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:
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.
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.
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.