Aggressive bearded dragon...please help

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Hi. I am new to this and new to owning a bearded dragon. I have had my dragon for 3 weeks and is suddenly aggressive and lunges at me every time I put my hand in the cage. I am now afraid of him and not sure what to do. How to do I get him used to me again. Side note ...I bought one of the bearded dragon kits and I have learned that it comes with things that are not good for the dragon..such as sand. I am changing out his enclosure today but not sure how I can do that If I can't pick him up and move him somewhere else to fix his cage. Any help and or advice will be greatly appreciated.

AHBD Sicko
H there, that situation can be frustrating ! Is he a baby ? Just pick him up, don't worry about his tantrum, then hold him to your chest gently but firmly for about 10 minutes. He'll be like....huh ? What happened ? Continue that for as long as it takes once = twice a day until he sees your no threat.

If he's bigger and tries to scratch/bite [ not common for them to bite ] then wear long sleeves and gardening gloves and do the same thing.


Juvie Member
yes definitely get some gloves and stick with it. sit beside the tank so he can see your hands... place your hands on the opposite side of tank and just let him get comfortable with them being in there. you will have to just pick him up eventually so just get going with it and dont let him set the pace of things.


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Original Poster
Thank you. I took the plunge and grabbed him and placed him in some warm water. He calmed down so I can hold him and the best part is..I didn't get bit.
Congratz on your new family member! :blob5:

Substrate is a highly debated topic. Although it's not recommended and I'm changing soon, I've used the crushed walnut stuff from Petco with Lucy for years. For a baby I wouldn't recommend ANY loose substrate because they can't digest it, but I got Lucy as an adult and never had a problem.

Taming and bonded with a beardie can take a LONG LONG LOOOOONNNNGGG time. After 5 years with Lucy, I can pick her up when she's black bearded puffed up aggressive and she goes limp and goes completely submissive. She closes her eyes when I pet her head and jumps off her basking log and runs around and scratches the glass as soon as I get home.

That being said, trust is a huge factor in taming any animal. Never NEVER push an aggressive animal out of its comfort zone. Time and patience.

Silly as it sounds, talk to your beardie and let him get used to your presence and voice. Lucy responds to a strict "HEY" (instead of "no"), knows her name, and of course "crickets" or "worms" always perks her up.

When you go to pick him up, don't come straight above him. Your hand can be perceived as an animal swooping down to have your beardie for lunch!!! Lucy loves to roam around the house and it took a while for her to get used to me walking around her. Still, when I pick her up I get down on my knees instead of bending over to pick her up.

I would highly HIGHLY recommend against "just wearing gloves and picking him up." Think about it. If someone jumped out at you, grabbed you by the arm and pulled you along, it would be a lot more stressful than "hey, come here" and a tap on the shoulder.

Once again, I can't stress how important trust is. You'll soon learn your bearded dragon is smarter than you think.

AHBD Sicko
ToughPrincess, I understand what you're trying to say, but picking them up + holding them IS the way to go and they get used to it quickly. I've raised many. many clutches and this works for babies up to adults. Once they are snuggled safely to your chest they calm down. It doesn't need to take a long time and the dragon will not have a nervous breakdown. :) The way you approach them is in a calm manner, slow + gentle the entire time. They sense that and even if they're a bit squirmy you just keep a firm but gentle hold on them.
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