Why is My Bearded Dragon Waving at Me?

Bearded dragons display behaviors that are unique to them. That’s why they are one of the most popular reptile pets around. Waving their arms is one of the most intriguing behaviors they possess. It will make you wonder why your beardie waves its arms at you all of a sudden.

Some people think that bearded dragons wave to greet their owners. Some believe that only female bearded dragons wave. With all these theories, you might get confused about what it means when your beardie waves at you. But waving their arms occurs because of different reasons.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Waving at Me?

If you’re a new bearded dragon owner, seeing your beardie arm waving for the first time is surprising. The bearded dragon will use its front leg to wave while the rest of its legs lift its body. The beardie’s body will stay still while its arm is making circles. Bearded dragons might wave quickly or slowly.

Arm waving doesn’t just happen in female bearded dragons. Both male and female beardies can wave their arms. Arm waving can mean a lot of things but it doesn’t mean that it’s greeting you. It’s not their way of saying hello but don’t be disappointed. There are other meanings behind this behavior.

When bearded dragons wave their arms, it means that they are communicating. It can be to other bearded dragons or even to humans. There are different meanings when a beardie waves its arms. It can be due to negative or positive reasons. Keep on reading to learn more about arm-waving.

Why Do Bearded Dragons Wave?

Many people prefer bearded dragons as pets and they are becoming more popular. These reptiles are more intriguing than others. Many studies are now being conducted about bearded dragon behaviors. That includes arm waving and other behaviors unique to them.

The studies about bearded dragons’ arm waving are successful. It’s clearer now why they display this kind of behavior. Bearded dragons wave as a sign of submission, recognition, mating behavior, and more. They may also wave their arms due to stress or seeing their reflection from the tank.

There are many reasons why bearded dragons wave. Below are the most common reasons why beardies display arm-waving. It can be surprising but they wave their arms not to greet you. By learning why they do this will help you understand your lizard more. It can help to deal with it properly.

1. Sign of Submission

When housing more than one bearded dragon, you will end up seeing them waving. That is why it’s not recommended to have them in one enclosure. Bearded dragons are territorial and will guard their ground against another reptile. Male beardies are more territorial than females but they can also display this behavior.

When the bearded dragon waves to its tank mate, it means that it’s showing submission. This is how the weaker beardie shows that it recognizes the authority of the more dominating beardie. The submissive beardie will show its respect to the dominant dragon. Not waving its arms means that they have to fight again for dominance.

2. Mating Behavior

During the mating season, arms waving means that the female bearded dragon is showing submission. Male bearded dragons bob their heads as a signal to the female that it’s ready to mate. When the female beardie waves its arm, it means that it agrees to mate with the male beardie.

When the female beardie waves its submission to the male, they are communicating with each other. Male beardies accept the females’ submission and the mating season will start. Aside from arm-waving, female beardies may also circle the tank and slowly bob its head. Bearded dragons mate after the brumation process.

3. Recognition

In the wild, bearded dragons usually wave to other beardies when they see each other. They don’t do it to greet the other bearded dragon. It happens because of fear and waves its arms as a sign of recognition to the more dominant lizard. That way, the dominant beardie will not attack the other.

Arm waving means that the beardie recognizes the power of the other. The submissive dragon will wave its arm to avoid confrontation. This behavior is often displayed by reptiles and small animals. It helps them communicate with bigger creatures or their predators. Arm waving can decrease the chance of being attacked by larger animals.

Aside from waving to other bearded dragons, they also do the same with other animals and humans. Bearded dragons may also do arm waving to household pets. It may look adorable but when beardies wave towards another pet, it means they feel nervous. Waving means that they recognize the presence of pets and even humans.

4. Reflection

When there’s no pet or other bearded dragons around, your beardie may still wave its arm. It can happen sometimes but don’t worry. The reason for this is if your beardie is seeing its reflection. It thinks that their reflection is another bearded dragon and waves in submission.

They may get confused with their reflection and wave their arm to recognize its presence. It can happen when the lighting inside the tank reflects the bearded dragon. This can make the beardie feel threatened and confuse their reflection as another bearded dragon.

5. Relocation or Stress

When you move your beardie to a new habitat, it will become uneasy. The new environment will not be comfortable for them right away. It can create stress for a few days until it becomes comfortable. Make sure to have the right tank size and set it up to mimic their natural habitat.

However, bearded dragons will be stressed if it sees other pets, clothing, and even humans. They can see it as a threat and stress them. When caring for your bearded dragon, it’s best to be extra careful. They are small and even mundane things might cause them anxiety.

When the bearded dragon waves its hand, it means that it’s uncomfortable. It might be threatened by something so you need to make your pet feel safe again. Bearded dragons may feel scared of different things since they think that it’s a predator. They can get startled by things bigger than them.

If the space inside the enclosure is not enough, it will cause the beardie to wave its arm. That behavior means that the beardie is uncomfortable. Make sure that you provide enough tank space for the bearded dragon to roam around to avoid stress.

Is it Bad If My Bearded Dragon Waves at Me?

No, bearded dragon waving is not always a bad sign so you don’t have to worry too much about it. Usually, your bearded dragon may be scared when seeing other animals. It can make them feel threatened and that can cause them to wave. Another bearded dragon or even their reflection can make it wave its arm.

When your beardie seems to be bothered about something, make sure to solve the issue for them right away. Stress is not good for the bearded dragon’s health. Find out what causes it to wave its arm so that your beardie will feel safe. Don’t put more than one beardie inside the enclosure.

Avoid other pets from running near the enclosure of the bearded dragon. Get rid of any reflective surfaces from the beardie’s tank as well. It will avoid the reptile to feel threatened. Try to clear out the things that can cause it to feel anxious. It will avoid scaring your beardie and eliminate stress.

However, arms waving is not a problem most of the time. This behavior only means that the beardie is showing signs of submission. If you are worried, check out other signs of stress. It can be loss of appetite, lethargy, or even changes in bowel movements. Excessive waving may also be due to health problems so you have to keep an eye on your pet.

Why Do Bearded Dragons Wave and Bob Their Heads?

When a bearded dragon waves, it means that it’s recognizing the presence of another animal. It’s a sign of submission to avoid confrontation. When the beardie bobs its head, its meaning depends on how it’s done. Slow head bobbing is shown by female beardies to show submission to the male.

Bearded dragons wave and bob their heads is a sign that the female is ready to mate with the male dragon. However, if the female beardie bobs its head fast, it means that it’s stressed. It’s also a warning that she won’t want to mate. This behavior also means that she’s already gravid or pregnant.

If male bearded dragon bob its head fast, it means that it’s displaying its dominance. It includes puffing and blackening of its beard. This behavior is a display of aggression. Male bearded dragons bob its head and shake their body violently. These behaviors are displayed during the mating season.

Do Bearded Dragons Wave at You?

If your bearded dragon waves at you, it signifies submission. Waving can also mean that they are showing other beardies’ presence. As a bearded dragon owner, it might wave at you to show recognition. Waving may also mean that the bearded dragon is stressed out by something.

When the enclosure is set up incorrectly, the glass will end up showing the beardie’s reflection. If that happens, it may think that there’s another bearded dragon inside the tank. It will stress your beardie and try to guard its territory. They are solitary reptiles and they prefer to be alone.

Should I Wave Back at My Bearded Dragon?

There is no harm in waving back at your beaded dragon. Bearded dragon waving is a method of communication where they show submission, therefore nothing wrong with the idea of waving back at your beardie.

How Do You Know If a Bearded Dragon Likes You?

1. Comfortable

When your beardie seems to be comfortable with you, it means that it’s happy. If the bearded dragon is not squirming and doesn’t try to run away from you, it’s a good sign. But if you have a new bearded dragon, it will try to run or hide. Wait until the beardie is comfortable in its new habitat.

Over time, the beardie will get used to its new environment. Once it’s comfortable with you, it will not try to hide or run away anymore. When you pick up your beardie and it allows you to handle it, that means that it trusts you.

2. Sit or Lay Down Still

If your bearded dragon sits or lays down still, it means that it’s comfortable with you. When your beardie trusts you, it will stay still and anticipate to be handled. It will enjoy spending time with you and let you handle it without complaints.

When your bearded dragon lays down on your lap or shoulder, it means that it’s happy. If the reptile falls asleep on your lap, it means that your pet trusts you a lot. It’s a clear indication that your beardie likes you and enjoys hanging out with you.

3. Happy When Picked Up

The bearded dragon is happy when it allows you to pick it up and hold it. That means that your bearded dragon trusts you. It’s a good sign that it’s happy and wanted to spend time with you. If the beardie squirms when you try picking it up, that means that you need to first earn its trust.

However, even if your bearded dragon is already comfortable with you, it may not want to be picked up. Don’t worry since it can happen sometimes. Bearded dragons have different personalities. Sometimes, they don’t like to be handled when shedding or during the mating season.

4. Calm and Not Aggressive

It means that it likes you when its calm and not showing aggression towards you. It should show affection since it’s comfortable for you already. If the bearded dragon is showing aggression such as biting, beard puffing, or hissing, it’s not a good thing. A calm beardie means it’s happy and does not try to defend itself from you.

5. Eating, Basking, Pooping, and Sleeping Well

It’s a clear indication that the bearded dragon is happy when it’s healthy. They will eat, bask, poop, and sleep well. These important functions mean that your beardie is doing well. Providing what your beardie required will keep it healthy. Spending quality time with your pet can build a strong bond between the two of you as well.

6. Enjoys Being Out

Over time, bearded dragons will get comfortable in their new habitat. They will also become closer to their owners and recognize them. Your beardie will enjoy being out with you and will scratch the glass of their tank so that you will let it out. It will be happy when you allow it to spend time with you.

Bearded dragons like to spend some time outside their enclosure. If you let your beardie out every day, they can become a routine for them. The bearded dragon will trust you a lot when you bond with your regularly. It will help to strengthen your bond with your beardie.

7. Healthy and Alert

If the bearded dragon is healthy, it should be alert as well. It means that it should move around, eat well, and even poop properly. The bearded dragon should also look alert. They will be looking around trying to check out everything. Beardies are naturally curious about everything around them.

When the bearded dragon becomes ill, it will show through their eyes. A sick beardie will be lethargic and will not be curious about their environment anymore. When your beardie starts hiding, showing aggression, black beard, and stomach, it means that it’s stressed out which can be bad for its health.

8. Positive Body Language

When bearded dragons communicate, they use clear body language. It can be both positive and negative so it’s best to learn what it means. Their body language can sometimes have different meanings depending on the situation. If the beardies pupil is dilated, that means it’s happy.

Bearded dragons may wave which means submission or they are being friendly. When the beardie’s mouth is curved in a smile, it means it’s happy. If its mouth is curved but open, the beardie is scared and may feel defensive. It will show aggressive behaviors to defend itself.

How Do You Know If Your Bearded Dragon Has a Mood?

1. Fear

Most animals feel scared especially towards predators. Not being at the top of the food chain means that they have to be careful at all times. Bearded dragons are not excepted to feel fear because of their size. These reptiles can feel emotions which means they also feel fear.

Predators are the common reason bearded dragons feel scared. In the wild, the biggest threat beardies have are birds and snakes. They have to hunt for their food and bearded dragons are included on their list. It makes them vulnerable to attacks from other animals bigger than them.

2. Aggression

When bearded dragons get scared, it can lead to aggression. These reptiles don’t like facing confrontation. They prefer to hide to avoid fighting with their predators. But when needed, bearded dragons can be aggressive. When it feels that it’s in danger, the bearded dragon will try to defend itself as well as their territory.

When the beardie displays aggression, its beard will turn black to warn other animals. That way, they no longer need to have to worry about unnecessary fights. They can hiss on their enemies as well and puff their beards or change their color. If you see your beardie acting this way, leave it alone for a short time.

3. Pleasure

Bearded dragons also feel pleasure which makes them satisfied with their lives. When the bearded dragons interact with their owners, they feel pleasure as well. Based on the researchers, if your beardie trust you it will feel safe. Spending time with your pet also provides them pleasure. Giving them treats can also keep them happy.

4. Depression

Bearded dragons can feel depression like humans. If they end up having incorrect living conditions, they will feel sad. This includes having an unhealthy diet and a lack of mental stimulation. Make sure that your beardie is getting what they required. Provide them with a healthy and balanced diet as well as enough mental stimulation to avoid boredom.

Can Bearded Dragons Feel When You Pet Them?

Yes, bearded dragons can feel it when you pet them. As solitary animals, bearded dragons still enjoy interaction with humans. They like to be handled and to be scratched on their cheeks or chin. But other’s beards may turn black if the bearded dragon is not yet comfortable with you.

As pets, bearded dragons don’t act like dogs or cats. They can be affectionate with their owners and recognize them. Watch out when your bearded dragon suddenly waves at you. It means that it’s a sign of aggression. If you ensure that your beardie is safe, it will trust you better and be happy.

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