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Aggressive Bearded Dragon

Discussion in 'Bearded Dragons' started by 2ey, May 5, 2009.

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  1. 2ey

    2ey Member

    Hi everyone, my bearded dragon (I think she's a female) has recently started showing signs of aggression, not all the time, just now and then for maybes the last 2 weeks.

    At first it would just be wriggling around in my hand but the other day I noticed her get her black beard on the go when my friend picked her up, I thought it was just because she didn't know him, but she know does it to me when its time to put her back in her tank.

    What i am asking in a long winded way is what is the best way to pick her up when she is all bloated and trying to snap? I don't want to hurt her or make her feel threatened. cheers
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Welcome to HC! I spun this off to give you your own thread.
    A few details. How long have you had the dragon and how old is it?
    How are you keeping it? Tank size, substrate, temps, lighting, etc.
  3. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, obviously you know puffing out the beard is just a threat posture, how long have you had the dragon?
  4. 2ey

    2ey Member

    Sorry, yes I know it's a threat posture I've just never seen her do it before, just read about it. I never knew about the body puffing up though I just saw that for first time today.

    I have had her since last oct-nov and she was about 3-4" long without tail.

    tank is 4ft by 2ft by 1.5ft, exo terra reptile sand, 27c,
  5. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    If she`s not used to being handled by too many people, it would be easy for her to feel threatened and nervous.... is she eating and behaving normally apart form the threat displays? And is there any chance you can put a photo up?
  6. 2ey

    2ey Member

    yeah she's eating fine, and behaving normally other than when you try to pick her up. sometimes she does ignore her food but usually not for long.

    also she's normally fine with other people, she would normally run and jump from one person to the other.


    pic is about one month old
  7. Kendalle

    Kendalle Elite Member

    Maybe she didn't sleep well and is cranky.

    If it is a one time thing, then i wouldn't worry all that much about it, they have mood swings sometimes. Some people they just don't like.

    My iguana on her bad days will be sitting by me looking all happy then out of no where WACK she tail whips me, like hey I am still boss of you. go fetch me lunch. It only happens once every 4 or so months. She just gets cranky sometimes.
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Are you sure its a female? It may just be that the dragon is maturing and trying to throw its weight around.
    A couple of things... you didn't mention lighting. Do you have a UVB generating light on it?
    Also 27C is fine for the cool end of the tank but the ambient temp should 32.2-35C with a basking spot of 37.7-43.3.
    Also ditch the calcium sand. Its pure garbage and a great way to end up with an impacted lizard.
    What are you feeding it?
  9. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I agree with Kendalle, they can have "off days" I don`t think you have much to worry about..... is 27c. the ambient temp.? You really need a hot spot around (38 to 40c.) 100 to 105f. and ambient approx. 30 to 35c.(85 to 95f.) night temp. approx. 80f. ( 27c.) Also can you give details of lights?
  10. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    Welcome to HC.

    I agree with Merlin, I think you've got a boy.:)

    Always scoop him up from the front with your hand under the tummy and dont worry about hurting him. It is totally normal behavior for a boy to show his beard, see it as funny and enjoy it.

    How often do you handle him?

    He will not feel threatened by you if he knows you and if you handle him every single day.;)
  11. 2ey

    2ey Member

    hi, yeah the ambient temp is 28c, he has a heat lamp to the left of the tank and a habistat heat mat under the substrate on the left side, and i think its a 15w uvb in centre of tank. the sand isn't calcium sand, although I have had this before but I just ground it up first in the pestle and mortar cos I heard it was bad for impacting.

    I am not sure it's a female the "lady" in the shop I bought it from said she thought it was.

    I feed him/her/it crickets, meal worms daily, and waxworms or locusts as a treat. it has eaten cabbage a couple of times and some dandelion leaves but normally refuses to eat them.

    and I handle it everyday nearly at least once. and now it is bigger I have been opening the tank and letting it run out on its own accord, normally straight underneath the tv stand or behind my speakers :D

    also how can i control the temp of the basking end? and i have had the same setup since i got the dragon, would the temp be an issue? thanks :)

    also i'll get a couple of temp readers (i couldn't spell the proper word) and put one on either side to get all the temps as i only have one in the middle atm
  12. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    Hi. Did you read our care sheet?
    Bearded Dragon Caresheet (Pogona vitticeps)

    Please print it and read it until you know it.;)

    You need to know what the exact temperature under the basking light is. What is the make of your uvb light?
  13. 2ey

    2ey Member

    exo terra light, and some aquarium make for the ballist. yeah I read the care sheet, re reading it :)
  14. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    I can tell you that everybody on HC will recommend MegaRay as the best uvb light. Have you heard of it?

    I am glad that you are handling him once a day. They become unbelievably tame if you spent a lot of time with them. The surest way of seeing if he is completely tame or not is by watching his eyes. If his eyes are mostly closed when you handle him or bring him close to your face then you still have some taming work to do.

    How old did you say he is?
  15. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    Some pictures of a boy and a girl.

    Hope it helps.;)
  16. 2ey

    2ey Member

    hi there, the photos were a big help, I never really understood what to look for from written explanations, I still can't really tell, itried to take a photo but it was too dark, I'll wait until my friend comes round with his good camera and see if you can tell.

    I am not sure how old it is, I have had the driagon for about 8 months and it was about 3-4" long without tail. I have uploaded a pic, the body, head to start of tail, is about an inch or so longer than a pint glass (sorry i dont know how long a pint glass is or have a tape measure XD )

    the eyes remain open when i am handling and when i bring close to face, i havent heard of megaray buti have found some on the web, do the just fit into normal light fittings or do the need a starter annd stuff like the flouresent tube style ones? also what watt should i go for? its a little bit confusing cos i am sure mine is 15w but these ones are like 60w and 100w

  17. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Do ditch any type of sand. They aren't from it naturally, for they come from hard packed earth and rocks. Any amount of sand accidentally eaten is an impaction risk, calcium sand or not. Great alternatives are slate, reptile carpet, linoleum, shelf liner or anything non-particulate. And yes, get those temps UP.

    What is the number on your tube? Not the wattage, but the UVB number? That's what important.
  18. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    The temperature is much too low, ambient approx. 85 to 90f. hot-spot 100 to 105f. I can give details of where to buy a Mega-ray lamp, these give off UVB close to natural sunlight, the fluorescent tube you have does NOT give off heat, the dragon will not digest food properly if the temps. aren`t high enough. Can you afford to pay £50 for the Megaray?
    Another alternative just for the time being is to fit either a ceramic or infra-red bulb for extra heat....From the photo I`m guessing around 12 to 15 inches long. The more you handle the animal the tamer he will get, but you should do this yourself, he needs to know you best of all!
  19. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    Your image does not want to load on imageshack can you rather try photobucket.

    What is his name?
  20. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I can't enlarge the photo either.
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