The Top Ways of Training Your Bearded Dragon
So, you want to know about bearded dragon training? Great! You’ve come to the right place!
Any pet owner will tell you, one of the best things about having a pet is the companionship it brings.
With a little bit of training, your bearded dragon can be a great and fun companion, and all it takes is a little bit of incentive for your beardie.
The best incentive for training your bearded dragon is food and therefore it is best to perform these training techniques when your beardie is hungry.
Why Train Your Beardie?
There are a few reasons why training your beardie is a really good idea.
Initially, you may just consider some cool party tricks which you would like to show off but there are also some functional things which you can teach your beardie.
So, other than fun and safety, here are a few more reasons to train your beardie:
Any animal kept in a tank can suffer from boredom, this can lead to a plethora of health issues. Keeping your beardie’s mind active is a great way to prevent boredom which can lead to increased anxiety and eating issues.
When a beardie starts to grow older, their metabolism begins to slow down. This can lead to your beardie becoming a little overweight. Physical activity is a great way to help a fat beardie lose weight.
It is a well-known fact that bearded dragons are sensitive creatures and can quite easily get worked up over very little things.
When they are distracted from these things, their bodies are able to relieve the chemicals that are causing the stress. Some of the activities below are great ways to achieve this.
As naturally inquisitive creatures, bearded dragons will like to go and explore.
They can sometimes be unaware of the dangers surrounding them, therefore being able to call them back to you is a really good way to ensure they remain safe.
So now we have identified the importance of training your bearded dragon, let’s not wait any longer and let’s get into the ways you can train your bearded dragon.
Training Your Bearded Dragon to Trust You
This is the first thing you will want to learn, it will set the foundation for any other training which you want your beardie to learn.
This method is one that requires a little bit of patience but it will bring with it a huge amount of reward in the way of affection.
So that your beardie can associate you with positivity, we are going to utilize some techniques including:
After a few days of doing this, your beardie will associate your presence with food.
The next step is to keep your hand in view of your beardie and wait until he/she collects the tasty treat. If they do keep repeating this method for a couple of days.
If not go back a step and try again after two days’ time.
Now your dragon is happily eating within the presence of your hand you are going to casually stroke him/her on the back of the neck.
If this goes well, move to step 4, if not go back to keeping your hand close, but don’t attempt to touch again for a couple of days.
Casually stroke the dragons back after about every five mealworms fed. Simultaneously, you will want to start speaking to your beardie in a soft and gentle voice.
This will help to establish foundations for future training.
As long as the dragon is not snatching at the food and if you are confident to do so, start to present the mealworm held in the palm of your hand. This will be a really great progress when successful at this step!
Repeat this for a few days and if your dragon is relaxed, then increase the stroke to after every other mealworm, until you are stroking them after each mealworm fed.
After a few days, and as long as your dragon is relaxed, then you can introduce stroking without any mealworms present. Take it slow and calm.
A slow and steady approach is essential, don’t rush, and this system will pay dividends in the long run.
Using feeding tongs is a really good way to maintain hygiene if you are worried about touching live worms.
Train Your Bearded Dragon to Come
Not only is this a fun aspect of owning a bearded dragon, but training your dragon to come when you call them is potentially a life-saving trick.
If you followed the tips for training your beardie to trust you, then you have already laid the foundations for this next element of training. So let’s now get right to it.
When you feed your dragon, say their name or your chosen phrase such as ‘Smaug come’ and then feed them the treat.
Continue to do this for every worm which you give. Gradually, you will see that your beardie is eager to come to you when you call his/her name.
If you have a safe area to practice in, you will want to start increasing the distance that your beardie travels when called.
Move to the practice area, a place that allows more space between you and your beardie.
Then, keeping the food in your hand, begin to move around, and call him/her over for the food.
Consistency is vital; use this training for your bearded dragon every day for at least a week.
This is the final stage and it is proof that your beardie is truly trained. You will occasionally call your beardie over and offer something other than food, this can simply be affection such as a stroke on their back.
If you don’t have a large open space and you are worried about your beardie escaping, then perhaps consider getting a leash and harness for your beardie.
You can still perform the recall training but with some added safety.
Training your bearded dragon to come when called is not only fun and stimulating, but it could literally save their life. If for some reason they are out of the tank and danger occurs you can call them straight to you.
Or, in an emergency, you can call, and your dragon will come running.
Train Your Beardie to Fetch a Ball
Training a bearded dragon to play fetch is another way of stimulating your dragon whilst having fun at the same time.
It is also a pretty cool party trick which you can show off to your beardie’s top fans! Let’s find out how it’s done.
Just before you feed your beardie, call them over and roll a ball from one hand to the other in front of them. Do this so that they can see the concept of a rolling ball.
Once you are sure that they have acknowledged this, go ahead and feed them.
Feed them as usual for a day or so, rolling the ball out and then back to yourself and then feeding your beardie a treat.
For this stage, you will want a bit of room. So, in a safe area outside of the tank, roll the ball gently towards your beardie. Feed a treat if they approach or touch the ball.
If your beardie is confused at this stage and fails to touch the ball, don’t worry and just be patient. It is key not to stress out your beardie.
Simply go back to doing something which you know they can do without the ball, like coming when called.
It can take a few weeks of practice, but with patience, your dragon will soon be fetching the ball.
These are just a couple of tricks which you can train your beardie to do. They can be great party tricks and are a great way of keeping your beardie amused.
I hope you found these bearded dragon training tips useful. Its a matter of practice and reward-based training. Have Fun!
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