Bearded Dragon Body Language: How To Figure Out?

Bearded Dragons Body Language

Similar to humans, bearded dragons have their particular languages to express mood, wellbeing, and feelings. In this article, we will go into the most typical actions and behaviors of bearded dragon body language so that you can understand more the sensation of your pet.

Most especially, it will teach you about your beardies how they look and what they do.

And health controlling is critical, while beardies are thought to be hardy, certain common reptile diseases can still be contaminated.

Many people say that reptiles are cold and distant creatures, thus they are not very communicating.

That is not the fact, obviously.

Although they are not very social animals, bearded dragons can communicate moods and intentions with other ones, and even to you, the owner.


Bearded Dragons Behavior

Beardie Nz

The bearded dragon is not a social species.

They are solitary animals and will not become lonely unless properly housed, that is to say, in the right tank size and have things to play or some enrichments.

However, in common places with food or perch places, you can get some of them together to bask or feed.

They only feel happy in groups only if they can share resources fairly.

It does not mean that beardies do not talk, either because they are not vocal.

Bearded Dragon Body Language

This kind of reptile uses their body language to communicate with their own species and other animals.

Bearded dragons will not imitate other ones, and so their behaviors are always genuine.

When a female one is around, or when a larger animal or something is threatened, the majority of bearded dragons will show their behaviors.

Bearded Dragons Behavior

These cues are not intuitive for humans. By reading and observing bearded dragon body language, we can learn about them.

It is necessary to learn how to read the movements of your pets. There are some common behaviors, such as:

  • Head bobs
  • Waving
  • Skin color changing
  • Mouth gaping and opening
  • Beard fluffing up
  • Tail pointing up
  • Basking
  • Hiding
  • Sleeping
  • Relaxing

What Does It Mean When a Bearded Dragon Has Its Tail Up

Moreover, such typical behaviors, when repeated or in a strange way, can be viewed as irregular.

For instance, while it is common for bearded dragons to turn black when they are excited, but if the dark color kept for a long time, means that they are in trouble or pain.

This is why the bearded dragon strange behavior needs to be watched more carefully.

Are Bearded Dragon Territorial Or Hierarchical?

Beer Die Vs

The answers are yes to both two questions.

These lizards preserve the social order of the submissive, or of the superior aggression.

Baby and hatchling ones sometimes do not show the hierarchic traits or aggression.

However, the bearded dragon social behavior will start to develop as they grow up far more than 4 months.

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For example, the biggest or dominant beardie in a social group takes the best basking spots, like the highest one, while others are at the bottom.

The dominant one may even deprive the subordinate the possibility to absorb UV light if the whole enclosure is not covered, and so on.

Finally, they will affirm the dominant by bobbing their heads and slowly or rapidly wave arms at the lower rank.

If the lower-ranked individuals do not show a submission, a standoff is ensured.

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Furthermore, beardies are also very territorial and competitive for basking places, food, brumation, etc.

In addition to maintaining a social hierarchy. An assertive stance, like swelling his beard or head bobbing, is the dominant beard, which prepares him to face another male over territories.

If the subordinate may not admit or show submissive movements like waving his arms and walking forward, there may be provocation.

Despite the fact that women are territorial too, head bobbing or beard puffing is not how it is demonstrated.

It determines their size.

Since they are solitary, protective, and hierarchical, they are often housed separately, if more than one of them is accessible.

How To Read Bearded Dragon Body Language?

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1. Waving

This is the moment when the dragon stands high on three legs and waves it in a circular movement.

Often he raises his front foot and literally waves at you as you stand near. It seems like he just said hi to you.

When the lizard swings his arms, there are a few potential significances.

There are two main types: Challenge waving and submissive waving.

One thing is the presence or the recognition of species.

When he waves with another dragon, it shows that other one that he knows his existence.

Submission is another meaning. Whenever a larger bearded dragon is confronted or when a bigger animal encounters the dragon, he will wave his arm.

Male Vs Female Bearded Dragon Behavior

Bite, challenge wave, tail twitch, submissive wave, head roll illustration (Credit:

 2. Head Bobbing

Head bobbing is a symbol of domination. It happens when the animal wants to create amongst themselves a social hierarchy.

Bearded Dragon Breeding Behavior

More quickly bobs can be used as an alert and a challenge.

The submission of a slower bobs signal.

This bearded dragon body language often appears in males, as male dragons court a female, they do jerky bobs.

Some of them bump obsessively when being in brumation, especially if they sense that female’s fragrance.

When a male dragon’s head bobs and it is in spring – only his emotions run wild facing a breeding season.

Bearded Dragon Happy Behavior

Beardies often do quick or slow bobs that look like nodding at each other or their owner.

The faster the head bob, the more threatening they feel. It is usually for territorial purposes that the lizard is head-bobbing rapidly over another one.

3. Skin Color Changing

Like most types of reptiles, fish, or amphibians, bearded dragons have what is termed the “chromatophores”.

Chromatophores are pigmented cells that mirror light and allow them, when reacting to their surroundings, to change the body color.

It is important to remember that dragons will change color as they mature until they immerse themselves further in color changes.

Therefore, if your beardie tends to get darker or brighter as they get older, do not be too worry, particularly if this change happens over months.

Bearded Dragon Weird

Why does your reptile turn black or white sometimes?

Temperature control is the primary cause.

When a bearded dragon is under a heat source or under natural sunshine, color variations more noticeably occur.

Along with faint tiger strips, some of these bumpy scales darken under the sunlight.

Some dragons can also be lighter, with more striking color patterns.

When the lizards get darker, the heat they consume will be maximized.

In a warm environment, black surfaces drain.

This is why in the morning you always see the dragon turns black and flatten out when you light him or take him for a walk or bask in the natural light. Any beardies will become black if they become aggressive.

Bearded Dragon Body Language Happy

But due to bearded dragon body language, blackened skin can be one of the symptoms of stress or illness, in conjunction with other disease symptoms:

  • They feel cold:

In fact, sometimes when your bearded dragon feels cold, in an effort to attract warmth, he actually becomes black.

Even he is in natural light or under the basking bulb, turning black means that he is trying to warm up.

You will also find at this period the dragon flattening out like a pancake.

This is also a warm-up process since he likes to expand his body, allowing him to gain more heat.

Bearded Dragon Shedding Behavior

  • They are stressed out:

There are so manyreasons that can cause stress to your pet.

Has something changed in the tank lately that might make him feel uncomfortable?

Any there any feeders that may be biting them during mealtime?

Is something changed beyond the tank, as a new pet or even children, which causes more noise and upheaval?

Beautiful Bearded Dragon

On the other hand, it is a symbol of a coming shedding when the reptile becomes pale. Also, as he sleeps, he can get a bit lighter as well.

4. Basking

An activity that bearded dragons love to do every day is basking under a heat lamp or in natural sunlight.

Thus, they accumulate heat and UVB radiation to help build calcium metabolism by producing vitamin D3.

As we mentioned above, to absorb as much as possible warmth and UV light, many of them like to flatten their bodies (thigmothermic basking) and become darker to soak.

Bearded Dragon Body Language Tail Up

5. Fluffing The Beard

The dragons spread their beards, both male and female ones. They usually do so to make themselves seem larger as a defensive behavior.

But it could be uncommon if he stretches his beard occasionally without being provoked.

Beardie Head

6. Hissing, Flattening, Inflation, Tilting

Bearded dragons are strong and feisty lizards, for several reasons can get angry easily.

If the animal faces a dangerous predator, he can flatten his body, puff up the spiny neck, beard, spread the jaws, and tilt his body to what threats him or if he wants to stay untouched.

That makes him look and sound bigger.

Hissing is a warning signal. It is a way to warn the attacker that he is going to protect himself when he feels threatened.

Bearded Dragon Winter Behavior

His beard would therefore become black at that moment. Often, hissing sometimes leads to biting, which is a very simple presentation of violence.

However, considering the heavy jaws, he can hardly bite and this will be the final resort if the competition of this kind is not threatening him.

When the pet settles, the beardie will lay down on his belly, widen it and look like a pancake.

When you see this happens when the lizard bask, it means that he is absorbing heat as we talked about above.

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7. Bowing

The female ones would fall bow down to the ground, wave their arms, and run backward to hide or to please a dominant male.

8. Head Position

Low head position denotes submissiveness, whereas a high head position denotes assertiveness.

When the enemy is violently head bobbing at them, or when they are outdoors and see a large bird overhead, they will lower their heads.

Bearded Dragon Aggressive Behavior

Eating, drinking, tongue flip, fly sneak up, snap at the fly, jump up at fly, vertical stance, object lean, defecation, yawn, pant, head push, defensive display (Credit:

9. Tongue Flipping

If your bearded dragon has his tongue out, he is most certainly exploring his surroundings.

This involves flipping the tongue in and out of the mouth and using the tongue gently to feel strange objects.

This is how bearded dragons learn about new places and creatures.

If you move him to a new home and find that his tongue is always out of the mouth, it is because he is learning about his surroundings.

Bearded Dragon Breathing Heavy And Opening Mouth

 10. Mouth Gaping Or Opening

The most common reason a beardie keeps his mouth open is to regulate the temperature of his body.

Bearded dragons sometimes open their mouths to avoid overheating.

In contrast to the other species, they cannot sweat, therefore they open their mouth whenever their body temperature is overcontrolled.

Opening moth in the short sessions is entirely natural.

However, it can mean that the terrarium is too hot or that there are other fundamental health problems if it continues on for a long time.

Sometimes the beardies open their mouth when seeing food.

Bearded Dragon Behavior And Body Language

Except for instant insects, when they see a fly, you can see 3 stages of bearded dragon body language: fly sneak up → snap at the fly → jump at the fly.

If the mouth is gaping, with heavy breathing, a respiratory infection can occur.

Gaping just looks like an open mouth. It is when the bearded dragon simply sits with his jaw opened instead of being closed.

This kind of reptile, for example, can be affected by respiratory conditions when held in high humidity.

Such a case may have other symptoms such as labored breathing, wheezing, etc.

How To Read Bearded Dragon Body Language

Three types of mouth gaping (Credit: Journal to experimental biology)

Besides, it is also a way of protecting themselves against a perceived or unknown threat, even when you handle them when they are not close to you.

He will also swell his beard, hiss or make small leaps or jumps to the attacker.

Because of thermometric control, a thermal differential will often be created so that this animal may determine whether to be in the basking place or move to the cooler place.

11. Licking

How Can You Tell If Your Bearded Dragon Is Happy

Licking is one of the usual bearded dragon behavior as he tries to know the surroundings or taste something different.

When Jacobson’s organ on his mouth licks and retracts, he tastes and detects the scent of that object.

Some people notice that subordinate beardies may lick their dominance (called subordinate lick) as an indication of submissiveness.

Bearded Dragon Social Behavior

Body raised, body tilt, mating straddle, neck bite, front leg flap, head up, bow down, top of head lick, subordinate lick, face off illustration(Credit:

On the other hand, biting is a sign of attack. Although these pets can nip conspecific, they do not bite people except in special cases.

Nevertheless, in rare instances, it can happen if you attempt to manage them.

If the beardie displays signs of aggression when you try to deal with him, stop it and reduce the handling time until he gets used to you.

12. Tail Curling Or Raising Up

Baby Bearded Dragon Body Language

Tail up happens when you see they curl their tail like a scorpion.

This is a general feature of alertness and even dominance.

Bearded dragons twist their tails while they are excited to chase the prey or rush for other reasons.

The tail curl will also show a response to temperature, whether placed in a warm environment or in warm water.

When they walk or run, most of the dragons curl up their tail like this.

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There is another bearded dragon body language related to the tail called tail twitching (like a cat’s tail).

Not all bearded dragons would do so, but it may be a sign of the attitude.

Many owners complain that their pet’s tail twitches when they kill prey a when they are stressed.

Often, during mating, two dragons can also twitch their tails.

13. Lying On Each Other

Beardie Or Beardie

This might look like your dragons are feeling great with their wonderful friends.

However, it is a symbol of actual dominance.

Bearded dragons require UV rays to stay healthy, thus, the dominant one will try to get the maximum amount of UV rays as much as possible.

bearded dragons live together

Besides, hatchlings or babies may lie on large ones while basking. Or else, this is a sign of mating straddle.

14. Eye Bulging

Sometimes you will see the bearded dragon swell his paws.

Young dragons bulge their eyes more and one explanation is that the skin stretches either as or after shedding.

This promotes the idea of shedding and when they are young, they tighten their skin more.

Secondly, they will yawn like certain horned lizards squint blood after accumulating in the eyes of evolutionary behavior.

Bearded Dragon eyes open not moving

Thirdly, as in the case of a chameleon, it can be indicated as high blood pressure symptom of it occurs for a long time (more than 30 minutes).

However, unless any signs such as tearing or long duration are associated with it, you do not have to worry too much.

Finally, it may be a sign of infection or injury, especially if it is swollen, infected, or sore.

Loose substrates such as sand can get into the eye of the lizard, causing discomfort and irritation.

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15. Yawning

Lizards yawn all time. The yawning is a bearded dragon body language consists of blowing the beard a few times and opening up and close the moth, which may appear like hiccups.

Bearded Dragon Opening And Closing Mouth

16. Climbing

As semi-arboreal species, bearded dragons enjoy climbing very much.

They do not live on trees, however, in addition to basking and exploring, climbing makes them feel better when they can see from a distance.

Any rough surfaces also support them in nail wear.

Body Language Of a Bearded Dragon

In the wild, beardies climb on rocks, trees, grass hammocks, branches, or any suitable surface.

Do not forget to give them trees and logs to climb in their captivity habitat.

Be sure you are using safe wood to allow them to access the heat and UV lamps as they may be burned if not careful.

17. Glass Observing

bearded dragon accessories pack

It involves scratching, leaning on, or trying to climb from the enclosure walls, especially the glass terrarium types while standing on their hind legs.

They can even try to jump on the enclosure walls back and forth.

Glass surfing normally means that something about the environment stresses the animal.

While many beardie owners think it is because they are interesting or exciting to see their reflection, in most cases it is not.

This strange behavior is an indicator that something is not well.

How Often Beardie

Surfing is a sign of fatigue or boredom, but also of problems like wrong temperature setting, too small terrarium, a vision of an apparent danger as a dog or cat, seeing another beardie, etc.

Lastly, though it might seem fun to watch, make sure that the tank’s edges are not sharp since it can cause the pet pain.

On the other hand, a beardie who is always taken outside and loves climbing glass can even climb over if he wants to walk out of the tank.

18. Staring

Bearded Dragon Closing Eyes a Lot

Beardies enjoy staring and they enjoy looking at objects to figure out what they are.

Furthermore, watching stuff provides them with a lot of amusement and security.

Similar to how many beardies like watching television and even have their favorite shows.

If they feel interested in something, they tend to have an extreme positive orientation.

However, when they show an investigate look together with object lean and even vertical stance, they may feel unsafe and want to observe the things in front of them before deciding to approach or not.

Reading Bearded Dragon Body Language

Sleeping, resting, shade rest, hidden, alert, walk, run, run escape, investigate look, side look, tongue lick illustration (Credit:

Bearded Dragon Body Language In Some Certain Occasions

1. Basking

Two common types: Thigmothermic basking (flatten his body like a pancake) and heliothermic basking.

Sick Bearded Dragon Behavior

In nature, bearded dragons like to bask in the morning and late afternoon.

They do this to absorb some warmth from the natural sun.

You can see them being good climbers on high and exposed rocks, branches, broken and falling trees, posts, etc.

However, when it gets too hot, they will hide in burrows and shaded areas such as rocks, grasslands, or under logs to relax.

In captivity, these animals require a basking spot.

Beardie Greens

This could include rocks, tree branches, hammocks, and so on. In addition, ensure that the correct heat lamps and UV light sources retain the correct temperature.

Thermometers are useful to make sure the right temperature is preserved.

Finally, do not forget to provide a thermal gradient.

This will allow your pet the opportunity to move away from their basking spot.

Bearded Dragon Strange Behavior

Thigmothermic basking, heliothermic basking, toes up, extreme position orientation, submission, threat, defensive display, body flattened, head turned, body turned illustration (Credit:

2. Digging Or Burrowing

Digging is one of the normal bearded dragon body language that they take part in even in the wild. Some reasons why they dig are:

  • When the female ones are carrying eggs and wanting to lay an egg. Infertile eggs may also be put on by women ones without men’s exposure.
  • They will burrow and hide in the substrate, as they are about to brumate, to prevent extreme weather factors.
  • If you do not have a thermal gradient and protected areas in the tank, beardies will dig to find a cooler hiding space. Instead, ensure that you have simple furnishings and decorations like a hideout in the box.

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  • Whether he is stressed and wants to disappear or be alone.
  • He wants to build a cozy place to relax if the tank does not have basking spots.
  • He tries to tunnel out and escape the tank.

Besides that, it is one of their normal and fun habits that some may dig.

But if they always dig for no particular causes, it may be also a behavioral problem.

bearded dragon friendly

3. Brumation

Brumation is one type of hibernation reptile version.

It happens during the same time period – autumn and winter, except in the way the reptiles do not cut of metabolism entirely, they slow it down instead. Furthermore, they do not sleep really.

Each dragon bromates differently and maintains various activity levels.

However, during brumation, all reptiles must be kept hydrated.

When bromating, the beardie will sleep for months.

Body Language Of Bearded Dragons

During that time, he can not eat or drink too much, or not at all.

Please remember that brumation is a normal and unstoppable procedure.

If he is surfing from the brumation, you have to know that he will be a little bit lethargic.

Furthermore, do not expect him to have plenty of appetite at that time.

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A drastic change in behavior is the first sign of brumation.

You can see your pet acts like these:

  • More naps and look sleepy
  • Like to hide
  • Sluggish movement
  • Lack of appetite

Beardie Isn't Eating

On the other hand, when a bearded dragon is ready for brumation, he should look healthy.

They may become lazy, but with a clean and elastic body, bright eyes, no mouth gapping or infections.

In the summer, when the lizard tries to brumate out of season, or he is under one year old, his health will most likely be damaged, and his behaviors will mimic brumation.

Low UVB lighting, inadequate temperatures, insufficient vitamins, and minerals.

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An overdose of vitamins, especially with vitamin D3, or infections can all lead to brumation-like behavior.

The unhealthy symptoms should be dealt with as soon as possible.

During the brumation period, sick beardies sometimes die in nature.

Fortunately, you as the owner can do certain things to ensure that your pet is safety hibernate and wake up later with a lot of strength.

What Will Happen After The Hibernation?

Behavior Of Bearded Dragons

It does not have an accurate answer if you wonder how long it takes your pet to return to normal condition.

Some beardies can differ on a case-by-case basis, while some take a month to back to normal life.

Be patient, do not rush.

You can also see that your dragon has an unusual sleep cycle and random energy shifts on the other side.

They are adapted to be awake again at this phase, so do not be too surprised if they act lazy and take long naps, only to wake up later with lots of power.

Bearded dragons who seem to be particularly keen to get out of their tanks are nothing for concern.

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4. Shedding

Do not be alarmed if the reptile is on the cranky or reclusive side a little when he prepares for a shed.

For most all lizards and snakes, shedding is a natural bearded dragon body language.

Reptiles, like bearded dragons, lose their old skin in one piece, or in big patches.

Moreover, you may find that they do not want to be handled or even seem unhappy and fidgety. They even turn darker in color a little more than normal.

Beardie Keeps Opening Mouth

Also, they lack their appetite as well. So, if they do not eat a lot, do not worry too much unless this condition continues for more than a few days.

To help the process simpler and safer, be sure to understand this process clearly.

Shedding is one of the reasons for lizards outgrow the old skin.

This helps young beardies grow quickly.

The whole process can last for 3 to 10 days, during this period their look will change.

Beardie Jumping

 How To Help Your Bearded Dragon When They Are Shedding?

There are some ways you can help your beardie with his shedding:

  • Soak him in warm water and a gentle scrub with a soft toothbrush
  • Spray water to mist his body
  • Do not try to bother him too much
  • Although it can be tempting to tear your beardie’s skin off, never do so until a piece of skin is totally loose. If any resistance exists, stop doing.

Bearded Dragon Turning White And Not Eating

Many products can be used to help the shedding of your pet. These may be useful if their shedding process finishes incompletely.

Do you think he is having a rough shed?

Help their scales recover by adding a few drops of betadine iodine to a dampened cotton pad and applying it on the hurt spots once daily, followed by an antibacterial cream.

Or you should literally only add raw unpasteurized honey once a day.

5. Laying Eggs

Female bearded dragons can lay eggs with or without formal male ones.

This means she might still be pregnant and lay a clutch of infertile eggs, even though there are no men.

In the weeks before they lay their eggs, whether fertile or infertile, they will probably show some particular habits.

hatching bearded dragon eggs without incubator

For instance, you can find her sitting under the heat lamp, lethargic and less active.

Then she will start scratching inside the enclosure while she gets ready to lay her eggs.

If you suspect that your bearded dragon is gravid and is going to lay eggs, you may want to ensure that you put her in the lay box and provide enough food, lighting, heating to keep her safe and healthy.

Bearded Dragon Body Language: Aggressive Behavior

Beardie Opening Mouth

While being laidback, beardies have signs of aggression or defensive display.

It may be because of territorial attacks to defend their turf. Common signs of provocation include a hissing (when they feel threatened), biting, and beard fluffing (the faster the more intense the hostility is).

A combat stance, circling, and biting can occur if not disrupted. Split these lizards often in order to prevent injuries they might get when fighting.

They will fight even until they are wounded or die.

Bearded Dragon Open Mouth Basking

Normally, bearded dragons are not offensive by nature.

The bad thing that you see is that they exhibit signs of aggressivity and they will threaten to bite you if you try to provoke them.

Both male and female ones have some of the most prominent symptoms of aggression:

  • Beard fluffing:

As a threatening message, a beardie will fluff his beard to get in the alert mode.

It makes the dragon obviously seem bigger and menacing so that it can be used as a signal of readiness to attack.

Sometimes, when he fluffs, his beard can turn to a darker or even black color.

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The animal will hiss if being attacked as well.

Again, this is another sign of discomfort or provocation.

  • Biting:

Biting is a very clear sign of violence.

If your pet wants to bite you as you handle him, you actually have to wear a pair of gardening gloves because they would not diminish their aggression.

Beardie Temps

  • Bobbing head:

Bearded dragon bobs his head up and down as a form of territorial provocation.

At times, as a sign of communication, he bobs his head to each other.

For example, the animal may bob four or five times very fast and the other one may twice slowly bob in response.

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Sequences of thermoregulatory behavior (Credit:

Bearded Dragon Body Language: Signs Of Getting Illnesses And Diseases

Bearded dragons can also get sick like any other animal.

Several diseases are especially prone to them.

Luckily, most of them can be avoided.

So what kind of diseases do dragons carry with them? The most common ones are mentioned below:

  • Viral respiratory infections
  • Metabolic bone disease (MBD)
  • Atadenovirus
  • Mouth rot
  • Parasites
  • Photokerate conjunctivitis

How To Tell If Your Bearded Dragon Is Healthy

1. Respiratory Infections

To bearded dragons, respiratory illness occurs in too cold, too hot, or poorly ventilated living environments.

Stress, poor diet, and overcrowding can contribute to respiratory infection.

Breathing is the most significant symptom of lung diseases, including:

  • Hard and raspy breaths
  • Exhalation of coughing
  • Mucus on the nose and the mouth
  • Mouth gaping
  • Lethargic
  • Appetite loss

Why My Beardie Died

It is always better to deal with the possible cause of respiratory infections urgently.

First, do some checks on the temperature and humidity content of the tank and adjust if needed.

Treatments from a vet are required for most respiratory infections.

Injections or oral doses of antibiotics are most often administered to your beardie.

Please do not try any home treatments rather than just sorting out their living space.

2. Metabolic bone disease (MBD)

Bearded Dragon Weird Behavior

The most common sickness related to metabolism in captivity diurnal lizards, especially bearded dragons, is a metabolic bone disease.

It is a weakening state that leads, if not treated on time, towards gradual and painful death.

Metabolic bone disease is caused by the deficiency of calcium and vitamin D3.

The bones begin to collapse, leading to defects, paralysis, and death.

It happens due to poor diet and addition or incorrect UVB lighting.

If the condition progresses, these signs of MBD become serious:

Bearded Dragon Bath Behavior

  • Finger, foot, and legs trembling and twitching
  • Hard nodes on the back
  • Weakness
  • Hind legs paralysis
  • Slow growth in young dragons
  • Lower jaw receding
  • Poor bone fractures

If you suspect metabolic bone disease early, it can be treated quickly and easily.

The prevention and care must be maintained for quality nutrition with ample calcium, UVB lighting, and the right temperature as well as the humidity level.

Check out this video on how to treat MBD bearded dragons right:

3. Bearded dragons poop behavior – Defecation

A bearded dragon’s normal poop can look like bird droppings, but they may have a different appearance.

The lizards’ have two separate parts: one is black, the other one is bright pink or white.

White sections are simply urates, not poop – the dragon bodies have formed in order to pass the urine in dry form as a result of the need for water conservation.

If the urates are yellow, your animal can get too much protein from their food.

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Insect meals cause firmer, thicker, and drier stools.

The stool of veggies is waterier, greener, and can contain fiber that can not be digested.

The dragon’s appetite, diet, and temperature will decide how often he poops. Anything is called natural from 1 to 7 times a week.

Looking at the poop and the poop habit is a good bearded dragon body language to indicate their health.

Watery or runny poo may indicate a health crisis – a parasitic infection generally.

When the stool of your beardie looks strange, particularly scents of dullness or your beardie needs to go a few times a day, do not hesitate to call a vet to test what is the cause.

Beardie Won't Eat

Read more: 

4. Impaction

Bowel impaction occurs when an animal swallows indigestible things, which block the intestines.

Very often, your pet can accidentally eat rough substrates such as sand, or insect chitin shells what beetles or mealworms are too hard to digest.

Beardie Meaning

Bearded dragon symptoms of impaction:

  • Fail to lift the bowel
  • Fail to pass excrement
  • Swollen, bumpy, or hard stomach
  • Loss of appetite
  • Look painful and uncomfortable

Most of the impaction cases can be resolved by adding some olive oil, or mix olive oil with some applesauce into lukewarm water for the lizards to bathe for 20 to 30 minutes, with a very soft massage.

This is home treatment and is suggested to do after consulting with a vet.

Serious impaction cases need to be surgically treated.

5. Mouth Rot

Why Is My Bearded Dragon’s Mouth Open

Mouth rot is a kind of mouth fungus that will hinder the dragon from fully eating.

Several symptoms of mouth rot are visible:

  • The yellowishor white substance on the sides and the corners of the mouth
  • The mouth is swelling or abscess-like
  • Loss of teeth
  • Loss of appetite

Mouth rot requires emergency vet care.

6. Atadenovirus

Atadenovirus Bearded Dragon

Atedenovirus is an extremely infectious viral infection that can kill your pet, in particular young and hatchling dragons.

Atadenovirus affected juveniles are smaller and shorter than their remaining clutch.

The neurological signs begin to appear as the disease progresses so that the dragon starts to look up for no reason and sometimes turns over.

The sick ones will stop eating and have trouble breathing or moving, and will suddenly die.

Unfortunately, there is still no medicine for atadenovirus.

However, the treatment of the disease and the avoidance of spreading are both possible.

Affected beardies should be isolated from the other ones.

Beardie Is Not Eating

You should also never leave leftover foods, substrate, and appliances between tanks.

When buying a new pet, always go for the big and active young ones.

In the first three months, juveniles under the age of 90 days normally die.

Any survivors may live a pretty normal life but need special care.

You have to keep them warm, still provide UVB light, and sometimes check for parasites.

Signs of a young beardie that has atadenovirus:

7. Parasites

Every species can get parasites. There are two types of parasites: Internal (Intestinal) – Endoparasites, and external – ectoparasites, which live on the reptile’s skin.

Internal parasites: We know some common internal parasites such as pinworms, roundworms, hookworms, coccidia, etc.

They all cause the same symptoms:

  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting or regurgitation
  • Odd headache or diarrhea
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Respiratory problems

The parasites must be identified by a vet to take stool samples and conduct microscopic testing to assess the type and concentration of that parasite.

How many parasites there are is also important, since certain species with a small amount that is not enough to cause symptoms.

The infection will start to flare up if the hygiene of the tank is bad.

Paralyzed Bearded Dragon

A reptile vet would also prescribe the best beardie deworming treatment.

External parasites – Mites: Mites are the most prevalent external reptile parasites.

These tick relatives pierce the skin and suck blood.

They are hard to kill and your pet will still be killed by the chemical and the heat that kill the mite.

In the folds and crevices of the lizards, mites like to aggregate.

Therefore, armpits, joints, eye areas need careful care when carrying out inspections or treatment.

Beardie With Black Beard

Some signs of mite infection:

  • Excessive soaking in water
  • Scratching on the tank walls or any rough surfaces
  • Tiny, red, or black dots on the body
  • Visible mites on the tank
  • Damaged skin

Mite infestations can also lead to mites transmitted to anemia, secondary infections, and other diseases.

Because mites are pretty hard to deal with, there are no therapeutical treatments that are 100% safe.

Consult a reptile vet and study all viable alternatives before continuing any cure.

Follow the directions to make sure that the reptile and yourself are safe.

Bearded Dragon Behavioral Adaptations

An absolutely safe (although not really effective as insecticides) solution is giving warm baths with a minimal amount of Betadine (Povidone-iodine).

Betadine should be used on lizards and reptiles as a topical antiseptic.

However, as it may poison your pet, you should never submerge his head in the solution.

The very first step in parasite prevention is to maintain excellent hygiene in the tank.

It is also helpful to check your beardie and take the deworming treatments frequently.

Never let other dragons get close to him until you are 100% positive of his healthy and does not have any parasite.

If you buy a new dragon, quarantine him for several months. Moreover, remember not to cycle between tanks food, and decorations.

 Frequently Asked Questions About Bearded Dragon Body Language

Beardie Life Substrate

1. How Can I Tell If My Bearded Dragon Is Happy?

You can surely know that your pet is happy to be with and like you if there are no signs of provocation, just love.

If he does not bite you, hump his head, puff his beard up when you get near, or sniff at you, it is good.

There are some easy signs they will show if they are happy with you:

  • They close their eyes when you hold them
  • Lay flat and look relax
  • Climb on your side, let you handle them
  • Lick your hand

beardie head

2. What Does It Mean When A Bearded Dragon Stares At You?

Beardies love to look at objects because they are curious and love to observe what they are.

Moreover, a great deal from observation resulting from their entertainment and defense.

This is an instinctual activity that lets them appreciate the world and keep them safe.

why does my beardie keep hissing at me

3. What Does It Mean When A Bearded Dragon Has His Tail Up?

When a bearded dragon raises its tail, he probably feels alert and takes his surroundings.

You also see this body sign when they are hunting for prey, including roaches and crickets or moving objects.

Sick Bearded Dragon Poop

4. How Can I Tell If My Bearded Dragon Is A Male Or Female?

To gender a bearded dragon, you can use a flashlight and glow on the base of the threshold, over the vent on the upper side of the threshold, and look at the underside.

Two hemi penal bulges or bumps are under the tale close to their anus on male bearded dragons.

Each side of the tail is covered with these bulges.

On the other hand, female bearded dragons have just one hemi penal budge or bump at the same spot beneath their tail.

Beardie Growth Chart

5. How To Tell If Your Bearded Dragon Is Shedding?

When your pet is going to shed, his skin gets really tight.

You can see a change in skin color.

It will still be sluggish, until then it will turn white.

But do not worry, it is completely natural.

How To Tell If Your Bearded Dragon Is Shedding

Signs of shedding:

  • Lethargy
  • Appetite loss
  • The behavior of skittish
  • Does not like to be touched
  • Has skin patches
  • Bloody inflation of the eyes: Bearded dragons bulge their eyes to loosen the skin and sometimes this is the first molt area.

beardie shed


We hope that you get the best possible care for your beardies from our article and to understand what their signs want to say to you.

Knowing the behavior and wellbeing of your pets is the secret to giving them the life they deserve.

Often recognizing the warning signs can indicate a difference between life and death. Do not hesitate to reach a vet, preferably, the vet specialized in handling reptiles if you doubt the health of the bearded dragon.

Bearded dragon body language sometimes displays some quite weird behaviors. However, these actions are direct answers to something that is stressful or not desirable in their world. That is why it is so important to understand what your pets are trying to say, so you can give them a healthy and happy life.

Further Reading:

Tags: health issues, sign of submission, arm waving, bearded dragons wave, common bearded dragon behaviors

5/5 - (1 vote)


  1. When I have a new BD, I do not understand many habits of BD and tell me why? why he do it?
    Luckily, I find some information about this and find this article. This has enough to understand my pet. Sometimes, he is so crazy and so interest. My daughter said that he really loves water and bath in a while. I am so happy to have him and hope he will be a member of my family forever. Thank you!

  2. Every single day, I usually see different activities and I have not understood this. So, I practice searching for new info on the internet like your website. And, yeah, I see this, a full of list habit and weird activities, which is so interest. Just say: Thank you! I will share this with other BD feeders.

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