Bearded dragons are one of the most popular pet reptiles in the world. Not only because they are cute, easy to take care of and look like a dragon. Nope! They are also very calm and most of them can be petted and handled right from the start, without doing anything.
So of course this makes them good, so called “starter reptiles” and further they are awesome reptiles for kids.
However there are some bearded dragons which do not want to be petted, handled or even looked at. Those beardies will bite their owners and get in full dragon mode as soon as a human gets close to them. Others are pretty shy and hide whenever somebody gets too near to the terrarium.
So if you visit this article, you most probably want to know how to tame your bearded dragon quickly. Good news! You came to the right website.
In this article I will show you that taming a bearded dragon is pretty easy and only requires three simple steps.
Before we get right into things here, I just want to mention one thing. Do not believe anybody who tells you that your bearded dragon can´t be tamed. That´s just not true. Every dragon can be tamed. So let´s start!
Step 1 – Let that beardie get used to you
The first step does not require real action. No matter if your bearded dragon is totally aggressive or if it is shy as hell, it needs to get used to your presence. Whatever you do, do it near the tank of your bearded dragon.
Don´t get me wrong here, I do not want you to carry your bearded dragon tank with you to the toilet so that you can always be near your dragon. Just do normal things near to the terrarium.
If you watch TV, do it next to your bearded dragon tank. If you call a friend, sit beside the tank, so that your dragon can see you. Spend as much time as possible near your bearded dragon.
There will be a point when the bearded dragon will see you as something normal. In fact this is the technique I use to get my dragons used to everything new and it works perfectly fine.
When I bought a leash for my beardies I just placed the leash near the tank for a couple of days to let my dragons get used to the leash. Putting on the leash was sooo easy after that. In case you want to go outside with your bearded dragon, I recommend to use this leash.
Step 2 – Handfeeding, handfeeding, handfeeding
When you feed your dragon, do you just throw the food into the dragons cave and hope that this sacrifice offering will not make it kill you? Yes? ….. Beeeeeep, stop it, now!
Stop just throwing the food into the tank. If you really want to tame your dragon, you need to start handfeeding it.
In the first couple of days, you should just place your hand inside the tank, so the beardie can get used to your hand in its territory.
Especially with shy bearded dragons, this works great. Aggressive dragons might start to defend its territory and try to bite your hand. If so, you can skip this step, or put on a thick glove, so your dragon won´t hurt you.
Please note, that you should not overdo it. If your dragon is attacking you all day, it will get exhausted and that might be too much stress for your dragon.
Getting used to your hand also means that you bearded dragon should learn that your hand means food. So get your tweezers out or if you are very courageous feed your dragon with your bare hands.
At first it might take a long time till your dragon will take the food out of your hand, but believe me, your dragon will take it after a while. If it does not take the food, simply skip feeding and feed it the next day. The more hungry your dragon gets, the more it is willing to do to get the food.
Please note that this will do no harm to your dragon. In the wild they are used to not eat for a couple of days if they can´t find or catch food.
If you own a baby bearded dragon I would not recommend to skip feeding, since your beardie is growing and it is better if they eat every day. It most probably will not be necessary anyway, since they are hungry as hell every day when they are growing.
Do not stop offering water!!
Step 3 – Step on your hand
Now we come to the final step. You should have already handfed your dragon for a couple of days. Your bearded dragons is more used to you now, since you are getting into that handfeeding you should take it to the next step.
If you feed your dragon with your right hand, place your left hand under the food you are offering with tweezers (or your bare hand if you are brave), so that your dragon needs to step on your hand to reach the food.
It most probably will be distracted at first and it will take a long time until it will be brave enough to step on your hand to get the food, but the hunger always wins.
If it does not work, simply do as I have described in Step 2, just skip one feeding and feed it on the next day.
Remember, the more hungry your dragon is, the more it is willing to do to get the food. On the second day without food, it most probably will jump on your hand without hesitating. Offering treats your dragon loves most, will make things easier. For example get some superworms whenever you want to train your dragon to get on your hand.
Again, do not skip feeding if you have a baby bearded dragon or if you have a undernourished dragon. The health of your beardie is always the most important thing, never forget that.
Why taming a bearded dragon is important
Handling a shy bearded dragon means a lot of stress for the animal. However, sometimes you need to handle your dragon, for example if you need to go to the vet or if you want to clean the habitat.
For shy bearded dragons even watching them can be too much stress for them and that´s not what you want. Too much stress will cause health problems, so in my opinion it is very important that your dragon stays calm when you are near the tank or if you need to handle it.
Besides that you can do a lot more things with your bearded dragon if it does not freak out if you touch it. Just have a look at this article: 10 Best Bearded Dragon Activities And Toys.
I have listed a lot of great exercises there, which are good for your dragon, since they prevent depression, boredom and sluggishness.
Without taming your dragon, most of those exercises would not be possible.
If your dragon steps on your hand while being fed without hesitating, you should get your dragon out of the habitat and do some additional exercises. Have a look at the video below:
Did you need to tame your beardie or was it already calm when you got it? Tell me about it in the comment section!
Before you leave!
Since I receive many comments and emails from bearded dragon owners that tell me that their bearded dragon is refusing to eat greens, I decided to help with this issue.
What most bearded dragon owners do not know is that a bearded dragon that does not eat greens might be sick or is on the best way to getting sick.
Bearded dragons are omnivores, which means that they eat anything they can find in the wild. The problem that most bearded dragons are picky when it comes to food only arouses due to bad husbandry.
If your bearded dragon is refusing to eat greens, and maybe even only accepts mealworms as food, I highly recommend that you get my ebook: How To Make Your Bearded Dragon Eat Greens Within 7 Days!
After going through the steps outlined in the ebook I will personally check on you and your beardie via email and will support you if needed.
Keep your beardie healthy!