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Bearded Dragon Glass Surfing: 10+ Reasons why They do this (NOT WHAT YOU THINK!)

Bearded Dragon glass surfing is something that many people don’t actually know until they hear it

You might see it as a new beardie owner as pacing or scratching the side of the tank

you need to know that glass scratch and glass surfing is not normal behavior. Bearded dragons shouldn’t be doing this and i will go into it in depth later on in the post

Most owners actually might find this kind of behavior amusing. Thinking its completely normal.

Bearded dragon glass surfing is actually a sign of stress and needs to be taken with caution and care

Bearded Dragon glass surfing definition

Glass surfing is when your bearded dragon seems to be trying to escape or scratch the side of the tank. it seems like play but its actually an anxious move

Bearded dragon glass surfing

It literally looks like hes trying to escape the tank by climbing up it

They will try to slide and climb up the glass and this is where the term glass surfing comes from

Why is my bearded dragon scratching the glass

The first reason why your bearded dragon is scratching the glass is because they are stressed

Stress can be caused by many reasons

You want to make sure that the habitat is set up correctly and the temperature is good. If things are off even by a little they can get stressed out

Stress can be caused by you as well. If you think about it you are huge compared to them. no wonder it takes them time to get to know you and trust you

A good place to start is checking the tank and making sure everything in there is good and the temperatures are good

Make sure you’re using a good substrate as well to avoid impaction

Impaction is when your bearded dragon ingests something its not supposed to and get stuck in the digestive tract

Another thing to consider if you have other animals in your home. Other animals are a direct threat to your bearded dragon.

They will scare your beardie a lot and it will take some time for them to gain trust for everything around them

Bearded dragon glass surfing

What i would do is slowly introduce them to other pets as time goes by

let them get used to you first and bond with you and then other pets afterwards

Another thing to think about is what can your bearded dragon see?

are the placed near a window? can they see other animals outside?

sometimes a stuff animal in the room will set off your bearded dragon and cause them to glass surf

if your bearded dragon is near a window make sure the sun isn’t hitting the tank directly as well which can send the tank temperature higher than normal which can cause them stress

keep a close eye on the temperature of the tank and make sure its just right for them

They think they can see another bearded dragon

sometimes they might think their own reflection in the mirror is another bearded dragon

When a bearded dragon see’s another bearded dragon they will sometimes freak out and think that other beardie is posing a threat to them

Its totally irrational to us but to them its completely rational. Bearded dragons are solitary creatures. If they see another one they will assume its trying to come take them out or take their territory

The best way to eliminate this is to have the glass covered. Now i have 3 sides completely covered and he can only see out the front of the tank.

The Tank is too small

Another reason why your bearded dragon may be glass surfing is because the tank is just too small

This is an easy fix because obviously you can buy another tank but i think most owners don’t actually know what the right size is

The right size in my opinion is 120 gallons

Bearded dragons need a lot of space before they will feel absolutely comfortable

bearde dragons like to run around and dig a lot and they need a lot of space to do this

They also need a lot of space hide and rest from the heat of the tank and also everything else around them

Like humans they need some solitary time and sometimes a household can be noisy and restless

Bearded dragons will need to use up all that pent up energy and if the tank is too small they won’t be able to use it all up

If you notice your bearded dragon glass surfing take it out of the tank and let them run around and see if that helps

Too many bearded dragons together

A bearded dragon glass surfing can easily be caused by another bearded dragon inside the tank

Bearded dragons like to be alone and they will be bothered by the sight of another bearded dragon

Bearded dragons are extremely territorial. Especially male bearded dragons they will try to kill the other sometimes

If you see them trying to escape it means they are literally trying to run away from the other bearded dragon

They will especially try to run away when the other beardie is bigger than them

They are having trouble regulating their temperature

Bearded dragons need to use external heat to regulate their temperature

They will bask in the heat of the lamp and then they will go to the other side to cool down when needed

to properly digest food they will need to sit in the basking light

Baby bearded dragons and juveniles will glass surf a lot because they are simply not used to you

but if they can’t regulate their temperature they will want out so they can go do it themselves

They do this because in the wild they know where to go and what to do because of instincts

make sure the lighting is good. Make sure the heat is good. Also make sure the tank has a cool spot so they can relax and hide

So if you notice your bearded dragon glass surfing it could be because of temperature so check the temps and make sure they’re good

If the temperature is too low for too long they will go into brumation which is sort of a hibernation state. Their metabolism slows down and essentially rest.

Winter time is a rough time for many species of animals and bearded dragons are no different. its harder to find food during this time so they just chill out

You just brought your bearded dragon home

When you first bring your bearded dragon home they will be anxious

you will never be able to replicate the wild so close that they feel right at home instantly

it takes time and patience for them to make the right adjustment

think about if you had to leave your home. They say it takes about 6 weeks or so for people to adjust to their new home and call it home

Bearded dragons are no different except in how much time it might take for them to adjust

It could take 3 weeks or it could take 8 weeks. They will adjust. Be patient with them and you will see their behavior change

If your bearded dragon is angry during this period check this article out

Your bearded dragon is hungry

A bearded dragon glass surfing can also be caused by hunger

if bearded dragons don’t get enough food for a while they will eventually want to search for it themselves

Nature knows best. Bearded dragons have natural instincts to guide it forward to survive

If they are hungry they will try to climb out to go source some food

You should be feeding your bearded dragon every day. If you have a baby bearded dragon they will eat even more than that

Now be careful not to overfeed them. Giving them too much protein or too much fruit can cause issues down the line. Too much fruit can cause metabolic bone disease.

Now you can tell a whole lot about your bearded dragon by their poop

You can tell if they are getting too much calcium, protein, too much water etc.

Something is changed in their environment

Bearded dragons love familiarity and one cause of a bearded dragon glass surfing is if something has been moved in their tank

They will think something is wrong or off when they notice that a log or hide hole is in a different place

They may show signs of stress like puffing up or a black beard

This can happen after a big clean. I do at least one deep clean per month and when i put everything back they will have a day or two of stress but this passes quickly

Now you may have a very chill bearded dragon that might not care at all about moving furniture around but you may have a sensitive bearded dragon that hates change.

it entirely depends on your bearded dragon

Sometimes they cant see the glass

Another bearded dragon glass surfing reason is they literally can’t see the glass

They might see something or just simply don’t understand that there is glass there. They might run into it.

Once they notice it they will start trying to climb it.

If you notice this put up a background and see if that changes

Take a close look at the environment around the tank and see if there is something that could potentioally be bugging them

Seeing what makes bearded dragons angry is literally a trial and error thing

They just laid eggs or getting ready to lay eggs

Female bearded dragons might do some glass surfing if they’re getting ready to lay eggs

Sometimes while they do this they might dig into their substrate as well. Now some people have reptile carpet or Ceramic tile as their substrate in which they can’t dig too much

You might find them hanging out in their hide hole a lot more too.

A bearded dragon glass surfing can happen because of this so just keep your eyes peeled

They will also start doing this around the 18 month – 2 year mark. Not all female bearded dragons will lay eggs but some do

They’re bored and want attention

Bearded dragons have big personalities sometimes and they might want your attention

My bearded dragon LOVES attention. He has glass surfed in the past and this is his signal to me he wants me to hold him and play with him outside his tank

Bring him out for a little bit and see if that changes their behavior

How to stop Your bearded dragon glass surfing

this is total trial and error

This might take some time and you will learn a whole lot about your bearded dragon while doing this too

you will see if they’re a sensitive beardie or a chill beardie

Go through this list and make sure each thing is taken care of one by one

If your bearded dragon doesn’t stop glass surfing after this than i would suggest bringing them to the vet and seeing if there is something wrong

Always do that if you’re in doubt about their well being

Summary, FAQ’s Care Questions

Is my bearded dragon sick if he is glass surfing?

Good question

They definitely can be sick. They might have impaction or maybe they’re constipated

Impaction is when they have something stuck in their digestive tract they that can’t properly eliminate

Sometimes this is caused by loose substrate like sand, gravel or pebbles

Now they will start acting pretty lethargic, when this happens. They will begin to refuse food.

If your bearded dragon is glass surfing then they may be trying to tell you that something is wrong

Go through the list and eliminate each part slowly and see if things change.

If you don’t see a change then bring them to the vet asap

I have another bearded dragon in the same room but in a separate tank is that causing the glass surfing?

its a strong case for it yes

Other bearded dragons are going to make your bearded dragon uncomfortable

Sometimes bearded dragon owners will force a social hierarchy on their pets not knowing its a terrible idea

Bearded dragons like being alone. At least from their own kind. They might really like you or bond with you but its a good idea to leave them alone.

My suggestion is to put them in different rooms for a week and see if that changes it. You could also set up a barrier so they don’t see each other

Bearded dragon glass surfing is pretty easy to fix but you need to go through the list and eliminate them potential issues one by one which can be time consuming

However once you figure it out you can do that again quickly which will help eliminate the problem faster