Hi - newbie here ...

k8s

Member
Beardie name(s)
Blue Dragao
I fell in love Christmas Eve and brought home a Bearded Dragon (still no-name) from an adoption event put on by a reptile rescue ... thank you Aunt Annas Reptile Rescue in Walnut Creek, California!! I have been overwhelmed by all the kindness and wonderful (mostly!) advice I've received. I'm beginning to feel I have a handle on most of what I need, but am now just terrified that my poor little guy will never bond with me. He's about 10 months old and about 12" head to tip of tail. There will be lots of questions to come and asking for warm thoughts being sent our way.
 

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Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Welcome!

The best thing you can do for your little guy is invest some time here reading through the threads to get a grasp on proper care. Of course, if you have questions, feel free to ask :)

We love pictures here... ;)

-Brandon
 

hdochow

Sub-Adult Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Sir Henry of Scales
welcome to the forum and the life of being a beardie owner! looking at your profile, you're off to a great start. your uvb is good, although it may need to be changed depending on how old the bulb is. you will need a couple of digital probe thermometers. the type you mentioned are inadequate. because of how you are reading, your temps are probably off. lights and temp are the most critical things for your dragon's health. you're going to want to remove that red bulb and get a bright white basking bulb. i'll post some links for the probes, the basking bulb i use (although wattage will depend on the environment you have your enclosure in), a link for types of fresh food, and one that lists vets that you can search for by your area. you'll want to provide salads every day. what types of insects are you feeding? and what type of supplements are you providing?

I know it can be overwhelming in the beginning, but once these things get dialed in it gets easier. and be prepared to worry like crazy! these little scaly butts love to stress us out. but that's ok, it just shows we care. feel free to post with any concerns/questions you have. we are all here to help every dragon live it's best life.

basking bulb
probe thermometers
vets
food guidelines (for this, ignore what it says about kale. it has been studied further and is a great staple green. a large variety is key, just like it is for us. )

personally, i keep my lights on a timer from 8 am to 8 pm. others vary times, or even adjust time based on time of year to mimic the natural environment more.

if you need them, one of us can post links for insects online. it is much cheaper to buy online than in stores. as with the veggies, variety is key when providing bugs.
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
Welcome to the forum 🙂
Your dragon is very pretty.
Bonding takes lots of patience and time.
Be sure not to swoop in and pick your beardie up from above, it can really spook them. They have a photo receptor (3rd eye) on top their head and shadows can spook them.
Always make sure yout beardie sees your hands before you pick him up.
 

Chris.

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Luis and Lilith
Welcome to the community :)
Your dragon is really pretty indeed. You are positive he is a male?

As for bonding, do not worry, animals are (for the most part) a lot better when it comes to reading someones intentions then we humans are ;)
It will take some time and especially in the first weeks you don't want to rush things as he's going thru enough stress already.
Personally I did not pick Luis (my dragon) up until he didn't shy away anymore when I tried to pet him with my finger (took two weeks).

What @hdochow suggested are really important points to start your care :)
 

k8s

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Blue Dragao
Thank you for all the advice ... I have made some changes including investing in a very large enclosure. I was told he was a male and so I have accepted that for the moment ... However, I have a major behavior problem. He has become terrified of me! We started off well - I could pick him up without too much trouble, but I seem to have screwed up along the way because he now runs around his tank (in terror?) when I try to touch him. I am seriously thinking about returning him to the rescue where I got him, rather than terrorize this lovely animal. I talk to him constantly and he seems to like that. I have a new front opening enclosure arriving in 2 days and am hoping that will help but I am just about at my wit's end. I am desperate for help and advice.
 

Chris.

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Luis and Lilith
No worries, my boy started this a few days after I first got him. A front opening tank will help with this and you just need patience.

What I did is I would just open the tank and put my hand in there really slow and not touch him. Just hold it and with time (couple of weeks) you will be able to get closer and closer to him with your hand without spooking him.
It took Luis around a month with this until he would let me touch him (not pet but only touch him with one finger) and he wouldn't take a step backwards.
It can be frustrating because we will like them pretty fast and they can take quite some time to trust us and like us back but I can tell you it's so woth the hassle!

My boy ran from me for weeks, bit me twice and spent many many days without leaving his hide.
Lots of patience and slow working later, now he climbs up my leg up to the shoulder and falls asleep there....soo worth it!! :)

What are you doing to bond with him so far? What are you feeding (the way to the heart is throu the stomach) ;)
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Hes going thru relocation stress please dont give up on him it will take time for him to get adjusted to his tank and surroundings - please get him some BSFL and start hand feeding him -- this will hand tame him and get him to trust you this is important -- next make sure his surface basking temps are good and correct and his UVB is NOT a coil but a long tube fixture -- I can help you there -- w/ all this good and correct he will adjust faster -- here is the website for the BSFL order large and you will need a bowl something like this to keep them in - I would suggest feeding them on his salads and feed like 20 at a time cuz if he likes them he will gobble them down making them come out undigested :) www.symtonbsf.com
https://www.amazon.com/MACGOAL-Rept...uGQB&pd_rd_wg=tLkwE&ref_=pd_gw_ci_mcx_mr_hp_d
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
It takes a lot of patience, don't give up on him. My boy Sinatra HATED me when I got him, he was ok with my girlfriend though. It tooks months to get him to except me. Now he is my boy to the soul. If she picks him up at all he hauls azz right to me as soon as he sees me. Like Chris he bit me a few times, like you he ran from me, he would even try to bust through the sliding door and get outside to get away from me.
Like Karrieree said hand feeding helps build trust. Take him out just before/after his light go off, a sleepy dragon is easier to handle. Do it before he is asleep though (you want him to realize he is with you) snuggle him on your chest and let him fall asleep there. It will quickly become his safe place. Like Chris said spend time with your hands as near as he'll let you in his tank also. Maybe add a piece of clothing that smells like you to his tank also.
The front opening tank should help. You'll be able to approach him from the side instead of above. In the wild only bad things happen from above, nothing bad happens from underneath, once you can slide your hand underneath instead of above, that should help also.
Give the little guy time, I promise it will be worth it once he excepts you. 🙂
 

k8s

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Blue Dragao
Thank you, thank you --- you've all given me a little confidence ... I'm a little afraid to literally hand feed him (I've been using tongs) because I don't want to be bitten and when he first decided he hated me he suddenly made himself as big and black as he c.ould and started to lunge at me. That was a little intimidating!! How bad is a bite?? I'm pretty tough but I read and imagine too much ...

I think his basking temperature is good - 103.3 to 105 and his UVB is a long tube.

I do feed him superworms and dubias and I have just ordered BSFL for him (thank you - I think - KarrieRee!!).

I so want my story to be as good as each of yours ...wow climbing my leg to fall asleep on my shoulder!! ??

He does spend a lot of time at the front of his tank acting as if he wants out - until I put my hand in ... Desperate for Monday when my/his new enclosure arrives ...
 

KarrieRee

BD.org Sicko
Beardie name(s)
Hiccup he is 6 and Blaze is 4
Thank you, thank you --- you've all given me a little confidence ... I'm a little afraid to literally hand feed him (I've been using tongs) because I don't want to be bitten and when he first decided he hated me he suddenly made himself as big and black as he c.ould and started to lunge at me. That was a little intimidating!! How bad is a bite?? I'm pretty tough but I read and imagine too much ...

I think his basking temperature is good - 103.3 to 105 and his UVB is a long tube.

I do feed him superworms and dubias and I have just ordered BSFL for him (thank you - I think - KarrieRee!!).

I so want my story to be as good as each of yours ...wow climbing my leg to fall asleep on my shoulder!! ??

He does spend a lot of time at the front of his tank acting as if he wants out - until I put my hand in ... Desperate for Monday when my/his new enclosure arrives ...
his UVB is a long tube. Brand and bulb please --- where in the tank is it -- I would get the surface basking temp down to 95-100 taken w/ a digital probe thermometer
 

Chris.

Sub-Adult Member
Beardie name(s)
Luis and Lilith
Thank you, thank you --- you've all given me a little confidence ... I'm a little afraid to literally hand feed him (I've been using tongs) because I don't want to be bitten and when he first decided he hated me he suddenly made himself as big and black as he c.ould and started to lunge at me. That was a little intimidating!! How bad is a bite?? I'm pretty tough but I read and imagine too much ...

I think his basking temperature is good - 103.3 to 105 and his UVB is a long tube.

I do feed him superworms and dubias and I have just ordered BSFL for him (thank you - I think - KarrieRee!!).

I so want my story to be as good as each of yours ...wow climbing my leg to fall asleep on my shoulder!! ??

He does spend a lot of time at the front of his tank acting as if he wants out - until I put my hand in ... Desperate for Monday when my/his new enclosure arrives ...
My boy was around 8 or 9 months old and the bite did get through the first layer of skin but almost no blood. They don't have real teeth, they are part of the chin bone.

So it's not that bad. Don't show him you are intiminated and don't pull back if he puffs up. Just stay calm and hold still until he calms. He will soon learn you don't mean him harm.

In my opinion he is behaving exactly the way he should. He dosen't know you yet, so he should shy away and puff up and he should still do this to strangers after he got used to you. You want him tame *to you* but you don't want a toy that will just let anyone do anything to him.
Luis for example will let me touch him in almost any way I want but he almost bit the vet when he tried to hold him :)
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
My boy was around 8 or 9 months old and the bite did get through the first layer of skin but almost no blood. They don't have real teeth, they are part of the chin bone.

So it's not that bad. Don't show him you are intiminated and don't pull back if he puffs up. Just stay calm and hold still until he calms. He will soon learn you don't mean him harm.

In my opinion he is behaving exactly the way he should. He dosen't know you yet, so he should shy away and puff up and he should still do this to strangers after he got used to you. You want him tame *to you* but you don't want a toy that will just let anyone do anything to him.
Luis for example will let me touch him in almost any way I want but he almost bit the vet when he tried to hold him :)
I would add a bite at the front or sides isn't to bad. They have a Boney ridge plate in the middle. You shouldn't get that far into their mouth but if you do it can be a really bad day for you.
Generally if they do nip you they let go immediately.
 

k8s

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Blue Dragao
Okay - off to try to put together his new 4 x 2 x 2 habitat ... excited for a new beginning for us both!
 

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