These twenty inch long lizards are one of the most popular pet lizard options—and one of the most popular pet reptiles overall. It’s not hard to see why: They’re cute, they’re intelligent, and they’re impressively low maintenance (who doesn’t like a pet that’s easy to care for?). One of the main reasons why everyone loves “beardies” it’s that they have wonderful personalities. An extension of this quality is that they are really great with people. Don’t let their spikes intimidate you, bearded dragons are quite friendly and far more social than your average reptile. Need some proof? Here are a few things about these beloved lizards that prove just how social pet bearded dragons can be.
They’re Naturally Docile
One of the hallmark qualities of bearded dragons is that they are tame and non-aggressive. These laid-back lizards hail from the dry desert expanses of Australia where they spend the majority of their time basking on sun-drenched rocks. As such, they’re not as jumpy as a lot of other reptiles can be and are not prone to immediately hiding when humans make an appearance.
An extension of their docile nature makes bearded dragons very tolerant of physical interaction (a.k.a. Handling). While there are a lot of reptiles out there who aren’t a fan of human touch, bearded dragons don’t just tolerate it, something they can’t get enough of. These animals do well with daily handling and can often be done so for long periods of time (typically recommended to be capped at 15 minutes for other reptile species). It’s crucial however to always pay attention to your bearded dragon’s body language—don’t just assume that they are always willing and ready to be picked up.
A Sweet Temperament With A Big Personality
Being mellow doesn’t mean BEING boring. Bearded dragons are renowned for having above-average animal intelligence. This allows them to accomplish feats that most other reptiles can’t like recognizing their owners and remembering patterns. It also causes them to be quite curious little creatures that enjoy investigating all the going ons of their immediate environment as well as the world beyond their tanks.
Additionally, beardies are known for being quirky. If they want your attention they are sure to let you know. They may scratch the glass, follow you around (possibly with just their eyes), and generally seem interested in your actions. They can be very outgoing once trust has been established so look for the signs that your bearded dragon is happy and secure and you’ll be sure to hear the sound of their happy clicks.
They Like To Snuggle
Speaking of wanting attention, bearded dragons have a propensity for demanding snuggles, pats, and scritches—highly unusual for this otherwise reserved animal class but very cute and certified social behavior. Their above-average intelligence also lends itself to an above-average propensity for being affectionate. They’ll fall asleep in your arms while snuggling together on the couch, and sit still like the good boys they are as your delicate rub the back of their scaly bodies.
The proper way to pet your bearded dragon is to gently stroke its head from front to back. When picking them up, only do so by the belly and never by the tail.
They Can Be Trained To Do Tricks
And last but certainly not least, bearded dragons are capable of learning how to perform tricks. While this may not inherently relate to sociability, there are plenty of success stories of beardies being trained to recognize their name, to come when called or complete any other number of tasks.
Being very food motivated animals, as long as you’ve got some insect treats available (and use a lot of big hand gestures) you’ll be able to get them to do all sorts of things. This technique can also be used to get them to stand still. Want to put hats on them? Put them in little outfits and take pictures? There’s no shortage of these cute images on social media—something only a truly social pet would be comfortable with doing.
Bearded Dragons: Your New Best Friend
If you didn’t know that reptiles could be sweet or social, boy are you in for a treat. You can find bearded dragons for sale nearly everywhere that reptiles are sold. As one of the most popular choices of cold-blooded pets, beardies are widely available and easy to find. For the best selection of colors and breeds, turn to an online reptile store where you will also be to find all the equipment you’ll need to care for your scaly friend.