Biting Behaviour In Bearded Dragons: What Does It Mean?

Pet Bearded dragons are generally calm and docile by nature, but biting behaviour might be seen at times. Biting behaviour in Bearded dragons ranges from biting each other to biting people. It is commonly seen with Bearded dragons that are hungry, territorial, courting or feeling threatened.

Juvenile Bearded dragon biting behaviour

Bearded dragons are known to be hunters and great eaters. Greedy, hungry, juvenile Bearded dragons will often show biting behaviour towards moving objects or anything they think they can fit in their mouths. Limb and tail injuries from biting are more common among juveniles – especially where multiple Bearded dragons are kept in smaller enclosures. The rate at which Bearded dragons eat significantly starts to increase from about three weeks of age. When food becomes sparse, or space becomes limited, biting behaviour is frequently seen.

Biting behaviour in juvenile Bearded dragons is often seen as missing tail tips, toes, or even legs.

From this age, feeding should be increased to at least two to three times a day. Juvenile Bearded dragons should be housed individually or in smaller, similar-sized groups.

Adult Bearded dragon biting behaviour

Biting behaviour is also more common in starving or underfed adult Bearded dragons. A hungry Bearded dragon usually lunge at a moving hand or fingers with its tongue out – confusing or associating it with food. A scared Bearded dragon on the other hand will be retrieving and threatening.

Biting behaviour in adults might also be seen during the shedding process.

Scared Bearded dragon biting behaviour

Bearded dragons might show aggressive behaviour towards a perceived predator or, generally, when feeling threatened. Threatening behaviour includes the fast form of wavingopening the mouth, making hissing sounds, dashing forward and flattening of the body. Although uncommon, aggressive individuals may appear from time to time in captivity. Handling on a regular basis might reduce this behaviour.

Male Bearded dragon biting behaviour

During the breeding season, female Bearded dragons might end up with several bites from their male counterparts. These bites will be more prominent on the lips, beard, and upper neck area as a result of aggressive mating and will be even more prominent towards the end of the breeding season. This type of biting behaviour is normal for breeding Bearded dragons.

Adult female Bearded dragon with bite marks on her lips. This is usually part of the courting and mating behaviour in Bearded dragons.

Human bites

In order to crush its prey, adult Bearded dragons have relatively strong jaws. A health professional should always be consulted when bitten by a Bearded dragon – especially when blood was drawn.

Immediate management of bite wounds includes flushing the bleeding wound under clean running tap water for at least a few minutes – let it bleed in the process. After flushing and disinfecting the wound, the bleeding can be stopped by applying pressure with for example a temporary first aid bandage.

Reasons That A Bearded Dragon Might Bite You

Bearded dragons should not be taken lightly – if mishandled, they may attempt to bite you! That being said, it’s important to understand how these reptiles react in order to prevent such an instance.

Studies have shown that bearded dragons exhibit roughly 73 behavior patterns in a variety of situations, so taking the time to observe and familiarize yourself with your pet is essential.

When it comes down to it, there are certain conditions that can lead to a bearded dragon biting or hurting you.

They Do Not Trust You

Bearded dragons can be incredibly friendly reptiles, but there are a few things that might trigger them to bite you. The primary reason is that your bearded dragon simply does not trust you. If your bearded dragon has been mistreated by its past owners, it may be naturally wary of people, leading to aggressive behavior including biting.

To build a bond between you and your beardie, use gloves when handling her until she gets used to you. Remain patient while building the relationship; once the trust bridge is established, feeding treats by hand can be an effective way to further deepen your connection with her.

If done right, she’ll soon realize that you’re someone she can count on and learn to love and trust you!

You Mishandled Them

There are a few reasons why a bearded dragon might bite you if they are mishandled.

Firstly, if you surprise or grab them too quickly, they may become tense and alert leading them to lash out at you with aggression.

Secondly, if your bearded dragon pulls away from you when handling try not to forcefully pick them up as this will result in anxious and defensive behavior.

Lastly, it is important that when lifting the beardie up that all of its four legs are supported with your hand placed underneath its abdomen.

If bearded dragons feel safe and comfortable while being handled then they probably won’t display any aggression such as biting. Therefore it is important that when handling these reptiles we do so gently and cautiously – using gloves for added precaution – to promote a stress-free experience for both handler and pet!


When a bearded dragon is feeling stressed, it might bite you if it feels threatened. There are many reasons why your bearded dragon may be feeling uneasy and more likely to bite, such as recent changes in its environment, improper care, or handling like:

  • Incorrect Husbandry.
  • Shedding.
  • Brumation.
  • Injury.
  • Even Tail Rot.

If your beardie seems particularly anxious or concerned, they may be willing to bite. It is best to avoid handling them and observe the tank setup closely in case of any potential issues.

Signs of stress include frenzied activity, loss of appetite, mouth hanging open with hissing sounds, and sluggishness. Any discoloration, mucus discharge or sudden weight loss should also be monitored closely.

They Do Not Like the Company

There are certain instances in which a bearded dragon might be more likely to bite you. For example, if they are around unfamiliar beardies or other animals, they may become more territorial as they perceive that their territory is being violated.

During the breeding season, male beardies can become even more aggressive; sometimes so much so that smaller beardies get killed. Male and female bearded dragons should be kept separate at this time to prevent them from fighting for dominance.

Additionally, if you bother a sleeping bearded dragon or corner them, it might bite you out of fear.

Breeding Season Has Arrived

Bearded dragons might bite you for various reasons, especially during their breeding season. During this time of year, these reptiles establish dominance and aggression with their body language: puffing out their scale beard, gaping (opening their mouths in a wide range) to appear more intimidating, and sending a message to keep your distance.

Additionally, they may become extra cautious and wary during the breeding season, so you should take extra care and awareness when handling them. Despite taking all the necessary precautions (such as wearing gloves), there is still a risk that they might bite you if they feel threatened or agitated.

Other common causes of biting include playing too rough with them or startling them by coming on too strong.

For these reasons, it’s important to be aware of the signs of aggressive behavior in bearded dragons and always exercise caution when interacting with them.

They Haven’t Been Properly Socialized

If you’re not familiar with bearded dragons, it’s important to understand that they can become wary and defensive towards people, even biting if they haven’t been properly socialized. This is why responsible breeders make sure their beardies are handled frequently in order to ensure a comfortable relationship between them and humans.

So what could be the reasons your bearded dragon might bite you? One possibility is that they were never given proper socialization by the breeder or former owner. Another reason could be mishandling. It could also occur as an adaptation response when your pet finds itself adjusting to a new environment at home.

Before adopting a beardie, it’s important to have the breeder or rescue handle the reptile so you can get a sense of how amenable it is with human contact. Don’t worry if the behavior changes initially from when it was in its familiar environment; this is normal for any animal going through an adjustment period.

They’re Hungry

There are a few key reasons why a Bearded Dragon might bite you at some point. One is quite obvious and that’s hunger. During feeding time, it’s not uncommon for the dragons to get excited and in their enthusiasm, they may accidentally nip your finger while trying to eat the food.

It’s more likely to happen if you’re hand-feeding them, but it can happen with other foods as well even if your hands smell like their food after you’ve touched it.

Another reason for accidental biting could be mere confusion on the dragon’s part. If your hands or fingers linger in their enclosure too long, they could mistake them for food and try to take a bite out of your skin!

To prevent this kind of accident, you should make sure to consistently practice proper handwashing habits before touching them.

They Are Not Comfortable, At All

Bearded dragons make great pets, but they can bite if they become uncomfortable. As reptiles, bearded dragons are ectothermic and need a thermogradient so that they can adjust their body temperature by moving from end to end in the vivarium.

If something is wrong with the environment, such as an incorrect temperature or too small of an enclosure, your beardie may start showing signs of discomfort like dancing back and forth (also known as “glass surfing”).

If you decide to try to scoop them up when this behavior is happening, it’s likely that the bearded dragon will bite you. To avoid this lonely situation, it’s important to pay close attention to the behaviors of your pet.

Signs such as glass surfing are indicators that something needs to be adjusted in order to ensure your beardie’s comfort levels. Look out for these signs so that you can take proactive steps before your reptile gets stressed or agitated enough to resort to biting!

Do Beardies’ Bites Hurt At All?

Do bearded dragons’ bites hurt? The answer to this question depends on how old the bearded dragon is, and what has provoked it.

Adult and mature bearded dragons generally have a bite that is stronger than younger ones. And while they may bite if provoked, these reptiles are usually docile and easy to tame—if their discomfort has been triggered by something you did, the pain associated with their bite would be different than if it simply felt distressed or stressed out.

Still, even a scuffle with a young bearded dragon can hurt and draw blood from broken skin—so it’s smart to have a first-aid kit on hand whenever you handle one of these lizards!

What Happens When A Bearded Dragon Bites You?

Bearded dragon bites may sound painful, but they generally aren’t. That said, if you ever find yourself in a situation where one is biting your finger or arm, staying calm is essential. Bearded dragons are sensitive to sudden changes in their environment and can become more aggressive if you start to panic.

If the bearded dragon does not let go on its own, then it’s best to try and gently remove it from your arm or finger. Pulling too hard can cause further skin damage and even broken fingers, so you should take care when doing this. Gently wiggle your finger while pulling the dragon away bit by bit until it releases its grip.

Once the bearded dragon has let go of your arm or finger, inspect the area for any wounds or damage that may have been caused. It’s likely that there won’t be any serious issues – these reptiles typically don’t pierce the skin – but if there are cuts or scrapes then it’s best to seek medical attention to ensure that the wound doesn’t get infected.

If necessary, you may even need a tetanus shot after being bitten by a beardie!

Do Bearded Dragons Bite Their Owners?

When it comes to Bearded Dragons, one of the most frequently asked questions is: Do Bearded Dragons bite their owners? It’s an understandable concern – after all, no one wants to be greeted with a painful bite whenever they enter the room.

The good news is that while it is possible for a Bearded Dragon to bite its owner, it’s not common. Most often, they form strong bonds with their humans and rarely become aggressive.

However, any pet may bite if they’re feeling frightened or anxious. So if you plan on owning a Bearded Dragon, it’s important to properly interact with them and get them used to be handled – this way you can bond with your pet and avoid bites.

Of course, it isn’t advised to handle your Bearded Dragon too much – he needs time alone in his vivarium for healthy sunbathing!

How To Avoid Bites

If you’re looking for tips to help you avoid beardy dragon bites, this is the place to be. There are a few simple steps that can make all the difference when it comes to preventing those nasty nips!

  • The first and most important thing to do is to provide your bearded dragon with proper husbandry – make sure they have the right temperature, lighting, tank, and enrichment. This will help keep them comfortable and reduce stress which could cause them to bite in the future.
  • Second, you should feed your lizard according to a specific schedule. This will let them know when food is coming and therefore prevent excessive hunger between meals that could lead to irritability and biting behavior. You should also make sure you thoroughly wash your hands before and after handling any food as the smell lingering on your fingers may attract unwanted biters.
  • Thirdly, if your bearded dragon seems overly excited or aggressive during feeding time it’s best to stop hand-feeding altogether. Pick up clearly established signs of aggression such as hissing, beard puffing, turning their beard black, retreating, and head bobbing behavior; if any of these display it’s best not to attempt handling at all since their bitten attitude already exists and contact will only aggravate the situation further.
  • Fourthly show patience when attempting to handle a bearded dragon so they become comfortable with your presence; NEVER flip them on its side or back or move them around quickly as sudden movements increase the chance of getting bitten lastly remember never try to handle them while they are trying shed as contact would be really uncomfortable for them.


Bearded dragons can be intimidating when they display their biting behaviour, but it doesn’t mean they’re bad pet lizards. In fact, in many cases, this unpredictable behaviour is a sign that they are simply trying to protect themselves and feel comfortable in their environment.

Learning more about your bearded dragon’s individual personality, and how to handle them properly help you become better equipped to handle aggressive behaviours. With the right care and patience, you will develop a strong bond with your new scaly friend.