Bearded dragons are one of the most commonly kept reptiles as pets with the bearded dragon currently being the most commonly kept pet lizard although the leopard gecko does commonly over-take it in terms of popularity for some years. Due to being such a commonly kept pet that is seeing its popularity increase with each year that goes by, we have noticed an increase in the number of people reaching out to ask why their bearded dragon hates them so wanted to publish this article.
Some bearded dragons have more of a wild personality that others with this often coming across as if they hate their owners but this is often due to fear, stress, and anxiety in the bearded dragon rather than it hating you. You will often find that moving your bearded dragon to a suitably sized vivarium and making sure that its tank temperature, humidity, water supply, and food supply are correct can often help calm your bearded dragon and get it to like you.
This is a commonly used technique in this situation as the majority of hostility from a bearded dragon is actually due to the bearded dragon being on edge. As soon as you are able to calm your bearded dragon and remove the stress and anxiety from it, your pet is far more likely to allow you to handle it without is acting up or trying to run away. Food can also be a good way to bond with your bearded dragon with wax worms being a particular favorite but not all bearded dragons are motivated by food so keep that in mind.
How Do You Know If A Bearded Dragon Doesn’t Like You?
Most bearded dragons will make it obvious if they don’t like you or perceive you as a thread with running away and intentionally trying to avoid being handled as common signs that they don’t like you. Another very common signs that a bearded dragon is scared and potentially about to become aggressive is that they will have their mouth open slightly with a slight “smile”.
This is commonly confused with the happy face that bearded dragons can pull where they just have their standard smiling grin but have their jaw closed. The main difference in this expression is that a happy bearded dragon will usually have their mouth closed where as an angry bearded dragon will still have the smile expression but will have their mouth open.
As far as audible indications that your bearded dragon doesn’t like you goes, their standard hiss is pretty much all you will get but this is a clear and hard-to-miss sign. Never try to handle your pet bearded dragon if it is hissing at you as its hiss is usually the next step after its smiling expression with its jaw open and is usually the step before your bearded dragon tries to charge you. Although it is unlikely that your pet bearded dragon will actually be able to hurt you if it does charge and bite you, there is a chance that you may accidentally hurt your bearded dragon if you quickly try to get away from it so it’s just not worth the risk.
Why Does My Bearded Dragon Hate Me?
Bearded dragons don’t hate their owners in the traditional sense of the word, they just don’t feel safe around you or maybe stressed and anxious due to other reasons with you often being what they take their frustrations out on. You can be the best bearded dragon keeper in the world but if you make an honest mistake such as having a small vivarium or accidentally setting the tank temperature too low their bearded dragon can be stressed and anxious.
Some male bearded dragons can end up being a little more on edge during the winter months around their brumation period but this is totally normal with it being considered a natural behavior although not all bearded dragons will have these mood swings during brumation. You can usually tell if this is why your bearded dragon is acting negatively towards you as they will be fine with you handling them at other times of the year and only hiss at you with in a week or two each side of brumation.
We have touched on this in other articles about bearded dragons but they really can be a pain to keep hydrated due to many bearded dragons seeming to just like to splash in their water and play rather than actually drink it. This can end up resulting in your bearded dragon becoming dehydrated and this in turn can also result in stress and anxiety too. Even experienced bearded dragon keepers can overlook this cause of negative behavior in their bearded dragons though as they presume that the missing water has been drunk by their bearded dragon when in actual fact, it was just splashed around during playtime.
How Do I Get My Bearded Dragon To Stop Hating Me?
The easiest way to get your bearded dragon to stop hating you is to keep it as happy and relaxed as possible with this often being very easy. Just make sure that your bearded dragon’s vivarium is of a suitable size and that everything in its environment is within recommended parameters with temperature and humidity often being areas where people new to keeping bearded dragons go wrong.
Having a small vivarium is unfortunately very common due to people getting a tank large enough for a young bearded dragon and then forgetting to upgrade or due to accidentally picking up a smaller tank designed for a much smaller pet reptile. These are both very easy to fix provided you have the budget available for a new tank with second hand vivarium being cheap on eBay, especially if you are able to pick it up yourself and don’t need shipping charges.
Tank enrichment can be another thing that you can try to add to your bearded dragon’s home to offer some mental stimulation but be sure not to overdo it. Most bearded dragons couldn’t care less about the various bearded dragon toys on the market and will be perfectly happy on a brand or rock with correct heating.
That brings our article going over why your bearded dragon hates you to an end. We hope that you now have a better understanding of why your pet bearded dragon may act as though it hates you even though the most common causes are usually something totally different. In the majority of situations, you can fix the cause of your bearded dragons stress and anxiety and it will warm up to you and the bonding process can begin.