Skittish 3 month old Bearded Dragon

alexisenanian

New member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
spyro
Hello! My name is Alexis, I got my bearded dragon (spyro) about 2 weeks ago I would say. They eat and have perfect bowel movements which is no problem, but handling my little guy seems to be an issue. Spyro seems to be super skittish and scared whenever I try to pet. However I have had some cute moments with Spyro where they allowed me to pet their head and chin for a few seconds. Sometimes to gain trust I'll dip my fingers in some water to drop a little drop of water onto his/her head to stay hydrated. Spyro seems to enjoy that.. any other approach he/she opens their mouth in defense. I have been bit a few times which they don't "hurt" but it does startle me. I don't chase my BD around the tank for handling because I am not trying to stress them out. But I am trying to get a relationship with my BD. I let them get accustomed to their new environment which Spyro seems to love now, climbing and soaking, basking daily and even loves their hammock. No glass surfing or such. I try to speak to Spyro in a soft manner everyday so they can get used to my voice and presence. I pet Spyro at night when they are asleep or at least too tired and once picked them up and they snuggled on my chest and even moved towards my neck and hair. The moment I thought we were going somewhere next morning Spyro kept running away and opening their mouth. I am not trying to get bit again because I do not want to condone that type of behavior nor am I trying to be afraid of my BD so I can have a calmer easier approach without the assumption that they will always bite. He/she haven't puffed out their beard or hissed yet, just fear. I have tried hand feeding which hasnt been an issue on some occasions. I just do not know what else to do. Any suggestions?

More details: 3 month old Leatherback Bearded Dragon (gender: Unknown)
 

RangoRocky

Juvie Member
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Rango Rocky Balboa
It’s still getting used to their new environment and settling in. Try putting a piece of your clothing or something you use often but don’t really need in the enclosure to lay on and get used to your smell. After a few days to a week try pulling them out 15-30 mins before the lights go out to snuggle on you. And that should help with it allowing you to hold them more.
 

xp29

Gray-bearded Member
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby & Snicker Doodle
Also don't approach it from above, they have a photo sensor (a.k.a. 3rd eye) on top of their head, its only sences change in light. It is to help them detect birds that prey on them. If you reach over your beardie, you can startle and scare it. Always approach it from in front where it can see your hands coming.
 

Groggyfroggie

Member
Beardie name(s)
Draco
I have found my beardie to be more irritable in the first hour after waking up, perhaps yours has a similar temperament. At two weeks it's normal for them to be startled by you (and vice versa, can't count how many times I've flinched at his sudden movements). Just keep acclimating and remember to associate each interaction with something positive like food or some exploration time outside the tank.
 

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