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5 Reasons Why Your Bearded Dragon Stares At You

why is my bearded dragon staring at me?

Have you noticed your bearded dragon staring at you? Does it mean that it loves you? Or is it staring because it is wary of you? It may be concerning when you see your bearded dragon having staring spells, but you do not have to be worried as this behavior is natural to them.

Bearded dragons stare at their owners because they want to be held or let out of the enclosure. They also have staring spells as they are curious about their surroundings and assess for threats. Staring can also happen when they are bored or hungry.

In this article, we are going to discuss the reasons why your bearded dragon stares at you. We will also share how this behavior can help enrich your bond with your bearded dragon. So read on to find out if your beardie loves you when it stares at you!

Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Stare At You

Bearded dragons are naturally curious about their environment. This can be inside or outside the enclosure.

You will notice that as babies or juveniles, your bearded dragon will stare around the things in their enclosure as they are still not familiar with their new territory.

On the other hand, adult bearded dragons are already familiar with the things inside their enclosure, thus they stare at the things outside of their enclosure.

This includes you, and all the other things that are in full view from the enclosure.

1. Bearded Dragon Is Curious

bearded dragon is staring all the time

In this interesting study, various lizards, including bearded dragons, were put in varying incubation and temperature conditions in order to assess if it affected their staring or gazing capabilities.

The only different outcome in the study is the consistency of bearded dragons staring at and observing their surroundings given the prescribed parameters.

The other reptiles in the study had enhanced capabilities and they react quickly to stimuli.

In the case of bearded dragons, it was found that their staring or gazing capabilities remain the same. Further, they did not react differently to other stimuli and just kept staring.

This means that bearded dragons satisfy their curiosity by just staring.

At the same time, they are simply content to stare and will not go out of their way to investigate the thing that is catching their curiosity.

For them, staring is the best way to gather information to be more knowledgeable about what is happening around them.

This is what it looks like when a bearded dragon stares at you.

2. Bearded Dragon Is Looking For Threats

If you just got a bearded dragon and you notice it staring at you while in its hide or even when it is basking, it is possible that it is assessing if you are a threat or not.

Newly bought bearded dragons will do this a lot, especially if you are opening the enclosure to feed them or if you are doing spot cleaning.

There are times that the intrusion may cause them stress, and besides staring, they will also hiss and puff at you.

Make sure not to react negatively to them, as when this happens, it will reinforce the idea in their heads that you are actually a predator.

Also, if you leave live feeders in the enclosure, you will notice that even before they eat the feeder, they will stare at the movements of the insect.

They are simply calculating which is the best way to get to the insect and eat it.

The same goes for beardies that stare at the other reptile enclosures (if you have them) in the room. They can see the other reptiles, so they are gauging whether these reptiles are threats.

In general, this is not bad behavior, but you have to observe your bearded dragon if the staring is causing them stress. Some signs to look for are:

In this case, the staring led to the belief of your beardie that the other reptiles inside the enclosures are threats and thus they are trying to establish their authority and defend their territory.

Even if this is not the case, it will still stress your beardie and it might get sick.

In order to prevent this, you can cover the part of the enclosure that views the other reptile enclosures with a cloth.

You can also move the enclosure of your beardie to a place where the other reptile enclosures cannot be seen.

3. Bearded Dragon Is Bored

Even if there are enough enrichment objects inside the enclosure, there is still a chance that your bearded dragon will get bored.

This does not usually happen to newly bought bearded dragons as the things inside the enclosure are interesting enough for them to satisfy their boredom.

On the other hand, bonded bearded dragons tend to get bored as environment enrichment is no longer enough for them. They want to bond with you, be taken out of the enclosure, or lounge outside.

Therefore, they have staring spells to pass their time until you get home and provide them with some stimulation.

While you are away, you can make the “staring into space” of your bearded dragon more interesting by providing it with a hammock just like this one.

why is my beardie staring at me?
Make sure to not place the hammock near the basking spot so that your beardie will not overheat when it falls asleep while staring outside.

You can also provide additional enrichment objects inside the enclosure. It is best to not leave these objects in the enclosure so as not for them to be a permanent part of the enclosure.

In doing so, your beardie will still find these objects interesting.

You can provide them with a different hide that has other holes that they can crawl through, just like this one.

You can also put toys inside the enclosure that moves whenever they touch it. This type of toy will also be a form of exercise for your beardie.

4. Bearded Dragon Is Hungry

It is possible that your bearded dragon is staring at you because it is hungry. Even if you already have a bond with your beardie, in its perspective, your presence is also associated with food.

This may happen even if you follow a consistent feeding schedule as your beardie might be asking for treats.

Make sure to not give in to their stares and give a treat each time, as that is a dangerous combination for making your beardie obese.

It is also likely that your beardie is staring at you while you prepare its food. They may be curious as to what food you are going to offer them that particular day.

5. Bearded Dragon Wants To Be Held Or Let Out

bearded dragon staring

Here is the good news that you have been waiting for! It is possible that your beardie is staring at you because it wants your company. Does this mean that they love you?

There are still no studies to confirm this, but as with the experiences of other owners, beardies can truly express affection towards their owners.

In the meantime, it is a welcome thought that your beardie is staring at you because it wants to be held and petted.

This is particularly the reason for the staring, especially if your beardie stares at you and it walks from one end of the enclosure to the other while following your movements. Once they are held, your beardie may still stare at you.

On the other hand, make sure that you are not stressing your beardie while they are being handled.

If you notice that it closes its eyes during handling, it may be a sign of stress. You can read this article to learn more about this behavior.

If your bearded dragon stares at you and waves its arm, it is a sign of submission. Therefore, it does not see you as a predator and it is open to be handled. They may also stare at you and bow their heads to urge you to pick them up.

For beardies that are also used to be taken to the garden or the yard, they will also stare at you as a means of communicating that they want to go outside.

You can seize this opportunity to bond with your bearded dragon more as you take it for a walk outside.

In doing so, make sure that you keep your bearded dragon on a harness and leash (we recommend this one). Just so it will still feel secure and knows that you are with it as it explores a bigger area.

Tip: We show you how often you can hold your bearded dragon here!

What Does It Mean When My Bearded Dragon Stares Upward?

This is called stargazing, and it has a purely different meaning from the reasons that we discussed above. In this case, your bearded dragon is staring upward because it is experiencing discomfort, most probably from Adenovirus.

If this is the case, you need to visit the vet for a proper diagnosis. You should also make sure that you do not expose your beardie to your other reptiles as it is an infectious disease.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for this. Alternatively, the treatment plan is just managing the symptoms.

Final Thoughts

There is nothing wrong with your bearded dragon when it stares at you. It may be asking you to provide stimulation, food, or company.

On the other hand, make sure that the staring is actually not stargazing because this behavior is associated with an illness.

Try to indulge your bearded dragon when it is asking for attention, as this will deepen your bond. Just do not go overboard with the treats!

Pierre And The ReptileCraze Team
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