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Are Bearded Dragons Affectionate?

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As bearded dragons are not as fluffy or as cuddly as cats or dogs, how are they affectionate? With cats and dogs, they show affection by licking our faces and cuddling up to us on the couch, but how do bearded dragons show affection when they are completely different from cats and dogs?

Hand holding and petting a bearded dragon

As bearded dragons are not cuddly, it is wrong for us to assume that they are incapable of displaying affection.

So, if bearded dragons are able to display affection, how do they do this? Is it similar to cats and dogs? Or do they show affection in a completely different way?

This article will show you how bearded dragons show affection and how affectionate they can be to humans. If you own a bearded dragon, you can look out for these signs that your bearded dragon is showing you affection and show some affection back!

Do Bearded Dragons Show Affection Quickly?

Lots of reptiles take a long time to bond with their owners and do not show them a lot of affection. However, bearded dragons can show a lot of affection to their owners and at a fast pace.

When you first introduce your bearded dragon to your home, both you and your bearded dragon may be unsure how to show affection.

However, when they begin to see that it is a habit that you feed them and take care of them, they quickly begin to show affection towards you.

Looking For Handling

If your bearded dragon is looking to be handled by you, then this is their way of showing affection. When you have your hand in the tank, your bearded dragon may be trying to get on your hand or get you to touch it.

You can show affection back by allowing your bearded dragon to climb onto your hand or by stroking it, which will only strengthen your bond.

Other reptiles usually do not seek to be handled and instead decide to shy away from affection as they do not want it. Bearded dragons enjoy being handled and seek affection from you.

If you are a keen fan of reptiles but also want a pet that shows affection, bearded dragons are great to bond with.

How Long Does It Take To Bond With Your Bearded Dragon?

Hand holding a bearded dragon

As lots of other reptiles do not show affection, it can be difficult to form a bond. Reptiles, like snakes, take a long time to bond with their handlers as they can see being handled as threatening.

Snakes hiss when they feel like they are in danger, and they usually hiss when being handled. However, over time, they can begin to bond with their handler.

Unlike snakes, you can bond with your bearded dragon quite quickly. The more time that you dedicate to bonding with your bearded dragon, the stronger your bond will become.

You can show your bearded dragon affection by petting them, letting them walk to you, and treating them. All of these actions will help to strengthen the bond between you and your bearded dragon.

By displaying this affection to your bearded dragon, you will be able to strengthen the bond between you both.

The more time that you spend together and the more time that you dedicate to your bearded dragon, the more you will bond and the more you will begin to trust each other.

Do The Displays Of Affection Change?

Every bearded dragon is different, so the way that they show affection will be different. Not all bearded dragons show affection the same way, but you will begin to learn how your bearded dragons show affection and what signs to look out for.

Some bearded dragons enjoy curling up with their owners. Others enjoy perching on their owners’ shoulders.

The way that your bearded dragon shows affection will differ as they are not all the same, but you will begin to see how your bearded dragon prefers to show affection and what to look out for.

Does Age Affect How Bearded Dragons Show Affection?

Age is a big factor in how bearded dragons show affection. If you have a young bearded dragon as a pet, they won’t enjoy being handled as they will not have learned how to trust you yet.

Instead, your young bearded dragon will be very restless and won’t want to be touched too much.

However, as your bearded dragon begins to get older, they will realize that they can trust you. They won’t consider you a threat and will consider you a friend.

Therefore, they will be a lot more affectionate towards you as they will realize that they are not in danger and that you care about them.

Actions That Do Not Show Affection To Your Bearded Dragon

Specific actions will cause a lot of distress to your bearded dragon that will not show its affection. These actions include handling your bearded dragon roughly, playing loud music, being very noisy, and holding it by its tail.

All of these actions will prevent your bearded dragon from bonding with you.

If you display these behaviors around your bearded dragon, they will become aggressive. This is extremely unfair to your bearded dragon, and you need to make sure that you are treating them with respect.

Constant stress can cause them to fall ill, so you need to make sure that you look after them properly and carefully.

Do Bearded Dragons Know Their Owners?

Man in blue shirt holding a bearded dragon

Bearded dragons can recognize their owners, so there is no danger that they will forget about you if you go away for the weekend.

As bearded dragons are very sensitive creatures, they can recognize the smell and touch of their owners, so they will always remember you if you have been on holiday.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Bearded Dragons Enjoy Affection?

Bearded dragons enjoy having affection shown to them, but you must make sure that you do not force them to be cuddled or held. When you first have your bearded dragon, begin by gently stroking its back.

Once the bearded dragon knows that you are not a threat, you can begin laying your hand flat and seeing if they want to be handled.

Forcing your bearded dragon to be held or picked up will cause it to become stressed and lose trust in you. You need to make sure that your bearded dragon is willing to be held and handled to make sure that it isn’t in any distress.

How Can You Gain A Bearded Dragon’s Trust?

Your bearded dragon will begin to trust you when they know that you aren’t a threat. You can show your bearded dragon affection by feeding it at exact times, petting it, and handling it.

Your bearded dragon will trust you more over time, but your bond will continue to strengthen.

The best way to gain your bearded dragon’s trust is to make sure that you care for them properly. This will make them see that they can trust you and that you are not a threat to them.

They will come to you in their own time, but you can offer small displays of affection like gentle petting so they know that they are safe.

Can Young Bearded Dragons Show Affection?

Young bearded dragons are less likely to show affection to older bearded dragons as they may see you as a threat.

You can gradually begin to show them that they can trust you, but you should never force them to be handled or petted. They will begin to trust you when they see that you are not a threat and that you care.

Final Thoughts

To conclude, bearded dragons are very affectionate reptiles, but you need to make sure that you treat them properly and with affection. You can form a strong bond with your bearded dragon by petting it, letting it walk over to you, and letting it walk on your body.

All of these actions will let your bearded dragon know that it can trust you, forming a strong bond that will only continue to strengthen.

If you pet your bearded dragon too harshly, are too loud, or hold it by its tail, your bearded dragon will not bond with you as it won’t trust you.

To avoid this, you need to make sure that you take care of your bearded dragon properly. This will allow your bond to strengthen.

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.