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How Fast Can A Bearded Dragon Run?

Do you enjoy learning about bearded dragon facts?

Curious how fast can a bearded dragon run?

Do you want to take the bearded dragon out, but you’re afraid it will get away from you?

Being a responsible bearded dragon owner means knowing what this species is capable of.

So, to answer your question:

The central bearded dragon can run up to 9 miles per hour using its hind legs.

Read on for more running-related facts on this popular pet lizard.

how fast can a bearded dragon run

Why Bearded Dragons Run

Beardies aren’t naturally very hyper creatures, although they can move pretty quickly when they want to.

Here are the reasons a bearded dragon may want to run.

#1 Escape From Predators

The number one reason an inland bearded dragon will bolt is that it feels another predator threatens its life.

In the Australian desert (its natural habitat), some animals prey on the smaller agamid lizard.

Some of the most notable predators, birds of prey, are quite fast compared to an adult bearded dragon.

The bearded dragon needs to be able to go quickly to a hiding spot.

In captivity, the biggest running concern you’ll see is when your pet bearded dragon is out of its tank with you.

If it becomes startled, the lizard may run off quickly.

#2 Chase Down Prey

Another reason for running in the wild and captivity is when the bearded dragon is chasing down its prey.

Usually, the bearded dragon doesn’t run as fast for prey.

It doesn’t want to expend all its energy to eat, unlike when escaping danger.

This would make it more hungry and then need to eat again.

However, some of its natural food, such as crickets and other jumping insects, can move quickly.

So the beardy will chase if it needs to for a short time.

Then again, captive bearded dragons are happy to eat slow-moving live insects:

  • Worms
  • Dubia Roaches
  • Feeder Insect
  • Vegetation

#3 Get To A Better Location

The harsh Australian deserts have sharpened the environmental instincts of the bearded dragon.

When they sense a change in weather, which shows them they need to move to a different spot, they may run to get there quickly.

Some weather changes which may force the beardy to run to a different spot may include:

  • Incoming rain
  • Dust storms
  • High winds
  • Sunset
  • Too high or low of a temperature

In captivity, this may happen if the habitat isn’t set up correctly.

When the tank is too humid, temperature not right, or no UV light present, the reptile may attempt to escape the tank by running.

Read more on why bearded dragons glass surf.

Bearded Dragon Speed

Bearded dragons aren’t swift compared to many animals in the wild, but they can still move pretty quickly when they want to.

Bearded dragons run fastest when they feel their life is in danger.

When they feel this way, the bearded dragon can raise its hind legs and run just on those back ones.

In this form, the bearded dragon can reach speeds up to nine miles per hour as an adult.

At this speed, they’ll be traveling a 6 minute and 40-second mile.

While this may seem fast to us, they can’t maintain this speed for very long.

This happens in the wild when a large predator is coming after them.

In captivity, you may never see extreme running, and you won’t see it in a tank (there’s not as much space to go).

As a domesticated pet, the bearded dragon may only show this behavior outside its enclosure adventuring.

The extreme running form may happen if it feels threatened by another predator (such as a cat, dog, or kid), which it’s not used to.

If this happens, be ready to follow calmly but quickly and watch where it goes to hide.

You’d be surprised how quickly the whole situation may occur.


Keep other animals away from your bearded dragon at all times.

On all four legs, bearded dragons run slower than when on two hind legs.

This usually happens when the reptile is searching for food or attempting to get to a better location.

Read more on why your bearded dragon is running away from you.

Can I Let My Bearded Dragon Run Around The House?

Yes! With precautions.

Exploring and letting your pet roam a new area is a great way to bond with your beardie.

They enjoy and are stimulated by exploring new places and things.

However, because of the bearded dragons fairly quick running ability, you should take some extra precautions before letting a bearded dragon out to run.

These precautions include the following suggestions:

  • Explore a room or area with borders, so they can’t escape.
  • Keep the environment controlled and at an appropriate temp.
  • Remove all other animals.
  • Remove objects which may be accidentally eaten.
  • Explore only after your pet has pottied.
  • Keep light and sound as consistent as possible.
  • Focus your attention on the bearded dragon. Please don’t ignore it!
  • Make sure any small spaces the reptile may hide in are accessible.

With these precautions, you significantly lessen the chance of a hind leg bolting situation.

You also keep it safe for your pet, and he’ll have a pleasant experience.

Do this whenever possible, but you should at least do this twice a week.


We hope you enjoyed learning about how fast a bearded dragon can run.

Nine miles per hour on hind legs may not seem fast, but the reptile can take off in a split-second if threatened.

It’s a good idea to keep a close eye on your pet when it’s out of its tank.

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