If you’re a Bearded Dragon owner then knowing if these amazing reptiles can climb, how good they are at climbing, And what they can climb on are all very important questions.
As a Bearded Dragon enthusiast myself, this is something that I’ve researched in-depth as well as using my own experiences to give you all the answers right here in this post.
So can Bearded Dragons climb? Yes, Bearded Dragons can climb. In the wild, they are considered to be ‘semi-arboreal’ which means they spend half or some of the day in trees or climbing off the ground. In captivity, Bearded Dragons may spend less time climbing depending on the tank set up but they are equally able to climb.
Read on to find out exactly what Bearded Dragons can climb up, what kind of things you should include in their tank for climbing and much more.
Do Bearded Dragons Like to Climb?
Bearded Dragons like to climb and do so for a number of reasons. Climbing is one of their most natural and instinctive behaviours and something they will happily do on a daily basis.
In the wild, Bearded Dragons will often climb on fallen trees, fence posts and rock piles to find a good basking spot.
They also use climbing to rank themselves on the social ladder. Generally, the Bearded Dragon that is the highest up a tree or rock pile is the group leader and most dominant figure while the Dragons at the bottom are submissive and further down the pecking order.
When they climb it’s also easier to see their surroundings below them and spot any possible predators before they get close.
In captivity, Bearded Dragons still love to climb and you should try and provide them with at least a rock pile and a good quality climbing branch in their tank so they can simulate the same behaviour they do in the wild.
I’ve actually shared my top recommendations for basking rocks and branches here as well as the best place to get them from.
How Well Can Bearded Dragons Climb?
Bearded Dragons are actually fantastic climbers. As mentioned at the top of this post, in the wild, they are thought to be semi-arboreal so they will spend much of there day off the ground in some way.
They have specially arched claws that allow them to climb trees and other surfaces with ease.
Bearded Dragons also have a large tail that significantly aids balance when climbing. Any animal or reptile that has a large tail generally has the ability to use it by moving it either left or right to maintain near-perfect balance.
Do Bearded Dragons Like to Climb High?
People have actually reported Bearded Dragons up in trees at heights of over 2 meters.
This doesn’t mean that Bearded Dragons will commonly climb to this height. I think it’s more sensible to say that they will climb to the hight that they need to for example In the wild, the more dominant figure will climb the highest in order to show their dominance and they will often climb to reach a good basking spot out of the shadows.
In captivity, Bearded Dragons won’t really ever get the chance to climb to any high levels unless you allow them to climb a tree in your garden but I honestly wouldn’t recommend this as it could leave you having to go into the tree and get them if they won’t come down.
What Should You Put In Your Bearded Dragons Tank For Climbing?
I would always recommend trying to keep the tank looking as close to their natural habitat as possible. This helps with your Bearded Dragons overall happiness and also with mental stimulations, not to mention that it simply looks great too.
I would always recommend using natural rocks rather than plastic or slate as these often look tacky and get too hot.
I really like to stack natural rocks on top of each other as this allows your Dragon to get as close as they need to the basking lamp so you know they are absorbing all the heat they need and at the optimal temperature to digest food and operate bodily functions.
When it comes to branches, the same rule of keeping things as close to their natural habitat as possible applies. You also need to make sure that the branch is long enough for your Dragon to lay on as they will often spend a lot of time taking naps on it.
Can Bearded Dragons Climb Stairs?
Yes, Bearded Dragons can climb stairs. If your stairs are carpeted then your Dragon should find it fairly easy to climb them as their claws can grip the surface very easily.
One thing that’s worth mentioning is that depending on the kind of carpet you have, it’s quite possible for a Bearded Dragon to get its claws stuck in the loops of the carpet so if you let your Dragon go up and down the stairs, you should always make sure you supervise them.
Other stairs such as wooden ones may pose more of a problem for a Bearded Dragon to climb. Even though they are made of wood, they often have a shiny coated finish that is difficult for them to climb and they will often end up scrambling.
This will totally depend on the finish on the wood and how tall your individual steps are.
Can Bearded Dragons Climb Glass?
No, Bearded Dragons can’t climb glass as it’s far too solid and slippery for them to grip.
You may often see Bearded Dragons looking like they are trying to climb glass, this is called ‘glass surfing’ and there are many reasons why they can perform this behaviour.
Common reasons for glass surfing include:
- Tank Is Too Small
- Seeing Own Reflection
I’ve written a post where I share in-depth all 12 reasons why Bearded Dragons glass surf and how to stop it, you can check out the post here.
If you’re worried that your Dragon is glass surfing then I recommend taking a look at this post as this behaviour is usually linked with stress of some sort. The good news is that it can be solved fast and with minimal fuss in nearly all cases.
If you’re not sure if your tank is the correct size for the age of your Bearded Dragon then this post here shares the best tank sizes to keep your Dragon happy and healthy.
Can Bearded Dragons Climb Walls?
No, Bearded Dragons generally can’t climb walls pretty much for the same reason that they can’t climb glass.
The surface of the walls in your home would be far too solid and the vertical nature of the wall makes it near impossible to climb.
Having said this, walls such as wooden shed walls would be far easier for a Bearded Dragon to grip and they would almost certainly be able to climb this with relative ease. Again this will depend on the type of wood, the finish of the wood and how old it is etc.
Can Bearded Dragons Climb Trees?
Yes, Bearded Dragons can climb trees with virtually no problems at all. Bearded Dragons have been found in trees at over 2 metres high so clearly both climbing and climbing for long periods is no problem for Bearded Dragons.
If you like to let your Dragon out in the garden for a little fresh air it’s always wise to make you keep an eye on them at all times. I would always recommend this for many reasons and tree climbing is one of them.
Can Bearded Dragons Climb Fences?
Yes, it’s actually possible that your Bearded Dragon could climb a fence depending on the material.
In the wild, they climb fence posts with ease so climbing once in captivity also wouldn’t be a problem.
This is yet another reason why you should always keep a close eye on your Dragon if you let them get some fresh air outside.
It only takes a bird or cat to scare them and they can hide or climb whatever they think is necessary to survive.
Please don’t let this stop you from taking your Dragon outside. A great way to always ensure they are safe is to use a harness.
Why do Bearded Dragons climb on each other? Bearded Dragons climb on each other as a sign of dominance. The more dominant Bearded Dragon will often perform this behaviour to take more of the heat and absorb heat from the Bearded Dragon they are laying on.
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