With the adoption of bearded dragons as pets, enthusiasts and specialists are sharing their experiences on how to train a bearded dragon. A lot of information is now available on how to train a bearded dragon to do tricks.
People wonder if bearded dragons can be trained. Yes, they can be trained, which can help in different ways. Like they can be trained to respond to your call, drink water from their cup, and do many more tricks. The main stimulus in training is their greed for food and repetition of simple steps unfailingly.
In this blog, we answer many common questions concerning bearded dragon tricks, how to train your bearded dragon tricks, and many more related questions.
Enjoy reading further.
How To Train Your Bearded Dragon
Whenever a pet is adopted, the owners want their pet is to follow or obey the ‘home rules’. To achieve that the owners want to know how do I train my bearded dragon.
Besides the usual bearded dragon training, pet owners are also interested in how to train a bearded dragon to do tricks.
The bearded dragons are not that dumb lizard, as originally thought. People have proved by training a bearded dragon that it is a smart lizard and able to learn tricks and commands.
When we talk about training bearded dragons, we compare them with dogs and other domesticated animals. Though bearded dragons have not been trained to that extent, pet owners report simple obedience and bearded dragon tricks.
Pet owners report of the beardie recognizing and responding to their voice and caress. Have potty trained them, will drink water on command and such small commands.
Beardies remember and learn from previous practices. They might be slow learners, but patience, consistent efforts, and repetitions are required to teach them.
They can easily know what their fellow beardies are doing and copy or follow them. The foremost thing for how to train a bearded dragon pet is to have a bond with the animal.
The pet must trust you as a caregiver and should not shy away from you. It must see the human beings as friendly. For this one has to spend plenty of quality time with the pet so it gets used to you.
You should be in sight most of the time and calling out its name in soft tones. Let him out of its cage in your presence and have a feel around the room.
Providing treats or food at the right moment during the training activities is the reinforcement tool, besides the repetition with patience. To familiarize the beardie, use the same words and tone and stay with the same routine.
Whenever you notice any signs of discomfort or no interest in the pet, give respite to the beardie and leave it for some time. Can resume your activity after some time.
Are Bearded Dragons Easy To Train?
Because of their size and mobility the beardie may not be able to compete with other pet animals like dogs and cats but training bearded dragon has been accomplished by many beardie owners.
Pet owners have reported for their bearded dragon potty training, drinking water from its cup, approach the owner on call, play fetch, and some other small fun games.
How Long Does It Take To Bond With A Bearded Dragon?
By nature, bearded dragons are shy and timid lizards and will go hiding upon seeing any large object. For training a bearded dragon purpose one would need a lot of patience and time.
With a new pet, don’t expect it to respond to you or develop a bond so quickly as compared to other pets like dogs and cats.
The bearded dragons are easily stressed due to change in environment and needs time to adjust to new surroundings. One may have to wait at least two to three weeks before it melts towards you.
This does not mean the owner needs do nothing. Rather the owner should softly continue with his training and giving quality time for the beardie through feeding sessions.
What Can I Train My Bearded Dragon To Do
Beardie owners frequently ask for bearded dragon training tricks. There are many small tricks or chores a trained bearded dragon can do.
It is a general observation that the bearded dragons do not respond well to voice or sound commands. A beardie will come into action more on a visual stimulus with a hint of food than just a voice command.
Some simple tricks that can be taught to the beardie are like.
- Potty train bearded dragon. The bearded dragon is trained to poop at the right spot or tray at all times in its tank.
- Responding to you on calling its name. This is more by calling and feeding same time, so ultimately the beardie related the call (or name) to the treat and comes to you.
- Drinking water from its cup. Although they are not so fond of drinking water, hydration is important. Drinking from own cup would be preferred than when one is taking a bath.
- Fetch game. This is different from the dog fetch game. It is more like pushing a small ball towards you. You push it away and it brings towards you and you feed a treat.
- Walk on a leash. Owners report that not all beardies would like to wear a harness/leash. People have trained their beardies on this.
There can be many tricks and ways to train your beardie to do something. The criteria being you should have a bond with your beardie and need patience and repetition of the action.
How To Train Your Bearded Dragon To Come When Called
Besides being a party trick, it is very reassuring when your beardie responds to your call. For this reason, people are eager and ask how to teach your bearded dragon to come to you.
Pet owners and specialists have tried many ways on how to train a bearded dragon to come to you. Another way people frequently put this question is how to teach a bearded dragon its name.
Generally, it involves offering food or treat as that is the thing the beardie understands naturally and will come for it.
Follow these steps on how to train a bearded dragon to respond to its name.
- At feeding time call its name and immediately offer one worm (or its favorite bite). Only one worm or morsel at one time. Keep food close to you so it associates food with you.
- It should be its name only (one word only). Do not make a long sentence like ‘come here pretty (name) eat your dinner’ or two words like ‘here (name)’ or ‘get it (name)’.
The single word name should be repeated in the same soft and cheerful tone every time. Different tones may not be connected by the beardie.
- Let it finish its meal. Then repeat the name and offer the second morsel of feed. Bring the food closer to yourself.
- Continue this practice for at least a week in a consistent manner. The aim being to let him associate the sound (its name) with food.
- The final test is when you call the beardie’s name, he should come running to you thinking of food.
Some dragons will be quick learners and some may take longer to adapt. Pet owners tell consistency and patience pays.
This procedure would be more effective if the beardie is out of its tank and can approach you and come closer to you to get its feed.
Place the morsel on your lap or hand, where you want the beardie to pick it up, and let the beardie climb on your lap to get to the feed.
This method is tested successfully by many beardie owners and also answers the query can bearded dragons learn their name, by many pet enthusiasts.
How To Potty Train Your Bearded Dragon
Another frequently asked question is how to potty train a bearded dragon. Potty training bearded dragon is important as this will relieve the owner from frequently cleaning the beardie poop from its tank.
For successful training, it is important that the beardie has a regular feeding schedule which will result in a regular and scheduled poop time. So you would know when the beardie is ready to poop.
All beardies don’t poop every day. So as an owner you should know with regular feeding, sleeping, playing times, what is their poop time. It is a habit-forming exercise.
Two general methods are adapted for the beardie’s nature call. One is the litter box method and the other is the bath method. Both are described below for how to potty train bearded dragon.
Litter Box Method To Potty Train Bearded Dragon
- Note the place in the tank where the beardie excretes every day or whenever it poops. Normally it would be one or two places in the tank.
- Place a folded paper towel at that place. Let the beardie excrete on that paper. Let him make a habit of doing that for a week or so.
- When the beardie is comfortably using the paper towel, place a shallow tray (which will become the litter box later on) with the paper towel inside at the exact location.
- Watch for another week for the beardie to continue using the tray. If the introduction of the tray is not accepted, remove it and go back to the paper only option.
- After a week or so of using the tray, start placing sand or other safe recommended substrate suitable for the beardie tank. Gradually increase the substrate to eventually cover all the paper.
- Continue for another week or so. Then remove the paper and use the sand substrate only.
- You have successfully potty trained your beardie.
- Now gradually (by fractions of an inch) each week you can move the litter tray, to a place where you think it is the best location.
Bath Method To Potty Train Bearded Dragon
It has been observed that many beardies love to excrete in warm water. Knowing their bowel movement time, they are simply taken to the washbasin with slightly warm shallow water.
Gently rub their stomach and they will excrete easily. Drain the poop with the water. This is also a good opportunity to give a bath to your beardie.
How To Train Your Bearded Dragon to Wave
A waving beardie looks very attractive to people and they wonder how to teach your bearded dragon to wave.
Specialists and scientists who have studied lizards in the wild tell that ‘hand’ waving by a bearded dragon is a symbol of submission. They do this when they want to communicate ’peace’ to other fellows or species.
It means they are intimated and are accepting the other intruder’s dominance and don’t want to fight (with no flight either). This would mean they are somewhat frightened or stressed.
Arm waving is more common in the baby or juvenile beardies as being small they are easily intimated.
Enthusiasts and pet lovers agree that since arm waving by a beardie is a natural sign of intimidation and fear, humans should not think of how to train a bearded dragon to wave.
It may be amusing to us humans, but is not a good experience for the beardie. It wants to avoid the situation. It is acknowledging your dominance and wants to be left alone.
Owners do report that their beardie would wave at them sometimes, but they are at a loss to know why it is doing so. Some owners report that by moving their thumb in a formed fist, their beardie would hand wave.
Best, it is left unexplored due to respect for the beardie.
How To Train Your Bearded Dragon To Walk On A Leash
This is a new trend on how to train your bearded dragon to walk on a leash. It is a somewhat difficult exercise as beardies don’t like to be clasped in a harness all time.
It is natural for it to wiggle out of any trap. For this reason, it is recommended that the beardie should be at least 15 to 16 inches in length before it can be harnessed, otherwise it will easily escape.
It is not necessary that all bearded dragons like to be harnessed. Some will get accustomed to it easily, while others will simply refuse at all. The first time it is difficult, but with time and patience, it can be managed.
The harness (not a collar) should not be very tight and also not so loose for the beardie to come out of it easily. A snug-fitting is recommended. You will know if the beardie is comfortable in it.
Leash training steps
- The best training is at feeding time. Put on the harness only (no leash) when about to feed the beardie. This way it will be easier for the beardie to resistless as it will associate it with the food.
- Let it wear for some time in its tank or let it roam the room or house. It can be a week before it gets comfortable for long wear.
- Put on the leash while still in the room and see if the beardie is comfortable. Practice a walk in the room. Can try this for a couple of days, until you both are comfortable. Do not rush things.
- Take out the beardie outside for a short 5 to 10 minutes walk the first time. Carry him in your arms and crouch on the ground before you put him down or let him off your body. The ground should not be very cold or hot.
- If you feel he is stressed or afraid, can pick him up and return home. Can repeat a few days later.
Leash training is a slow process and can take weeks, for a beardie to learn to relax outside and enjoy a walk with the owner.
Some dos and don’ts for a Beardie walk on a leash
- When outside, always keep your beardie on a leash.
- Stay close to your beardie. No long leash. It should be in sight at all times.
- Avoid places with people & traffic, noise, high bushes, and trees.
- Don’t force him by pulling on the leash. Let it choose its way. Block him if he wants to go in a direction you don’t want him to go.
- Don’t let it eat bugs or greens in the way. Can be with parasites and pesticides.
- Can give treats on the walk.
- Check for local law, if it allows lizards in certain areas.
Baby Bearded Dragon Training Harness
People ask if a baby bearded dragon leash can be used for a baby beardie. Pet owners tell from experience that baby bearded dragons can be harnessed, but anything below 10 inches long should not be harnessed.
It is too small a creature to be placed in a harness and leashed. The harness and leash have to be special, so as not to put any stress on the beardie’s body.
How To Train Your Baby Bearded Dragon
Following steps are generally followed for the training of a baby beardie (0 to 6 months). They are the same as the adult bearded dragon. The important thing is regularity and repetition with patience.
- New location: The first thing is to let it settle and adjust to the new surroundings for a few days.
- Bond: Establishing a bond with the baby beardie. It must start to look at you as a caregiver rather than a predator. Some chores for establishing a bond, feeding, stroking, petting, bathing, cleaning, etc. It can take weeks.
- Training time: Follow a definite routine for the training. Your baby beardie must be anxious when you approach him for the training. It is a habit-forming trick. Mostly it will be the feeding time as you don’t want to overfeed the beardie with treats during training.
- Food temptation: Associate the action or command with the offering of treat or feed. Use a soft and clear voice and repeat commands and offering the food.
- The baby beardie will identify the offering of a treat with the command. Normally super worms, butter worms, or other mealworms liked by the baby beardie may be used as a lure. Do not overfeed.
- Consistency: The real formula for success is in being consistent with the training routine. It could be weeks of repetition with love and care that wins.
- Don’t extend the training sessions beyond 10 minutes. Don’t make a gap of days between the training.
- Change the feed/treat: Gradually alter the attraction to a less tasty or beardie’s favorite treat. The beardie should adapt to the new feed over time.
- Reduce the treats: Gradually reduce the number of treats being offered per session. Say miss out on one treat for every five repetitions. Do this gradually over a week or so. Finally, make it intermittent without any regularity.
- Try to give command at any different time of the day (other than its routine training time) to check if the baby beardie has adapted to the command.
- Eliminate treats: When you observe that the beardie is following the command at your voice and gestures, without being offered the treat, you have succeeded in training your bearded dragon.
w To Teach Your Bearded Dragon To Swim
Pet owners tell that beardies are natural swimmers and would like to play in the water. This also helps them keep their skin hydrated.
The ideal place for swimming is a shallow plastic tank about twice the beardie’s length. Put some lukewarm water about 80 degrees Fahrenheit, about knee high for the beardie.
The water should be de-chlorinated, do not use distilled water. Toss in some toys for it to play. Gently place the beardie in the water. Always stay close to your beardie when it is in water.
The swimming session should last for 10 to 15 minutes and no more. All beardies may not like to swim. It is more a personality trait.
How To Train Your Bearded Dragon To Be Held
The first part of training is to form a bond with your beardie. It should not be afraid of you and does not show any signs of fear or stress.
In case it shows its unwillingness, it should be left alone for some time to recover from its sullen mood. Just make sure there is no outward incidence upsetting the beardie.
The personality trait of a beardie also decides how much it likes to be handled. Some beardies do not mind being handled by the family owners, whereas some beardies would like minimal handling.
Develop and strengthen the bond through self-feeding, cleaning the tank, playing games, spending quality time every day with your beardie, pet and stroke occasionally and see its reaction. This can take weeks.
If the beardie lets you stroke and pet you without showing any signs of stress then it is an indication that you can handle it.
To pick it up bring your hands from the sides or front, so the beardie sees what is approaching it. In a single scoop pick up its entire body from below in your hand. May use second hand for further support.
Your hand must support its stomach the arms and legs and tail. Do not approach from behind or top, as it will think of it as a predator approaching.
Handle your beardie (in your hand) for a short session. Have a couple of sessions in a day.
How To Train A Bearded Dragon To Sit On Your Shoulder
From the experiences of pet owners, riding on the owner’s shoulder is more a personal trait of beardies. Some are able to sit on the shoulder from a very young age, and some just won’t go beyond the chest.
Pet owners advise against riding a beardie on the shoulder. Bearded dragons don’t have very flexible bodies like cats. Their bodies cannot absorb bounce. Not graceful in such actions.
They have no perception of distance. Many beardies have seriously injured themselves jumping or falling from shoulder. One has to keep a hand on it at all times, to prevent falling or jumping.
One may allow the beardie to sit on the shoulder if one enjoys it when one is seated. Walking with beardie on the shoulder is dangerous for the latter.
How To Train A Bearded Dragon To Drink Water
Normally the bearded dragon doesn’t drink water like other animals. Only rarely it will drink from a cup if trained. The greens and vegetables are enough to provide water for its body functions.
A bath every other day helps its body get hydrated. Some pet owners use a plastic syringe or spray bottle to put small drops of water on their noses. Ultimately they start licking the water drops on their mouth.
Another tested method is to mix some fruit juice in its water cup and make it drink it along with the feed. It will like the fruit flavor. Over the weeks gradually decrease the fruit mix content until it is water only.
How To Train Your Bearded Dragon Not To Bite
Experienced beardie owners have listed some rules for handling or training a stressed beardie, especially if it is biting.
Evaluate the situation
There could be many reasons for the stressed beardie. Young or juvenile beardies may have no experience of any new situation, while an adult bearded dragon may be hostile due to mishandling or maltreatment.
Different techniques will be needed to calm them down. Give them time to settle.
If it is new to your house, try to develop a social bond with it. It must trust you as your caregiver. Feed it yourself, talk to him softly, give him treats and try to pet him. Try to make him relax.
Bearded dragons are sensitive to handling. Too much handling is disliked. When approaching them (their tank) don’t do hastily. The beardie must know you are going to handle it. Hold them properly.
Hold and pet often regularly so it accepts that as normal from you.
Fixing behavior problems
Don’t get it away with its wrong behavior. If it is wriggling and biting to get away, do not release him until it gets calm. Hold firmly on your one arm, with the other hand put him down and hold till it gets calm and behaves.
If you release it when it is biting, then it will understand that it can get away in such a manner. May put in its mouth some treat whenever he opens it to bite you.
The beardie will remember this as a positive experience.
Bearded Dragon Exercise Requirements
Bearded dragons are diurnal lizards. Meaning they are active in the day and sleep during the night. In the wild, all day they are either hunting for food, guarding territory, basking, or hiding from predators.
In captivity, they should also get the same opportunity to exercise during day time. Otherwise, they will get overweight and health problems will crop up.
A little exercise every day is important not only for physical health but also mental health. It is agreed that the bearded dragon should be taken out of its tank for exercise at least once a week for half an hour to one hour.
Besides the above, the owner should have quality time with his pet every day by engaging in games, training, and social time relaxing.
Bearded Dragon Exercise Ball
The bearded dragon exercise ball can be any ball to lessen the boredom of the beardie and also make it interesting to explore some other features built into it. Many types are available in stores.
The ball should be light in weight so the beardie can push it around with its nose or hand. Some come with holes, where one can insert the feed worms, which would drop out rolling and the beardie can eat them.
Some people recommend not to use the hamster ball, as it does not conforms well to the beardie size and shape and its gait, which is different than the hamster.
How Do Bearded Dragons Show Affection?
The bearded dragons show their affection in many ways. Four of them are prime.
Closing their eyes. When you are near them, they would close their eyes. This is a sign of trust. They don’t take you as a predator.
In the wild, they are always on the lookout when outside with their eyes open. At the first sign of danger, they would go to their hiding place.
- Closeness: They would let you come near them or approach you without any caution. Their movement would be very confident and relaxed. You will see them comfortable.
- Licking: A beardie that has developed a strong bond with you may even lick you some time to refresh its memory of your scent.
- Climbing on your body and taking nap. They will have no fear and will sleep (eyes closed) in your lap.
Why Is My Bearded Dragon Digging In The Sand
There are not many reasons for bearded dragons to dig substrate. They will do it mainly for.
- Looking for a better basking area. Not happy with your arrangement.
- A female wants to lay eggs. Need some secure place naturally.
- Preparing for brumation. Need some secure hiding place for good sleep.
One should not worry much about any of these actions. Rather one can help with their activity, by providing a solution.
Final Verdict On How To Train A Bearded Dragon
How to train a bearded dragon is a new fad amongst beardie lovers. As more and more information on how to train bearded dragon becomes available, people are anxious to try out the new bearded dragon tips and tricks.
To the frequently asked questions can bearded dragons learn tricks or can you train a bearded dragon the answer is yes.
Not all beardies have the same temperaments or personalities. Some beardies will learn to respond to the command very easily, while some will take longer and some would not like to be that submissive at all.
The secret to success is timing, repetition, and patience from the owner. A tasty morsel is given as a lure to get the attention of the beardie while repeating the command word softly.
The beardie has to be trained to associate the response to the command to the timing of feeding the treat. This repetition of exercise can take weeks for the beardie to have it ingrained as a habit.
Once it becomes a habit, then there is no need to give the treat. Important is to keep repeating all along, otherwise, the beardie can forget it.