More and more curious owners have started asking if their Bearded Dragon can jump. These amazing lizards are known for lots of interesting behaviours but jumping isn’t one such behaviour that is instantly associated with Bearded Dragons.
As a Bearded Dragon enthusiast myself, knowing if Bearded Dragons can jump is always something that has intrigued me too so I decided to do some deep research on this topic and bring together all the answers together in this blog post.
So can Bearded Dragons jump? Bearded Dragons can actually jump. They will very rarely jump upwards onto higher ground but will often jump down from objects on to the floor. How far they can safely descend will vary greatly depending on age, genetics, diet, and the surface they are jumping onto.
Read on to find out what height Bearded Dragons can jump from, what can cause them to jump, if babies jump more and adults and more.
Can Bearded Dragons Jump (A Closer Look)
Jumping is actually one of a Bearded Dragons less known and certainly less talked about behaviours.
Even owners that have kept Bearded Dragons for a long period of time may not know that they are capable of jumping as not all Dragons will choose to use this ability.
As mentioned earlier, Bearded Dragons don’t really jump upwards onto higher ground. If they want to get themselves higher, they will usually attempt to climb the object.
Bearded Dragons are pretty good climbers and have been found up in trees as high as 2 metres so climbing an object seems to make logical sense rather than attempting to jump upwards to achieve the same goal.
When it comes to descending down from an object Bearded Dragons don’t always take the same approach.
Rather than attempting to slowly climb down an object, they will sometimes opt to jump or leap down a level.
Not all Bearded Dragons will attempt this and if they do it will depend on a number of factors, all of which we will go over in this post.
Do Baby Or Adult Bearded Dragons Jump More?
As a general rule of thumb, baby Bearded Dragons will jump more often than adults.
Baby and juvenile Dragons often seem to be more willing to attempt adventurous leaps when compared to their adult counterparts. This is thought to be largely due to the fact that younger Dragons haven’t developed their visual perception of distance.
Also, adult Bearded Dragons aren’t as giddy or skittish and therefore are far less likely to make sudden or rash movements when compared to younger Dragons.
In addition, adult Dragons are seen to be somewhat lazier than younger Dragons and this too can have an effect on how much they will jump as jumping takes a lot of effort, energy and concentration to land correctly and without injury.
Are Bearded Dragons Good At Jumping?
The short answer to this question is ‘no Bearded Dragons aren’t generally good at jumping’.
Frogs are considered excellent at jumping and If you compare a Bearded Dragons jumping skills to that of a frog then you would certainly say that a Bearded Dragons jumping skills are nowhere near that of a frog.
By the same token, cats are considered great at jumping down from objects and landing with perfect balance and without injury and their skills and abilities are also streets ahead of what a Bearded Dragon can produce.
Having said this, while doing my research for this post I found out that lizards actually use their tails like cats when jumping in order to twist their body into a better landing position. This can be backed up by ScienceDaily who wrote a full article on how lizards do this.
With all things considered, I would say that Bearded Dragons skill level when jumping is average. They aren’t natural jumpers that need to use the skill on a daily basis for hunting or survival and generally they are much more equipped for climbing.
Although, some Bearded Dragons do make an exception to this rule and they seem to enjoy jumping down from objects without injury on a regular basis.
While researching the content for this post I came across a lot of owners that said their Dragons regularly jumped down from high objects in the home and were fine. In my opinion, although this shows amazing agility it’s also very risky to let your Dragons consistently jump from high places (more on this shortly).
The bottom line is, Bearded Dragons aren’t natural jumpers and you should always be very careful and vigilant whenever they have an opportunity to jump off an object.
What Heights Can Bearded Dragons Safely Jump From?
It’s hard to give a definitive answer to this question as every Bearded Dragon will be different and there are lots of variables such as age, genetics, the surface and even their diet that will make a huge difference to the height they can safely jump from.
With all things considered, I think that a good rule of thumb is to never let your Bearded Dragon jump from an object that is any higher than the length of their body and even then I wouldn’t be encouraging them to jump.
In captivity, jumping isn’t really something that Bearded Dragons need to do and it’s not worth the risk of an accident that could mean a broken bone or worse.
I’ve heard of owners letting their Dragon jump from the kitchen table and from the sofa. While the Dragon might be accustomed to this jump and very good at it, it only takes one misjudged jump for them to have an accident and all for something that really isn’t necessary.
What Can Make a Bearded Dragon Want to Jump?
Whenever you have your Bearded Dragon out of their tank and they are off the ground on a table, sofa or even climbing on your shoulder, it’s important to understand any triggers that could encourage or even force them to jump.
Let’s take a look at some of the common triggers that could make your Bearded Dragon feel like they need to jump.
Fear Of a Household Pet
One of the most common reasons why a Bearded Dragon may jump from a height is because they feel spooked or intimidated by a household pet such as a cat or dog.
It’s easy for a Bearded Dragon to mistake a cat or dog as a predator and this will often be enough for them to make a rash decision through panic and jump down to the floor before finding a hiding spot.
It’s important that you allow your Bearded Dragon and any household pets to become comfortable with each other.
I’ve created a post that shares how Bearded Dragons and dogs can play together and how to avoid any potential dangers. You can check out the full post right here.
Allowing your pets to feel comfortable with each other can take time, however, it’s worth the patience as you can all spend time together without constantly having to think about keeping certain pets out of the room or in tanks.
Seeing Or Hearing Food
As you probably know, Bearded Dragons go crazy whenever see or even hear insects.
If your Dragon is anywhere off the ground even as high as your shoulder and they think there is food in the room, they won’t think twice about getting to the food as fast as possible as this can sometimes mean jumping in order to get to the food even faster.
While baby and juvenile Dragons may be most likely to jump, when it comes to food adults are just as likely.
It’s good practice to never have a box containing live feeders such as crickets in the room if you have your Dragon anywhere off the floor.
Uncomfortable With Owner
If you have just brought your Bearded Dragon home and they don’t feel comfortable with you then there’s a good chance they could jump out of your arms if you try to hold them.
This can happen with both baby and adult Bearded Dragons and is quite common when the Dragon feels overwhelmed by its new surroundings and isn’t quite sure if you mean them any harm.
I’ve written a post that shares 5 ways that you can train a Bearded Dragon, in that post is a method for helping your Dragon become comfortable with you.
This can also happen if you have visitors over and your Dragon just doesn’t feel comfortable with them.
It’s always best to ask visitors to sit down before they handle your Dragon so you have peace of mind that there will be less chance of an accident or a jump from a huge height.
You could also find that they want to jump because they aren’t being handled properly and this could put them in some physical discomfort or even pain.
Always take time to learn how to handle your Dragon correctly and educate any visitors in the same way.
Babies Have No Fear
As we mentioned earlier in this post, baby Bearded Dragons are more likely to jump than adults, especially from high places and objects.
You may often find that baby Dragons don’t seem to have much fear when jumping from heights. This is thought to be due to their lack of understanding of heights rather than pure bravery.
While it’s good for your Dragon to be confident, you should always keep a close eye on the ones that seem to have this confidence as it could just be a lack of understanding of heights and the risk they can pose.
Lack Of Visual Perception
This is actually quite similar to having no fear but Bearded Dragons are known to have poor visual perception and struggle to recognise the distance of objects at times.
For the most part, this isn’t a problem, however, when it comes to judging how far they are from the ground and timing a landing it can cause problems.
If you are interested in learning more about how Bearded Dragons see then check out this post that shares exactly how they see and use their third eye.
This is another reason why not giving your Dragon an opportunity to jump from a higher than its own body length will help to keep it safe and injury-free.
What Can Affect How Safely Bearded Dragons Jump?
As well as knowing what can trigger your Bearded Dragon to jump It’s also important to know what can affect how safely they land.
Let’s take a look at some common factors that will affect your Bearded Dragons ability to land a jump safely.
Diet will have a huge effect on how safely a Bearded Dragon lands a jump.
If a Dragon has a poor diet then their bones are likely to be brittle and have a much higher chance of breaking or causing an injury even if only jumping small distances.
The main reason for weak bones is incorrect calcium and vitamin D3 levels.
Here’s a post that explains why calcium and vitamin D3 is so important and how to supplement it to your Dragon on a daily basis.
Having the correct lighting setup is crucial for the health of your Bearded Dragons bones and therefore how well they able to jump without injury.
UVB light is essential for healthy bones and without the basking lamp, your Dragons wouldn’t be able to digest any food.
All in all, having the correct light setup is just as important as having a good balanced diet.
Here I’ve included a great guide that walks you through how to setup your Bearded Dragons tank with illustrations.
The surface your Bearded Dragon is jumping on will make a huge difference to how safely they can jump.
This might seem pretty obvious but jumping on a carpet is far safer than jumping on a wooden floor.
If you like to take your Dragon outside in the garden they could find themselves jumping onto many different uneven surfaces which could make a tricky landing.
Just for the record, I don’t recommend you encourage your Bearded Dragon to jump from any height but taking them for a walk in the garden is something that I highly recommend. Here’s a great post that details how you can take your Dragon outside with confidence and avoid any potential dangers.
Can Bearded Dragons Get Injured From Jumping?
Bearded Dragons can quite easily get injured when jumping even from moderate heights.
If you’ve read the entirety of this post then you have probably gathered that I’m not a big fan of letting your Bearded Dragon jump down from any sort of high object no matter how many times they’ve successfully done it in the past.
This is because I think jumping is usually a last resort and not something that comes naturally like climbing.
If you are putting your Dragon is a position where they need to jump often then sooner or later it’s likely that they are going to get an injury and besides your Dragon being in some amount of pain it also means a trip to the vets.
Recently I’ve been researching alternatives to paying vet bills such as reptile insurance and other alternatives that most owners possibly won’t know about that can help cover the cost of the bills.
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