Bearded dragons are docile, easygoing, and patient creatures so much so that if you’re looking for a “zen” representation of a pet, a bearded dragon will be best suited for that. However, as we all know, beardies are wild creatures. One way or the other, it will have a defense mechanism that would certainly not vanish even though the beardie is domesticated. If you’re curious about how your dragon defends itself, whether it bites or fist fights, you’d find your answer in a jiffy.
Bearded dragons do bite, and they mostly bite out of defense. They’re not aggressive lizards, so they will not attack on a normal sunny day. However, if you provoke your pet to anger, it will bite you as soon as your finger crosses its jaw.
In this article, we’ll be discussing bearded dragon bites, why your pet bites at you, and how to stop it from occurring. Let’s get into it!
How Do Bearded Dragons Bite?
Bearded dragons have a pretty promising bite force. They will assume a threatening pose – flatten their bodies, darken their beards, and open their mouths wide – before they either jump at the aggressor for a bite or wait for the bite to come to it. Bearded dragons have acrodont teeth that are sharp enough to sink into soft bare skin and the pressure to hold firm until there is an injury. If the dragon is extremely annoyed, it will hold down its bite till satisfaction sets in.
Do Bearded Dragon Bites Hurt?
Every bite that is strong enough to pierce the skin is painful. It would depend on the age and size of the dragon including other aspects like how pissed off the beardie is. However, bearded dragons generally have painful bites. The bite may not be excruciating or require painkillers, but it’s uncomfortable enough to be registered as painful especially if the bitten area gets contaminated.
Why Do Bearded Dragons Bite?
Bearded dragons have unique temperaments. While there is surely that provocative incident that every beardie can relate to, it would depend on the level of docility in a bearded dragon for it to bite. Some dragons are more docile than others which would cause them to bite less.
The Beardie Is Afraid
The most prominent reason why dragons bite is because they feel threatened. Once your dragon senses it’s in danger, it will try to defend itself by looking more aggressive. This is already a show telling the threat to back off. If the pressure persists, it will go ahead and bite. It’s exactly the scenario that played out with Steve Irwin and the bearded dragon he chased down a long while back!
The Beardie Is Defending Its Territory
Bearded dragons fight themselves for almost everything they require to survive; space, resources, and even basking spots. During these fights, they bite themselves nastily till one dragon submits to the pain and gives up. This is why it’s dangerous to put two adult dragons in the same enclosure.
The Mating Ritual
When beardies mate, the male dragon bites down on the neck of the female to hold her in place or the process. The results sometimes can be ugly if the ordeal turns rigorous, but generally, both beardies come out uninjured.
The Beardie Is Hungry
When your bearded dragon is eager to eat, it may lunge at your hand thinking it’s one of its delicacies. This is pretty innocent, although the bites may be painful. If you have an overly eager beardie, perhaps consider feeding it the insects with a tool.
The Beardie Is In Pain
Pain is another reason why beardies bite. A bearded dragon can get frustrated and overwhelmed by pain so much so that it turns aggressive. If your pet is suddenly displaying negative behaviors like attempting to bite you, perhaps it’s suffering from an underlying illness or pain that you haven’t noticed yet. Ensure you quickly report this to your veterinary doctor for analysis.
Why Is My Beardie Always Biting Me?
If your bearded dragon has a habit of biting, it could be simply a distinct attitude but it’s most likely developed in rescue dragons who have had a rough upbringing. When a beardie is exposed to violence or negligence over time, it will quickly grow to distrust its caregivers and become constantly defensive.
While you could be doing things unknowingly to make your beardie uncomfortable, there is still a possibility of the dragon being particularly more reserved than other dragons. In all cases, you must address the underlying issue by earning your dragon’s trust and ensuring that it’s healthy and happy.
How To Gain Your Bearded Dragon’s Trust And Get It To Stop Biting
The key bonding tool for you and your bearded dragon is patience. No two beardies are the same and one dragon may require more time than the other to trust you completely.
Feed Your Beardie Treats
Bearded dragons love treats! They revel in a few bites of hornworms and blueberries now and then. Treats are an easy way to improve your dragon’s mood allowing them to easily bond with the person that brings them the treats.
Hand Feed Your Pet
It helps your pet to get used to seeing your hand close to its face as it would in time understand you mean no harm. If your pet is apprehensive about being hand fed, perhaps you need a little time teaching it that the giant scary hand that settles into its safe space is certainly not a predatory bird! You can start by using tweezers to hold the food before going closer with your hand.
Spend Time With Your Pet
Bearded dragons enjoy being held from time to time because they tend to enjoy the warmth your body provides. As long as you know how to hold and pet your beardie, you should bond over physical touch pretty quickly. You must ensure that you’re holding your pet the correct way or else it will learn to dread contact with you and then become tense towards you every time you attempt to hold it.
4 Signs That Tell Your Bearded Dragon Likes You
Bearded dragons are not aggressive pets but they may take a while to warm up to their caretaker or bond with them. Here are the signs your beardie will display if and when it gets comfortable with you:
1. Your Beardie Is Finally Relaxed
Beardies are alert little lizards. When they notice movement around them, they will always inspect their surroundings curiously. However, when the dragon feels unsafe, it would use its entire body to twist and turn to hide from or face danger. If you walk into your pet’s surroundings and its body doesn’t stiffen in response, you’ve won your dragon’s favor.
2. Your Dragon Can Eat Freely From Your Hand
If you notice that at last, your pet is warming up to being hand fed, you can pat yourself on the back. If your beardie can climb into your hands to eat, it shows that it trusts you.
3. Your Beardie Climbs To You Easily
At a point, your dragon will find it easier to climb to you and snuggle in a warm spot. This is because it relies on the fact that you won’t harm or drop them to the ground. Congratulations, you have reached the top-tier bond with your pet.
4. No More Signs Of Aggression From Beardie
Hissing, biting, and darkening the beard are all signs of aggression. If your pet likes you, it would show none of these signs unless actively provoked. Once your dragon feels safe, it wouldn’t see the need to threaten you with painful bites or weird gestures.
Are Bearded Dragons Venomous?
Beardies have a mild venom that is capable of triggering even more pain than the injury causes. It causes stinging and somewhat straining pain in the affected area, but it doesn’t cause much damage further than that. The venom is secreted into the saliva and when an open wound comes in contact with the spittle, the venom takes effect.
What Do I Do If My Beardie Bites Me?
There’s no need for a ruckus if your bearded dragon takes a bite out of your hand. All you have to do is sanitize the area properly to kill off the bacteria and allow the wound to heal. As long as the cut or tear is clean, you’d heal and forget the incident in no time.