21 Types of Bearded Dragon Abnormal Behaviors & Its Meaning


Have you ever wondered if your bearded dragon’s behavior is normal or not?

Our scaly friends have a language of their own, and sometimes it can be hard to decipher.

In this post, we’ll uncover 21 types of abnormal bearded dragon behaviors and their meanings, so you can watch for any potential issues and ensure your beardie stays happy and healthy.

What Are The Abnormal Behaviors of Bearded Dragon?

Here are the twenty-one (21) signs you should take note of;

1. Loss of Appetite

A bearded dragon’s abnormal behavior might include a sudden loss of appetite. This could be due to stress, illness, or an inadequate environment.

Make sure your beardie’s tank has the right temperature, humidity, and lighting. If your beardie still isn’t eating, it’s best to consult a reptile veterinarian.

2. Overeating

On the flip side, overeating can also be a sign of trouble. If your beardie seems to be eating more than usual, it could be a sign of parasites or simply boredom.

Monitor their food intake and consider offering them more mental stimulation, like new toys or activities. If the overeating continues, a vet visit may be in order.

3. Lethargy

If your beardie seems extra sluggish and uninterested in their surroundings, it might be a sign of illness, improper habitat conditions, or depression.

Double-check your dragon’s environment, and if the lethargy persists, reach out to a veterinarian.

4. Restlessness

On the other hand, restlessness could indicate discomfort, stress, or even parasites. Make sure your beardie has a proper hiding spot, and the tank is clean. If the restless behavior continues, consult a reptile expert.

5. Glass Surfing

Glass surfing is when your bearded dragon scratches at the glass, seemingly trying to escape. This behavior can be caused by stress, boredom, or reflection in the glass.

Adding more tank accessories or adjusting the lighting might help alleviate this issue.

6. Head Bobbing

Head bobbing is a natural behavior for bearded dragons, but excessive head bobbing might be a sign of stress or aggression.

Keep an eye on the situation; if it escalates, consider separating your beardie from any tank mates or adjusting the environment.

7. Arm Waving

Arm waving is another natural behavior, but if it happens more than usual, your beardie might feel threatened. Double-check their surroundings and tank mates to ensure a stress-free environment.

8. Black Bearding

Bearded dragons get their name from the “beard” under their chin, which can turn black as a sign of stress, illness, or aggression.

If your beardie’s beard stays dark for an extended period, make sure to check their environment and consult a vet if necessary.

9. Tail Rot

Tail rot is a serious condition that occurs when a bearded dragon’s tail starts to decay due to infection or injury. Seek immediate veterinary attention if you notice your beardie’s tail turning black and getting thinner.

10. Shedding Issues

While shedding is normal for bearded dragons, abnormal shedding can be a sign of poor nutrition, inadequate humidity, or even parasites.

If your beardie is struggling to shed, consider adjusting its habitat conditions and offering a nutrient-rich diet.

11. Discolored Scales

Discolored scales can be a sign of fungal or bacterial infections, parasites, or metabolic bone disease. Keep a close eye on your bearded dragon’s scales and consult a reptile veterinarian if you notice any concerning changes.

12. Rapid Breathing

Rapid breathing can be a sign of stress, overheating, or even respiratory infections. Ensure your bearded dragon’s environment is at the proper temperature; if the issue persists, contact a veterinarian.

13. Open-mouth Breathing

Open-mouth breathing is another red flag, as it can indicate respiratory infections, heart issues, or other health problems. If your beardie is breathing with its mouth open, it’s essential to seek veterinary advice as soon as possible.

14. Constipation

Constipation can result from various factors, including dehydration, inadequate temperatures, or an improper diet.

Make sure your beardie is well-hydrated and their habitat conditions are optimal. If constipation persists, seek veterinary advice.

15. Diarrhea

Diarrhea in bearded dragons can be caused by parasites, bacterial infections, or an improper diet. If your beardie is experiencing diarrhea, consult a reptile veterinarian to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.

16. Irregular Sleep Patterns

Bearded dragons are diurnal, which means they’re active during the day and sleep at night. If your beardie’s sleep patterns change, it could be a sign of stress, illness, or improper lighting.

Ensure their habitat has a proper day-night cycle, and consult a vet if needed.

17. Constant Basking

If your bearded dragon is always basking, even when the temperature is adequate, it could be a sign of an illness or a temperature regulation issue.

Double-check your tank’s temperature and consult a veterinarian if the behavior continues.

18. Avoiding Basking Area

On the other hand, if your beardie is avoiding the basking area, it might be too hot or uncomfortable. Adjust the temperature if needed, and make sure there’s a proper temperature gradient in the tank.

19. Hiding

Constant hiding can indicate stress, fear, or illness. Ensure your bearded dragon has a secure hiding place; if the behavior continues, consult a veterinarian to rule out any health problems.

20. Digging

While some digging is normal for bearded dragons, excessive digging can be a sign of stress or even a female preparing to lay eggs. Monitor their behavior and ensure their habitat is comfortable and stress-free.

21. Mating Behaviors

Mating behaviors, such as head bobbing, arm waving, and nipping, are normal during the breeding season. However, if these behaviors become excessive or aggressive, it’s essential to separate your beardie from their tank mates to avoid injuries.


Keeping an eye on your bearded dragon’s behavior can help you spot any abnormalities and ensure its well-being.

Remember, when it comes to your bearded dragon, abnormal behavior can be a sign of ill health, so stay vigilant and don’t hesitate to consult a reptile veterinarian if you have concerns.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top