Bearded Dragon Behavior [5 Common Types]

Bearded Dragon Behavior [5 Common Types]

When it comes to unusual and distinctive behavior, there aren’t many lizards that can compare to the bearded dragon. These lizards’ behaviors are wonderful and charming, ranging from the dominant waves of the females to the alpha head bobbing of the males. As a result, we’ll talk about some of the bearded dragon behaviors in this article along with their significance.

Top 5 Bearded Dragon Behaviors with their significance

1. Head Bobbing

Head Bobbing

The first behavior we’re going to be discussing is probably the most entertaining to watch, and that is the head bobbing.

Now, head bobbing is a display of dominance, and this is most common in male bearded dragons. You will typically start to see this behavior once the bearded dragon reaches sexual maturity.

This is kind of a way for a bearded dragon to say, “Hey, I’m the top dog.” A lot of times if you find your bearded dragon bobbing his head in his cage, it’s probably because he’s looking at his own reflection, or he sees himself in a mirror.

And sometimes other animals or even other things in the room can trigger this behavior. Now, if you’re someone who breeds bearded dragons, you will find this behavior a lot especially this time of year because this is the breeding season for bearded dragons.

When you introduce a male and a female bearded dragon, the male dragon, to assert dominance, will fluff out his beard, which will then turn jet black. And then he will begin to bob his head up and down. This leads us to our next bearded dragon behavior, which is the arm wave.

2. Arm wave

Arm wave

This is a submissive behavior from the females as a response to the head bobbing. And this behavior is typically accompanied by a slow bowing motion from the females.

Arm waving is generally just a submissive behavior from one bearded dragon showing the other, “Okay, I get it. You’re the top dog. We’re good, we’re friends.”

So back to discussing putting female dragons with the males during the breeding season. Every now and then you will find a dominant female that wants to bob her head back at the male.

This is not going to last very long because the male bearded dragon, who is larger, is going to grab her by the back of the neck and push her down to the ground until he finds that submissive arm-wave behavior.  

Yeah. There’s nothing politically correct about the animal kingdom.

3. Gaping behavior in bearded dragon

Gaping behavior in bearded dragon

The third behavior we’re going to be discussing is gaping. And this kind of scared me a little bit when I was younger because when I got my first dragon, I was unaware of this behavior.

One day I walked into my bedroom and looked in my dragon cage, he was sitting under his basking light with his mouth wide open. And I had no idea what was going on.

Gaping is entirely normal behavior for bearded dragons, and this is what they do when they’re trying to release excess heat from their body.

Bearded dragons are actually not the only reptiles that do this. You can find this behavior in crocodiles or alligators as well. The more you know.

4. Digging into the cage

Digging into the cage

The fourth behavior that you’ll notice from your bearded dragon is digging in the cage. And honestly, I will be so surprised if you guys don’t hear dragons in the other room over there- they’ve been digging the whole time!

During this time of year when the bearded dragons are going to be laying their eggs. So if you find your dragon digging around in its cage, that means that she’s trying to find a place to lay her eggs.

And if you see this behavior, then you’ll probably want to move her into a separate container with some sort of dirt so that she can dig around and find a comfortable place to lay her eggs.

And if you only have a female bearded dragon and you’re thinking, “Well no, this can’t happen because I never put her with the male this year.”  

Bearded dragons CAN ovulate, and they can produce eggs. They won’t be fertile, but you’ll still want to put them in a container where she’s more comfortable laying her eggs.  

5. Outdoor aggression behavior in bearded dragon

Outdoor aggression behavior in bearded dragon

And the final behavior we’re going to talk about is outdoor aggression. I notice this behavior in my dragons all the time when I take them outside to give them sunlight.  

And even though my bearded dragons might be tamed, they might be completely fine if I walk in their cage and I take them out to hold them- but once they’re outside, a lot of times you’ll notice that they’ll open their mouth wide open, they’ll fluff out their beard, they’ll act very aggressive and act like they want to bite.

Don’t be afraid if you see this behavior. Bearded dragons are just very aware of their surroundings, especially when they’re outside.

So if you walk up to their cage suddenly and they see a large, what might look like a predator at first, they are going to try to defend themselves.

Also keep in mind that birds are natural predators of bearded dragons, so if they see them flying around outside, it does tend to spook them a little bit.

Even the tamest of dragons can act aggressive when they’re outside.

That’s it, guys! I hope you enjoyed this article on the behaviors of the amazing bearded dragon, and what they mean. Thank you.

Also, read What to feed a bearded dragon [Easy Guide].

Leave a Reply