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are bearded dragons affectionate

Bearded dragons are known to display aggressive behavior when they are in distress, but does that mean they can become affectionate when they like their owner? Are Bearded dragons affectionate?

Bearded dragons are charmingly affectionate to some extent. Besides, beardies are not only territorial but also solitary, so they enjoy their own company most of the time. However, you can tame your Bearded dragon such that it can show and seek affection. The best way to go about his is by socializing with your lizard friend regularly.

Like most animals, Bearded dragons are sentient creatures, meaning they are capable of feeling.
With that being said, your bearded buddy can have negative or positive feelings depending on the environment that it is in. These feelings can at times trigger certain behaviors.
This explains why beardies feel pleasure when they are stroked or snuggled. Knowing that your Bearded dragon has feelings is important because it allows you to give them the care that they deserve.
In addition to this, Bearded dragon keepers have reported that their pet lizards get attached to them after some time.
Beardies not only show affection to their owners but can also bond with other household pets.
Nonetheless, you should keep in mind that most behaviors in Bearded dragons and other reptiles are instinct-driven.
The way your treat or handle your Bearded dragon will determine whether the lizard will be affectionate towards you or not.
Additionally, this may also affect how they experience the above-mentioned feelings. As a pet parent, you should see to it that your lizard is getting the right treatment at all times.

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How Do Beardies Show Affection?

There are different ways through which your Bearded dragon can show you affection.
Nevertheless, beardies are not like other household pets, so you will have to be extra keen to notice when they are being affectionate towards you.
Part of being a beardie owner is having good observation skills. You need to pay close attention to the lizard’s behavior as this will make your work easier.
Also, Bearded dragons can only show affection when they are used to seeing you. Here are some of the signs that can tell you your Bearded dragon is being affectionate:

1. Climbing Onto You

Bearded dragons who have bonded with their owners find it easy to climb onto the owner’s hand, lap, shoulders, neck, etc.
This shows they feel safe and are also comfortable when they are around the person in question.
Some Bearded dragons may also curl up around the owner’s neck. If you notice that your beardie is trying to climb onto you, you should try as much as you can to stay still.
This will allow the little guy to get to a comfortable position without falling off. Additionally, if the lizard climbs onto your hand, you can pet it with the other.

2. Recognizing You

With time, your Bearded dragon will be able to recognize you and may also respond to your voice.
Beardies only do this with the people they have bonded with. Also, most beardie owners claim that their lizards pace up and down when they get close to the beardie’s enclosure.
Such behaviors can be a clear indication that your Bearded dragon wants you to pick them up. You can show affection to your lizard friend by giving them the attention that they are seeking.
As a result, the Bearded dragon will form an even stronger bond with you. To add to this, the beardie will develop more trust towards you.

3. Licking

Bearded dragons can also show affection through licking. If you are familiar with Bearded dragon behavior, then you must be aware that they like to lick stuff.
This behavior is essential because it allows them to inspect and learn more about their immediate surroundings.

However, if your beardie licks you frequently, it could mean that they like you. Bearded dragons mostly lick the owner’s hands when they are being lifted from the enclosure.

4. Showing Pleasure When You Stroke Them

Like cats and dogs, beardies love to be stroked once in a while. However, most beardies only show pleasure when they are stroked by someone they have already bonded with.
As a matter of fact, some beardie owners report that their Bearded dragons tend to bite the hands of people that they have not yet bonded with.
One thing with Bearded dragons is that they are very intelligent, so they can differentiate their owners from other people, especially after forming strong bonds.

5. Moving Toward You

If the bond is strong enough, your Bearded dragon may show affection by moving towards you. This is because the lizard anticipates that you will handle it when it gets to you.
Your Bearded dragon may repeat this behavior several times as long as you handle it gently. You can reinforce the behavior by showing your bearded buddy affection in return.

How Long Does It Take For Bearded Dragons To Start Displaying Affection?

As mentioned earlier, Bearded dragons can only show affection after they have formed strong bonds with their owners. The time taken to form these bonds may vary depending on several factors.

Consequently, some beardies may take a shorter time to show affection while others may need more time to get used to their owners.

Nonetheless, most Bearded dragon owners report that it took 3-4 months for their lizards to start showing affection.

When it comes to creating bonds between you and your beardie, you will have to take the initiative of making the first move.

Like all pets, Bearded dragons tend to be shy during the first few days, so it is your responsibility as a pet parent to make them feel at home.

Your first goal should be to win the lizard’s trust as this will make everything easy for both of you.

You should particularly be careful when handling the beardie because this will determine how they will react the next time you try holding them.

Also, you should consider placing hideouts inside the vivarium so that the lizard can find a place to hide when they get scared or stressed.

Note: It takes patience and time to bond with Bearded dragons, so you should go easy on the little guy. You should also know when to give your lizard friend some space since they are solitary animals by nature.

How To Bond With Your Bearded Dragon

If you are looking to get some affection from your Bearded dragon, you must be willing to give it in the first place.

Beardies tend to mirror the components that are in their environment, meaning if you show them affection, they will reciprocate.

According to Bearded dragon experts, beardies are more likely to bond and show affection to their owners when you engage them in stimulating activities.

Well-socialized beardies will have an easier time showing affection to their owners compared to those that spend most of their time in the enclosure.

Regular excursions outside the vivarium can help in keeping your Bearded dragon stimulated and entertained.

To avoid stressing the lizard, you should do this at intervals in the first days of bonding. Additionally, ensure that there are no household pets that may scare the beardie.

If you do everything the right way, your Bearded dragon will take a shorter time to bond with you.

Below are some of the ways that you can form strong bonds with your Bearded dragon:

Feed Them Regularly

In most cases, Bearded dragons form bonds with their owners when they start associating them with their food.

This type of association can only be created if you feed the beardie regularly. Once the beardie recognizes that you are their source of food, they will be slowly drawn to you.
Hand-feeding is highly preferred since it allows the beardie to learn more about you through the sense of smell.

It is not a must that you feed the lizard by hand throughout the feeding session. You can just do it for a few minutes to let the beardie know that you are the one giving them food.

To create a stronger association, you can carry your Bearded dragon in one hand as you feed it with the other. But most importantly, ensure that you feed the beardie nutritious foods.

Regular Handling

If you want your Bearded dragon to trust you, ensure that you handle them frequently. They are likely to show signs of distress at first, but they will get used to you over time.
Beardies love to be held, so you won’t experience any problems provided that you hold the lizard correctly.
You should support all parts of the beardie’s body when lifting it to avoid causing discomfort. More to this, ensure that you lift the beardie from its underside.
Handling also involves stroking the beardie gently to make them feel more relaxed. You need to pay close attention to the lizard’s behavior as you stroke it since this can let you know when to stop.
Plus, beardies are different from most lizards in that they can tolerate handling for an extended duration.
This will give you an added advantage since you can hold the beardie as many times as you like. However, if you notice that the lizard is becoming restless, you should put it back in the vivarium.
Caution should be exercised when putting the Bearded dragon down to avoid causing injuries.

Play With Your Bearded Dragon

You can easily earn your beardie’s trust by playing with them. Moreover, there are special bearded dragon toys that can help you keep your Bearded dragon entertained.

When playing with your bearded buddy, ensure that there are no items that can hurt the little guy.

You can as well feed the beardie during play so that they can develop a stronger bond with you.

The play sessions should be short during the first day, but you can increase the time gradually as the beardie adapts to its environment.

You should let your beardie explore its surroundings freely during play. Through this, they will feel safer and will also be able to interact with other objects.

On average, you should play with your Bearded dragon at least twice a day. Lastly, ensure that you use safe toys during play.

Observe Their Behavior

For you to bond with your Bearded dragon, you need to understand the meaning of each behavior that they are exhibiting when you are around them.

This will allow you to know when they want to be alone, to play, to snuggle, etc. You should never force your beardie to receive affection since this can cause more harm than good.
When Bearded dragons are pushed to the limit, they are likely to display aggressive behavior. Aside from that, you may lose their trust, meaning they will no longer feel safe around you.
If you think your beardie is getting uncomfortable, especially when they are taken out of their enclosure, you should consider putting them back before they get distressed.

Give Them Baths

The other way that you can bond with your Bearded dragon is by giving them baths. Ensure that you use lukewarm water when bathing your beardie as this will make them more comfortable.
Besides, regular baths are important for Bearded dragons because it hydrates the lizard’s skin, thus preventing excessive dryness.
This means your bearded buddy won’t have a hard time shedding its old skin, and neither will they experience impaction.
You can also allow the lizard to swim for a few minutes before taking them out of the water.
It is important to note that not all beardies like water, so you should limit bath times when cleaning Bearded dragons that don’t like to get wet.

Final Word

Bearded dragons are not only affectionate but can also get attached to their owners. However, this can only be achieved if you form strong bonds with the lizard.
It takes patience to form strong bonds with Bearded dragons, so ensure that you give your bearded friend enough time to get used to you.
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