Are My Bearded Dragons Fighting Or Mating?

Are My Bearded Dragons Fighting Or Mating

Sometimes, bearded dragon owners become confused seeing their bearded dragons biting each other or behaving pretty aggressively. Such incidents leave the bearded dragon owners puzzled, worrying about what to do. As a result, the bearded dragon owner wonders thinking- are my bearded dragons fighting or mating?

There are some specific distinguishable signs to detect whether your bearded dragon is fighting or mating.

Biting aggressively, head bobbing, nipping, arm-waving are common signs between fighting and mating. But, you’ll see the mating dance and other courtship behavior of bearded dragons while mating. On the other hand, bearded dragons climb or mountain on each other while mating. But, they drag away each other rudely when they’re fighting.

If you are curious about the fighting and mating signs of bearded dragons, you should go through this article. In this article, I’ve explained in detail the indications, reasons, other conditions of mating and fighting, and so on.

So, let’s continue the exploration without any further ado.

How Do You Know If Your Bearded Dragons Are Fighting?

Several specific behaviors of bearded dragons denote that your bearded dragons are fighting. It will help you distinguish between the situation of fighting and mating. Let’s check the signs of when your bearded dragons get mad.

Head bobbing

There are several causes behind the head bobbing of a bearded dragon. Also, bearded dragons make head bobbing during both fighting and mating. So, this is a bit tough for the owners to understand the reason.

But, head bobbing is a common sign during or before fighting. An aggressive bearded dragon makes head bobbing a few times quickly. When you see two male bearded dragons are showing such behavior, it is their territorial sign.

Moreover, sometimes the weaker bearded dragon wants to give submission to the stronger bearded dragon’s attack. Then, the weaker one will show signals with a slower head-bob by funky arm-waving motion.

On the other hand, if this happens in male and female cohabitation, the female bearded dragon’s vigorous head bobbing is the sign of fighting. Otherwise, if the female beardie makes head bobbing of a subtle motion, these beardies are not fighting. Rather, it will be a sign of the willingness of mating that I’ll discuss later.

cute bearded dragon looking at camera
Owner: Sheri Lynn


As bearded dragons are solitary creatures, they do not like any other accompany in their enclosure. As a result, your beardies will try to achieve dominance over the basking space, food, and so on.

To show their aggression, bearded dragons often bite each other.  Moreover, bearded dragons bite whenever they get stressed or feel threatened. You can count the biting as their fighting sign.

Sometimes, you may notice that the bearded dragons are biting each other’s tails. Again, they’re doing fine.

But, you must separate them immediately in such a situation. Such is because these continuous daily biting will lead to a furious fight among the beardies soon.

Hissing: Do Beardies Make Noise?

You might be a little bit surprised when you notice them making a sound. Bearded dragons sound like a hiss. Besides, they make such hissing whenever they are stressed, frightened, or angry.

The researchers said that the bearded dragons make the hissing sound for scaring the other bearded dragon too. Along with other physical signs, the hissing sound is a clear sign of the bearded dragon’s fight.

If you ever hear any of your beardie making such a sound, you should keep all bearded dragons in different enclosures separately.

Puffing Up Their Beard: Why Do Bearded Dragons Puff Up Their Beard?

Another clear sign of bearded dragons fighting is their puffed-up beard.

Whenever bearded dragon wants to show aggression, stress, threats, he puffs up his beard. You can call it a sign of the starting of a terrible fight.

Not to mention, when the beard suddenly gets puffed up and straightened, another bearded dragon is bound to be afraid. But, if another bearded dragon has the same growth, he will also try to threaten by fluffing the beard.

Besides, the fluffy beard will make them look bigger and help them scare the other bearded dragon. As a result, bearded dragons will create territory before going into a fight.

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Although bearded dragons fluff their beard in their discomfort, sometimes they do it without any reason. For example- shedding period, showing off, etc.

But, if you notice other behavioral and physical signs along with fluffing the beard, you can assure that they are about to fight.

bearded dragon smiling
Owner: Shawnee Lynn

Black beards

Another indication of bearded dragons’ fighting is their black beards. You may notice the sudden color change and puff-up of their beards.

Bearded dragons turn their beards into black to show their dominance over other bearded dragons. Sometimes, they do territorial display with their puffed-up, black beards. Probably, it helps them scare the other bearded dragon.

Usually, you’ll see them bobbing their head while turning their beards black.

Tail twitching

Although tail twitching is an obvious sign of metabolic bone disease of a bearded dragon, this is a sign of territory too.

When bearded dragons become aggressive, they twitch their tails before getting into a fight. Such is because the twitchy tail is another sign of a bearded dragon’s feeling threatened or scared.

So, if your bearded dragons twitch their tail with other territorials signs, you should apart from the bearded dragons away. Otherwise, your beardies will get into a terrible fight to the death.

Open mouth display

Usually, there can be various reasons behind the bearded dragon’s open-mouth display. But, this is also an outburst of their aggression.

Bearded dragons gape their mouth and make a hissing sound, puffing beards, and so on. In this way, the bearded dragons try to portray themselves as the dominant and stronger ones.

No wonder, the purpose is to threaten the other beardie and get into a fight.

Running away

All of these mentioned signs are common in the case of mating too. But, you will find the other beardie pretty cooperative while mating. If the bearded dragons are getting into a fight, the submissive beardie will try to run away.

How Do You Know If Your Bearded Dragon Is Mating?

Although bearded dragons remain calm and docile all the time, they become pretty vigorous and aggressive during mating seasons.

Sometimes, the owners do not understand whether the bearded dragons are mad, hungry, fighting, or mating. Such is because almost all signs are pretty similar and hard to distinguish.

For these reasons, you should check first whether their habitat setup and requirements are perfect or not. For example- foods, lightings, etc. When you ensure that your bearded dragons do not need anything, you can confirm that they aren’t mad or stressed.

Secondly, your bearded dragons may be fighting. I have already described the signs of bearded dragon fighting in this article. So, if you do not find any similarity with the fighting signs, your bearded dragons may not be fighting.

Then, the only probable reason, which is left out, is mating. Your bearded dragon may be showing such aggression because he wants to mate.

Moreover, the weaker or submissive bearded dragon wants to escape while fighting. But, the bearded dragons seem to tolerate the aggressive behaviors in mating.

If you recognize the mating behaviors, this will be easy for you to handle the situation. Let’s go through the explanation of the bearded dragon’s mating behavior.

Mating Behavior: How Do You Know If Your Bearded Dragon Wants To Mate?

When your bearded dragons reach their sexual maturity, this is obvious to show mating behavior in the mating seasons.

Sometimes, they show such typical mating behavior in front of their mates when you keep them together. Otherwise, your beardies can also show mating signs living in different but close enclosures.

Generally, the male bearded dragons try to attract female bearded dragons. Hence, the male beardie shows their mating behaviors to a considerable degree.

 On the other hand, the female bearded dragons do not show such behavior to such a great extent as the male ones. But, you’ll surely notice their supporting or submission signs of mating towards the male mates.

The mating behavior of male bearded dragons include-

  • Head bobbing
  • Biting
  • Nipping
  • Mating dance
  • Black beard
  • Mouth gaping
  • Displaying beard
  • Stamping his front feet
  • Mounting on top of the female
  • Intertwining their tails
bearded dragon close up pic
Owner: Sharri Gilmour

So, all of these are some identical mating behavior of male bearded dragons. Like fighting behavior, head bobbing is also a part of mating behavior. But, if you notice other behavioral changes, you’ll know your beardie is mating.

Male bearded dragons tend to bite the female beardies vigorously. Such bite marks can be visible on the dorsal head, lips, front legs, beard, etc.

Moreover, there is a clear sign of their mating. That is the mating dance of bearded dragons. The continuous head bobbing, mouth gaping, puffy beard, and leg flipping of bearded dragon seems like a dance.

The researchers think that the dance is somewhat of a way of seeking the approval of the female bearded dragon to mate.

Besides, you’ll see that the male bearded dragon will climb upon the female bearded dragon and hold her tightly. He can be continuously biting her. Besides, they intertwine their tails to let the cloacas touch.

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But, the female beardie is seemed to tolerate the entire process. This submission of the female bearded dragon is a sign that they are mating.

When a female bearded dragon is impressed and wants to mate, she shows some reciprocal behavior.

The mating behavior of reciprocal female bearded dragons are-

  • Waving her arms
  • Head bobbing back
  • Not trying to escape
  • Tolerate the bites
  • Intertwining their tails
  • Might refuse to eat

If you notice that your female beardie is losing weight because of not eating properly, the reason may be the behavioral changes due to mating season. It is all about the changes in hormone levels.

Moreover, the female bearded dragon will try to help the male beardie mate. There will be no escapes despite tolerating aggressive bites.

If you are curious to know whether female beardies can lay infertile eggs, you can click here.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Attacking The Other One?

There are several reasons responsible for the fighting between bearded dragons. It can occur between two adult male or two adult female bearded dragons.

Also, it occurs between two baby bearded dragons. When the fighting occurs between male and female bearded dragons, the owner may become a bit confused.

On the other hand, you’ll find them as pretty docile and calm creatures. But, their aggressive behaviors are bound to make you surprised.

So, let’s see why your docile pet bearded dragon becomes aggressive and attack the other one sometimes.

bearded dragon sleeping
Owner: Shae Dery

Showing Dominance

When you keep two or more bearded dragons in an enclosure, each one of them will try to achieve its rights fully. Hence, the bearded dragons will try to show their power over getting more space, lighting, food, etc.

Especially, the male bearded dragons are more territorial than the female ones.

Moreover, when you put bearded dragons of different age groups, the elder one will try to bully the other. Also, these bearded dragons show their dominance to win a female bearded dragon.

It happens when you allow the cohabitation of a male and female bearded dragon. No wonder, each male bearded dragon will try to mate. Thus, they’ll fight showing their dominance.

On the other hand, when you keep only female bearded dragons together, they do not have to show off their dominance. But, female bearded dragons fight for their basking space, food, and so on.

Control Over Basking Space

Another reason for bearded dragon’s fighting is controlling over basking space. In case, you’re wondering why basking space is such significant for bearded dragons, let me explain the reason.

Basking light aids bearded dragons to digest their foods. Otherwise, they will suffer due to gut rot. Moreover, basking lights improve their appetite and regulate their cycle of day and night.

Hence, when you keep multiple bearded dragons together, none of them wants to miss the basking space. As a result, they will fight to dominant the basking area.

Sometimes, you might notice that they climb on each other, which is usually a sign of mating. But, this can be a sign of not letting the other bearded dragon receive the lighting. In reality, the bearded dragon on top absorbs the light alone.

Battling For Food

Since food is the prime need of any animal, there will be fighting for food for sure. The same thing goes for bearded dragons.

When you keep two or more bearded dragons, they fight to take over the prey. Usually, the stronger and dominant bearded dragon takes away all foods.

On the other hand, the submissive beardie suffers from malnourishment due to not getting the proper amount of food.

The dominant bearded dragon takes control of the water dish area too. The beardie tends to protect the water bowl and even get into a fight for it.

Winning The Female

When you keep male and female bearded dragons together, there will be a fight for winning the female beardies. Generally, the bearded dragons’ owners keep male and female cohabitation for a short period for mating.

So, eventually, each male bearded dragon will try to show their dominance to get a chance to mate. Moreover, the hormone levels of bearded dragons get increased at a high rate in the mating season. Hence, they become more aggressive.

Sometimes, bearded dragons fight to the death by killing the weak ones over females.

bearded dragon chilling inside enclosure
Owner: Samantha Davies


Bullying is another remarkable reason for the starting of their fights. It happens especially when the bearded dragons are different in their strength, growth, or age.

Sometimes, the dominant beardie starts nibbling the tail, or toe of the other bearded dragon. Or, the stronger bearded dragon starts making a facial display to the other beardie.

Such small and unnoticeable incidents of bullying spark the deadly fight between bearded dragons.

Hormonal Changes

Yes! You read the title right. Like mood swings of humans, your beardies can get aggressive due to hormonal changes. You can notice such changes from their only six months olds.

See also  18 Interesting Bearded Dragon Breeding Behaviors Owners Should Know!

Both male and female bearded dragons go through hormonal changes. Also, the arrival of the mating season is equally responsible for these behavioral changes.

As male bearded dragons become sexually mature, they start territorial displays to win a female beardie to mate. Not to mention, their dominant behavior is also common. On the other hand, the female bearded dragons become aggressive when they ovulate.

So, you can say that this sudden outburst of anger is somewhat seasonal. After all, puberty also hits bearded dragon hard.

Wrong Habitat Setup

The wrong habitat setup can make bearded dragons furious. As a result, this leads to fighting between the bearded dragons.

Such as small area of the enclosure, bright light, wrong type of light, etc are some remarkable incoordination of a bearded dragon’s enclosure. Moreover, hard and indigestible prey can make your beardie angry and stressed.

As a result, the stressed bearded dragon may vent out their anger on the other bearded dragons. That results in a terrible fight among them.

Shedding: Do Bearded Dragons Get Cranky When Shedding?

Before shedding, bearded dragons remain pretty grumpy. They do not like any handling or contact with other beardies. Also, they remain aggressive during this period.

So, this will be better if you leave your bearded dragon alone while shedding. But, if there are two or more bearded dragons in one enclosure, they will fight among themselves certainly.

No wonder all of this fighting will happen because of their mood swings of shedding.

Start Of Brumation

Like the above-mentioned reason, starting brumation is another reason for the bad mood of bearded dragons. Though this rate of being aggressive is low, the aggressive beardies tend to get into a fight pretty quick.

In a word, keeping multiple bearded dragons together is the prime reason for fighting bearded dragons.

baby bearded dragon roaming inside house
Owner: RaeAnn Spinner

Do Bearded Dragons Fight To The Death?

As mentioned before, bearded dragons are solitary animals, and they do not need any accompaniment at all. Hence, they can not tolerate the presence of other bearded dragons in their enclosure.

Since bearded dragons do not like to share their food, basking space, etc, they easily get into a fight. The main reason for their fight is establishing dominance and winning over females. Sometimes, they get into such a terrible fight where the weaker one gets killed.

So, bearded dragons are likely to kill their own akin. Hence, the researchers and experienced owners strictly forbid keeping multiple bearded dragons together.

What To Do If Your Bearded Dragons Are Fighting?

If you have already put several bearded dragons together, you must be experiencing several fights among them. Moreover, you will notice them fighting when you put them together for a short period for mating. So, the owners often get confused about what to do to stop fighting.

Hence, I have shared some tips for you. Let’s see what to do if your bearded dragons are fighting.

  1. You should keep a barrier between the bearded dragons immediately. It will keep them away from fighting until you bring other tanks for them.
  2. Besides, you can cover any one of the bearded dragons immediately. It will help you stop the fighting.
  3. The most urgent work is to separate them away. Hence, keep the bearded dragons in separate tanks to avoid and stop fighting.
  4. You may not know that bearded dragons are pretty sensitive to sounds. So, you can make vibrations or noises. For example- loud music, yelling, raising the volume of the television, etc.
  5. After separating the bearded dragons, you can give them a warm bath. It will make them calm.
bearded dragon puffing up its neck
Owner: Paul Symonds

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the signs of female bearded dragon wanting to mate?

If the female bearded dragon makes a subtle head bobbing motion, it will be a sign of the willingness of mating.

Some other mating behavior of reciprocal female bearded dragons are-

1. Waving her arms

2. Head bobbing back

3. Not trying to escape

4. Tolerate the bites

5. Intertwining their tails

6. Might refuse to eat

What is the bearded dragon mating season?

The mating season for bearded dragons in the wild typically occurs during the warmer months, or any time during the spring or summer.

Why do bearded dragons wave their arm?

Bearded dragons may wave their arms for various reasons. Arm waving is a form of communication and may indicate submission or acknowledgment of another being’s presence, such as a human or another bearded dragon.

It may also be a sign of stress or a way to demonstrate mating behavior. Other possible reasons for arm waving include feeling threatened or scared, feeling territorial, or simply as a way to regulate body temperature.

Final Words

It becomes hard for a new owner to realize whether your beardie is fighting or mating. Also, if somebody mistakes assuming the fighting as mating, the weaker bearded dragon will fall into great trouble. Hence, you need to know the exact signs.

I hope this article has made these distinguishable signs of fighting and mating clear to you.

Muntaseer Rahman

About Author

Hello, I’m Muntaseer Rahman, the owner of I’m passionate about aquarium pets like shrimps, snails, crabs, and crayfish. I’ve created this website to share my expertise and help you provide better care for these amazing pets.


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