Having a bearded dragon as a pet is both an exciting and rewarding experience. As you get to know your new companion, it’s important for you to be able to recognize the signs that they are happy and comfortable in their environment – especially with you.
Scientists are not sure if bearded dragons are capable of liking human beings. However, they can definitely get used to their owners. Your bearded dragon likes you when it lets you pick it up, doesn’t run away from you, voluntarily climbs on you, and can sleep comfortably on or around your body.
In this post, we’ll learn more about the other signs that signal whether or not your bearded dragon is giving out warm vibes, as well as single out the negative behaviors that you should watch out for.
Table of Contents
Common Signs that Your Bearded Dragon Likes You
Although no study can prove that bearded dragons can “like” humans the same way a dog or a cat would, there are still ways to gauge if your bearded dragon is comfortable in your presence.
Interested in knowing what your bearded dragon’s trying to tell you? Here are the nine most common signs!
1. It doesn’t run away
Bearded dragons, like all other animals with natural predators, may feel uncomfortable or anxious in the presence of unfamiliar objects or creatures.
As such, they tend to move away from whatever makes them feel uneasy. Their first instinct is to hide or run, two things that these big lizards are particularly good at in the wild.
In fact, despite their typical sedentary lifestyle, they can actually run up to 9-14 miles per hour when the situation calls for it.
So, if your bearded dragon doesn’t display any of these behaviors when you enter the room or approach it, it’s likely that it feels safe and comfortable with you.
2. It approaches you
Bearded dragons that are used to their owner’s presence won’t just not run away – they may also actively try to approach them when they enter the room.
It’s not unusual to hear of beardies that leave the safety of their hideouts to greet their owners when they come home or wake up in the morning.
Time and time again, you’ll see owners in bearded dragon forums and online communities asking more experienced owners what it means if their bearded dragon is following them around or acting protective around them.
Interestingly, beardies are known to be capable of developing routines. This means if you have daily interactions with your bearded dragon, you shouldn’t be surprised if they’ve grown fond of your company and seek you out when they don’t see you.
3. It shows no signs of aggression
Beardies are very guarded animals. Although they’re usually quite slow-moving and may even appear too lax for their own good, they’re still reptiles, and they can be quite defensive if it feels threatened.
Therefore, if your bearded dragon is showing no signs of aggression towards you – such as hissing, puffing its beard, or biting – you can be confident that it is relaxed and unthreatened by your presence.
4. It lets you pick it up
Bearded dragons aren’t exactly the cuddly type of companion. If your bearded dragon stays calm when you pick them up, it means they trust that you won’t harm them.
That said, beardies can only tolerate so much handling before feeling uncomfortable and stressed, so be sure to give them a break after some time.
Keep in mind that some days, they may not want to be touched at all, and it doesn’t automatically mean they don’t like you. Maybe they’re not feeling well. They could also be in their breeding season or are about to shed.
Last but not least, beardies have individual personalities, too. Some like being handled, while others don’t. You’ll discover this as you spend more time with your bearded dragon!
5. It closes its eyes around you
Bearded dragons have an amazing survival instinct. Out in the wild, they’re constantly scoping out potential threats with vigilant and wide-open eyes.
Even domesticated beardies who were born and raised as pets tend to be cautious of newcomers at first.
That said, when bearded dragons start to recognize you as a harmless presence, they may relax enough to close their eyes or even fall asleep completely.
This is a sign that they have grown comfortable with you and trust that you won’t harm them.
However, you need to consider accompanying body language before making any conclusions. If your bearded dragon is closing its eyes but remains tense and alert, it might just be a defense mechanism. Perhaps it’s trying to look smaller and less threatening.
If that’s the case, it may still be scared or wary of you, so it’s best to keep your distance until it’s fully relaxed.
6. It lays or climbs on you
As mentioned above, bearded dragons tend to be guarded around other animals and humans. However, as natural climbers, they do enjoy exploring different surfaces and heights.
Once they find a safe spot, such as a cozy burrow or cave, that’s the only time that they’ll feel comfortable enough to stay for a while.
So, if your bearded dragon willingly climbs or even lays on you, it’s a sign that it feels safe and secure in your presence.
Some also believe that bearded dragons may grow accustomed to their owner’s scent and body heat.
Whether or not this is true remains to be seen, but there’s no denying that bearded dragons who enjoy laying on their humans are happy and comfortable enough to do so.
7. It licks you
Bearded dragons love using their tongue to explore the world around them. Since they’re lizards, they have in their mouths a vomeronasal organ, more commonly known as Jacobson’s organ, which helps them detect smells.
Due to this, bearded dragons tend to lick anything and everything that catches their interest.
If you just recently got your bearded dragon and noticed that it’s constantly licking your hands or other parts of your body, it’s a sign that the bearded dragon wants to get to know you more – and that it trusts and likes you enough to do so.
It could also be a sign that the bearded dragon is tasting something familiar, such as its own scent on your skin after handling it. Either way, this sweet gesture should make owners feel very happy!
8. Its colors are vibrant
Beardies can change their colors for a variety of reasons. Usually, bearded dragons showcase certain shades of black, brown, and orange as a way to regulate their body temperature and show aggression or submission.
However, bearded dragon owners may also notice that their pet’s colors become more vibrant when they’re around them. This could mean that bearded dragons feel calm and secure in their presence, as opposed to stressed or threatened.
9. It behaves normally
Bearded dragons that are at ease with their owners tend to act like they would if left alone. They will bask, sleep, and roam around their enclosure without hesitation.
Similarly, if your bearded dragon is acting normally in your presence, it’s a sign that it views you as a harmless entity and trusts you enough to go about its business.
Signs That Your Bearded Dragon Doesn’t Like You
Just like how bearded dragons can show their affection, there are also signs that reveal if your bearded dragon doesn’t feel the same way about you.
Some behaviors you should look out for include:
- Beard turning black
- Keeping mouth open
- Running away
Sometimes, these signs are indicative of another issue, such as disease, lack of nutrition, or even the wrong temperature in their enclosure.
You need to look at symptoms as a group and consider their overall body language and behavior before reaching any conclusions.
Earning Your Bearded Dragon’s Affections
Ultimately, bearded dragons are unique creatures with individual personalities, so some bearded dragon owners may have very different experiences from others.
The important thing is to remember that bearded dragons need time and patience in order to adjust to their new home – and their new friend.
As long as you’re gentle and understanding, your bearded dragon will eventually learn to trust and like you!
- Tail Rot In Bearded Dragons: Identification And Treatment - March 29, 2023
- 8 Reasons Why Your Bearded Dragon Is Losing Weight - March 29, 2023
- How To Bond With Your Bearded Dragon Quickly - March 29, 2023