Bonding with a new beardie.

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I got my beardie a week ago. I know no way he likes me this fast. I been trying to pet him but I don't even get my hand on the tank floor and he runs and scratches on the walls. When I am able to pick him up ( mostly after his lights are turned off) he'll be calm for a minute then freak out. Yesterday I got him to relax with me on my bed but his mouth would open. I was worried he may be sick but found out last night he's saying no scratching my chin yet and hr bit me so now I'm afraid to pet his chin and that he may be on the path to becoming a aggressive beardie. How did you get your beardie to like you? Though I know every beardie is different how long did it take your beardie to like you?

My cutie Okada. I don't know if he is really a boy.


Hatchling Member
Hi there, not sure if anyone has responded to this yet, as I do not see any responses lol, but I can offer a little bit of advice.

I rescued my girl from someone who had her in a enclosure too small for her and probably didn't handle her much. Long story short, when I first got her I was so excited that I wanted to hold her and touch her as much as I could, but I had to fight those urges because she had to 1, get used to her new surroundings, and 2, get used to me. I've read on other posts about this issue about people leaving old pieces of clothing they've worn in the tank with the beardie so they get used to your scent. Also if you're taking little Okada, which is a cute name btw, out everyday he might be getting stressed. I would try setting aside some time every other day where you put your hand in the tank and just let him get used to you. If he climbs onto your hand just talk to him and eventually you can try picking him up.

My girl Dalia didn't like being picked up at first until she figured out that me picking her up equals freedom and potential treats. Now, Dalia is older than your little guy there so there's hope that you'll develop a stronger bond over time with Okada. I would suggest also trying to use treats when taking him out so he associates the interaction with a positive gesture. Try to stray away from petting near his face right off the bat, if he closes his eyes or opens his mouth stop and try using a calm tone of voice to reassure him.

Hope this helps!

Katie and Dalia :]


Sub-Adult Member
Young dragons will also use biting to assert dominance over their slaves. Whilst they're small, that's not too much of a problem, as they can't bite all that hard and their teeth are only wee - but when they get bigger, if it's not been dealt with, it can be very serious and they can do serious damage.

Luckily, all dragons are pretty darned smart. Keep doing what you want to do, not what he wants to do. He'll learn quickly - the worst one I had took six weeks to understand his nasty attitude wasn't going to wash with me. Of course, don't ever hit or hurt your lizard, but do be firm and gentle.

Late in the evening, before he goes to sleep, that's a pretty good time to handle too. He'll be sleepy, starting to cool down, less likely to give you trouble and more likely to relax and accept stroking and gentle pets.

If needs be, use bike gloves as a temporary measure. I have a pair of kevlar and goretex reinforced gloves for dealing with violent, mature lizards - some of my rescues have been real nasty pieces of work, but with patience and care, they've all turned into model beardies. :)

Jacques went from this bundle of bones and violence that could bite through bamboo poles, charge a fully grown human and hung onto the ends of my gloves like a bulldog:

To this chilled out and huggable little dude:

Likewise, my other bundle of insanity, Frank - heck, if anything, he was worse. He used to leap for your fingers and full on savage anything that got close to him... Well, he's turned into a right little star:

These days, both boys understand that "attack" from a human is just playing. Frank's even learned some basic commands - like if he's being unreasonable, kicking and scratching and wanting to get away or be snippy with us, we tell him "FISH!" and he sits still. (It's his nickname because he can be so darned wriggly, and he's associated it with his behaviour and positive reward for positive behaviour modification).
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