13 Reasons For Bearded Dragon Glass Surfing

If you’re a bearded dragon owner, you’ve most likely seen your dragon glass surfing before.

Glass surfing may seem unique and innocent, however, it’s ultimately a sign of stress. Fortunately, stopping beard dragons from glass surfing is fairly simple.

Reasons Your Bearded Dragon is Glass Surfing

Glass surfing is when a dragon presses its belly against its enclosure wall and frantically tries climbing up it.

At times it even looks like the dragon is dancing, however, it can be erratic, confusing, and even dangerous for them.

The exact reason that dragons do this varies and in fact could be for a multitude of reasons.

That being said, although there are a number of reasons, these are 13 of the more common reasons why your bearded dragon may be glass surfing.

1. The Tank is Too Small

One reason to see your dragon glass surfing is if their enclosure isn’t big enough. It could even be that you’ve had your dragon in the same tank and it has outgrown it.

If you’ve just purchased your dragon or your dragon has always had the same tank, it may be time for a bigger tank. Especially if you see your dragon constantly glass surfing.

bearded dragon tank size

Note: You can find out what size tank your beardie needs in this guide. 

2. You Have Rearranged the Tank

If you recently moved something in your bearded dragon’s tank, they may not like it. Sometimes moving things around inside your dragon’s tank can make your dragon upset or feel threatened.

Maybe because the angle changed, a branch now looks like another rival dragon.

Perhaps the new reflection in the glass of the tank is spooking your beardie.

It doesn’t take too much to stress beardies so be mindful when moving items inside your dragon’s enclosure.

3. Your Beardie Sees Its Own Self Reflection

Talking of reflections, it’s not uncommon to find your bearded dragon glass surfing after seeing its own reflection.

Bearded dragons, like many other lizards, are territorial, so seeing another dragon will certainly upset them. A really easy way to prevent this from happening is to use a tank background.

tank background

These will stop the glare of light on the back of the tank and will reduce the reflections. Plus they also have a good aesthetic look.

4. Your Bearded Dragon Doesn’t Understand Glass

Both you and I know what glass is and how it works, unfortunately, this isn’t true for your dragon.

If you see your dragon glass surfing it could be because it doesn’t see and realize the glass barrier.

Out in the wild bearded dragons have no concept of an invisible barrier that physically blocks them. In their world, they have no need for glass so it may not make sense to them.

5. Boredom Has Struck

If your bearded dragon is glass surfing it could be because they are bored. Being stuck in the same spot is no fun for anyone and especially not your beardie.

It is important to make sure your dragon is getting some sort of daily stimulation. 

It’s always good to give your dragon time outside of its enclosure to play.

If you are worried about your beardie running away, you could invest in an outdoor portable playpen that has a zip-up roof, keeping your beardie safe from birds too!

Parkland Pet Portable Playpen

Another increasingly common thing that owners are now doing is taking their beardies for walks. This is great for a bearded dragon’s mental and physical health.

You will probably want to get a leash and harness for this though, just for your own peace of mind.

Bearded Dragon Leash

Note: If you want some other fun ways to keep your beardie active, why not find out how to train your bearded dragon.

This will challenge their mind which is healthy!

6. Your Beardie is Hungry

If your bearded dragon is hungry, they may be trying to let you know by glass surfing. Obviously when your dragon is glass surfing something is not right.

Not having enough food is definitely something that will stress out your beardie.

Maintaining a proper diet can help keep your dragon healthy and happy. So remember to ask yourself, when did your dragon last eat.

7. Your Beardie Just Pooped

Odd as it may sound, most beardies are clean freaks and don’t like to have their poop lying around their enclosure.

The glass surfing can just be your beardie’s polite way of demanding you clean up their mess for them!

Next time your dragon is glass surfing, you should check to see if they recently pooped. It is well worth investing in a poop sifter to make cleaning nice and easy.

Supplies for Bearded Dragon Sifting Scoop

8. The Wrong Temperature

Sometimes your bearded dragon may be glass surfing to let you know it doesn’t like the temperature.

Just because bearded dragons are native to the hot desert doesn’t mean that they don’t need someplace cool to lay.

Bearded Dragon temperature

Bearded dragons need both hot and cool zones inside their enclosures in order to help them properly regulate their body temperature.

In addition to having the proper temperature, having the proper humidity level is also important.

9. About to Lay Eggs

Prior to your bearded dragon laying her eggs, it’s not uncommon to see females glass surfing, followed by a digging motion.

This is something that you might see only if your female dragon is at least 2 years old. Not all females that are about to lay eggs do this, but if they do, it’s nothing to be alarmed over.

10. Your Beardies Are Sharing a Tank

Maybe you have a really large tank, large enough to house more than one bearded dragon. As tempting as this may be, it is actually a really bad idea.

It’s highly discouraged to keep beardies in the same tank because of the stress it can cause them.

Beardies are naturally solitary creatures and whilst it may seem kind to give them a companion, the opposite is actually true. The hierarchical nature of beardies can cause issues over territory.

11. Your Beardie Is In a New Enclosure

Sometimes putting your dragon into a brand new enclosure is enough to stress it out and send it glass surfing. Bearded dragons are creatures of habit and don’t necessarily like changes.

It could be a simple as a different color or the new tank smell, however, over time your dragon should become more comfortable.

As your dragon warms to its new environment it should be glass surfing less.

12. Other House Pets

Your bearded dragon can become stressed by seeing your family pet. If you see you dragon glass surfing whenever another animal is within view, it could be feeling threatened.

Perhaps it’s due to another lizard in another tank or the family dog.

Be sure to take notice if you have other animals in the area when your dragon is glass surfing.

13. Feeling Intimidated

If your dragon is glass surfing, it could be that they feel intimidated by some random object. It could be any of the following

  • Other Pets
  • Reflections in the Tank
  • Television

You can try changing some things to see if it helps but this is not uncommon.


There are a number of reasons that a bearded dragon will start glass surfing.

What’s important to know is that they in communicating to you that they are not happy.

However, by looking for certain signs you can resolve the problem, calm your dragon, and prevent them from glass surfing.

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bearded dragon glass surfing

  • About Matthew Cantell

    I was just 15 years of age when I first met a bearded dragon. It was at my friend's house and I instantly grew an immediate attraction to, what has now become, my favourite animal on the planet! Making fantastic pets for both children and adults alike, they each have their own personality and are certainly full of character. There are, though, some important things that we should all know when it comes to caring for these amazing animals!
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