bearded dragon handbook

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Can Male And Female Bearded Dragons Live Together?

Have you ever wanted to keep more than one bearded dragon in the same enclosure?

Perhaps you have a male and female dragon you would like to consider breeding at some point.

But can two beardies of opposite sexes safely cohabitate?

Many bearded dragon owners have considered cohabitating their beardies. 

Still, there are many factors to keep in mind when thinking about putting your male and female bearded dragons in the same tank.

You need to consider their personality types, the size of the enclosure, and both lizards’ safety and happiness.

Let’s get into the details on this topic together. 

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Can A Male And Female Bearded Dragon Live Together?

The answer to this question depends primarily on your bearded dragons’ personalities, ages, and, of course, their sexes. While bearded dragons are mostly solitary lizards, a male and a female could live together if they are roughly the same size and age and get along with each other after plenty of supervised time together, particularly if they are a breeding pair. However, you will still have to monitor them carefully in case any issues arise between them later.

If you want to house a male and female dragon in the same enclosure, be aware of the strong possibility of breeding and producing fertilized eggs. 

You might choose to breed your lizards and either keep or sell the babies. 

You could also simply dispose of any eggs your female dragon produces.

Males are often territorial creatures, so be sure your male lizard does not show signs of severe aggression or violent behavior towards your female. 

Monitor their time together closely for the first few days or even weeks of their cohabitation. 

This aggression from male dragons is also why it is never a good idea to put two males in the same enclosure since dangerous and deadly territorial battles for dominance will regularly occur. 

Female beardies tend to be more submissive, so a male and a female dragon will establish a hierarchy between themselves, get along fairly well, and sometimes even enjoy each other’s company.

Still, every dragon is different, so get to know your lizards’ personalities before you put them in a tank together and hope for the best. 

There are several factors to take into account in addition to their compatibility, including their size and age, the size and setup of your enclosure, and, of course, what you will do with any eggs.

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Elements Of Bearded Dragon Cohabitation

Size and Age of Your Beardies

Never allow two bearded dragons of different sizes to cohabitate. 

Your beardies should first and foremost be roughly the same size if you want to house them together.

It is very common for male dragons to be slightly larger than females around the same age, but too large of a size difference is very dangerous for the smaller lizard. 

If the female is much younger and smaller than your male dragon, she could sustain physical harm and injuries during the breeding process and their interactions in general. 

If your male dragon is much smaller than the female, you could end up with a dominance shift where the female dragon is aggressive or even violent towards their companion. 

Either situation comes with major risks and results in unhappy lizards.

Females, in general, should not be housed with male dragons until they are old enough to breed or around two years of age, so avoid putting your baby bearded dragons together until they are older. 

Young female dragons have more potential risks when it comes to laying eggs, including egg binding, a painful condition where an egg becomes trapped in the oviduct, and the dragon is unable to safely pass it. 

Eggs retained by the oviduct are fragile and can break, injure your lizard, and cause infection.

Clashing Personalities: Are Your Beardies Compatible?

Every dragon’s personality is different. 

You wouldn’t want to live with a roommate you didn’t get along with, and neither would your lizard. 

Female dragons tend to be more submissive than males, so a dominant male and a submissive female or two females will work better together than two dominant males since males are far more likely to have territorial streaks in their personalities.

Spend lots of time socializing your bearded dragons and getting them used to you as well as each other. 

Pay close attention to their social interactions and any aggressive behavior or breeding attempts between the two lizards.

Risk Factors of Cohabitating Male and Female Dragons

While you technically can put your dragons in the same tank together, it does not necessarily mean you always should. 

There are many risks associated with putting two dragons in the same enclosure, and the risks only become greater as you add more lizards to the equation. 

If you are interested in housing a male and a female beardie together, keep it to just the two of them and never put more than two in the same tank, regardless of sex.

Aside from breeding, bearded dragons usually do not enjoy each other’s company for prolonged periods. 

Even if your lizards get along fairly well, there is a chance you will still find them competing over food, space, and even their basking spot from time to time. 

If this competition and territorial behavior become a constant issue, it will stress out both of your lizards in the long term.

It is also difficult to find a tank large enough for two adult bearded dragons at most pet shops. 

Each dragon requires at the very least 40 gallons of space, so a tank for two dragons will either need to be custom-built or ordered from a reptile enclosure supplier online. 

In general, it will be far easier to find two 50 gallon tanks than one 100+ gallon size tank for housing two lizards.

In addition to this, there is also the issue of supplying an adequate amount of heat for both dragons in the tank. 

You will likely have to set up two separate basking areas and monitor the temperature for both of them, which is tricky in a single large tank. 

Heating one large tank is much more difficult than heating two separate smaller tanks.

If you are still determined to house your male and female dragon together, it is certainly possible, but keep in mind: it is a huge responsibility to have to monitor their interactions closely for issues and ensure each lizard’s safety, health, and happiness.

Behavior Of Bearded Dragon Breeding Pairs

If you are set on housing two dragons of opposite sexes together, you need to be aware of the possibility of reproduction. 

Breeding pairs can sometimes live in the same tank with minimal issues, but they still require very close supervision.

Male bearded dragons become quite aggressive towards females when they reach sexual maturity at around one to two years of age. 

Female beardies are generally more submissive than males, but their specific personalities vary from one lizard to another. 

Their breeding season takes place for bearded dragons in the spring, but they can breed and reproduce year-round.

Breeding is typically preceded by courtship behavior between the lizards.

Your male dragon’s beard will darken as he approaches the female and rapidly bobs his head up and down to signal to her he is ready to breed. 

In return, the female will slowly bob her head and wave one or both of her arms at the male.

If you have never seen two bearded dragons mating, you will be taken aback by the speed at which your male dragon approaches and proceeds to jump onto your female. 

Generally, you want to give them space but still monitor them carefully from a distance. 

The male beardie will bite the female’s neck to maintain his position and keep her still as he breeds with her. 

The entire process is quite short and typically only takes a few minutes. 

If they display unusually fierce behavior such as circling and tail whipping at each other, separate them immediately as this typically signals a fight is about to take place.

Depending upon their personalities and behavior afterward, you could choose to keep them housed together or separate them until the male cools down. 

Some male dragons may display continued aggressive behavior towards females or even forcefully mate with them multiple times, which will greatly stress out your female and potentially injure her.

If your female dragon becomes gravid/pregnant, it will be best to keep her and your male lizard in separate tanks during the egg-laying process. 

She will require a specific setup with a laying box to burrow in and lay her eggs, extra calcium, more hydration, and lots of nutrient-dense foods to support her body. 

When female dragons are preparing to lay their eggs, they often display anxious, frantic behavior and are easily upset, so housing your female with your male dragon during this time could be too stressful for her. 

It is recommended to keep her away from your male dragon entirely until she has laid her entire clutch to prevent putting her under psychological stress or causing injury.

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Quarantining Prior To Bearded Dragon Cohabitation

Before you put your pair of dragons in the same tank, be sure to quarantine each of them in separate enclosures for at least a month.

Have each dragon checked by a reptile veterinarian for any contagious illnesses or parasites before you introduce them to each other. 

Ensure the lizards are around the same size and age

Dragons of differing sizes usually establish a pecking order where the larger dragon is aggressive and even violent towards the smaller beardie.

After a quarantine period of at least one month and a clean bill of health for both lizards from your veterinarian, you will be able to safely begin your attempts to introduce your male and female bearded dragons to each other.

Bearded Dragon Enclosure Size and Setup

Tank size is important when housing two adult bearded dragons together. 

You will need a very large tank to comfortably house both of them, as each dragon will require at least 40 gallons of space and is generally considered the bare minimum. 

If you want to be sure each of your lizards has an ample amount of space, you will need a tank at least around 100 gallons or more in size. 

You will likely be unable to find such a large tank in stock at any local pet shop, so a custom-made tank or a tank ordered from a reptile supplies website will be your best option.

In terms of tank setup, you will essentially need two of everything:

  • Two separate heating spots
  • Two hiding spots
  • Two separate feeding areas
  • Possibly two water dishes 

Your beardies will also benefit from having a thermometer on each end of their tank to ensure they are both receiving an adequate amount of heat. 

Also, no matter where you set up their feeding areas, it is a good idea to supervise your lizards carefully during meal times to ensure the more dominant dragon is not stealing food from the submissive dragon.

Can More Than Two Dragons Cohabitate?

Never put more than two bearded dragons in the same tank. 

Two lizards of the opposite sex are the absolute maximum which should be housed in the same enclosure, and even this is risky and dependent on several factors.

You would need an absurdly large tank to house three or more lizards together, and the power dynamics arising amongst them would be problematic and stressful for you and every dragon involved. 

Bearded dragons, in general, are quite territorial creatures, regardless of their sex.

The sexes of the lizards will also, in many cases, create competition and conflict. 

Two males and one female in one tank would be volatile and unpredictable, while two females and a male would also create a long list of problems. 

You will end up with unhealthy dragons angry, combative, under constant stress, and potentially injured or worse in both cases.

There is no way to properly house three or more bearded dragons in the same tank. 

You and your lizards will be far happier and healthier if you simply set up separate enclosures for each dragon.

Final Thoughts

While it seems tempting to put your male and female bearded dragons in the same enclosure together, there are many factors to keep in mind both before and after introducing them to each other. 

Although beardies are solitary reptiles and usually do not enjoy each other’s company, in some rare cases, a male and female will do well together when housed responsibly in the same tank.

Still, always supervise your dragons together as much as possible and watch out for any potential aggression or injuries, particularly during and after the breeding process.

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