Why Do Bearded Dragons Bob Their Heads?

Bearded dragons are popular pets who display a range of territorial, social and health-related behaviors. They do not communicate by sound, other than an aggressive hiss, but they use a range of posturing, physical gestures and color displays to communicate with their owners and other beardies. Understanding their gestures can help you know what mood your pet is in. Head-bobbing is common in all bearded dragon species.

During the mating season, your dragon may exhibit a violently jerky head-bob, often combined with darkening of his beard. This is his way of showing a female that hes interested in her — and at the same time, he is telling other males to stay away as he is intending to mate.

It is usually accompanied by a slow wave indicating the dragon accepts the dominance of the lead male.

Why does my beardie bob his head at me?

The Main Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Bob Their Heads. … Bearded dragon head bobbing is usually a reaction to something in its environment that is making it feel uncomfortable or uneasy. It may be feeling stressed, trying to defend its territory, or maybe it’s looking to find that perfect love connection.

What does it mean when a bearded dragon tilts their head?

Your bearded dragon could be head bobbing to assert dominance over you, their new environment, or another animal (whether it’s in their cage or just within view). … They could also be head-bobbing simply because it’s “that time” of year where they just have mating on the brain.

How do you know if a bearded dragon is happy?

You can definitely say that your bearded dragon is happy and likes you when it shows no signs of aggression, just affection. If your bearded dragon isn’t biting, bobbing its head, puffing up its beard when you approach or hissing at you, then it’s good.

In this post I want to tell you what the bearded dragon head bobbing means. No, it does not mean your beardie is listening to music and having a ball.

A lot of pet shops recommend to buy more than one bearded dragon, because one alone might be lonely. However even if you have a big terrarium, it can happen that bearded dragons show dominant behavior.

As I told you above, female bearded dragons do not use the head bob as often as males do. If you recently bought your bearded dragon and it shows this behavior, just give it time, it will get used to you. A lot of times bearded dragons feel intimated by birds that can be seen outside of the window.

You might think now that I am joking, but bearded dragons actually have excellent eyes and they can see such things. It can also happen that the dragon sees its reflection in the glass of the terrarium and thinks that there is an intruder. In a terrarium, you have to create a couple of hides for your bearded dragon to make it feels safe.

The plants function as cover and hide for your bearded dragon at the same time. If you need help with setting up the right tank have a look at this article: Create A Big Beardie Habitat!

Understanding the causes of bearded dragon head bobbing is important if you want to provide your pets with the best care possible. While its not always clear, learning to interpret this sign can help you make crucial changes that allow your beardie to thrive.

Bearded dragon head bobbing is usually a reaction to something in its environment that is making it feel uncomfortable or uneasy. This is very normal behavior that mimics a wild bearded dragons constant need to defend its territory in the harsh environments of the Australian outback.

Expert Tip: Having two bearded dragons in an enclosure thats too small, will often trigger this territorial defense behavior. To avoid potentially violent disputes over turf, its best to give your beardies their own living spaces. Your male bearded dragon can use this head bobbing to signal his readiness to mate and to appear desirable to all the available females.

However, her version is a slower and more subtle motion that demonstrates her desire and willingness to submit to a male beardies advances. Larger bearded dragons will often confront a smaller or weaker beardie with quick, distinct head bobs. If the smaller reptile decides that the larger one is too intimidating (or it just senses that confrontation is not worth the risk) it will usually show submission with a slow bob that is often accompanied by a funky arm waving motion .

The dominance and submission situation can get out of hand if not monitored closely, so keep all of your beardies safe by providing them with their own tanks. In nature, the way for a bearded dragon to deal with a potential threat is to try to make itself look more menacing (which is also one of the reasons why they puff up ). This behavior translates to your tank set up, so your bearded dragon may try to use intimidation to show dominance over its territory.

Assuming youre one of the many bearded dragon owners who only owns one (or at least keeps them in separate enclosures), this reason probably wont apply to you. Conversely, depending on the type of head bob, it can mean that it has acknowledged you as the dominant creature and is offering you a kind of submission. Lots of times, this frequent head bobbing is one of the best ways your reptile knows to communicate that he or she is feeling uncomfortable, intimidated or even ready to search for a mate.

After you spend more time with your beardie and get to know him or her better, your pet will be a lot easier to understand, and youll be able to rectify their source of discomfort or unease. While head bobbing doesnt always mean that something is wrong, it might be an opportunity for you to make improvements to the quality of care youre providing.

It is important to understand the different gestures that beardies show to know how your beardie is progressing and its health condition. Giving a healthy diet and perfect habitat is one way to care for your pet properly, but thats not enough.

Bearded dragon head bob is not dangerous, and if it happens, just know that the high chance is that there isnt something serious causing it. The only thing that can disturb you is when you notice head bobbing and other signs that may be of concern accompanying it, such as a beard turning black .

But rest assured that bearded dragon head bob is something normal and can occur due to several reasons. Also, a dragon bobbing its head quickly may signify aggression and territoriality, and it is also common in males. If the dragon is aggressive and starts to jiggle the head, sometimes they will display other signs like beard puffing and darkening to make them look much larger and scarier.

On the contrary, a fast head bob response is a challenge, and it means that there will be a fight to establish the territory again. However, if the submissive beardies recognize and accept that the dominant dragon is truly the boss, they will instead answer back with a slow head nod. During the mating season, the beardies tend to display several behaviors like head nodding, arm-waving, black beard, etc.

A receptive female, on the other hand, exhibits a slow head nod and steady arm waving to show that she is fine to be mated by that male. The beardie will bob the head in a fast motion and may show other signs like puffing up to look bigger. However, with time, the beardie will realize that the other pet does not mean any harm, and head bobbing should stop quickly.

If a bearded dragon is subjected to a scary environment for a long time, it can raise the stress level and can result in health problems. A bearded dragon can mistake a toy or item of clothing like gloves or socks to be a predator, and it will be scared. If your dragon is bobbing the head and is not due to the above situations, you can check your house and see if the pet is seeing any toy or item of clothing or jewelry.

Most of the time, a bearded dragon will nod the head to respond to different stimuli and to show intentions or mood.

Fast Bobbing – I’m The Boss

Fast head-bobbing is mainly observed in males. It can indicate aggression, territoriality and dominance. Males will often quickly bob their heads up or down toward younger males and females. If the other dragon returns a fast head-bob, it is a challenge — they will fight to establish territory. If the other dragon responds with a slow head-bob or a slow wave, or both, then he is recognizing the dominance of the initiating bearded dragon.

Jerky Bobbing – You’re Sexy

During the mating season, your dragon may exhibit a violently jerky head-bob, often combined with darkening of his beard. The jerky movement can make his whole body move. This is his way of showing a female that he’s interested in her — and at the same time, he is telling other males to stay away as he is intending to mate. The female will give a slow arm wave if she is receptive to him.

Slow Bobbing – You’re the Boss

A slow head-bob returned in response to a fast head-bob is a way of acknowledging the initiating bearded dragon in a non-challenging way. It is usually accompanied by a slow wave indicating the dragon accepts the dominance of the lead male. Females will also sometimes give a slow head-bob when they are ready to mate.

Why do bearded dragons bob their head?

In most cases only male bearded dragons bob their head quickly. The female beardies do not do it so often, but it doesn´t mean that they don´t do it at all. I have seen a few females doing it, but I will come to that in a moment.The head bobbing can be a sign of dominance,If a rival gets into the territory of a bearded dragon it will bobb its head quickly and puff up its beard and body to look more scary, to scare away the intruder. So you see, bearded dragons are loners and they will defend their territory with this behavior.A slow head bobbing is part of the mating ritual in most cases. You can also often see this when female dragons want to mate. A slow head bobbing is more a sign of submission and this can also be seen when a male bearded dragon accepts another male as the bigger and stronger one.You can often see that in terrariums with a group of bearded dragons. The head bobbing is supposed to relieve tension within the group.

Seperation of competing dragons

A lot of pet shops recommend to buy more than one bearded dragon, because one alone might be lonely. This isn´t the truth, those pet shops only want to make more money. In fact it is better to have only one beardie in one tank.You can definitely have a group of bearded dragons in one tank, but you have to make sure that you have a really big tank. However even if you have a big terrarium, it can happen that bearded dragons show dominant behavior. If they show it from time to time and no one gets hurt, it is okay.However, if you see it every day you should act. Your bearded dragons might be about to fight and that can end pretty badly and I am sure you do not want that.So if your bearded dragons are bobbing their head quickly the whole day, you should seperate them.From experience I can say that two males in one tank is always a bad choice. A female and a male can work, or multiple females with one male, or only female.It CAN work, it does not mean it will work. I have also seen aggression between female dragons.

They’re Feeling Territorial

One of the main reasons why you may see a bearded dragon bobbing its head is that it’s trying to establish some kind of dominance over its territory and show how mighty they are (even if that territory is just a glass tank). Depending on the situation, it could seem like they’re bobbing their head at nothing.This is very normal behavior that mimics a wild bearded dragon’s constant need to defend its territory in the harsh environments of the Australian outback. We can see both male and female bearded dragons exhibiting this instinctive behavior,

They Might Be Interested In Mating

A romantic dinner and a bouquet of flowers might be the way a human male attempts to entice the ladies, but one way a bearded dragon can show its desire to mate is through a vigorous display of head bobbing.Your male bearded dragon can use this head bobbing to signal his readiness to mate and to appear desirable to all the available females. Your female beardie may also show a modified version of this head bobbing. However, her version is a slower and more subtle motion that demonstrates her desire and willingness to submit to a male beardie’s advances.You might see this behavior displayed in tandem with a black beard. While there’s still no guarantee that mating is the cause, this combination can give you a bit more confidence in this theory.

They’re Signaling Submission

When bearded dragons are placed together, there will usually be a lot of macho-style jockeying for position in their hierarchy.Larger bearded dragons will often confront a smaller or weaker beardie with quick, distinct head bobs. If the smaller reptile decides that the larger one is too intimidating (or it just senses that confrontation is not worth the risk) it will usually show submission with a slow bob that is often accompanied by a funky arm waving motion.Like we mentioned earlier, having two male bearded dragons in one tank is usually not a good idea. The dominance and submission situation can get out of hand if not monitored closely, so keep all of your beardies safe by providing them with their own tanks.

They’re Acknowledging Another Animal

Sometimes, you will see a kind of non-aggressive head bobbing that seems to have no real purpose or is directed at nothing in particular. On closer inspection however,There is a debate among experienced bearded dragon owners as to whether this mild kind of head bobbing is some sort of bearded dragon greeting ritual or a subtle signal that says, “I have my eye on you, so no funny business.”While this question may never be solved to anyone’s satisfaction, we do know that beardies do best on their own and usually prefer to acknowledge each other from a distance.

Why Do Female Beardies Bob Their Heads?

As you spend more time around different kinds of bearded dragons, you may have noticed that it’s usually male bearded dragons that do the majority of the head bobbing.Instead of the quick, more aggressive head motions of male bearded dragons, females prefer to send calmer head bobbing signals (most of the time). By doing this she may be trying to demonstrate submissiveness to another bearded dragon, or she could be trying to show a male that she is willing to accept his advances.On the other hand, she may be trying to demonstrate dominance over other females in the group! It’s unlikely that this will be the cause assuming you’re keeping each beardie in a separate enclosure.

What is Bearded Dragon Head Bob?

Head bobbing is popular in all species of bearded dragons, and it is when a beardie raises and lowers its head over and over again.Males are more prone to head bobbing, and they tend to do it quickly. However, female dragons will also bob their head but at a slow pace.Several situations will cause a bearded dragon to nod the head, but I will explain that shortly. There is no harm to believe that something is making your lizard nod its head, but it can also be one way to show how it feels.Bearded dragon head bob is not dangerous, and if it happens, just know that the high chance is that there isn’t something serious causing it. So, you don’t need to worry about anything concerning a bearded dragon nodding head.The only thing that can disturb you is when you notice head bobbing and other signs that may be of concern accompanying it, such as a beard turning black. You need to be watchful when it comes to bearded dragon behaviors.

Why Do Bearded Dragons Nod Head?

As I mentioned above in the article, head nodding is a common behavior in the beardies, and it talks much about their mood and feeling or to express something.Head bobbing can be a sign of many things. The dragon not only displays this gesture towards another dragon but also to a person or another animal.You may be wondering why a beardie would bob its head at a person. To some people, it is something they will enjoy, but others will be surprised, especially if they don’t have a clue about what is happening.But rest assured that bearded dragon head bob is something normal and can occur due to several reasons. Let’s see the situations at which the bearded lizards show head bobbing.

Head Bobbing as a Sign of Dominance

Keeping more than one dragon in a cage will most of the time encourage them to fight to establish their ranking. The beardies are solitary lizards and appreciate more if they are living on their own.Having them together in the enclosure can make aggression over territory. In the process of fighting, one beardie must emerge the winner, and it becomes the boss in that tank.Now, the dominant beardie influences other bearded dragons, and it always reminds them of the dominance through a fast-head bobbing. Also, a dragon bobbing its head quickly may signify aggression and territoriality, and it is also common in males.Well, one dragon jiggling head swiftly at another dragon is often due to territorial and dominant reasons.If the dragon is aggressive and starts to jiggle the head, sometimes they will display other signs like beard puffing and darkening to make them look much larger and scarier. This is also part of dominance to express superiority.

Head Bobbing as a Sign of Submission

When a dominant dragon in the cage nods its head speedily, he expects the fellow beardies to respond with a slow head bob or arm wave. On the contrary, a fast head bob response is a challenge, and it means that there will be a fight to establish the territory again.However, if the submissive beardies recognize and accept that the dominant dragon is truly the boss, they will instead answer back with a slow head nod. This is how they show their submission.

Bearded Dragon Head Bob During Mating

During the mating season, the beardies tend to display several behaviors like head nodding, arm-waving, black beard, etc. Generally, the males will fight with each other as they are trying to win a specific female.Also, male bearded dragons appear so aggressive during this period, and they are more territorial. A male eyeing on a certain female will express himself through a violent jerky head bob. In the process, it will also be informing other males to stay away.A receptive female, on the other hand, exhibits a slow head nod and steady arm waving to show that she is fine to be mated by that male. Unlike males, female dragons are less aggressive during mating season.

Bearded Dragons Bobbing Head at the Owners

It is not unheard of that bearded lizards will nod their head at the owners. It does happen and is common. The question is, why do beardies do that to a human? Is it a bad or good sign? Aha, stay calm, you will get the answer in just a moment.It is clear now that all beardies tend to bob their head, whether male or female, and they do that for different reasons. So, if you notice your pet is head jerking at you, there isn’t anything to make you worry. Your friend is just trying to say hello.This often occurs when you approach your pet in its terrarium. The beardie is happy to see you, and you will recognize that by observing a fairly slow head nod.Also, if your dragon was bought recently, you are likely to see the head bobbing behavior, but this time it means something different. The beardie will bob the head in a fast motion and may show other signs like puffing up to look bigger.By this, your pet is trying to tell you that it is the boss, and you should not touch him/her. This is quite interesting but, at the same time, weird. But don’t worry, your friend just needs time, and it will get used to you.You can create a good bond with your pets by avoiding anything that can upset them. This is the way to go; handle your new pet gently and for small periods during the beginning. As time passes, increase the handling gradually to help with the pet’s confidence.

Head Nodding at other Household Pets

Sometimes, a bearded dragon may not get along well with other household pets like birds, cats, dogs, etc. This is most common, especially when you bring a new pet to your home. The beardie gets uncomfortable seeing the new pet, and it will start to bob the head.However, with time, the beardie will realize that the other pet does not mean any harm, and head bobbing should stop quickly. But if the dragon persists with the head-nodding anytime the other pet is around, you can choose to relocate the enclosure to where the two pets will not see each other.If a bearded dragon is subjected to a scary environment for a long time, it can raise the stress level and can result in health problems. Make sure you correct that before the worst happens.There is a time when dragons may start to bob their head at the existing pets in your home when they have never done that before. It happens when the other pet becomes a threat to the dragon’s territory.A beardie may also nod its head even to other household pets during the breeding season. Again, monitor the situation, and if it happens frequently, make sure to keep the pets away from each other.

Is Bearded Dragon Head Bobbing Healthy?

Most of the time, a bearded dragon will nod the head to respond to different stimuli and to show intentions or mood. There are other behaviors a beardie can display, and they all help to communicate what is inside. They have to do that because they can’t speak.So, it is healthy for a dragon to bob the head; you only need to understand their different gestures to know what is happening and how you need to respond.However, if your dragon is bobbing the head and it seems unhappy, it’s not something to take lightly. You need to quickly identify the root cause for that and solve it immediately. Too much stress is dangerous and can harm your beardies.Bearded dragon head bobbing in most cases is healthy, but, on several occasions, when the dragon is aggressive, it might be unhealthy.