Sunday, November 05, 2006

Taming the Bearded Dragon Pet

The bearded dragon has a long history of making good pets. Most people hear about them being very calm and friendly and they think that they would be a fun and interesting pet. For the most part, the bearded dragon is calm and friendly, but for many bearded dragons, this only comes after they are taught that handling is safe. The bearded dragon has to gain your respect and be reassured that you are safe.

Many bearded dragons may exhibit aggression to their new handlers at first. There are several ways to overcome this aggressive behaviour. One way is to turn their aggression in to hunger. Whenever they are being aggressive towards you, then you will want to withhold food for a day or so. The next time that the bearded dragon gets fed, you will be able to gain the bearded dragon’s respect.

If you always have greens or fruit when you put your hands in the bearded dragon’s cage, the bearded dragon will begin to associate you with food. While the bearded dragon is basking in his habitat, they will often open their mouths gapingly. Placing food in the bearded dragon’s mouth will help the bearded dragon associate your hands with food.

Bribery also works well with the bearded dragon. They love waxworms because the worms are high in fat. These worms are the equivalent of candy to the bearded dragon and although they should be fed sparingly, the bearded dragon will always enjoy them. Using the waxworms as treats and as encouragement for the bearded dragon will help them to associate you with goodness.

Once the bearded dragon allows you to handle them. They will also enjoy being rubbed on the head. Rubbing the bearded dragon’s head will help the bearded dragon to relax and they generally close their eyes and calm down.

Try picking up the baby bearded dragon by the tail. Then lay the bearded dragon in your hand and hold him down with your thumb in a position so that his mouth can’t reach your hands. Hold him securely, yet gently. They may squirm, but you don’t want to put them down while they are squirming. You are basically training your bearded dragon at this point to understand that as long as they are squirming you are going to hold them. When they stop squirming, then you may put them down. If you put them down while they are squirming, then you are only showing them that they can squirm to get put down.

Beaded dragons must also feel secure. Baby dragons may be easily intimidated, especially by other dragons. If the baby is housed with larger dragons, you will want to separate him or her. You may also need to put up a visual barrier so that the baby cannot see the other dragons. This is especially true if you have tanks that are placed end to end. Placing a towel or a piece of cardboard between the tanks will prevent the baby from seeing the other dragons. Make sure that you do not smell threatening yourself. Wash your hands and arms with a non-scented soap before and after handling different bearded dragons or your bearded dragon.

While holding your bearded dragon, ensure that their legs are held up as well. Bearded dragons are very concerned about their little legs and holding their whole body and legs together will give them a sense of security. Begin holding by keeping your hands inside the cage, this will help to make sure that if your bearded dragon slips out of your grasp, then you won’t have to scare them by chasing them around the room. They are also fearful of anything that comes down from above them. Approach the bearded dragon at a horizontal direction and scoop them up rather than reach down a grab. They are naturally inclined to bit anything that comes down from above them.

The key to successfully handling your bearded dragon is time and patience. You will want to consistently pick them up and hand feed them frequently. The more you talk and expose the bearded dragon to you and others, the less frightened they will be. Every time you feed them, attempt to rub their head or back gently. Take baby steps in the handling process and you will slowly gain ground with your baby bearded dragon. Do not push them too much at once and they will slowly come around to the
idea that you are not so bad after all.


Produced by Bearded Dragons Den
All rights reserved

31 comments:

BRANDON said...

i have a question for you maybe you can help me cause at this point i'm very desperate. i have had a bearded dragon for almost a year now and when he was growing he showed small signs of aggression but that past. well about 4 months ago he started getting aggressive again only this time it's way worse he tries attacking me before i even get to the cage i can't open it without him going after me. he's grown to the point to where he is beyond violent and i've done everything you said to do and more and he's not getting any better he's getting worse if there is anything i can do to change him i would love the advice and help.

BRANDON said...

and my email address is leviathan01usn@gmail.com please help i don't want to have to take him back to the store for being to violent.

sam said...

I have a semi baby dragon, he doesn't bite or even attempt to, however he is very jumpy and active, when I try to handle him. I wanted to know, if I'm on the right path of taming my dragon.

BrettkBell said...

i have one thats about a month old and he just started getting really aggresive, he bit my girlfriend but everytime anybody even tries to pick him up he opens his mouth and he wont let anybody pick him up, so i put a sock on and held him he became calm then as soon as i put him back i tried to pick him up and he did the same thing, so did i but he kept trying to jump out of my hands but i think hes acting this way because i havent handled him much since i got him

Spenny said...

Ok I am having a problem with my bearded dragon first of all his entire life he has been irritable (understatement) but now he's even worse the minute I open his cage to feed/hold/clean him or it he'll bolt now thats normal for him (albeit annoying) but now hes used to my rooms um... obstacles and seeing as its being renevated he can get down into the walls todays battle involved a close, CLOSE call with him being at least and inch from starvation and slow painful death. I NEED HELP, if anyone has anything they can recommend for me to do either comment on this blog or email me at Smartaleck135@msn.com
P.S. it also ended in several deep scratches on my wrists at least 2 inches in length with multiple punctures I really need some help
and like BRANDON said im not taking him back to the store...

thegreatkow said...

Bearded dragons go through a dragon puberty until they are around 1-2 years old then they calm down. I've had a beardie for 6 years and he exhibited many of the same aggressive behaviours you all describe. Be patient, they grow up.

lorraine said...

my beardie is jumping out of his cage and tries to bite me he is very aggressive.we cant pick him up or he bites us.please help

Courtney said...

Pick the dragon up by it's tail? Good one, you animal-abusing piece of shit. That can really injure them.

Heather said...

I am having similar problems as those above with a female beardie whose i a few months old. But since no one seems to have posted many responses on the site itself i wanted to post my email (hbateman@gmail.com).

I have tried keeping my hand in her cage to let her get accustomed to it, i have also fed her with tongs while she is in her cage. i did that for about a week or so and she would get excited to see my hand but would also mistake both it and the tongs for food. I tried taking her out and holding her while i feed her and it took her a while but she eventually ate. HOWEVER, when i put her back and tried to take her out again both the next day and a few days later she has been hissing and even bit my hand. Apparently she didnt like being taken out of the cage at all and im afraid to even put my hand back in the cage. If this keeps up i am going to have to give her away. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Stephen said...

this is for other people i let my BD run around alot and that seems to help

Stephen said...

out side of his cage

one_boy_called_john said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
one_boy_called_john said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
one_boy_called_john said...

You should always aproach your beardie with a confident attitude, reminding him the you are the dominant one. My beardie is about 2 years old and is much better behaved now, while she was younger she was very aggresive.
As the main post says wax worm works a treat!! They go nuts for them which can be used to help tame your dragon.

Make sure that thier habbitat is as close to what it would be in the wild Tempreture has a big impact on your beardie and i found mine was more aggresive when the temop was lower than 32 degress.

Sorry for the bad grammer if you have any questions about beardies emial me or add me on facebook

(One_boy_called_john@hotmail.co.uk)

mention said...

I have a semi baby dragon, he doesn't bite or even attempt to, however he is very jumpy and active, when I try to handle him. I wanted to know, if I'm on the right path of taming my dragon.

KCole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KCole said...

i have a young beardy that has suddenly started to show signs of aggression i dont know what to do. when ever i try to pet him he puffs up, opens his mouth and hisses at me, he bit me for the first time yesterday and now im scared to try to handle him because everytime i do he puffs up and hisses at me, i have no clue what to do and i dont want to get rid of him. please help!

nessa said...

i have a question i recently got a bearded dragon he's about 2 months old. the first three days were really good he let me hold him he even sat and watched tv with me. now he runs away from me when i try to pick him up. i still pick him up to have him get use to me but he tries to jump out of my hand. he was even successful once luckily we were sitting on my bed and he fell on the bed. am i doing something wrong?

nessa said...

please email me and let me know what to do my email is nessabaqby1112@gmail.com i really dont want anything to happen to him or my daughter when we are holding him

Pablo and Mars said...

You're kidding, right?
Pick up the Beardie by the TAIL? That could seriously injure the Bearded Dragon. Want your lizard to hate you?
I wouldn't trust this person if you asked me.

Pablo and Mars said...

Pick up the Beardie by the TAIL? You're kidding, right? That could seriously INJURE the Bearded Dragon. Want your lizard to hate you?
If you ask me, I wouldn't trust this person.

Pablo and Mars said...

You're kidding, right?
Pick up the Beardie by the TAIL? That could seriously injure the Bearded Dragon. Want your lizard to hate you?
I wouldn't trust this person if you asked me.

ella said...

my bearded dragon loves meal worms and i have taught him three tricks but every time i get him out of the cage he makes his neck come out and wriggles to get out and keeps licking loads of stuff. When he is in the cage somtimes his neck comes out then goes in and come out and goes in what do i do. I just want him to be tamer and more cuddly and friendly so he will just sit there you no what do i do

ella said...

My bearded dragon is well behaved and loves meal worms and has learnt three tricks i got him for christmas. But every time i get him out of his cage he wriggles to get out and puffs his neck out also somtimes he puffs it out in the cage. At night when i turn off his lights he starts running around looking at his shadow and somtimes during the day does he want a friend if so which girl he will have babies and flirt boy he will fight what dod i do

cheech23qx said...

Holy crap none of you people should be allowed to have a beardy. Pick up by the tail? Hold him down when squirming? Put him in a sock? 32 degrees? Duurrrrrrr I wonder my beardie hates me? Fucktards

buddha said...

The one who said 32 degrees meant celsius....... Kind of obvious

Johnny said...

well i have a 3 mounth old beardy and i try to pick him up but when ever i try to he will open his mouth and blow up his cheeks. i rubbed his chin with a piece of string and he closed his eyes and just stayed still. im not sure if this is a good sign? after i did that i then tryed to pick him up with my hand and again he opened his mouth and blew up his cheeks. im not sure what action i should do or what i should give him. Can you please help My emial address is Johnnydidit@att.net

Christine Holden said...

Sorry people but picking a bearded dragon up by the tail is a normal practice. A sock would be for your protection as well as the bearded dragon. Have you ever been bite by one? It hurts! Also 32 degrees is way too cold. I have an aggressive female (I believe) one here that I had to take out of a tank with 3 others because they kept picking on her. Well, she got put into a smaller tank because she is a runt. She stopped eating so I hand fed her and now she is about 9 months old and turned a bit aggressive towards me. When I first put her into the tank I was picking her up on a regular basis and now not so much due to not wanting to get bite and stressing her out. I'm going to use the methods above and work with her some more. Sounds to me like she is going through a period of aggression and will come back. Everything scares her!

ella said...

hi can some one help me with lizards claws they are getting extremley long and it is painful for me to pick him up and i dont want to do it myself because i dont want to do it wrong also a cricket has bit my lizards tail can some one tell me how i should cure this animal.

Cherie Dsouza said...

If you like to have a bearded dragon at home, then you need to know a few basic tips that will help you take good care of your pet. Bearded dragons are considered to be good pets for most people, even those who have no previous experience of keeping reptiles. Most families especially kids now like to have bearded dragons as pets as not only they are friendly but also adapt well to the surroundings.
bearded dragon accessories

Connie said...

I don't know if this will help, but my bearded also showed the same aggressive behavior. I was to the point of not wanting to get bit any more, so I started picking him up with a gardening glove on. After about a couple of weeks he stopped lunging at me when I tried to pick him up. Now 3 months later he is fine without the glove.