How Do Bearded Dragons Show Fear? [Signs & How To Overcome]


Hey there, fellow reptile enthusiasts! If you’re a proud bearded dragon owner, you might have wondered at some point, how do bearded dragons show fear?

These fascinating creatures can exhibit a range of emotions, and it’s essential to recognize and understand their feelings to provide them with the best possible care.

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of bearded dragon behavior and learn how to identify when your scaly friend is feeling scared.

We’ll also discuss what you can do to help your bearded dragon overcome fear and feel safe in their environment. So, let’s get started and explore the intriguing ways bearded dragons express fear.

Fun Fact #1: Did you know their loving owners also call bearded dragons " " beardies "?

Understanding Bearded Dragon Behavior

Before we dive into the specific signs of fear, it’s important to have a general understanding of bearded dragon behavior. These reptiles are known for their unique body language and expressions, which can reveal a lot about their emotional state.

Recognizing their signals and responding appropriately can help you build a strong bond with your beardie and ensure they’re comfortable and happy.

Bearded dragons are typically calm and docile creatures, making them popular pets among reptile enthusiasts. However, like any animal, they can experience stress and fear in certain situations.

Can bearded dragons sense fear?

While they might not be able to sense human emotions in the same way as some mammals, they’re sensitive to changes in their environment and can pick up on cues that indicate potential threats.

Fun Fact #2: Bearded dragons are native to Australia, where they live in diverse habitats, including deserts, woodlands, and even coastal areas.

Signs of Fear in Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons have unique ways of expressing their emotions; fear is no exception. Here are some common signs that indicate your bearded dragon is feeling scared or threatened:

  • Flattened Body: A scared bearded dragon might flatten its body against the ground, making itself appear smaller and less noticeable. This is a natural defensive behavior that helps them hide from potential threats.

  • Puffed-Up Beard: When a bearded dragon feels threatened, it may puff up its beard to make itself look bigger and more intimidating. This is where the name “bearded dragon” comes from, as their beard resembles a spiky collar when puffed up.

  • Hissing: Hissing is a clear sign that your bearded dragon is frightened or agitated. It’s their way of saying, “Back off!”

  • Glass Surfing: What do bearded dragons do when they are scared? One possible sign of fear is glass surfing – when your beardie repeatedly scratches at the glass walls of their enclosure. This behavior might indicate that they’re feeling trapped and are trying to escape.

  • Change in Color: Bearded dragons can change the color of their skin for various reasons, including fear. A scared bearded dragon might become darker, which helps them blend in with their surroundings.

  • Attempting to Hide: What does a scared bearded dragon look like? If your beardie is frightened, they might try hiding in a corner or under a hiding spot in their enclosure to feel safe and secure.

Common Causes of Fear in Bearded Dragons

Identifying the causes of fear in your bearded dragon can help you address their concerns and create a more comfortable environment for them.

Here are some common reasons your beardie might feel scared:

  • New Environments: Just like us humans, bearded dragons can feel uneasy when placed in unfamiliar surroundings. If you’ve recently brought your beardie home or made changes to their enclosure, they might need some time to adjust and feel secure.

  • Loud Noises: Sudden or loud noises can startle bearded dragons, causing them to feel scared. Be mindful of noises in their environment, like slamming doors or loud music, to keep them feeling safe and relaxed.

  • Predatory Animals: Bearded dragons are prey animals in the wild, so it’s natural for them to be cautious of potential predators. Other pets, like cats or large birds, can threaten your bearded dragon. Monitor interactions between your beardie and other pets to ensure their safety.

  • Incorrect Handling: Bearded dragons are generally docile, but improper handling can make them feel scared or threatened. Always approach your beardie calmly and gently, and avoid picking them up from above, as this can mimic the behavior of a predator.

How to Help Your Bearded Dragon Overcome Fear

Helping your bearded dragon overcome their fears is essential for their well-being and happiness. Here are some steps you can take to make your beardie feel more secure and comfortable:

  • Building Trust: Establishing trust between you and your bearded dragon takes time and patience. Start by spending time near their enclosure, talking to them softly, and offering treats. This will help your beardie associate your presence with positive experiences.

  • Proper Handling Techniques: Learning how to handle your bearded dragon correctly is crucial for their comfort and safety. Gently scoop them up from the side or bottom, supporting their entire body. Avoid sudden movements or grabbing them from above, which can trigger a fear response.

  • Creating a Safe Environment: Ensure your bearded dragon’s enclosure is set up correctly, with appropriate hiding spots, temperature gradients, and lighting. This will help them feel secure and in control of their environment. Be mindful of potential stressors, like loud noises or other pets, and try to minimize their impact.

  • Consistent Routine: Bearded dragons are creatures of habit, so maintaining a consistent daily routine can help them feel more at ease. Establish regular feeding, lighting, and handling schedules to provide a sense of stability and predictability.


Understanding how bearded dragons show fear is crucial for any responsible owner. Recognizing the signs of fear and addressing the common causes can help your scaly companion feel more secure, happy, and comfortable in their environment.

Remember, patience and consistency are essential in building trust with your bearded dragon.

Now that you know how to identify and address fear in your bearded dragon, you’re well-equipped to provide the best possible care for your pet.

Keep learning and exploring the fascinating world of bearded dragons, and you’ll continue to strengthen the bond with your beloved reptile friend.

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