Signs Of Disease

Specific signs of disease in bearded dragons may include jaw or hind limb swelling, which can be seen in cases of metabolic bone disease. These signs are directly associated with a particular condition and should be taken seriously. On the other hand, non-specific signs of disease are more general and can be symptoms of various health issues. These include anorexia (lack of appetite), depression, and lethargy, which can be observed in many diseases affecting bearded dragons.

Pet owners must closely monitor their bearded dragons’ behavior and look out for unusual or abnormal signs. Proactively recognizing and addressing these signs can significantly contribute to your pet’s overall health and well-being.

Here’s a summary of abnormal behaviors and signs of disease to watch out for in your bearded dragon:

  • Abnormal tail curling gesture
  • Head bobbing
  • Waving
  • Glass surfing
  • Hissing
  • Beard puffing
  • Digging
  • Twitching
  • Aggressiveness
  • Changing color

If you notice any of these behaviors or signs, it is recommended that you consult a veterinarian who specializes in reptile care. They can properly diagnose and develop a treatment plan tailored to your bearded dragon’s needs.

Remember, as responsible pet owners, it is crucial to prioritize the well-being of our beloved reptile companions. Regular check-ups, proper nutrition, and a well-maintained habitat can go a long way in ensuring a happy and healthy life for your bearded dragon.

Signs That A Bearded Dragon Likes You

Signs that a bearded dragon likes include willingly approaching you, being relaxed and calm in your presence, showing curiosity by following your movements, and enjoying being handled with a quiet demeanor and loose limbs.

Bearded dragons are known for their friendly and social nature, and if you have one as a pet, you may wonder if they like you. Fortunately, there are several clear signs that a bearded dragon enjoys your company and considers you a friend. Observing their behavior and body language can give you valuable insights into their feelings towards you.

Approaching Willingly

One of the first signs that a bearded dragon likes you is their willingness to approach you. If your dragon confidently walks towards you when you’re nearby, it indicates they feel comfortable and safe in your presence. This behavior suggests that they trust you and enjoy your company. Remember to approach them slowly and gently to maintain their trust and prevent any feelings of fear or aggression.

Relaxed And Calm In Your Presence

A bearded dragon that is relaxed and calm around you is happy. They feel secure and enjoy your company if they are at ease when you’re around. You may notice that their body language is relaxed, with their limbs spread out comfortably and their eyes half-closed. They may also exhibit a slow, steady breathing pattern. These simple behaviors indicate that your bearded dragon feels safe and content with you.

Curiosity And Enjoyment Of Being Handled

Another sign that a bearded dragon likes you is their curiosity about your movements and their enjoyment of being handled. If they show interest in your activities by following your movements with their eyes, it demonstrates their curiosity and engagement with you. When you take them, a happy bearded dragon will display contentment through their body language. They will have relaxed limbs and a calm demeanor, and they may even close their eyes. These signs indicate that they find comfort and enjoyment in your touch.

By observing these signs, you can strengthen your bond with your bearded dragon and give them the love and care they need. Always be patient and gentle with them, as positive interactions will reinforce their liking for you and ensure a happy and healthy relationship.

Common Behaviors Of Bearded Dragons


Bearded dragons are popular pet reptiles known for their gentle and inquisitive nature. Understanding their common behaviors can help you better care for and interact with your bearded dragon. In this article, we will explore some of the most common behaviors exhibited by bearded dragons.

Tail curling gesture

Tail Curling Gesture

The tail-curling gesture in bearded dragons is a fascinating behavior that conveys their alertness. Bearded dragons will curl their tails up when excited, chasing prey, or running away from a potential threat. This gesture serves as a visual signal to communicate their state of mind.



Lethargy is a behavior seen in bearded dragons when they appear excessively tired or lack energy. Monitoring your bearded dragon’s activity levels is essential, as lethargy can signify illness or discomfort. If you notice prolonged periods of inactivity or a significant decrease in your usual activity, it is advisable to consult a reptile veterinarian.

Glass surfing

Glass Surfing

Glass surfing is an expected behavior in bearded dragons, where they repeatedly move against the glass walls of their enclosure. It is believed to be a sign of stress, frustration, or boredom. This behavior may occur due to various reasons, such as inadequate enclosure size, lack of stimulation, or the presence of external stimuli. Providing ample space, enrichment activities, and a suitable environment can help reduce this behavior.

Head bobbing

Head Bobbing

Head bobbing is a fascinating behavior often displayed by male bearded dragons as a form of communication. It is commonly observed during dominance displays or courtship rituals. Male bearded dragons will rhythmically bob their heads up and down to establish dominance or express interest in a potential mate. This behavior is not typically seen in female bearded dragons.

Beard puffing

Beard Puffing

Beard puffing is a behavior that involves the inflation and darkening of the bearded dragon’s throat area, known as the beard. This behavior can indicate various emotions, including aggression, fear, or territoriality. Bearded dragons may puff their beards when feeling threatened or trying to establish dominance. Observing the context and other accompanying behaviors is essential to determine the underlying cause of this behavior.

Color changes

Color Changes

Bearded dragons have the remarkable ability to change their colors, especially on their body and head regions. Various factors, such as temperature, light, mood, or environment, can influence color changes. For instance, bearded dragons may darken their colors to absorb more heat or lighten their colors when relaxed or content. While color changes are intriguing, they should be considered a part of the bearded dragon’s natural behavior and not necessarily indicative of health issues.


Explained Behaviors Of Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons are fascinating creatures with unique behaviors that can sometimes leave their owners curious and intrigued. Understanding these behaviors can help us better care for and connect with these amazing reptiles. Here are some common behaviors of bearded dragons:

Arm Waving

One of bearded dragons’ most endearing and often misunderstood behaviors is arm waving. Arm waving occurs when a bearded dragon lifts one of its front legs and waves it. This behavior is commonly seen in males during courtship or when they feel threatened. It can also be a way for a bearded dragon to communicate dominance or submission to other dragons. While arm waving may seem strange to us, it is normal behavior for these reptiles.

Head Bobbing

Head bobbing is another behavior that bearded dragons exhibit, especially males. This behavior involves the reptile rapidly moving its head up and down. Head bobbing can have several meanings, including asserting dominance, signaling aggression, or trying to attract a mate. Bearded dragons may also head bob as a way to communicate with their owners or to show excitement. It’s important to understand that head bobbing is a natural behavior for bearded dragons and not necessarily a sign of distress.


Bearded dragons are endemic to arid regions, and digging is a behavior that reflects their instinct for burrowing. You may notice your bearded dragon digging in its enclosure, especially if you provide a suitable substrate. Exploring helps them regulate body temperature and provides security and comfort. By mimicking their natural habitat and providing them with appropriate substrates, you can encourage this natural behavior and create a stimulating environment for your bearded dragon.

Mouth Open

Seeing your bearded dragon with its mouth open may cause concern, but open-mouthed breathing is usual for these reptiles. Bearded dragons may open their mouths to regulate body temperature or to release excess heat. This behavior is known as “gaping,” allowing them to cool down when too warm. It’s essential to ensure their enclosure’s temperature and humidity levels are suitable to prevent overheating and excessive mouth gaping.

Tail Twitching

Tail-twitching is another behavior commonly observed in bearded dragons. This behavior usually indicates an intense emotional state, such as excitement or agitation. Bearded dragons may twitch their tails when hunting, feeling threatened, or trying to communicate with other dragons. Paying attention to your bearded dragon’s tail movements can provide insights into its mood and allow you to better understand and respond to its needs.

In conclusion, understanding the behaviors of bearded dragons can help us create a nurturing environment for these beautiful reptiles. We can ensure their physical and emotional well-being by recognizing and respecting their natural behaviors.

Bearded Dragon Behaviors

Exciting And Unique Behaviors Of Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons are fascinating reptiles with a range of interesting and unique behaviors. Understanding these behaviors will allow you to better care for your pet and deepen your appreciation for these remarkable creatures. In this section, we will explore some of the most intriguing behaviors of bearded dragons.

Alpha Head Bobbing

One of the most captivating behaviors of bearded dragons is alpha-head bobbing. This behavior is commonly observed in males and serves as a communication signal. When a male feels threatened or wants to assert dominance, he will vigorously bob his head up and down. This fascinating display allows bearded dragons to establish their social hierarchy and is a sight to behold.

Arm Waving

Another behavior that you may witness in your bearded dragon is arm waving. This unique gesture occurs when a bearded dragon lifts its front leg and waves it in a circular motion. While the exact purpose of this behavior is not fully understood, it is believed to be a sign of submission or a way to show recognition to other bearded dragons. It is a captivating sight showcasing these reptiles’ intricate social dynamics.


Bearded dragons are natural diggers who often engage in this behavior in their enclosures. By digging, they create burrows in the substrate, which serve as hiding spots and provide security. Digging is also a way for bearded dragons to regulate their body temperature, as they can burrow deeper to cool down or stay closer to the surface to warm up. Providing your bearded dragon with appropriate digging materials and substrate will allow them to express this natural behavior.

Outdoor Aggression

When taken outside, bearded dragons may display signs of outdoor aggression. Territorial instincts and the presence of other animals primarily drive this behavior. Bearded dragons may puff up their beards, hiss, and exhibit a more defensive posture when they perceive a potential threat. It is essential to closely monitor your bearded dragon outdoors and ensure their safety by keeping them away from potential hazards.

Aggressive Behavior

In rare cases, bearded dragons may behave aggressively toward humans or other animals. This can include biting, tail-whipping, or lunging. Aggression in bearded dragons is typically a result of stress, fear, or feeling threatened. It is crucial to assess the underlying cause of this behavior and provide a suitable environment to reduce stress levels. To address aggressive behavior, consulting with a reptile veterinarian or an experienced reptile keeper is recommended.

Natural Predators

Despite their rugged appearance, bearded dragons have natural predators in the wild. This includes birds of prey, snakes, and more giant reptiles. Bearded dragons have developed certain behaviors to protect themselves from these predators. One such behavior is the ability to change their coloration to blend in with their surroundings, making them less visible to potential threats. Understanding the natural predators of bearded dragons can aid in creating a safe and secure environment for your pet.

Bearded Dragon Behaviors

Frequently Asked Questions On Bearded Dragon Behaviors

What Is The Normal Behavior Of A Bearded Dragon?

Bearded dragons are gentle, curious, and active during the day. They are popular as pet reptiles and tend to exhibit behaviors such as head bobbing, waving, glass surfing, hissing, beard puffing, digging, twitching, and color changing.

How Do You Know If Your Bearded Dragon Is Happy?

Bearded dragons show happiness through curious and active behavior, approaching you willingly, and being relaxed in your presence. You can also tell if they like you by their contentment through body language, loose limbs, and a calm demeanor.

What Are Abnormal Behaviours Of A Bearded Dragon?

Abnormal bearded dragon behaviors include head bobbing, waving, glass surfing, hissing, beard puffing, digging, twitching, aggressiveness, and changing color. These behaviors may indicate stress, illness, or discomfort. You must monitor your bearded dragon’s behavior and consult a veterinarian if you notice any abnormal signs.

How Do You Tell If Your Beardie Likes You?

Your beardie may like you if it willingly approaches you, stays calm in your presence, shows curiosity, enjoys being handled, and exhibits relaxed body language.


Bearded dragons are fascinating creatures with unique behaviors. These behaviors can be intriguing, from head-bobbing and waving to glass surfing and hissing. Understanding your bearded dragon’s normal behavior is essential to ensure their well-being and happiness.

Additionally, being aware of abnormal behaviors can help identify potential health issues. By paying attention to your bearded dragon’s body language and behavior, you can better understand their needs and build a strong bond. So, keep observing and learning about your bearded dragon’s behaviors to provide them with the best care possible.

Leave a Comment