8 Various Bearded Dragons Behaviors Explained | What’s Your Beardie Need?

Bearded dragons are not very expressive and you can hardly tell anything that they may be feeling, by their facial expressions. However, bearded dragons’ behavior tells us all a lot more and we can make changes in their surroundings to make sure they thrive. When you bring a bearded dragon home, you will need some time to adjust to it, just like your new pet will need time to understand you and its new habitat. Here are some common behaviors that will explain what they are feeling so that you can make adjustments according to their liking, and for their well-being.

Bearded Dragons Behaviors


There are numerous types, and confusing behaviors of bearded dragons, read all about them so that you can create a better environment for your new bearded pet.

1. Head Bobbing

Wild species animals like bearded dragons often bob their head, which means moving their head up and down as if nodding yes. Sometimes the movement can be from side to side as well. However, the meaning will always be the same, especially in male bearded dragons. Males bob their heads when they are ready to mate. Another reason for bobbing the head can be to assert dominance. If you have two or more bearded dragons, this gesture might be their way to tell each other who’s the boss.

Head Bobbing

2. Glass Surfing

Glass surfing is a gesture that involves scratching the wall of the glass tank for the bearded dragon. The dragon appears to be standing on its hind legs and dancing against the glass. However, this is not a dancing situation as this gesture expresses stress and anxiety. The stress can be due to various reasons, such as differences in the glass tank with regard to décor and adding new objects. The stress can also be due to lighting, appetite, and various other factors. Also, you can read complete details here Why Is My Bearded Dragon Glass Surfing.

Glass Surfing

3. Digging

If you see your bearded dragon scratch the floor or dig the sand in the glass tank, it is not just fun and frolic! There are various reasons for digging and bearded dragons use this gesture as a way to express stress, hunger, skin shedding, or even brumation. When the female dragons are looking for a place to lay their eggs, they begin to dig around.


4. Standing With Their Mouth Open

When bearded dragon behavior turns to stand with their mouth open, it is again a meaningful gesture. The bearded dragons stand with their mouth open it is because they are dehydrated and feeling hot. The best way to address this behavior is to give your dragon pet some water. When they are hydrated, they will feel cool and their behavior will change too.

Standing With Their Mouth Open

5. Arm Waving

Bearded dragons wave their arms as a form of submission. When one of the bearded dragons bobs its head to show dominance, if the other one waves its arm, it shows that it was ready to submit to the first one. Bearded dragons are wild reptilians that have some innate behavior and one of them is to seek dominance and show submission. This behavior is common in juvenile dragons, and when they see that there is a stronger dragon or if they seek feed from the parent, they wave their arm as an expression of submission and mercy from the older one. Also, find out Why Does My Bearded Dragon Stare At Me.

Arm Waving

6. Bearded Dragon Go Black, But Why

A very strange behavior is that bearded dragons turn black. This behavior can be alarming and confusing for the owners. Bearded dragons turn black when they are looking to breed, or when they are stressed over something for too long and they haven’t gotten the attention that they needed. Dragons go black when they are stressed, hungry, looking for breeding or if they are unwell. Owners must address this behavior because it means that the intensity of stress or whatever reason that is causing this behavior, has heightened. Moreover, read all details here Why Do Bearded Dragons Turn Black.

Bearded Dragon Go Black

7. Flaring The Beard

Bearded dragons flare their beards to appear more majestic. However, this is a defense mechanism to protect themselves from any creature that they feel threatened by. Moreover, this behavior makes other bearded dragons submit easily. This wild species knows how to assert dominance and mark its territory. If you get a second bearded dragon, the first will try to flare the beard and show its supremacy to ensure that the new pet does not try and take over.

Flaring The Beard

8. Hissing And Stamping

When the bearded dragon hisses and stamps its feet, this behavior means that they feel scared or threatened. Remember, any creature tries to defend itself by scaring other creatures when they are scared themselves! When your bearded dragon hisses, it is time to hold it and show some love. When they feel secure and loved, they stop hissing.

Hissing And Stamping

All these behaviors come in when the bearded dragon feels something that it cannot express with facial expressions or a different voice when they hiss or roars. Reptilians are quite mute, and owners must know how to understand them through the way they behave.


Bearded dragons’ behaviors tell a lot about what they are feeling. Owners must know how to interpret these behaviors so that they can ensure a safe and secure environment for their pet dragon to thrive. When you see your pet do any of the gestures mentioned above, address it so that your pet stays happy and healthy.


What should I do if my bearded dragon is digging sand in the glass tank?

Digging is a common behavior when the female dragon is looking for a place to lay eggs, or if a male dragon is hungry, and looking for food. When you feed the male or allow the female a secluded spot to lay eggs, they will stop digging.

How can I understand why my bearded dragon is waving its arm?

Bearded dragons wave their arms when they show a sign of submission. If you have only one bearded dragon, then this gesture means that they are looking towards you to feed them. Feeding and caring is also domination and the dragon’s arms wave means that they want you to take that role of dominating them.

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