Cohabitation (more than one beardie)

I'm sure you've thought about it, does my beardie want a friend? Will he get lonely? 


Simple answer: No, actually beardies prefer to be loners!

  

A Bearded Dragon does not enjoy  living with other beardies (or other reptiles) in the wild; Bearded  Dragons do not interact with each other for 'fun'. They will fight over  territory, females and basically fight about who's bigger or better.  I know you think they must be lonely, right? Not if you play with them!  He will enjoy your playtime together. But you’re not around enough? As  long as you make time every week to play, they’ll be happy. 


“I heard females can live together”


Some people do it, sometimes with no problems…Only sometimes.  Many females will live together perfectly fine for a year and then all  of a sudden rip a leg off a cage mate. I know my female has dominated a male and is extremely aggressive towards other animals. She bobs all the  time and would not tolerate a ‘friend’. It’s not a  great idea. 


“Mine have lived together since they were little! They’re fine”


Although they may seem okay now,  there is a large chance they could harm or kill each other. Bearded  Dragon fights escalate extremely quickly and usually end badly. Even a  small sign of aggression between two beardies can become very stressful, making an uncomfortable living environment.  


“What do I do then? How do I separate them?”


Well, buy a second tank!  Seperate the lizards into their own tanks. Do not let them see each other. If they get ‘depressed’ as many people claim they become, give  them time. Beardies are animals of habit; they are just not used to it. 


 Signs of agression in cohabitated beardies:  

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Laying on top of each other or 'cuddling' is a form of agression.

Often time's people think this behaviour is a sign  of love and affection. But although to us it looks cute, this is  actually a very aggressive behaviour. They do this to absorb all the  best UVB and heat from the other. The beardie on top is trying to  dominate the other; this can be very stressful for the beardie on the  bottom. It may look okay but this behaviour can result in UVB deficiency  for the submissive one. They will also be deprived of heat which is  essential for their digestion. All in all this is dangerous.  



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Fighting, biting, tail twitching and circling is a sign of serious aggression

 All these signs are obvious signs of aggression.  This means there is tension between the two animals that will only end  badly. Once this happens, it will happen again. If you see any of these  signs please separate them immediately. These fights can become serious  in a matter of seconds. I am not saying to wait until this happens, this  can be prevented by keeping them apart.  

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Head bobbing/beard puffing and hissing is a sign of agression

As you probably already know, head bobbing and  beard puffing is a common behaviour that indicates that the dragon is  upset. This can happen from stress and hormones but is usually an  aggressive behaviour. If you see one or all of your cohabitated beardies  displaying this behaviour; this is a sign of discomfort. Hissing is  usually accompanied by head bobbing; this is an extremely aggressive  behaviour. If you hear your beardies hissing they will most likely  fight. Again, separation is recommended.