Most bearded dragons are docile and friendly pets and they quickly become quite comfortable with their surroundings and their caretakers. But that is not to say that they don’t hate certain things around them. They just can’t tell you what they don’t like.
And it is up to you to understand your pet so that you can give it what it deserves – lots of care and love.
So what things do bearded dragons hate? Here’s a list of 15 things that bearded dragons absolutely hate.
Things bearded dragons hate
1. Being grabbed from above
Bearded dragons hate to be grabbed from above. It makes them feel threatened. Hence, if you want to hold your beardie, don’t grab for it from the top. Instead, gently lift it from the sides.
2. Being grabbed from the tail
Holding a bearded dragon by its tail is a seriously bad idea. Not only do they hate this motion, having their back unsupported can cause serious damage to their bones.
3. Ceiling fans
Most bearded dragons absolutely hate whirring ceiling fans above their heads. They perceive the motion as predators out there to attack them and it totally stresses them out.
Bearded dragons don’t like birds. If they are taken out in the open and see birds flying around, they immediately associate it with a threat and get scared and stressed out.
5. Other bearded dragons
It might sound weird that beardies hate others from their own species, but it is especially true in case of male beardies. This is because males are very territorial (as you can read in this article) and their first instinct, when they see another male beardie in the vicinity, is to attack and drive it away.
6. Their own reflection
This might sound downright silly, but it’s true. Beardies hate their own reflection because they think it’s another beardie. If you see a beardie trying to attack the side of its tank, it probably could be because it sees a reflection that agitates it.
7. Small, cramped spaces
A beardie needs enough space to move around. Hence the enclosure in which it is kept needs to be big enough. A sign that the beardie is feeling that its tank is much smaller than it would like is if it tries to claw at the glass as if trying to escape.
8. Not being taken out (Too little space)
Some beardies don’t like being in their tank all the time. They love being taken out. And if you leave them in the tank for a long time without giving them some time outside, they are going to hate it and sulk!
9. Other animals
Beardies usually hate other animals, especially pets around the house such as cats, dogs, rabbits, etc. They get scared and feel threatened and might not want to come out of their tanks if they see some animals roaming around.
Although there are some bearded dragons that like cats…
10. Loud noises
Loud noises stress beardies out. If there is loud music playing in the house, or kids shouting, or even a bathtub filling, it might be too much to take for a beardie.
A beardie is very tuned in to vibrations. So, construction work, heavy machinery, etc. near them can make them feel restless and stressful.
12. Being startled
Beardies hate being startled. Be careful not to tap on the tank or bang loudly on a surface near them.
13. Sudden movements
Any sudden movement around your beardie will signal a threat to it and it might get in a defensive or even an attacking position.
14. The light is on when they want to sleep
Some beardies will not tolerate a white light in their tank when they are trying to sleep at night. They need a little darkness to sleep after a day’s work of being adorable.
This is not true for all bearded dragons. But some beardies just hate veggies. Remember, though, that for a healthy, balanced diet, veggies are important. Hence, they should be coaxed and fed a little amount of veggies every day.
What happens when bearded dragons hate something?
When bearded dragons hate something, their first reaction could be either fight or flight. And of course, there is a lot of stress associated with it too. Signs that a beardie is uncomfortable with something are:
- The beardie tries to hide or retreat to a corner. (Here are 4 reasons why your bearded dragon is hiding.)
- It tries to avoid being held or handled.
- It hisses at you or at the thing it is agitated with.
- It fluffs up its beard and the beard darkens.
- It tries to attack or pounce.
- A beardie keeping its mouth open an also signal that it’s not happy with something.
- It keeps its eyes closed. This is especially true when it does not like being handled but is somehow tolerating it.
- It keeps clawing at the walls of the tank.
- If a beardie tries to wiggle out of your grip, you should probably let it go.
- It becomes clingy if you are holding it and does not want to go back in its tank or be on its own.
Too much stress is bad for your beardie. Repeated and prolonged stress can cause health problems in your beardie. It could stop eating, lose weight, and in extreme cases, it could even be fatal.
What to do when bearded dragons hate something?
Your pet depends entirely on you for care. When it hates something, it is your responsibility to make sure your beardie does not get too stressed. When you notice the beardie does not like something, handle the situation in the best way possible.
Avoid the situation completely.
If you notice signs that your beardie is not liking something, see if you can avoid it completely.
For example, if it is a ceiling fan that your beardie hates, probably move the tank so that the fan is not directly overhead.
Similarly, keep your movements slow and deliberate when you are near your beardies, especially when you both are new to each other.
Similarly, if you have guests over, especially children, you should be careful that they do not startle the beardie or create a lot of commotion near the tank.
Help the beardie cope with the situation.
On the other hand, there are certain things you cannot avoid. For example, if you have other pets in the house and your beardie is scared of them, you cannot completely take care of the situation.
But you can always try to keep the pets outside the room when you take the beardie out of its tank so that it does not get too agitated.
If your pet beardie hates loud sounds but there is a temporary situation such as some carpentry work next door, you can’t really help it.
In such cases, try talking to your beardie in calm, soothing tones. If it wants to be held, hold it. If it wants to hide in its tank, let it do that.
Avoid keeping two or more beardies together.
Also, since beardies, especially males, hate the presence of other males, they should be kept alone in their tank and never in pairs or groups.
If the tank is small for your growing beardie, consider moving it to a bigger tank. If it is getting stressed due to its own reflection, place a towel on the side of the tank so that there is no reflection on the walls.
If you can’t believe this, or if you want to learn more about that, I highly recommend reading this article: Can bearded dragons live together in one tank? – This will explain everything.
The best way to understand your bearded dragon is to observe it and take cues from its behavior. As an owner of this amazing pet, it is your responsibility to ensure that it gets an environment which is conducive to its growth and which keeps it happy.
Are bearded dragons aggressive? No. Bearded dragons are not generally aggressive. In fact, they are quite docile. However, if they are threatened or provoked, they might try to attack and/or bite.
Can bearded dragons hear you? Yes. Bearded dragons have sharp ears and they can hear you quite well. In fact, they can are even tuned in to vibrations well and can detect movement around them.
Can bearded dragons recognize their owners? Yes. Bearded dragons soon come to recognize the person(s) who takes care of them. They even recognize and respond to the voice of the person who spends a lot of time with them.