Bearded dragons have grown in popularity over the past few years with more and more animal lovers wanting to own one of these amazing reptiles.
This has led potential owners to ask if bearded dragons are social?
This is a very important topic for both new and potential owners as it can ultimately determine if a bearded dragon is the right pet for you and your current circumstances.
In this post, we will share with you just how social bearded dragons are and if they are social with other bearded dragons, other household pets and even social with you as their owner.
So are bearded dragons social? Bearded dragons aren’t social by nature. They are known to be solitary reptiles that enjoy their own company. Bearded dragons generally aren’t social with other bearded dragons or household pets, however, they can be extremely social with owners once trust and a bond have been built.
Read On to Find Out…
Are Bearded Dragons Social? (More Info)
As we mentioned at the beginning of this post, bearded dragons are becoming popular pets all around the world due to their unique behaviours and mild temperament.
Before you take the step to bring home your first bearded dragon, it’s important to ask a few questions to ensure that a bearded dragon is indeed a good fit for you.
One of the first questions to ask is…are bearded dragons social? Well, there’s not actually a straight forward answer to this question as in some situations they can be social and in others, they simply won’t (let’s explain)
Bearded dragons generally aren’t social animals, especially when compared to other popular pets such as dogs.
You can expect a bearded dragon to be quite content spending time on their own without social interaction from other bearded dragons or pets.
Bearded dragons don’t always like the company of other bearded dragons for many reasons and territorials conflicts can arise if proper precautions aren’t taken when keeping more than one beardie in the same home.
With this being said, there are many caveats to this and we will explore them all in more detail later in the post.
When it comes to being social with their owners, beardies will often bond and become extremely social once trust has been established over a period of time.
This is great news for new owners that want to own a reptile that they can handle and interact with.
Handling your bearded dragon in the correct way is also important to build up trust.
Here’s a guide that shares all you need to know about how to correctly and easily handle your bearded dragon…
Are Bearded Dragons Social In The Wild?
Ok, so you now know that bearded dragons aren’t generally social with other bearded dragons in captivity, however, is that personality trait something they carry over from the wild?
So, are bearded dragons social in the wild? In the wild, bearded dragons aren’t considered social. Adult bearded dragons usually live a solitary life and only become have social interaction for a small period of time when mating. Wild bearded dragons can become territorial and protective over basking spots and food.
By nature, bearded dragons are solitary reptiles and therefore don’t live in large groups.
An adult bearded dragon will naturally spend most of its time by itself basking and looking for food.
If bearded dragons spent their time in large groups then there would likely be not enough quality basking spots for all the group and place to hide, not to mention that it would be hard to find food enough for everyone.
For these reasons alone, it makes perfect sense that wild beardies would live a solitary life as they would have more chance of being healthy, safe and finding adequate amounts of food.
Can 2 Male Bearded Dragons Sociable Be With Each Other?
If you own or are thinking of owning 2 male bearded dragons, you probably want to know if they can be sociable with each other or if you should keep them apart at all costs?
For the most part, male beardies can be extremely territorial when confronted with each other.
This behaviour is elevated during mating season when hormones are raging and can lead to confrontations and unneeded stress.
For this reason, we would never recommend housing 2 male bearded dragons in the same tank.
We would also suggest being cautious if you ever allow your 2 male beardies to be around each other outside of the tank too.
Being around another bearded dragon can be stressful and one beardie will usually become dominant, while the other will become submissive.
There are lots of owners that have multiple bearded dragons that appear to get along outside of the tank but we would recommend being very cautious and ideally letting them live separate lives.
Can 2 Female Bearded Dragons Be Sociable With Each Other?
By nature, female bearded dragons are less likely to become territorial and aggressive towards each other than males.
With this being said, females would generally still much rather live on their own and introducing another female can cause territorial issues.
Even females don’t feel the need to be social with each other and it can be risky to try and house them together or even have 2 females out of the cage at the same time together as stress levels can increase.
Can Male & Female Bearded Dragons Be Sociable With Each Other?
Male and female bearded dragons can and will often be social with each other but only for short periods during mating season.
There are obvious consequences to allowing both a male and female beardie to be close to each other as you are likely to get offspring.
For this reason, you shouldn’t allow a male and female to socialize unless you are intending to breed the female.
Here’s a great guide that shares how often female bearded dragons lay eggs (and the results might just surprise you)
If you aren’t intending to breed bearded dragons then housing or even letting a male and female around each other isn’t always a good idea and keeping them separate is best.
Can Adults & Juvenile Bearded Dragons Be Sociable With Each Other?
One of the worst types of social combinations are adults with either baby or juvenile bearded dragons.
Adults will usually bully their younger counterparts and this means anything from ‘stacking’ which means laying on top of the weaker beardie in a dominant display to actually biting off toes and parts of the tail.
Housing adult and younger beardies certainly isn’t recommended and even introducing them at playtimes out of the tank can cause territorial and stressful encounters that should be avoided.
Are Bearded Dragons Social With Other Pets?
There are plenty of examples of bearded dragons happily bonding and socializing with household pets such as cats and dogs, however, there is certainly no guarantee of this and it’s often a bad idea.
Bearded dragons will usually see larger pets such as dogs as a predator and being around them can cause serious stress especially if they have nowhere to hide and feel safe.
Of course, there’s a chance that after a while your beardie could become comfortable with your pet but it can take a long time and there are no guarantees.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t own both a bearded dragon as well as other pets though. You simply have to provide each pet with their own living space and limit the amount of time they are around each other especially in the beginning.
Are Bearded Dragons Social With Their Owners?
Even though bearded dragons are solitary reptiles and generally don’t like to hang around other bearded dragons, it doesn’t mean that they are totally unsociable.
As a potential bearded dragon owner, it’s important to know if bearded dragons are social with their owners so you understand if they are the right pet for you.
So, are bearded dragons social with their owners? Bearded dragons can be extremely social with their owners once trust and a bond have been established. They enjoy being handled and can even participate in activities outside of the tank. Patience is key as bearded dragons can take some time to feel comfortable in a new environment.
Any potential beardie owner should feel reassured that bearded dragons are gentle, friendly and social with their owners once they feel comfortable.
The fact that you are the one that brings them food every day certainly helps to form a bond quickly.
Although, as we mentioned above, beardies that are new to the home can take a while to settle in and so it’s vital that you take things slow and don’t rush.
How to Get Your Bearded Dragon to Bond With you:
Even though most bearded dragons will bond with you in their own time, there are a few things you can do to increase the speed that they bond with you and also the strength of the bond too.
You can get your bearded dragon to bond with you by:
- Go for a walk
Feeding your bearded dragon is a great way to increase the bond between the both of you and is something you should be doing daily or multiple times per day depending on their age.
Handling your beardie regularly will also allow you to build a better bond, although you don’t want to over-handle your bearded dragon especially if they are new to the home as this can cause stress and end up having a negative affect.
So when it comes to handling, make sure you handling your beardie daily but use your common sense to know when they need their own space and a rest.
Have you ever wondered if you should kiss your bearded dragon? Well, here’s a guide that shares everything you need to know…
You can also take your bearded dragon for a walk as this is a great way to build a bond. We would only recommend doing this if you have some experience owning a beardie as a harness and a good knowledge of the ‘do’s & don’ts’ of outside care are essential.
There are lots of other ways you can use toys and activities to increase the bond between you and your bearded dragon.
Here’s our full list of 17 toys and activities you can play with your beardie…
Are Bearded Dragons Social With Strangers?
As previously mentioned, bearded dragons can easily display social behaviours and bond with their owners.
When it comes to strangers though, this isn’t always the case. Beardies can sometimes go into hiding when any visitors are present.
This is perfectly natural as any human or pet could be perceived as a predator so it’s better to be safe than sorry as far as your bearded dragon is concerned.
It’s also important to remember that all beardies have different personalities though and while some won’t want to be social with strangers others will.
This will largely depend on how much human interaction they have had in the past too.
Again, don’t force the issue and allow your beardie to be social if they have the confidence or hide and have their own space if they need to.
Social Behaviours Of Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons are known to be one of the most fascinating animals on earth and their unique and unusual behaviour is a large part of what gives them this reputation.
Many of these behaviours are social interactions and it helps to understand them so you can better understand what your beardie is trying to tell you.
The common social behaviours of bearded dragons are:
- Arm waving
- Head bobbing
- Beard flaring
Let’s now take a closer look at these social behaviours and what they mean…
1. Arm Waving
Arm waving is one of the most interesting behaviours that bearded dragons display.
It involves the beardie using one of its arms to slowly move up and down in a swimming motion.
So you can better understand this behaviour, here is a video of a bearded dragon arm-waving…
Arm waving may look cute and like your bearded dragon is attempting to say ‘hello’ but there is often more than meets the eye to this behaviour.
Arm waving can be used as a submissive behaviour to show a more dominant beardie they are the boss.
They can also arm wave to larger pets and even owners for the same reason and they may be telling you they are a little scared.
Females are also known to arm wave when they feel that males could be starting to act aggressively, especially during mating season.
You can check out our full and detailed guide to bearded dragon arm-waving here…
2. Head Bobbing
Head bobbing is another curious behaviour displayed by beardies and can also be mistaken for a cute and harmless act.
The truth is that fast head bobbing can be a sign of aggression and dominance.
Whereas, if your bearded dragon is bobbing their head slowly then they might be telling you that they are scared and it’s often a sign of submissive behaviour.
Understanding the differences between both types of head bobbing will allow you to know when your beardie is trying to be dominant to submissive and you can act accordingly.
We have created a post that covers all you need to know about the fascinating behaviour of head bobbing as a bearded dragon owner…
You will only ever see stacking if you have more than one bearded dragon. It is a behaviour that involves one beardie laying on top of another.
It can be mistaken for 2 or more beardies showing affection but this is far from the truth.
This social behaviour is actually a bullying behaviour where the more dominant bearded dragon lays on top of the submissive one.
There is a number of reasons for this including stopping the beardie they are laying on accessing any UVB rays or allowing them to bask as well as showing them who’s in control.
4. Beard Flaring
Bearded dragons can ‘beard flare’ for many reasons and this ability to display a beard full of spikes on demand is where they got their name ‘bearded dragon’ from.
You will often see then showing a large, puffed up and dark beard when they are angry as a sign to stay away.
What’s also interesting is that it can also be used as a social interaction between a male towards a female during the mating season.
Beard flaring is used by males to show females that they are dominant and to try to persuade females to submit to there advances.
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