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How to Tell if Your Bearded Dragon Is Happy

How to tell if your bearded dragon is happy? What are the common behaviors of a bearded dragon? Read this exclusive discussion to find out.


How to tell if your bearded dragon is happy? Like any pet, a strong bond and love is the ultimate goal of any bearded dragon owner. Although these little reptiles are tolerant of handling and notoriously friendly, they still enjoy human interactions, especially with their owners. It is important to us, owners, to know that our beloved reptiles enjoy being around us.

So, to ease your mind, we created an article that explains all bearded dragon behaviors, both positive and negative. This way, you can determine if your bearded dragon is happy, sad, stressed, or angry. 

Understanding Bearded Dragon Behaviors

how to tell if your bearded dragon is happy

Compared to family dogs and cats, a bearded dragon’s behaviors are more difficult to pick up and understand. You see, when it comes to deciphering a dog’s mood, we can already see or feel it because of the wagging tail, soft guttural bark, and yowling. Before even realizing it, we know whether our dogs and cats are happy, scared, or stressed. 

But what about our bearded dragons? How can we know exactly whether they are happy, sad, angry, hungry, or anything else for that matter, especially if it is our first-time taking care of beardies? Fortunately, this situation is where we come in.

As reptile experts ourselves, we have created this article to serve as your guide and all-in-one resort for decoding your bearded dragon’s body language, mood, and behavior. So, if your bearded dragon is acting strange, this article can provide explanations for you.

Keep in mind that your bearded dragon may or may not exhibit all behaviors listed in this article. So, as a responsible keeper, it is up to you to become familiar with all of your pet’s frequent body language and what triggers them, as well.

Pro Tip: To keep your pet healthier and happier, give him a daily dose of this multivitamin supplement.

How to Tell if Your Bearded Dragon Is Happy

How to Tell if Your Bearded Dragon Is Happy

Are you a first-time bearded dragon n owner figuring out how to tell if your bearded dragon is happy? Do you know all the positive behaviors and body language of this reptile? As owners, it is our responsibility to understand which behaviors show happiness and anger and stress. 

Moreover, keep in mind that when your bearded dragon is happy, he or she can build trust in you. Please continue reading to learn more.

5 Ways Bearded Dragons Show Their Happiness

If you own a beardie or planning to get one, it is crucial to understand the signs of their happiness. This way, if you noticed that he or she had acted recently, you would know if there is something wrong and when to consult a vet. Here are the top five ways that bearded dragons show their happiness.

  • Coming to you

We’ll start with the very common trait: coming to you. Like other animals, when your bearded dragon comes to you, they are happy and want to bond with you. It may seem far-fetched, but many bearded dragons love spending time with their owners, too.

Usually, these reptiles go as far as scratching the glass to get out. So, if you interact with your reptile daily, he or she will soon get used to our routine and enjoy playing outside their tank with you. Once your bearded dragon begins to trust you, he will wait for you every day to spend time playing and cuddling.

Pro Tip: Give your little one some mealworms after playing.

  • Licking

If you don’t know yet, bearded dragons love licking the air when they enjoy their surroundings. When you come near your pet, and they lick, it means they are ready for food, adventure, or simply a cuddle with you. 

Both young and adult bearded dragons tend to panic when picked up for the first time. Well, it is completely normal, and they will get used to it if you do it frequently. Once they become comfortable with your handling, they will flatten their bodies and relax their muscles. Besides that, your beardie will also close his eyes and press close to you, which are signs of trust and happiness.

  • Being calm while held

This point may not seem like a big deal, but bearded dragons are naturally cautious when being held. So, if your pet is calm and not running away while you massage his body, it is a big hint that he is happy and comfortable with you. When picking up, you should place your fingers underneath their chest, and when he climbs on you, it means that he doesn’t mind you handling him.

If a bearded dragon is not in the mood for playing, he will let you know. So, if you pick your pet up and he does not jump out of your hands, it means he likes to. Nevertheless, there will still be some days when they don’t want to be touched.

  • No sign of aggression

You can guarantee that your bearded dragon is happy when he shows no signs of aggression. Since these reptiles love projecting their emotions, your pet will defend himself when not in the mood. Some signs of aggression are:

  • Hissing at you
  • Puffing out beard
  • Biting
  • Bobbing head

Keep in mind that bearded dragons are incredibly talkative animals, especially with people they trust. Nevertheless, they also have negative behaviors like any other pet. 

4 Other Behaviors of Bearded Dragons

how to tell if your bearded dragon is happy

What are the common negative behaviors of bearded dragons?  There will be days when our beloved bearded dragons are not in the mood to socialize. Some studies have proven that these reptiles can show basic emotions, such as pleasure and aggression. While they are not similar to dogs, these lizards can feel upset, too.

Pro Tip: To keep your bearded dragon entertained while you’re away, decorate some accessories to his enclosure, including this hangout décor.

Moreover, bearded dragons do truly communicate with various body languages, both positive and negative. With time and proper understanding, you will know when your pet’s feeling strange. Here are a few behaviors that you need to be aware of.

  • Head bobbing

Head bobbing can be a sign of dominance over you, a new environment, or another animal. It means that your pet wants you to know that he is the alpha, and you should give respect. To chill out the head bobbing, you should make time for your beardie and play with him. Other reasons can also be stress and preparation to mate.

  • Flared beard

Bearded dragons their beards when they feel threatened, upset, dominant, and ill. 

  • Changing colors

Overall, color changes can be a sign of stress, illness, or extreme emotion. Usually, bearded dragons darken their colors with puffed beards.

  • Glass surfing

Glass surfing is not always negative. Sometimes, it means that a bearded dragon sees her reflection or is getting ready to lay eggs. When it comes to the bad part, glass surfing can signify that something is off in her habitat, she is hungry, or she cannot regulate her body heat inside the tank. Proper is crucial among beardies, so make sure that the tank is not too hot or cold.

Pro Tip: Place this basking light at the top of your pet’s tank to maintain the correct heat for your little one.


As mentioned earlier, bearded dragons love interacting and spending time with their owners. They can also become accustomed to their owners’ voice and respond when they hear it, especially when it comes to food. 

It is not a big deal, but a happy beardie is a healthy beardie. We can guarantee that your bearded dragon will live a long, healthy, and happy life with strong bonding and love. We hope our discussion has helped you in determining how to tell if your bearded dragon is happy.

Pro Tip: These dubia roaches will surely make your bearded dragon happy.