Have you wanted to own a bearded dragon that would listen to your commands? If your answer is yes, then you can learn fun and exciting ways to teach your bearded dragon. In this guide, you will learn how to train a bearded dragon and get him to do impressive tricks.
Pet ownership is a highly rewarding experience, regardless of the type of animal you are keeping in your house. Not only do you learn to be disciplined but it also provides you a timeless companionship. Normally, people consider their pet cats and dogs to be a part of the family. Luckily, you can experience the same form of love by keeping a bearded dragon in your household.
The “happy-go-lucky” attitude of beardies makes them perfect pets to be raised inside residential properties. They love interacting with their human parent once they start recognizing him or her. As a reptile keeper, you would learn various odd and unique behaviors that would be associated with your beardie.
Most captive-raised bearded dragons tend to have a playful nature. Once they get accustomed to your presence, they might even curl up on your lap. It is always an exhilarating experience when our pets love us back. They can also be attention-seekers when they notice that you are not giving them enough time.
By rewarding them with their favorite treats, you would be surprised how quickly they respond to your commands. Every time they perform an action correctly, you need to reward them with food.
Read on to learn about the best ways you can train your bearded dragon.
Why You Should Train a Bearded Dragon?
Picture this: you’ve been asked to live in a room covered with glass windows for the rest of your life. You might already be feeling claustrophobic just by imagining an imprisoned life like that. Well, that’s how your beardie feels inside his glass-made terrarium.
Being a reptile lover, you need to ensure that your beardie doesn’t become depressed or bored. If you lock them up in their tanks throughout the day, then this might have negative effects on them. Have you ever noticed your beardie scratching his toes on the glass of the tank? If you have, then you must plan about getting them out often. This shows a frustrating behavior that can cause your pet to be in a stressful state all the time.
There are various exciting activities that you can teach to your adorable lizard pet. A well-trained dragon would have more chances of getting outside the vivarium.
How to Leash Train Your Bearded Dragon?
By leash-training your pet dragon, you would be able to take them out for a walk every morning. It would offer a great exercise session to your lazy lizard, as it would get the chances to stretch. You would also be able to bond with your cuddly lizard by taking him on this morning walks. From a long stroll along the seashore to a quick walk in the local park, you can do it all.
While putting a leash on your beardie, you would have to remain patient. Depending upon his personality, he might not react positively with this new change. You just need to give him some time to get familiar with this whole thing.
Unlike chameleons and anoles, bearded dragons tend to maintain a docile disposition. They usually don’t resist when their owners handle them gently. This makes them great candidates for the leash-walk thing.
You take the following steps to leash-train your pet lizard.
Buy an appropriately-sized leash for your bearded dragon
Most pro reptile experts suggest buying a harness leash for your pet bearded dragon. A traditional collar can cause excessive strain on the neck of your beardie, which can be highly uncomfortable. They can also easily escape from these collars because of their slimy skin.
Select a harness with a moderate thickness because a thin leash can cause irritation to your beardie’s skin. Additionally, the leash should have a long length, so that you can walk with an upright posture. You should also look for an adjustable band so that it can properly fit your beardie’s neck.
Give Your Bearded dragon Some Time to Adjust
Rather than take him directly to the park on the first day you should let him get used to it. Put the leash around their neck while they are in their terrarium. In the beginning, he might get agitated whenever you place the leash. Just let him get used to this new thing in the routine.
How to train a Bearded Dragon to come to you
It can be highly frustrating when your beardie hides in some corner of your house during play-time. As soon as you take your eyes off your pet, he can vanish anytime. The stress factor is even higher when you lose them outside in a local park or mall. In order to ensure that your pet stays with you, you should call him by his name
This method of commanding your beardie to come on your command is known as “Call and Feed”. As soon as they walk towards you, you have to reward them with a worm. This incentive would encourage them more to come running to you whenever they hear their name. This would come in handy when you take them for a walk without the leash.
During the initial phase, you have build-up an association with your beardie’s name and their favorite snacks. When your intelligent lizard understands this mechanism, he would never miss the opportunity of responding to your command. Make sure that the tone and volume of your sound remain stable. A sudden change in pitch might make it difficult for your beardie to interpret your command.
Train Your Bearded Dragon to Play Fetch
Bearded dragons don’t get much credit for their intelligence and response rate. You would be surprised to know that you can actually train them to play fetch. Although they cannot grab an object with their mouth like a dog, they can push it towards you.
This would provide a highly engaging playing session for your pet dragon. This might actually help them get rid of the boredom. They can easily get inactive and lazy if you keep them in their tank all day. Providing them with this mental stimulation can be a great addition to the daily routine.
You can do the trick by rolling a ball towards your beardie, and he would roll it back to you. It might take a few weeks before they can finally master this trick. You can keep their motivation levels up by incentivizing them with a treat.
PRO TIP: make sure that the ball is lightweight, so your beardie can easily move it with their limbs. It should also be small in size that would make it easier for them to handle. Just make that it isn’t too tiny because it can potentially cause a choking hazard if they swallow it.
Train Your Bearded Dragon to Swim
Who doesn’t love to swim during the sweltering summer season? Bearded dragons usually have fun to have a splash when the days start getting longer than the nights (photoperiod). But that doesn’t mean that you can just place them in a kiddie’s pool without your supervision. Bearded dragons are poor swimmers and you should never fill the water level above their shoulders.
Because of their cold-blooded nature, they also don’t feel comfortable in cold water. Therefore, make sure that the temperature of the water is at least 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This would help them regulate the desired body temperature while they are having fun in the water. You can also throw in some water toys, like a rubber duck, which they can chase around. A simple bath session can turn into a highly exciting fun-time for your adorable pet.
Train Your Bearded Dragon to Drink from a Water Bowl
Apart from a balanced diet, you also need to ensure that your bearded dragon is staying hydrated. One of the best methods is to make them drink water on a daily basis. It’s common for domesticated bearded dragons to be unaware of the presence of a water bowl in their tank. In the wild, these exotic lizards are accustomed to drinking from a running water source. This makes it difficult for them to spot a still water source.
You can pour small amounts of fresh juice in the water bowl and mix it up with fresh water. The aroma of the juice would attract your beardie’s attention, and they would likely take a sip. Try repeating this method for up to 2 weeks. Once your bearded dragon contains the plastic bowl as a primary source for drinking water, you can stop adding juice in it.
Teach Your Bearded Dragon to Sit on Command
When you talk your bearded dragon for a walk, try stopping them with their leash in a gentle manner. Once they come to a halt, you can appraise them by feeding them delicious treats. Try doing this several times during the morning walking sessions. Once they realize that they would receive treats for sitting, they would start following your command.
Beardies usually don’t respond well to auditory signals, so calling him out to stop might not work. By making them stop with the leash, you would be able to reinforce the command.
Handle Your Bearded Dragon
Generally speaking, bearded dragons tend to be calm and relaxed around their owners once they start recognizing them. You can strengthen the trust level by picking them up in your hands daily.
Your little boy or girl might appear skittish if they aren’t used to this. If you notice them trying to escape out of your hands, then you should never pick them up forcefully. It is advisable to give them space whenever they appear nervous or stressed out. You can always try it again after a few minutes once they seem calm.
Slowly place your palms below their bellies while lifting them off the substrate in their tank. Make sure that your hands are covering their entire mid-section, as they can easily slip out. The last thing you want is letting your cute bearded dragon fall on the ground. They have fragile limbs, which makes them susceptible to breaking if they jump down from a height.
Once you take them out of the terrarium, you can place them in your lap. You can pet their head and body to show affection. You might notice your beardie licking on your hands or other objects. That’s just how they inspect various items in their surroundings.
Training is Essential for Building a Bond
You would never regret spending quality time with your cuddly lizard. Not only would it provide you the opportunity of showing your devotion towards them, but you would also be able to build a strong bond with them.
There should be a difference between a lizard that roams around openly in the wild and one that is raised within the vicinity of your household. Once they start responding to your commands, you would naturally adore them even more. So, you should never take those moments spent with your loving pet for granted.
We hope that you learned some new techniques to make your pet to follow a command. These training methods would work for most beardies, but some might take more time to follow.
These cut little dragons can be highly fun to be around with as long as they are in the right mood. As long as they are following your lead, you are good to go with the training methods
It is highly important to keep the safety of your pet lizard at the forefront while you are training them to do any trick. If some actions affright your mini dragon, then you should place her or him back in the tank. After all, our main goal is to ensure that your beardie remains active and healthy.