Is it possible for a Bearded Dragon to know its name? or is thinking up a great name and then spending weeks upon weeks trying to get them to respond to it just a total waste of time?
In this post, I’ve done a lot of research as well as using my own experiences to give you the answer.
So do Bearded Dragons actually know their name? Bearded dragons can actually learn to respond to their name if they associate it with something that will benefit them such as food. Using the same tone of voice and repetition are both vital if you want your Bearded Dragon to know their name.
Read on to take a more in-depth look into how to get a Bearded Dragon to know its name, if you should ever change their name, if you can learn other voice commands and more.
Do Bearded Dragons Actually Know Their Name – a Closer Look
It’s true that you can actually teach a Bearded Dragon to respond to its name, however, they won’t respond to their name in the same way that a human responds to their name.
When a Bearded Dragon knows their name it’s nearly always because they are associating the sound of the name with something that is of benefit to them such as food.
For example, if you call their name every day at meal times then they will soon associate their name or the sound that’s coming out of your mouth with food.
I’ve noticed that after a while if you call your Dragon by its name then they will automatically come straight over to you even if you don’t have any food.
I believe this is because they believe that more often than not there will be something in it for them so it’s always worth the chance.
Later in this post, we will discuss if you can actually teach your Dragon to respond to other commands rather than just their name.
How to Teach a Bearded Dragon to Know Its Name
If you want to teach your Bearded Dragon to know and respond to its name then there’s a pretty simple process you can follow.
I’ve outlined a 4 step process below that you can follow, this is the same process that I’ve used in the past and if you stay consistent then you should see results in a short period of time.
Call And Feed
This is a technique where you will first call your Bearded Dragons name and then instantly after you will show them some food. This will allow your Bearded Dragon to associate their name with food.
To use this technique effectively you need to make sure you need to first call your Bearded Dragons name and then instantly show them some food. I would recommend hand feeding worms or placing some worms close to you so your Dragon has to come close to you to eat the worm.
You should repeat this simple strategy and eventually, your Dragon will associate their name with food and come running to you whenever they hear their name.
Here’s a simple breakdown of the technique:
- Call your Dragon before showing any food
- Instantly show food after calling name
- Repeat until the meal is over
If you want a more detailed step by step version of this method then take a look at this post here as it shows 5 methods for training your Bearded Dragon in different ways including responding to their name.
Consistent Commands & Tone Of Voice
Something that I’ve noticed over time is that using a consistent and simple name call is key to your Dragon knowing and responding to their name.
For example, if your Dragons name is ‘Frankie’ and you call them by saying ‘here Frankie’ or ‘dinner time Frankie’ then it will be confusing and when you actually call them by their name ‘Frankie’ with no other words before or after then they are far less likely to respond.
So basically, as you are feeding your Bearded Dragon just call their name with no other words in a sentence so they associate only their name with food and the reason to come over to you.
The tone of voice you use is also very important in how long it takes for your Bearded Dragon to finally respond to and know their name.
You should be consistent in how you call them and I would always recommend using a kind and excited tone as I’m sure you already do.
Repetition is vital if you are going to teach your Dragon to respond to their name in a short period of time.
I would recommend feeding your Dragon at least one full meal this way each day. Please be careful when hand feeding a Bearded Dragon too often as they can get lazy and then refuse to catch their own live feeders and you might have to hand feed them for life.
If you want to try this technique for more then one meal time per day then I would recommend placing the food close to you so your Bearded Dragon still has to catch it themselves rather than being hand fed, this way you will still get the benefit of them having to come towards you for food once they hear their name being called.
Calling Without Food
Once you’ve been consistent with this technique for around a week or so then you will want to try and call your Bearded Dragons name without showing them any food.
Hopefully, by now they will have figured out that every time their name is called they get to eat food. If not then you will simply need to keep going with the technique and every day try calling them again to see if they respond.
Some Bearded Dragons will respond and catch on sooner than others so just be patient.
I would also recommend that even if your Dragon does respond to their name then you still use this technique at least once a week for a while so it gets ingrained in their behaviour because if not they can quite easily forget.
Is It Beneficial For My Bearded Dragon to Know Its Name?
How you know that it’s possible for a Bearded Dragon to know its name and how to teach your Dragon to respond to its name in a short period of time, the next question you might want to know is probably going to be ‘is it actually beneficial for my Bearded Dragon to know its name?’
The answer to this is absolute yes!
At first, it might just seem like a bit of a party trick that you can perform to show to your friends how clever your Bearded Dragon is but it’s actually something that can play a very important role in your Dragons safety and happiness.
How Knowing Thier Name Can keep Them Safe
Believe it or not, teaching your Bearded Dragon to respond to its name can be vital to their safety.
Imagine if your Bearded Dragon gets lost in your home or somewhere in the garden. This may seem like a highly unlikely event to happen but I’ve honestly heard of this happening a lot and the owner has been searching frantically trying to find their Dragon.
Now imagine if the owner had gone through the ‘call & feed’ technique then they could simply call their Dragons name there’s an extremely high chance that they would come running as they associate the sound with food.
I know caring for and keeping a Bearded Dragon can be difficult at times and it’s hard to find all the information you are looking for. Some manuals seem to skim over topics rather than going deep and really giving you the info you need.
I’ve done some research and on the best manuals and guides and shared what I believe is the most comprehensive guide in this post here.
Knowing Their Name Helps With Bonding
When they know their name it can significantly help with bonding. When you call your Dragons name and they come running to you it’s a great feeling.
This will give you increased handling and cuddle time and even though you may be thinking that your Bearded Dragon is only running towards you because they expect food (which is partly true) this still feels like a healthy bonding experience between you and your Dragon.
Should You Change The Name of Your Bearded Dragon?
There really is no right or wrong answer here. It will totally depend on if you have already taught your Dragon to respond to its name using the ‘call & feed’ technique and if you are willing to retrain them.
First of all, if you don’t want to teach your Bearded Dragon to respond to its name at any point then you could probably change their name as often as you like as your Dragon won’t have a clue that they even have a name or they won’t be using the sound of their name to know when it’s feeding time.
If you do want to teach your Bearded Dragon to know its name then its definitely a good idea to stick with the one you are using in the ‘call & feed’ technique otherwise you will have to start all over again and the second time could be much harder if they are hardwired to respond to another name or sound.
If you are really determined that you want to change the name of your Bearded Dragon after already teaching them to respond to and know to their name then you can go through the pain of re-training them but I really wouldn’t recommend it.
Can Bearded Dragons Respond to Other Words?
Bearded Dragons aren’t just limited to just learning and responding to their name. They can learn to respond to other words if you put in the time and repetition to teach them.
There are lots of situations where you may want to be able to let your Dragon understand a simple word so that they then take the desired action.
Here are some examples:
- Sleeping time
- Feeding time
- Bath time
- Cuddle time
The hardest part of teaching your Dragon to respond to any of these words is that they learn fastest when food is the is associated with the word so if you aren’t able to use food as a trigger then they won’t have the motivation to learn.
There are some ways around this, for example, if you want to create a word that lets your Bearded Dragon know that you want to have a cuddle with them then you can say something like ‘cuddle time’ while also patting your chest, then take your Dragon and hold them on your chest.
After a while of repeating this, you should be able to simply say ‘cuddle time’ while patting your chest and your Dragon will climb to your chest but this will take much longer than if you use food to create the habit.
On the other hand, if you held a worm on feeding tweezers close to your chest and did exactly the same you would see your Dragon respond to the trigger word much sooner.
The same can be said for every single word that you would like your Bearded Dragon to respond to. If you don’t use food as motivation then you will need to be very patient and highly consistent.
Can Bearded Dragon hear? Yes, Bearded Dragons can hear and their hearing has to be very good for the purpose of listening out for both predators and prey in the wild.
Do Bearded Dragons know their owner? Bearded Dragons are quite capable of knowing their owner. Bearded Dragons are largely visual reptiles and can easily recognize their owner especially when they associate them with a source of food.
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