Termed the “bearded dragon,” the average human being, not familiar with this beautiful reptile, would probably want to make an escape when faced with one of them!
They would probably also expect a bearded dragon to be fierce and fiery. Some may find them unattractive looking and anticipate aggressiveness. But are they really mean?
Are bearded dragons friendly? Yes, bearded dragons are one of the most meek and friendliest reptiles you will ever encounter. Bearded dragons are popular pets, as their friendly demeanor is one of their most beautiful traits. Take some time every day to get to know one and that beardie will be behaving similar to a dog.
Let’s find out exactly how friendly bearded dragons are, and perhaps you’ll be persuaded to welcome a bearded dragon into your family home?
Are You Familiar With Bearded Dragons?
If you’re not familiar with this friendly reptile, let’s quickly review a few points and get you up to speed. If you are, you can just skip this point and get to the first fact below that shows how friendly bearded dragons are.
- They are endearingly known as the bearded dragon, or better yet, beardie. Scientifically, bearded dragons are referred to as Pogona Vitticeps.
- Bearded dragons are omnivorous creatures with an average lifespan ranging from 4 – 10 years. Beardies can grow up to 22 inches long and weigh between 10 to 18 ounces.
- Beardies originate from the Australian Outback with pyramidical-like scales covering their skin.
- Beardies have chins covered with spikes, which give them that beard-like appearance.
- Bearded dragon breeds range in vivid color from orange to reds, yellows, and greens, as well as white, including various mixtures of color.
1. Bearded Dragon Demeanor
Bearded Dragons are gentle-natured creatures who are also quite social. They are easily tamed and enjoy being handled by their beardie parents. They also like to be perched on the shoulders of their beardie parents or relax on their laps or be very close in proximity to them.
Bearded dragons are unique, though, each with their own peculiar mannerisms and persona. Some beardies may seem a bit feisty, while others are mellow and relaxed.
They are also wise little creatures who are able to recognize their owners and swiftly move towards the side of the habitat to merrily greet them as soon as they see them.The video below shows you how calm bearded dragons can be.
2. Behavior Towards Other Bearded Dragons
Aggression in adult bearded dragons may be shown towards other beardies in an attempt to protect their territory from other male beardies, brawling for food, or competing for attention from female beardies.
Further, female beardies who don’t appear submissive to a male beardie may be attacked by said male beardie.
Both female and male bearded dragons have the “signature” beard, which is vital for communication in beardies. An open mouth, raised chin and puffed out beard are signs of a threatened beardie.
The underside of their necks will also turn black in color. These acts are all performed to give the impression of being a bit bigger. Additionally, beardies may sometimes hiss.
Changes in beard color and head bobbing are also ways of communicating in bearded dragons. Beardies seeking dominance will bob their heads in a quick motion, while slowly bobbing their heads and waving the arm indicates submission.
4. Bearded Dragons and Strangers
Bearded dragon parents have always attested to how gentle and friendly their beardies are towards particular people.
Beardies will happily climb on and sit on their owners’ arms, shoulders, chest, or lap for long periods. Though they may feel content with their owners, beardies may behave flighty around strangers.
Beardies will communicate whether they are afraid or distressed. You will need to observe a beardie’s body language before trying to pick it up.
With all that being said, a tame bearded dragon will most likely be willing to be picked up by any human that is gentle enough. I show you some instructions for proper bearded dragon handling below.
5. Bearded Dragons and Children
Provided that kids do not put the entire beardie or beardie poop inside their mouths, bearded dragons are both friendly and fantastic towards kids.
As a parent to both beardie’s and children alike, care should be taken to explain to children what the rules are around handling the beardie.
Beardies are naturally, incredibly docile creatures, and they enjoy being around other humans, which is an ideal combination for kids.
Bearded dragons do normally not hurt, scratch, or bite people, but are gentle, easily handled and bring about massive amounts of fun and laughter!
As enthusiastic as kids are, all you need to do is just remind them to be slow and gentle with a beardie. Also, a good idea is to always be present and monitor the interaction between kids and the beardie.
6. How to Handle A Bearded Dragon So That It Stays Friendly?
Although bearded dragons are meek little creatures, care should always be taken when approaching a bearded dragon, so as not to make them feel threatened or anxious, this goes for anyone who wants to interact with a beardie.
Instructions for handling a beardie, for beardie parents, strangers and children should be understood before attempting to hold a bearded dragon.
Instructions for Approaching a Beardie
When approaching a beardie, you can follow these simple steps outlined below:
- First off, hands should be sanitized before attempting to pick up a beardie.
- Slowly open the enclosure and make it known that you are there.
- Always be gentle and passive. Try not to speak loudly or shout.
- Hands should be moved towards the beardie at a very slow rate.
- Always approach the beardie from the side.
- Hands should be kept still as soon as they are either in front or alongside the beardie. The beardie will understand that there is no risk of danger posed to him.
- Gently talk to the beardie the entire time.
- Pet the beardie either under their chin or at the sides of their cheeks. It will help the beardie to relax, and he may even close his eyes to enjoy the moment.
Now you’ve created the perfect disposition for the bearded dragon to be picked up!
Instructions for Picking Up a Beardie
Next, you can proceed to pick the beardie by following the steps below:
- Start by placing your thumb right next to the beardie
- Then, place your hand over their body so that your thumb and fingers are at either side of the body.
- Place your index finger behind the beardie’s cheek, which will also be at the front of the beardie’s forelegs.
- The middle finger should be placed in front of the hind legs.
- Slowly prop the beardie up and provide support by sliding your remaining fingers under the beardie.
- If they are small, support them under their back legs too, for larger beardies, gentle support should be provided by placing your other hand underneath their hind legs. Supporting their legs is important for making them feel secure and calm.
- Pick up the beardie once you feel that you are properly supporting his entire body.
- You can also have the beardie rest his body on your hand, wrist, and arm by slightly changing the position of your hand.
- Beardie should be firmly held without squeezing to prevent them from making a run for it.
- Enjoy holding the beardie before putting them right back in their living space.
- Once you are finished, and beardie is safe in his home, wash your hands again to prevent germs and bacteria!
Bearded dragons can be very friendly, provided they are handled with gentle care. Beardies tend to shy away if they feel threatened. It is important for beardie owners to socialize their bearded dragons by spending lots of time with them.
Bearded dragons mostly only exhibit aggressive behavior towards their own kind. If they do appear agitated towards humans, with time and patience, they can be tamed.
Beardies are lovely, make excellent companions, and you will not be disappointed should you ever decide to welcome a beardie into your home!