Do Bearded Dragons Like to Be Held? [Signs & How To Hold]


Welcome, fellow reptile enthusiasts! If you’re here, you’re probably wondering, “Do bearded dragons like to be held?

This question isn’t as clear-cut as it may seem, given that every dragon has its unique personality. In the fascinating world of these prickly pals, understanding their behavior is a lot like decoding an ancient language.

Why? Because it matters. It helps us build a bond that’s as strong as a tortoise shell.

Bearded dragons, also known as “beardies,” are among the friendliest reptiles you can invite into your home. Native to the hot and dry areas of Australia, these cool creatures have now spread their charm across the globe.

They’re like the rock stars of the reptile world, with their spikey beards and laid-back personalities.

But here’s the real question: Are they into cuddling as much as we are into them? Let’s dive in and figure it out together!

Fun fact #1: The "beard" in their name refers to the flap of skin under their throats that they puff up when they're threatened or excited, resembling a beard. Talk about a cool party trick, huh?

Do Bearded Dragons Like to Be Held?

Alright, let’s cut to the chase. Do bearded dragons like to be held? The short answer? It depends. Yeah, I know, life would be easier with a simple yes or no, but beardies are as complex as a labyrinth.

You see, it’s all about the individual dragon’s personality, experiences, and how well they’ve been socialized. Some beardies may love to lounge on your lap while you binge-watch your favorite series.

Others may prefer to be admired from a respectful distance, kinda like a prickly Mona Lisa.

Fun fact #2: Despite their intimidating appearance, bearded dragons are known for their friendly and calm disposition, which makes them popular pets. They're more likely to chill with you on the couch than to re-enact a scene from Jurassic Park.

Why Some Bearded Dragons Love Being Held

So, why would some bearded dragons love being held? Like a trusty pup, bonding and trust play a huge part. If you’ve spent quality time with your dragon, handling them gently and regularly, they might just consider you their best bud.

Your warm hands? Their personal, portable sunbed.

Bearded dragons, you see, are ectotherms, which is a fancy way of saying they can’t regulate their body heat. They depend on their environment for it, kinda like depending on a thermostat instead of making your own heat.

This is why your warm human body feels like a 5-star hotel to them. Body heat? That’s a dragon’s best friend!

But remember the golden rule: How often should you hold your bearded dragon? Regular interaction helps build trust, but moderation is key. You wouldn’t want to feel suffocated by attention, would you? Neither does your beardie.

Why Some Bearded Dragons Might Not Enjoy Being Held

Now, let’s get into why some bearded dragons might not be thrilled about being held. It’s like this: Not everyone loves surprise hugs, right? Same with beardies.

Some of them need their personal bubble, and that’s perfectly okay.

Stress and fear factors can be a big deal. If a bearded dragon hasn’t been handled much or has had bad experiences, they might be as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs when you try to pick them up.

The world is a big, scary place when you’re a small dragon, after all!

Health and comfort can also affect their willingness to be held. If they’re not feeling well, or if something hurts, being held might be the last thing on their mind. It’s like when you’re sick, and all you want is to curl up in bed, right?

Signs Your Bearded Dragon Enjoys Being Held

Okay, so how can you tell if your bearded dragon is on board with the whole holding thing? It’s all about body language. Reading the signs can help you understand your bearded dragon’s feelings better than any translator app could.

Just like you might tap your foot when you’re impatient or cross your arms when you’re defensive, bearded dragons have their ways of communicating.

If they’re relaxed, eyes open, and their beard isn’t puffed out or darkened, you’re probably on the right track. Think of it as them giving you a thumbs-up.

Changes in behavior can also be a sign. If they start squirming, puffing their beard, or trying to scamper away, that’s the equivalent of a “Not today, thank you.” Respect their space and try again later.

How to Hold a Bearded Dragon Correctly

Imagine holding a bearded dragon as if you’re cradling a delicate egg. You wouldn’t want to squeeze too tight, right? But you also wouldn’t want it to slip out of your hands. It’s all about being gentle and secure.

Before you prepare to hold your beardie, ensure your hands are clean and free of any strong smells. They have a keen sense of smell, and you wouldn’t want to confuse or scare them with the scent of that garlic bread you just had.

The Right Way to Lift and Hold: Scoop them up from below, supporting their belly and legs. Never grab them from above, as this can make them feel like a bird of prey is swooping down on them.

Once you’ve lifted them, let them rest in the palm of your hand or along your arm. It’s like they’re a prickly, adorable bracelet.

What to Avoid: Avoid touching their tail. Bearded dragons can drop their tails when they feel threatened like some lizards do. While they can’t regrow their tails, you wouldn’t want to give them a scare, would you?

Remember, always be patient and gentle. If your bearded dragon is new to being held, it’s okay to start slow. It’s like dipping your toes in the water before diving in.

Training Your Bearded Dragon to Be Held

Training your bearded dragon to be held is like teaching a puppy to sit. It might take some time, but with patience and consistency, you’ll get there.

Starting Slowly: Don’t rush the process. Let your bearded dragon get used to your presence first. Spend time near their enclosure, talking to them softly. It’s a bit like becoming friends with a shy person – give them space to get used to you.

Reward System: The Way to a Dragon’s Heart: Once your bearded dragon seems comfortable with you, try offering them a treat after a successful holding session. It’s like getting a lollipop after a trip to the dentist – a sweet reward for their courage.

Patience is Key: Remember, every bearded dragon is different. Some might take longer to get used to being held. Don’t get disheartened if progress seems slow. It’s not a race, it’s a journey.


And there you have it, folks! The answer to “Do bearded dragons like to be held?” Well, it’s a resounding “it depends.” Some beardies might love a good cuddle, while others might prefer to keep things a bit more professional.

But with patience, understanding, and a whole lot of love, you can build a bond with your bearded dragon that’s as strong as a komodo dragon’s bite.

Just remember to respect their boundaries, listen to their signals, and give them the care they need.

Remember, every bearded dragon is unique. They’re as different as the many scales on their bodies. Some might enjoy being the star of your Instagram posts, while others might prefer to watch from the sidelines. And that’s okay! After all, variety is the spice of life, right?

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