My beardie doesn't seem to like me

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LisaG

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Either I am just paranoid or my beardie (Reggie) really doesn't like me. He is always alert and every time I go near his tank he hides behind his rock or in his hide. It is like he is terrified of me. I have had him for just over 3 weeks and I am guessing he is around 3 months old now (about 8.5 inches long). He was fine when I first got him but he is becoming increasingly skiddish and I have no idea what could have caused this. I have trouble picking him up because he literally jumps around his tank to get away from me and most of the time when he does this I will leave him alone because I don't want to stress him out further. Once I am able to handle him he is quite calm and will sit on my lap as I watch TV and I can even hand-feed him worms. He also runs into his hide after I feed him and he just looks terrified. He is also a little less active and I am worried he might have parasites but his fecal matter looks pretty matter. He has recently shed his legs and part of his body so could this be the reason or is there some underlying cause I am not seeing?
Setup:
30 gallon tank with reptile carpet as substrate
40% humidity
Hot side: 110F
Cool side: 83F
UVB: Exo Terra 150 13watt compact
Heat: 150watt heat bulb (unsure what brand)
Fed mainly crickets (gut loaded and dusted with Ca daily and multivitamin 2x a week) and Phoenix worms
Wax worms and silkworms occasionally
Supplemented with moist bearded dragon pellets (I work full-time so I give them these to snack on while I am at work)
Only vegetables he is eating is kale and butternut squash right now

If anyone has ever had a really skiddish beardie, any advice is very much appreciated because I hate seeing him scared and stressed out! :(
 

BlueMorpho

Juvie Member
He might still be settling in and getting used to you.
Do you move quickly around him? That could be a problem.
Try sleeping in an old shirt overnight for a couple nights and putting it in the tank in the morning. Maybe getting used to your scent will help.
Hope Reggie settles down soon :)
 

LisaG

Member
Original Poster
Thank you, I hope that is all it is. I try to move slowly around him, especially when I am reaching into his enclosure. Right now he is in an enclosure with top-access which I really don't like because I know they hate to be approached from the top. I try to best I can to kind of "scoop" him up from underneath. That's a good I idea, I will try putting a piece of clothing in with him.
 

destiny1998

Extreme Poster
Photo Comp Winner
Hi. I see you said you have a coil uvb. That might be his problem as those affect their eyes, appetite, and causes lethargy. It might be making him moody. Most people on here use reptisun 10.0 Tube. It needs to be mounted in the tank and he needs to be able to get within 6 to 8 inches of it. Kale is not a good staple as it binds calcium. Beautifuldragons.com is a good site to follow as what veggies to feed. :D
 

LisaG

Member
Original Poster
Thank you so much for your advice. I have looked into getting a tube instead of a compact but unfortunately the tank is not long enough to put a tube light fixture and heat lamp on top :( and I will look into changing his greens.
 

destiny1998

Extreme Poster
Photo Comp Winner
How big is his enclosure? With the tube you want to mount it in the tank. I use a under the cabinet light fixture and command hooks.
 

LisaG

Member
Original Poster
It's 36" long and 12" tall and it has a screen lid that has to slide off . I am going to be getting a much larger enclosure in a few months. Do you attach it to the top of the tank or on the wall of it?
 

destiny1998

Extreme Poster
Photo Comp Winner
One of my cages has that slide off screen so I put it on the back side. On the sides of the screen where the corners meet there is a little bit of space so a cord can come out. If that makes sense.
 

LisaG

Member
Original Poster
Yes that makes sense, I will try that but I think that the cage is small enough (12" high) I might be able to get away with just putting a light fixture on the top. But this is just a temporary enclosure for him because I am getting a custom one made this summer. I am going to the pet store later today so I will see what I can rig up. Thank you for your help!
 

Pushkin

Juvie Member
I would also just be consistent about handling him, and when you do, keep things quiet and stroke his head and back a lot, let him climb to your shoulder, etc. Pushkin was a little skittish around me for the first 2 weeks I had him, but now his favorite thing to do is cuddle up in my lap or on my shoulder. Even my roommate noticed that he doesn't respond (negatively) to me at all, it's like I'm supposed to be there - but when my roomie comes around, he's on high alert! I think it just takes time for them to build up that trust sometimes.
 

LisaG

Member
Original Poster
Thats what I've been trying to do and I have discovered that he really likes his neck being rubbed :D I guess I just have to be paitent which I'm usually not very good at haha you have a cute little guy there!
 

Pushkin

Juvie Member
I know, I wasn't very patient either!! Pushkin is my first beardie, and I've been so paranoid about everything - but it has really just been the past week or so that he seems really attached to me (making me more in love than ever! :) ) So I think time really is the answer. And thanks!!! :)
 

LisaG

Member
Original Poster
I know I am paranoid about everything too!! I just want to make sure I am doing everything right so little Reggie is as happy and healthy as he can be :)
 

BlueMorpho

Juvie Member
Sounds like Reggie's in good hands, then! :)
Eri was aggressive for about a year, no real reason as to why. Now he's my little snuggle bug!!
Your patience and love will pay off! :)
 

dynaMOna

Member
Rex and I are still getting to know each other as well, and I can very much relate to wanting to be able to hold him already! I also started out with a "top loading" tank, and am now finding it easier to hang out with him, now that I've got an enclosure with front doors.

He likes to come out, however he just kind of launches himself around...he isn't calm at all! It's pretty funny to watch, but I'm not willing to risk him getting away and hiding someplace where I can't get him out, so I'm just practicing handling him in the enclosure until we get better acquainted.

My solution to the light fixture issue in my starter tank was to get an inexpensive, 18" fluorescent fixture, and I used zip ties to attach it to the inside of the screen lid. The ReptiSun bulb was around $23 on Amazon. I've seen suggestions here about using 3M Command hooks to hang it inside as well. Setting it on top of the screen will cut the UVB rays way down, so make sure to keep it inside the enclosure. I can put up a photo if that would help.
 
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