Have you ever wanted to talk to your pet lizard? Maybe you already do. How about understanding what he is saying back to you? Beardies, like many animals, have a very distinctive way of communicating, which you can learn to understand. This gives you a better way of understanding how happy your Beardie is and how it feels about you!
Both males and females bob their heads from time to time. They nod their head rather quickly up and down, almost as if they are dancing. This signifies dominance, especially when accompanied by a puffed out or darkened beard. It is common for beardies that are housed together to do this as well as when they see their reflection. Some bearded dragons may do it to things outside their tank, including you! Occasionally Beardies will bob their head to show displeasure, if they are stressed or they have been put back in their enclosure they will bob their heads to show they are unhappy about it!
Nodding, unlike bobbing, is just a quick flick of the head. It can be hard to spot and is mostly done by adults, males mostly. Bearded dragons nod their head toward other bearded dragons to show they realise they are less dominant and that they are being passive. If you Beardie nods to you, he is showing he is passive toward you.
Some beardies, mainly young adults, will bow down low. Usually with their head, slowly and remaining in the position for a while. It is most commonly seen when beardies are kept together and after a dominant one has done a head bob or two. It is showing a similar thing to nodding but in a much more obvious way. Females are often seen doing this in order to submit to a male although younger males will also do it to more dominant adults.
Occasionally your Beardie might hop from one front foot to the other, whilst slowly waving the held foot around. It is seen mostly in young bearded dragons and very, very rarely in adult females. It is a form of submission, but rather than submitting it is more of an acknowledgment of dominance and means, ‘let’s not fight – let’s be friends!’
This is sometimes just something they do, particularly in the morning to warm up. Sometimes it will accompany head bobbing, …