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How Do You Know If A Bearded Dragon Likes You? (Affection)

Are you a new bearded dragon owner learning how to make sure your new pet is happy and healthy?

Do you want to bond with your bearded dragon?

One of the reasons beardies are so popular as pet reptiles is how they show affection.

These pets can recognize you and “like” you.

Learning what to do and how to know if they’re bonding are parts of being an owner.

But, how do you know if a bearded dragon likes you?

You’ll know if a bearded dragon likes you by how much it displays trust. Your pet does this through its behavior, coming to you, and remaining relaxed when held.

Read on for details on how a beardy shows it likes you and how to build trust.

how to tell if your bearded dragon likes you

5 Ways Bearded Dragons Show They Like You

This section looks at the typical behaviors that show a bearded dragon’s affection or trust in you.

If you’re looking for methods to build this trust actively, we have a post on how to bond with your bearded dragon that can help you.

#1 Remaining Relaxed When Picked Up

A big sign that your bearded dragon likes you is if it remains relaxed when you pick it up.

Before building a solid bond with your pet, it will nearly always try to escape when held.

You’ll see lots of wiggling and leg movement to get down if it’s unsure of you.

Over time as your bearded dragon learns you’re not a predator, it will relax when held.

#2 Sitting Still

Bearded dragons don’t necessarily cuddle, but if they’re willing to sit with you and remain still without trying to run away, this is a huge indicator that they like you.

These lizards are always on alert in the wild, and a bigger creature such as yourself represents danger.

So, if your pet bearded dragon will hang out with you and chill for a while, it’s a good sign.

#3 No Signs Of Aggression

If your presence stresses out your pet, it will display a few different behaviors.

If you notice any of the following, it’s a sign they don’t trust you yet:

  • Hissing
  • Beard Turns Black
  • Biting
  • Bobbing Head
holding bearded dragons

#4 Coming To You

When your bearded dragon likes you, they will even begin coming up to you on their own.

And when your pet begins doing this, they’re ready to learn to come to you on command.

We have a post on how to train your bearded dragon to come to you if it’s something you’re interested in.

When you approach your bearded dragon, it usually has a few reactions.

  • Run from you
  • Stay completely still
  • Open mouth, hissing, black beard
  • Arm waving

These aren’t what you want.

These are all signs of stress and defensiveness.

However, after bonding and training your bearded dragon, it may start coming right to you to be ready to be picked up.

This is another notable behavior for bearded dragons who like their owners.

Aim for this as one of the milestones in your relationship.

#5 Other Behaviors

Other behaviors which demonstrate your pet reptile likes you include:

  • Closed Smiling Mouth
  • Dilated pupils
  • General submissiveness without signs of being scared.

Different bearded dragons will display various behaviors, but this should indicate if they like you.

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Behaviors Not To Be Confused With Affection

Not all behaviors demonstrate affection or trust.

In some cases, beardy owners think these show trust, but the reality is quite different.

All of these behaviors are signs you need to spend more time bonding with your bearded dragon.

Arm Waving

This is the most confusing one.

Bearded dragons who wave their arms at your approach aren’t going to attack you, which is why people think this is good.

Quite the opposite is true.

Arm waving is submissive and subservient behavior.

This is telling you they acknowledge you as the dominant and fear your displeasure.

Head Bobbing

Head bobbing may seem like a cute behavior, but with bearded dragons, it’s not meant to be.

This behavior is an aggressive posture.

They’re attempting to seem bigger and tell you they’re ready to fight back.

If you notice this behavior, don’t press them, but give them a chance to calm down and spend more time around them until they’re used to you.

If head bobbing is happening a lot with your pet, we’ve written in-depth on why bearded dragons head bob here.


As with head bobbing, this is aggressive behavior.

Bearded dragons don’t all hiss as a rule; it varies from each one.

Nipping/Light Biting

Shockingly, several people think of light biting as “love nips.”

Yes, bearded dragon males will bite at the females when mating, but this isn’t an act of love or affection.

If a beardy is nipping at you, it’s so stressed out it may soon give a full-on bite.

If you’re concerned with biting, read our post on how to handle bearded dragon bites as a precaution.


Now you know how to figure out if your bearded dragon likes you.

It’s more about trust than affection with these lizards, but these are good indicators to tell if your pet is happy.

Look for signs of trust, relaxation, and recognition, and you’ll know your beard likes you.