Affectionate Or Aggressive: Male Vs Female Bearded Dragons

Are you curious about bearded dragons? Well, did you know that bearded dragons can be affectionate or aggressive? It’s true! In this article, we will explore the differences between male and female bearded dragons and how their behavior can vary. So get ready to learn all about these fascinating creatures and discover whether they are more likely to be cuddly or feisty!

Physical Differences


Male and female bearded dragons have some noticeable physical differences. The most obvious one is their size. Generally, male bearded dragons grow bigger than females. Adult males can reach a length of 16 to 24 inches from head to tail, while females tend to be slightly smaller, measuring about 14 to 20 inches. Keep in mind that these are just averages, and individual dragons may vary in size.


Another physical difference between male and female bearded dragons is their coloring. Males are often more vibrant and have brighter colors compared to females. They may have more intense patterns of orange, yellow, and red on their bodies. Female bearded dragons, on the other hand, tend to have more subdued coloring, with shades of brown and gray. This difference in coloration is more noticeable as they reach adulthood.

Pore Puffing

One interesting behavior displayed by male bearded dragons is pore puffing. This occurs when male dragons inflate the pores on their femoral region to show dominance or attract a potential mate. When their pores are puffed out, they may appear as small bumps along the inner sides of the back legs. Female bearded dragons do not display this behavior.

Behavioral Differences


Both male and female bearded dragons can be territorial, although males are generally more territorial and aggressive. Males may exhibit territorial behaviors such as head bobbing, arm waving, and even biting when they feel their territory is being invaded by another bearded dragon.


Male bearded dragons are more likely to exhibit dominant behaviors towards other dragons, including both males and females. They may puff up their beards, stand tall, and display aggressive postures to establish their dominance. Female bearded dragons are usually less dominant and more submissive.


While aggression can occur in both male and female bearded dragons, males may be more prone to aggressive behaviors. It is important to note that not all bearded dragons display aggression, and individual personalities can vary. Proper socialization, handling, and training from an early age can help mitigate aggression and encourage a more docile temperament.



Handling your bearded dragon from a young age is crucial for their socialization and overall well-being. Regular handling helps them become accustomed to human interaction and reduces the likelihood of aggression. When handling your bearded dragon, make sure to support their body and avoid any sudden movements that may startle them.


Building a bond with your bearded dragon is a rewarding experience. Spend time with them outside of their enclosure, letting them explore, climb on you, and become comfortable in your presence. Bonding activities, such as hand-feeding and gentle stroking, can strengthen the trust between you and your dragon.


If your bearded dragon displays aggressive behaviors or is not comfortable with handling, taming techniques can help. Patience and consistency are key when taming your dragon. Start by slowly introducing your hand into their enclosure, allowing them to approach you at their own pace. Gradually progress to handling them for short periods every day, rewarding them with treats and positive reinforcement.

Reproductive Behaviors

Mating Rituals

Male bearded dragons have distinctive mating rituals to attract females. These rituals often involve head bobbing, arm waving, and puffing out their throat and beard to show off their dominance and fitness as potential mates. The male may also perform a “courtship dance” to impress the female.

Egg Laying

Female bearded dragons are capable of laying eggs without the presence of a male. This phenomenon is called parthenogenesis. However, for successful fertilization and the production of healthy offspring, it is advisable to have a male bearded dragon present. Female bearded dragons dig a burrow to lay their eggs in, and it is important to provide a suitable nesting area in their enclosure.

Parental Care

Unlike some other reptiles, bearded dragons do not exhibit parental care towards their eggs or hatchlings. Once the eggs are laid, the female’s role is complete, and the eggs are left to develop on their own. The eggs require specific temperature and humidity conditions for proper incubation, and many owners choose to incubate the eggs artificially to ensure a higher success rate.

Health Considerations


Brumation is a state of dormancy similar to hibernation that bearded dragons may enter during the colder months. While brumating, their activity levels decrease, and they may not eat as much. It is important to provide proper environmental conditions, such as cooler temperatures and reduced daylight hours, to encourage brumation. Regular monitoring is necessary to ensure their health and well-being during this period.

Breeding Stress

Breeding can be a physically and emotionally demanding process for bearded dragons, especially females. It is important to carefully consider the health, age, and overall well-being of both male and female dragons before deciding to breed them. Breeding can put additional stress on their bodies and may increase the risk of health issues.

Impact on Lifespan

While it is difficult to determine the exact impact of gender on the lifespan of bearded dragons, certain health considerations can affect their longevity. For example, female bearded dragons may experience reproductive complications, such as egg retention and calcium deficiencies, which can impact their overall health. Ensure proper husbandry, nutrition, and veterinary care to promote a healthy lifespan for your dragon.

Potential Challenges

Aggression toward other pets

Bearded dragons may not always get along with other pets, especially smaller animals like dogs or cats. It is important to supervise interactions, keeping in mind that a bearded dragon’s safety should be a priority. Some dogs or cats may be curious about the dragon or exhibit predatory behaviors, which may lead to stress or injury. Always make sure to provide a safe and controlled environment for all pets.

Aggression towards humans

Aggression towards humans is not common in bearded dragons, but it can occur in certain situations. Aggressive behaviors may be triggered by fear, stress, or feeling threatened. It is crucial to handle your bearded dragon gently, respect their boundaries, and avoid any actions that may induce aggression. Seeking professional advice, such as consulting a reptile behavior specialist, can help address and manage aggression effectively.

Socializing multiple bearded dragons

If you have multiple bearded dragons, it is important to carefully introduce and socialize them. Initially, they should be housed separately to prevent territorial conflicts. Gradually introduce them to each other’s scents and supervise their interactions when they are ready to cohabitate. Providing enough space, and resources, and monitoring their behavior can contribute to a harmonious multi-dragon household.

Tips for Handling Aggression

Proper Enclosure Setup

The environment in which your bearded dragon lives can greatly impact its behavior. A well-designed enclosure with ample space, proper temperature gradients, hiding spots, and basking areas is essential for their overall well-being. Ensuring a comfortable and stress-free environment can help reduce aggression and promote better socialization.

Spotting Early Signs of Aggression

Being able to identify early signs of aggression is crucial for addressing the issue promptly. Some common warning signs of aggression in bearded dragons include hissing, puffing out their beard, tail twitching, and gaping their mouth. Observing their body language and monitoring their behavior can help you intervene and prevent any escalation of aggression.

Seeking Professional Advice

If your bearded dragon continues to display aggression despite your efforts to address the issue, it may be beneficial to seek professional advice. Reptile behavior specialists or experienced reptile veterinarians can provide guidance and suggest specific techniques to manage aggression effectively. Remember that each bearded dragon is unique, and professional advice can be invaluable in understanding and addressing their individual needs.

The Care and Training of Male Bearded Dragons

Habitat Setup

Creating an appropriate habitat for your male bearded dragon is essential for their well-being. It should include a spacious enclosure with a temperature gradient, UVB lighting, a basking spot, hiding places, and a suitable substrate. Regularly clean and maintain the enclosure to ensure a clean and healthy environment for your dragon.

Feeding and Nutrition

Proper nutrition is essential for the health of your male bearded dragon. Their diet should consist of a variety of insects, such as crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches, as well as leafy greens and vegetables. It is important to provide calcium and vitamin supplements to support their bone health. Fresh water should also be available at all times.

Training Techniques

Training your male bearded dragon can be a fun and rewarding experience. Start with basic commands, such as “come” and “stay,” using positive reinforcement techniques like treats and praise. Gradually introduce more complex tasks, such as target training and obstacle courses. Remember to be patient, and consistent, and always prioritize your dragon’s comfort and well-being during training sessions.

Affectionate Or Aggressive: Male Vs. Female Bearded Dragons

The Care and Training of Female Bearded Dragons

Habitat Setup

Providing a suitable habitat for your female bearded dragon is crucial for their overall health and well-being. Similar to males, their enclosure should include appropriate temperature and lighting gradients, hiding spots, and a comfortable substrate. A nesting area should also be provided for potential egg-laying.

Feeding and Nutrition

Just like male bearded dragons, females require a well-balanced diet for proper nutrition. Their diet should consist of a variety of insects, leafy greens, and vegetables. Calcium and vitamin supplements are necessary to support their health, especially during the reproductive season. It is important to monitor their weight and adjust their diet accordingly to prevent under or overfeeding.

Training Techniques

Training your female bearded dragon can help establish a strong bond and encourage mental stimulation. Similar to males, start with basic commands and gradually progress to more complex tasks. Mental enrichment activities, such as puzzle feeders and interactive toys, can also provide additional stimulation for your female dragon. Always ensure a positive and safe training environment.


Male and female bearded dragons have both physical and behavioral differences that may influence their personalities and care requirements. Understanding these differences can help you provide the best possible care for your dragon. Remember to handle them gently, create a suitable habitat, provide a balanced diet, and seek professional advice when needed. With proper care, socialization, and training, both male and female bearded dragons can make wonderful and affectionate companions.