9 Ways to Calm Down an Angry Bearded Dragon

Generally speaking, a bearded dragon will seldom become angry. They are one of the most friendly and easygoing reptiles which makes the effort and time spent caring for them, worth it.

Bearded dragons are also considered as one of the best reptiles to keep as a pet because of their calmness and mild temperament. Their good-natured inclination is even mind-blowing.

Bearded dragons adapt to their owners easily. As long as your bearded dragons are familiarized with their new homes, they tend to be quite accommodating.

You’ll see them playing around the tank and even scamper towards you to greet you. This is for you to know how amazing these creatures are.

But on the other hand, do not forget the fact that every creature has its limitations. Therefore, bearded dragons, as much as they are friendly, also get angry and aggressive too.

Because of their unique personalities, not every method works for all of them. This means that you are going to have to get to know all of their different likes and dislikes through regular interaction.

In doing this, you’ll try different strategies to calm an angry bearded dragon. And this will help you to know which strategies work best to calm them.

It can be so frustrating seeing your bearded dragon angry or aggressive but hopefully, this guide will set you on your way to calming down your angry bearded dragon.

Importance of Calming an Angry Bearded Dragon

It is your free will to decide whether you want your bearded dragons skittish or aggressive.

Some reptile owners will tell you just to leave your bearded dragons in the tank to live on their own like they are in the wild. Yes, it’s cool. Of course, bearded dragons are solitary creatures.

But the more you show love and care to your breaded dragons, the friendlier they become.

The reason for this is because they feel a sense of safety and with increased safety comes reduced risk and stress.

This will make them feel more comfortable whenever you visit them in their territory and a dragon with less stress is likely to live a happier and more healthy life.

How to Calm an Angry Bearded Dragon

As mentioned earlier, bearded dragons display mild temperament. So, it may be quite challenging to find out why they suddenly become aggressive.

Remember that not all bearded dragons get angry at the same time. It may just be a result of sudden changes in their territory.

But I can assure you that there will always be solutions to calm them.

But I can assure you that there will always be solutions to calm them.

Bottom line. You will grow to know when your bearded dragon gets aggressive, what the behaviors of an angry bearded dragon are, as well as what it is that makes a bearded dragon mad.

But whichever condition that you may likely notice, you can always calm your dragon so quickly.

1. Knowing When to Handle

Because of their sensitive nature, beardies can quite easily become stressed. This mainly occurs due to changes in their environment.

If you make any significant changes then you have to let them adapt to it for a while without bothering them. This will allow them to relax and even feel comfortable in their new setting.

This change in environment could range from a change in the substrate (flooring) to a complete change in homes.

Knowing when your beardie is going through stress is a good thing to recognize and there are some obvious signs such as stress marks. You can read more about what makes a bearded dragon stressed right here.

The key takeaway though, if you have made a major change to your beardie’s environment let them first get accustomed to the change before going in for handling. Otherwise, they may get angry.

2. Recognizing Your Scent

This process doesn’t need to be at all stressful for either you or your beardie. The whole idea is to associate your scent with positivity and making sure that there are no negative vibes when your beardie smells you.

To achieve this, simply place your hands in front of them (so they can see your hands) inside the tank with your palms up.

If your bearded dragon runs away, follow it slowly with your hands but be sure not to make any sudden movements.

This entire process is a slow one built up over weeks, sometimes even months. So be patient enough for your bearded dragon to recognize you, especially if he is new.

This will calm them down and can even make them trust you.

3. Feeding By Hand

Hands are an important factor in calming down your beardie, they are how we physically interact with our beardies the most.

As already mentioned above, the aim is to associate our hands and our scent with positivity and what better way to do that than with a tasty meal.

Feeding your beardie from your hand helps to further associate you and your beardie with positive outcomes.

They will be calmed with this positive experience. It will also help them to recognize you and your scent.

Feeding a beardie by hand may be daunting at first. You may be worried about getting bit, or maybe you don’t want to touch a live insect. Well, fortunately, there are some handy feeding tongs that you can get.

These feeder tongs are great for reducing the risk of getting bit but also create the bond and association between your hand and the food.

bearded dragon feeding tongs

Just make sure that once you have finished feeding your beardie, that you wash your hands thoroughly. This will ensure the spread of nasty diseases is prevented.

4. Talk to Them Calmly

Just like other animals and humans, bearded dragons also respond to sounds.

Talking to your bearded dragons in a calm and soothing voice will make it feel at ease.

5. Do Not Overfill The Tank

A mad bearded dragon displays attitude, especially if their tank is too small. You should always avoid keeping two or more bearded dragons in the same tank.

As mentioned earlier, beardies are solitary animals and do not require a companion to be content. Rather, the presence of another dragon increases their stress levels and can cause them to fight over food and space.

So, don’t be surprised if your friendly and accommodating bearded dragon suddenly changes to an aggressive bearded dragon if presented with another beardie within its space.

Also, ensure that you do not fill your bearded dragon’s tank with accessories beyond what is appropriate. This will not allow your pets to move freely, and they may become restless or madly aggressive.

The best solution is to invest in a larger tank to give ample room for all their activities.

6. Eliminate Bad Habits

Your bearded dragon might start displaying anger or aggression because it has picked up bad habits.

For example, if you are concerned that your bearded dragon will bite you, give him a treat when it opens his mouth.

This will, for one, stop him chomping on your finger, and secondly, will let him know that not biting earns him food. Thus, it will reinforce positive behavior.

7. Provide Entertainment

A happy and entertained bearded dragon is far less likely to display signs of anger and aggression. Ensure that your beardie has activities and toys to have fun with.

If you are able to take your beardie out for a walk then this is a great way to bond. A leash and harness is a great way to reduce the risk of your beardie running away but also gives them the freedom to roam.

Bearded Dragon Leash

This will tire out your beardie and this is a fantastic time to handle them because they are far less energetic. Always look to quit whilst ahead though.

It is better to place your beardie back in their tank before they become agitated. Again, this is all about positive reinforcement.

8. Stroke the head of your pet

People commonly try this method on their aggressive bearded dragons. To do this, gently caress the head of your pet from the nose to the crown.

Avoid touching his eyes because it may not work in your favor with a stressed or mad bearded dragon.

9. Rub-a-dub or bath time.

Many (but not all) bearded dragons love warm baths. They find them both stimulating and relaxing, much like us humans.

They also see it as a chance to clean their body and stay hygienic. This will likely enhance their mood, as well.

To bath them, fill a container with one to two inches of warm water. Make sure that the water temperature is between 90 – 93 F.

Allow your bearded dragon to rest in the water while you rub its belly, back, and head gently.

Warning! The water should not be deep that it gets into its:

  • Ears
  • Eyes
  • Mouth

The bearded dragon is a dry weather animal and does not take well to vast amounts of water. You can find tips on how to bath a bearded dragon right here.


Calming down an angry bearded dragon is not an overnight job (unless you are incredibly gifted). Usually, this is a process that takes weeks and sometimes, even months.

However, once you have achieved a strong bond between you and your beardie, it will be incredibly rewarding.

See this as a great chance to really connect with your dragon, which will almost always create some memorable moments to embrace.

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  • 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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