Bearded Dragon Care

Why A Bearded Dragon Is Scared Of You? (How to Relax Them)

If you have a scared bearded dragon, you most likely cannot get close to the catch without it flaring up and you might not understand how others have such chill bearded dragons.

New pets are more prone to being scared by their owners due to the new environment. Do not panic if your new bearded dragon is scared of you, and give it time to adjust.

If you have a scared bearded dragon after some time, this means you aren’t letting them adjust correctly and need to do trust-building activities such as feeding them by hand.

The rest of this article will cover why they’re scared of you, how to get your bearded dragon to trust you, how to handle them when they are afraid, and how to tell when they trust and like you.

Why A Bearded Dragon Is Scared

There are several reasons why a bearded dragon will get startled and run away, one of which being sensing danger. If your dragon feels threatened, it will become scared and run. Other bugs and pets inside their closure are a common cause of them feeling threatened.

Another common cause of a bearded dragon running away is stress. Here is what causes a dragon stress: loud noises, feeling hungry, rapid light change, the need to poop, and being ready to mate. They also may have stress marks.

Approaching your dragon incorrectly is another reason why they’ll run away from you. A bearded dragon has a defense mechanism and will run if you try holding them or grabbing them in the wrong way. Approaching them from above or behind causes them to run away.

Lastly, your bearded dragon isn’t used to you yet. If you got a new dragon, then it’s possible they haven’t adjusted yet. It can take them as low as 3 days to adjust, or as high as 4 months. It’s all about patience and doing activities to get them to trust you.

How To Get Your Bearded Dragon To Trust You

There are a couple of ways you can try to get your bearded dragon to trust you. Even with all these tips, keep in mind that you will still need to give them time and space to adjust. For example, when you hold them, support their entire body and don’t let them dangle.

To get them to trust you, you can feed them by hand, get them to know your scent, and talk to them.

Feed Them By Hand

Although dragons have no trouble eating on their own, a way to build trust with them is by feeding them by hand. This way you form a more personal connection with them. Food is imperative to keeping your dragon happy, and by giving it directly to them, you’re building trust.

Get Them To Know Your Scent

Scent is important to animals because it’s their way of getting to know their environment. Just like how humans have their primary senses such as touch and taste, a beardies way of knowing the details of what’s around them is their sense of smell. Note that bearded dragons smell with their mouths, primarily with their tongues.

By letting your bearded dragon know your scent, you’re letting them adjust to your care and building a connection with them. They won’t be startled when they smell you, and they’ll grow to like you. This is why it’s always important to let any new beardie “smell” you.

Talk To Them

Talking to your pet gets them more accustomed to your presence. This is why on top of letting them smell you, you let them hear you as well. When they’re adjusted to your voice, they’re expecting you. It’s good to speak to them in a low tone so as to not scare them with loudness.

As time goes on, your beardie will learn your voice and scent. After they learn who you are, they’re going to feel safe with you and won’t run away. They’ll even climb on you to get a higher vantage point. That’s a sign they trust you.

How To Handle A Scared Bearded Dragon

Handle a scared bearded dragon with care. Give them time and space, and also be mindful of how you’re picking them up. Remove any loud noises from the area, and make sure their environment is at a steady temperature.

Sudden rises and drops in temperature can cause stress for a bearded dragon, so make sure to always be monitoring the temperature if they appear stressed.

Do not do anything to increase the bearded dragon’s stress such as picking them up suddenly from above or behind, not letting them sense you first, playing loud noises, speaking loudly, and making sudden movements. Stay calm and gentle when you’re handling them.

How To Tell If Your Bearded Dragon Likes And Trusts You

A happy dragon is the best type of dragon, and you can tell they’re happy by monitoring their behavior. For example, a happy bearded dragon won’t be aggressive in any way. They’ll stay calm and exhibit normal behavioral patterns.

They also won’t run away, and they’ll be happy to be held. Bearded dragons like to be safe, and if they’re happy to be around you and held by you, that means they trust you. That means they see you as a safe place, making them happy and healthy.

Lastly, they’re active in their environment. They’ll explore, dig, climb, and move around inside their home. If you see your bearded dragon playing around, you have a happy little reptile!


Chris is a reptile enthusiast, breeder, and blogger from the Milwaukee, WI area. After breeding hundreds of bearded dragons to supply local pet stores and owning many other types of reptiles, he is now focused on sharing knowledge to help owners properly care for their little reptiles friends.

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