Why Do Bearded Dragons Hiss? Be Careful!

Why Do Bearded Dragons Hiss You heard a weird sound from your bearded dragon even though it usually does not make any sounds? It is lying there with an open mouth hissing at you and now you ask yourself, why do bearded dragons hiss? Here is the answer.

Bearded Dragons only hiss when they feel threatened. In addition to that, they show a black beard and puff up to seem bigger and more dangerous in order to scare the threat away.

So what do you do if your bearded dragon is just hissing in its tank, but you don´t notice any possible threat? What can you do if your bearded dragon is hissing at you? Read further to learn more.

Why Do Bearded Dragons Hiss?

If a bearded dragon feels threatened it will hiss. In addition to that it will show a big, puffy black beard, it will leave its mouth open and sometimes it even shows a darker coloring as usual.

Bearded dragons have a clear body language. A black beard most of the times shows that the bearded dragon does not feel comfortable. Something is disturbing the bearded dragon.

The big and puffy beard is for seeming bigger than they actually are and to show the beautiful dark coloring.

Is Your Bearded Dragons Seeing Its Reflection?

Some bearded dragon owners are wondering why their bearded dragon is just hissing inside its tank out of nowhere.

If your bearded dragon is living inside a glass tank, it might be that it is able to see its own reflection. Bearded dragons are loners and they should not be kept in groups. Male bearded dragons are very territorial and will always fight or oppress another male bearded dragon.

So if a bearded dragon sees its own reflection it gets into defensive mode to scare the “intruder” away. Since the reflection will not go away, this can mean a lot of constant stress for your bearded dragon and it is very important that you change a couple of things in your tank then.

It can help if you move the lighting so that the reflection isn´t that strong. However, you should also think about getting hides and plants for your bearded dragon tank.

Hides are very important for bearded dragons as they give them the feeling to always have an escape plan. Plants can be used as hides as well, but they can also be used to cover the tank in a way that the bearded dragon is not able to see its reflection anymore.

Besides that, plants look absolutely fantastic in a bearded dragon tank. If you need some help with finding the right plants for your beardie tank, click here to read my bearded dragon plant guide.

If you are looking for some hides, you don´t have to get anything fancy. Any hide that is big enough for your bearded dragon will do the job. I show you which hides I prefer in this article on bearded dragon decoration.

Your Bearded Dragon Feels Exposed

Many bearded dragon tanks are poorly equipped. No real substrate, just one or maybe even no hide at all and a water bowl. That is not an appropriate habitat for your bearded dragon.

Your bearded dragon could feel exposed.

So, as I said above, I highly recommend that you get some hides, get some plants, logs and branches to create an awesome home for your bearded dragon.

The lesser your bearded dragon can see what is going on around the bearded dragon cage, the less reasons your bearded dragon has to hiss. Bearded dragons have excellent eyes and they see as good as you can see.

So if your bearded dragon is hissing all the time, it could be that it has seen a bird in front of the window. Or maybe your TV is scaring your bearded dragon. Maybe your dog, your cat, your office chair are scaring your bearded dragon.

That´s why it is so important to create a home for your beardie where it feels absolutely safe. The hissing will go away and it will be way calmer as it knows that it can always hide if it wants to.

Other Bearded Dragons Might Scare Your Beardie

As I said, bearded dragons are loners and if you have two or more bearded dragons, this means that there is actually a real threat right in front of your bearded dragon.

Hissing is just the beginning. You should definitely separate those beardies as they will fight otherwise.

Why Does My Bearded Dragon Hiss At Me?

You are huge and could kill a bearded dragon easily. That´s why your bearded dragon feels threatened and hisses at you. That is the main reason, but hissing out of nowhere can have various reasons.

If you just got your bearded dragon and it doesn´t like you and hisses at you, don´t worry. That is absolutely normal, your bearded dragon just has to get used to you. Give your bearded dragon some time to get used to the new environment and it will get used to you as well.

If your bearded dragon just hates you and hisses whenever it sees you or whenever you touch it, there is a way to tame it. If you need help with that, click here to learn how to tame a bearded dragon in 3 steps.

Your bearded dragon was always calm, but now it is hissing without any apparent reason? Maybe it is time to brumate and your bearded dragon wants to be left alone. Shedding bearded dragons are also known for being a little bit grumpy or aggressive sometimes.

Or maybe you have a female and it wants to lay eggs. Even female bearded dragons that live alone lay unfertilized eggs.

Never Grab From Above!

If you grab your bearded dragon from above it could be that your bearded dragon thinks you are a predator and it hisses at you. That´s why I always recommend to get a tank with front doors which will make it easier to grab your bearded dragon from the side.

Your bearded dragon also might start to hiss at you if you have accidentally hurt it.

What Comes After Hissing?

Hissing in bearded dragons is a very aggressive warning and if you don´t understand the warning you will get slapped. It will literally slap you with its tail or it will bite you.

Extremely aggressive bearded dragons should always be handled with gloves. Don´t risk any infections from a bearded dragon bite.

What Does A Bearded Dragon Hiss Sound Like?

In my opinion a bearded dragon hiss sounds like a soft cat hiss. If it does not sound like that or if your bearded dragon is not showing a puffy black beard and “hisses” whenever it breathes, it might be something different.

It could be that your bearded dragon is suffering from lung inflammation or a similar disease.


Bearded dragons will hiss whenever they feel threatened. You should not forget that bearded dragons are very territorial and could see you as an intruder if you put your hand inside the tank or if you just stand near the tank.

The things I have told you above will help to calm your bearded dragon down.

I am sure this article answered the question: Why do bearded dragons hiss? Still, if you have a question, just leave a message in the comment section below.

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