Is Bearded Dragon Cohabitation A Good Plan?

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Germ

Hatchling Member
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I keep running into this on different Forums & is not pointed at any individuals in particular. For info purposes only.

The answer to the Heading Question is a resounding NO!

This is 2 Females Fighting by the way ...
SandyDinahDancing038.jpg

Female going after a Male ...
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This is a subject that I am quite familiar with personally, through my own experience, experience of personal acquaintances with these creatures & extensive research.

Bearded Dragons are a dominance oriented species, solitary creatures, this is Hard Wired into their character. In their natural habitat, they do not cohabit, travel in pairs or groups, they are loners & have absolutely no familial ties. Breeding is of opportunity, not planning or emotional ties.

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They do not need or want buddies. Do not get lonely. It is a proven scientific fact that they have a Severely underdeveloped portion of the brain that governs, among other things, emotion. That cute looking stacking that we often see pictures of, is not them together for warmth (Cold Blooded ;)), hugging each other, closeness, friendship, Love or anything similar to these.

SandyNitroStacked.jpg


It is them vying for dominance, the better heat, the better basking spot, coveting a spot just because the other has it, to be King or Queen of the castle. This is their instinct, to dominate, the weaker ones are dominated or eliminated & it is not in their nature to be submissive.

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Speedy-beardeddragon-amputation-after.jpg


Attitudes & demeanors can change in a split second, very aggressively, to often too fast for intervention to prevent possibly very serious injury. Many BDs with missing toes, limbs, tails or worse are frequently the testimonial to this. We cannot be monitoring them 24\7, even if we could, their possible quick, seemingly unprovoked aggressive nature towards each other, at times completely out of previous character, can be, again, too fast for intervention, with devastating, possibly deadly results.

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Periodically, the right combination of 2 females will be successful, but more often than not, fail sooner or later. Males should never be housed together. Male/Female combinations should only be for breeding purposes, only until the deed is done (Generally minutes to a week), then immediately separated.

It only takes ONCE for serious injury to occur, no matter what the cause or motive, many times there is no apparent reason. There is not only the physical aspect, but the stress factor which affects their all round well-being, as well. While you may not notice physical problems (BDs Are notorious for hiding, not showing problems until too late, Dragon down!), it can & will shorten their over all life expectancy.

Another aspect to consider is illness, should one get sick or have medical problems, very likely there is the possibility you will have two sick animals or at least have to have the other checked also. The price of one Vet visit, fecal & medications, would generally, pretty much cover the cost of a new setup, if you shop properly.

Please take this into consideration, when contemplating cohabitation. More times than not, it is complications in the making, sometimes with very drastic consequences. You may come home to carnage that you won’t soon forget.

Cohabitation of BDs is for the benefit of the Keeper, whether it be for their viewing pleasure, or cost\room effectiveness. It is not in the best interest of the animal’s health & well being.

Germain

Excellent post Germain!

I can't tell you how many horror stories I have come across when people contact me for advice. No matter how many times I tell people Dragons should not be cohabitating, 95% of the people simply don't listen... until something tragic happens and I get a late night phone call from someone asking me to suture their dragons back together!

They don't take my strong advice, then expect me to jump up out of my PJs and rush over to save their dragon... Not a happy camper, but I did it to help the dragons because of their OWNERS ignorance. :mad:

I can't tell you how many times I hear silly things like "My dragons are very bonded to each other and will die without each other" - Dragons don't think like that!

A dragons world is very simple - Heirarchy. There can only be ONE king or queen of the castle. Forcing other dragons into submission, living in constant intimidation, fear, getting the "crap" food left over... if allowed by the Dominant Dragon. They usually are thwarting off getting attacked, become injured and sometimes even die.

Many of these "forced submissive" dragons usually become depressed, lethargic, dehydrated, malnourish... and sadly many die.

Have I housed dragons in the past when I was breeding them... Yes I did. Females (together in pairs) & Hatchlings (in groups of 5 - 8). I was very consciencious about it, monitored constantly for any sign of issues. Eventually they were separated for everyones safety and peace of mind.

Trust me, when you make that mistake of having a dragon get severely injured, amputated by another dragon, eaten - You don't make that mistake twice, and its hard to forgive yourself because you were the one that forced them into that situation.

Remember Dragons don't show emotion well. It may look like everything is all rosie and buttercups... then WHAM out of no where for no particular reason... dragon down.

Please for the love of nature, and whatever may be holy upstairs DONT DO IT.
__________________
Robin
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diamc

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Moved here from Enclosure forum as it seemed better suited. I also deleted your thread with the link to this one that you posted in the Health forum because if all members started 2 threads with links to others, the forum would get too confusing and wouldn't be neat and tidy. I'm sure you understand my reasoning.
 

Germ

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
No problem, after posting it in Enclosures, I did realize that it would be more relevant & helpful here :oops: , hence the post with the link to the other.

Thank you for straighten it all out, it is appreciated.

Germain
 

mikimom07

Member
Thanks for the great advice! The pet store did not mention this when we bought our two girls (we think :?: ) They are always on top of each other and I thought they did it because they wanted to not because one was trying to dominate the other...We are building a new cage so now instead of 1 their will be 2 vivs being built :oops: Hopefully until then as they are only two months old we won't have any issues because I have no where to put the other one until then.

Thanks again, I've learned so much from this site!!

Kristy
 

my1stBD

Juvie Member
Awesome post, couldnt have said it any better myself.
Wish this post could be enlarged and printed and posted in each and every pet shop in the world. In BOLD and HIGHLIGHTED
And making it a sales condition.............. as in buy 2 dragons, you have to buy 2 set-ups
 

Germ

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Added Pictures to the original Post ...

May help get the point across a little 'Better' ...

Germain
 

Dementeddogz

Hatchling Member
Great post, Im always telling people to house separately. I run into so many people that insist on house 2 or even 3 dragons in a tank :shock: I wont even start on some of the conditions lack of light, tank size, sand, exc that usually accompany this. Its even worse with juveniles, throwing an entire clutch in a single cage...... I see so many breeders who just dont seem to care with "nipped", and worse, "specials" all the time
 

my1stBD

Juvie Member
Great pics to get the message across, altho very sad for the poor beardies involved :(

I hope this post is an eye opener for people before its too late. Thanx again Germain for the post. Its excellent
 

MrWhite

Sub-Adult Member
I was considering housing 2 females in one 4x2x2 adult enclosure but after reading this acticle it looks like I'll be building two 4x2x2 enclosures :cry: I have read success stories about housing 2 females in one enclosure but it doesn't make sense to take the chance. *** sigh *** time to start building
 

Germ

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Really glad to see/hear that some people are taking heed of this issue. :blob5: :blob8:

Germain
 
I just read this post and now I'm really freaking out. I recently adopted 2 female beardies, approximately between 4-6 years old. They have been living together for several years now in the same enclosure. Today I have witnessed my one beardie, Sam, nip at my other one, Taz, and now I'm really worried. This is the first time I have seen this occur between the two, although I have seen Sam climb on top of Taz before and have seen them cuddle, which I thought was for heat and love.
Will it be safe to keep them together any longer? Could they just be acting out because of the recent change in owners? My friends who previously owned them never said anything about them not getting along and actually said they needed to be together because they had been together for so long and would be lonely without the other. What should I do?!
 

Germ

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
To start with, BDs don't get lonely, don't feel love ... they are not capable of emotion, as stated in the original post, they don't/can't think that way, as mammals do. Many people confuse, Tolerating well, with 'liking it'. Pretty tough to be cuddling for heat when they are cold blooded & blocking the heat from one another. Many people say that when separating BDs that have been housed together for a long time, that they seem to withdraw, appetites change, etc. This is because their environment has been changed, not loneliness & soon acclimate.

I don't have much more to add from the original post & quote. There have been successful female/female cohabitations. But there have been more unsuccessful ones, even after many years of being together, situations can drastically change very quickly.

As far as 'Should they be separated', my answer would be yes, particularly since you have already noticed aggression. But that is your call. To address this being the first time that you have noticed 'Nipping'. It only takes ONCE for serious injury to occur, no matter what the cause or motive, many times there is no apparent reason. There is not only the physical aspect, but the stress factor which affects their all round well-being, as well. While you may not notice physical problems (BDs Are notorious for hiding, not showing problems until too late, Dragon down) it can & will shorten their over all life expectancy. Another aspect to consider is illness, should one get sick or have medical problems, very likely there is the possibility you will have two sick animals or at least have to have the other checked also. The price of one Vet visit, fecal & medications, would generally, pretty much cover the cost of a new setup, if you shop properly.

You have been provided with good info, the next move is up to you, is it worth continuing cohabitation on the outside chance that it will continue to be successful, to be able to say that you beat the odds, when it is the animals that suffer, should it fail. Personally, I don't.

Germain
 
This is going to be a very expensive week for me!! I guess I will be going out to purchase a new habitat and lighting system for my one beardie!!
Thanks for all the information!! :)
 

GlueStick

Sub-Adult Member
Germ":3fhgna3o said:
To start with, BDs don't get lonely, don't feel love ... they are not capable of emotion, as stated in the original post, they don't/can't think that way, as mammals do. Many people confuse, Tolerating well, with 'liking it'. Pretty tough to be cuddling for heat when they are cold blooded & blocking the heat from one another. Many people say that when separating BDs that have been housed together for a long time, that they seem to withdraw, appetites change, etc. This is because their environment has been changed, not loneliness & soon acclimate.

I don't have much more to add from the original post & quote. There have been successful female/female cohabitations. But there have been more unsuccessful ones, even after many years of being together, situations can drastically change very quickly.

As far as 'Should they be separated', my answer would be yes, particularly since you have already noticed aggression. But that is your call. To address this being the first time that you have noticed 'Nipping'. It only takes ONCE for serious injury to occur, no matter what the cause or motive, many times there is no apparent reason. There is not only the physical aspect, but the stress factor which affects their all round well-being, as well. While you may not notice physical problems (BDs Are notorious for hiding, not showing problems until too late, Dragon down) it can & will shorten their over all life expectancy. Another aspect to consider is illness, should one get sick or have medical problems, very likely there is the possibility you will have two sick animals or at least have to have the other checked also. The price of one Vet visit, fecal & medications, would generally, pretty much cover the cost of a new setup, if you shop properly.

You have been provided with good info, the next move is up to you, is it worth continuing cohabitation on the outside chance that it will continue to be successful, to be able to say that you beat the odds, when it is the animals that suffer, should it fail. Personally, I don't.

Germain

I agree with this 100%. These are only human placed characteristics that we place upon animals and sometimes it is hard for people to understand this concept because our brains are so much more complex. I understand that by owning these types of animals I 'give them' a type of personality, but as I educate others, especially when it comes to the topics of snakes, these are NOT DOMESTICATED animals and will never be bred to be otherwise. Therefore, animals are unpredictable , as seen from the many pictures you posted and the many cases reported.

Glue
 
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