Advice on handling my baby beardie

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Hi everybody,
My baby bearded dragon is now 11 weeks old and I keep reading that you should handle them often so they get used to it.
He's happy for me to clean his enclosure out and takes food from me no bother but as soon as I go to stroke or pick him up he runs away from me! I have handled him a few times and after tucking him into me he seems to calm down and eventually closes his eyes, I always thought this was a good sign until my partner read yesterday that closing their eyes is a sign of defeat and discomfort! They know they can't get away from you and they want you to stop and go away.... is this true?
I don't want to stress him out but also want him to get used to be handled. Any suggestions please?

KarrieRee Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 5 and Blaze is 4
He needs to acclimate to his tank -- keep hand feeding him and he will come around - take a piece of clothing or fleece blanket place in his hide so he gets used to your smell --- approach from the side not from above he will think your a predator -- closing of the eyes is a sign of trust NOT defeat -- he needs to learn to trust -- patience is key here

Claudiusx Sicko
Staff member
Hi there,

How long have you had the little guy.

By nature, the little youngin's are jumpy and untrusting. They wouldn't live very long in the wild if they weren't! :)
It just takes time.

I wouldn't read into the closing the eyes to mean defeat too much. There is a lot about their behavior that we just don't know about. One could argue that they close their eyes out of trust. If they were fearful of you (imagine the wild again, you're a predator) there is no way they'd take their eyes off of you.

Working with them before bed is my favorite method, like you've been doing. Just keep at it :)



New member
Original Poster
Thanks guys.

I've only had him 3 weeks so still fairly new to all this. A friend of mine suggested placing my hand in his tank near him but don't make an attempt to touch him so he can get used to my smell. Has anybody else done this? Thought it seemed like a good idea?

He eats from my hand on occasion (depends what mood he's in) so we are slowly getting there.

KarrieRee Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 5 and Blaze is 4
Yes letting him get used to your smell is a good idea you can also place a blanket or piece of clothing in the hide so he can get used to your smell that way too --- keep hand feeding him worms or BSFL are good - approach from the side not from above he will think your a predator they have a 3rd eye on top of their head -- patience and he needs to learn to trust
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