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Do Bearded Dragons Enjoy Human Contact?

Would you agree that t would be good to know if your Bearded Dragon actually enjoyed your human contact (Click here to see my best Bearded Dragon manual)? Well, this is what I thought, and for this reason I will reveal if they really do enjoy your contact, and more importantly when to give them some space, because you are about to get bitten!

Do bearded dragons enjoy human contact? Naturally no, but in captivity they can be trained to enjoy human contact. They are instinctively well mannered lizards, so taming them is not too much of a challenge. In time they can grow to love your contact.

Now you understand that they can enjoy human contact, let us delve a bit deeper and understand what you need to look out for, and what warning signs you need to check for to avoid agitating your Beardie.

Why does my bearded dragon wave at me?

Have you ever come across or heard of a bearded dragon that waves at you? In this section of the article I’m going to explain why this may happen just to clarify exactly and also to satisfy your curiosity. 

There are many different theories about why your bearded dragon will wave like this, including a form of communication or even as some weird form of submission. In all honesty, there is no proven reason why this happens.

It is often seen that this hand waving will also be coupled with a weird head bobbing which is another mystery.

Either way this is a good indication that your dragon is trying to communicate and is a caring member of your household.

Be warned that not all bearded dragons do this behaviour. It is commonly believed that some of them do not do this because of their environment. Based on the type of terrarium setup you have and how happy they are in the tank.

About bearded dragons behavior

Bearded dragons are naturally happy to be on their own, in a way they are a happy introverts. They are not instinctively affectionate animals. However, if they are used to seeing you around and you become a regular presence in their life they will grow to appreciate your existence.

It is not uncommon to see your bearded dragon approach you as it sees you coming close to it. They are a very laid back lizard with a good temperament.

How can You Begin to tame your Dragon?

If you have an aggressive bearded dragon you may be interested to know how you can tame it, to make him more manageable.

For that reason in this section I’m going to explain how you can do this and finally tame your bearded dragon

Some things to look out for, if your Dragon is in an aggressive mood, yo may find that his beard will darken, this is sign to back off and give him some time, you don’t want to get bitten.

To start off with the taming, once he has calmed down, hold him firmly, but not too tight, you don’t want to hurt him, right? Now gently pet him to show him some love.

This is not an overnight process, it takes consistency. If he starts to get upset while you are holding him, just let him go for a second and then repeat the process again.

Create rapport by hand feeding Your Dragon

I’m going to explain how you can use a clever tactic to create rapport with your bearded dragon, it may seem simple but it is definitely effective. 

Hand feeding your bearded dragon is an effective way of building rapport and for him to get used to your presence. The easiest way to do this is to gently offer him food by putting the food in between your index finger and thumb.

For example you may decide to use a small insect to offer your bearded dragon, do so slowly at the beginning. Simply place the food at the tips of your finger and thumb and offer it to your bearded dragon.

Allow him to approach you for the food. If it works he should use his tongue to gently take the food away.  This is not something that you should do everyday but from time to time you can do this to train your Dragon to appreciate your presence.

One word of warning you have to do this carefully because there is a chance that some dragons may see your fingers as food, so be cautious.

Understanding when not to mess with your bearded Dragon

If you can read your Dragon’s behaviour, then you will avoid stressing him out. Also, you will more importantly reduce the chances of getting yourself bitten.

Just understand this, your Beardie really does not enjoy biting you, it is only done as a natural defence mechanism. He sees you as a threat and just instinctively nips at you, nothing personal, its nature!

Be warned though, they can give you quite a “spicy” bite, so avoid agitating it as much as possible.

Here are some of the signs you should look out for, as a sign to avoid getting bitten:

  • Mouth Gaped open.
  • Hissing at you
  • Arching his back
  • Tail whipping

If you see any of this, it is not a good idea to mess with him.

Taming Juvenile Bearded Dragons

When you are working with Juvineiles, don’t even consider handling or hand feeding, unless they are in their enclosure. For the simple reason they are very fast. So you could easily lose one if you are not careful.

In a similar way I explained above, for the adults, hand feeding is ideal to start taming them. Instead of dumping an insect, such as a cricket, in the enclosure, grab it and gently lower your hand into their enclosure.

You need to read a bit of body language here, if he sees your hand and instinctively backs up, just take your time and gently remove your hand, he is only small, and you do not want to freak hm out, are you with me?

Now, I like to call this the “Hypnosis Method”, gently put your hand back in, but gently swing the cricket in eyeshot of the Juvenile Beardie to grab his attention. The idea is to trigger his hunting instinct and react to moving prey.

Be warned, this is not a cue for you to start pushing the insect closer to him, simply wave it and wait. The ideal scenario is, he will come to you.

This may take quite a few attempts. And understand this, if he shows any form of aggressive reaction, especially if it is similar to what I listed above, please stop immediately and leave it until another occasion.

Related Questions:

Do bearded dragons purr? No, they do not purr. The closest thing to this is iff they Hiss. But this is only when they are agitated or warning you to keep away. As you probably know, a purr, often associated with cats, its quite the opposite mood, this is associated with happiness.

Do bearded dragons recognize their owners? Yes, they can do, but this is only really for captive lizards. This is not a natural behaviour. And as explained earlier, this may require some taming or training to get the expected responses.


Hi, this is me with my daughter and my Lizard friend. I hope you enjoy my research. Please feel free to check out my "About Me" page to find out more about me.