Bearded Dragon Waving. What Is It and What Does It Mean?
You have seen it in videos, memes, and all forms of social media. It is something that bearded dragons are known for. The video of a bearded dragon waving is one of the many things unique to beardies that make it such a great pet. With the exceptions of snuggles of course. Learn what waving means. What the common misconceptions with bearded dragon waving and more.
What Does It Look Like?
Bearded dragon waving is normal. If you don’t know what a bearded dragon waving looks like we got you covered. Instead of describing what it looks like here is a video of bearded dragons waving. Their waving is a bit robotic compared to people waving but that is what makes it all the more cuter.
What Does It Mean?
Now that we know what it looks like let’s dig into what it means. There are a few meanings for bearded dragon waving.
First, a bearded dragon waving is a sign of submission. This is like dogs exposing their bellies. Waving shows that your bearded dragon is surrendering. They are letting others know that they are alpha. Bearded dragons waves to many things. Here are some of the things they wave to.
Other Bearded Dragons
The wave to other dragons. This is helpful because it prevents altercations and injury. Bearded dragons don’t even have to be close to wave to each other. They have to see the other bearded dragon. The other bearded dragon can even be in another tank across the room. Seeing another dragon can cause stress. If you have more than one bearded dragon make sure that they can’t see each other. The best way to do this is to put your other bearded dragon in another room. If you have to put them in the same room you should stack the tanks so they don’t see each other like the one below. NEVER put more than 1 bearded dragon in the same tank.
Other pets can look intimidating to your bearded dragon. As a result, your bearded dragon would try to submit to your pets by waving to them. Many pets find bearded dragons interesting and love the warmth of their tanks. Don’t be surprised when your bearded dragon waves to them when they are near.
Bearded dragons wave at their owners. It is a sign that you are in charge and the boss.
Beardies can mistake their reflection for another bearded dragon. As a result, they will wave to their reflection to show submission. This could also result in glass surfing. Glass surfing can result in undue stress and injury to your bearded dragon. Below is a video of glass surfing so you can see the difference between that and a bearded dragon waving.
If you see your bearded dragon glass surfing the first thing you should do is check your habitat. Make sure the lighting and temperatures are at the right levels. Check out our bearded dragon beginners guide if you don’t know what the optimal levels are. If those check out then cover the sides of the tank with terrarium backgrounds. Check out the tanks below for ideas on how to cover the sides.
Other Objects like Toys
Large toys and other objects can intimidate bearded dragons as well. If you noticed that a certain toy or large item in your house is causing your bearded dragon to wave, move it away.
The second reason for a bearded dragon wave is during mating season. When a female sees a male that they are interested in mating with they will wave to the male. Waving signals to the male there is interest. Males in response usually head bob and have a black beard in response. See the video below of the bearded dragon mating dance in action.
Myths about Bearded Dragon Waving
Now that we have discussed all the reasons for a bearded dragon waving let’s discuss some myths.
First, even though we call it waving, your bearded dragon is not greeting you. It does feel nice to think that your bearded dragon is so happy to see you. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Second, they are not trying to mimic you waving at them. Waving is not a trick you teach your beardie like having your dog shake hands.
Third, they are not stretching. The motion is slow. It seems like they are rotating their arms to loosen some tight muscles but this is not true. Bearded dragons do stretch their beards though, especially when they shed. It is called bearded puffing.
Next, they are not showing you affection when they wave. Bearded dragons are very affectionate. They are one of the few reptiles to cuddle and snuggle but waving is not an act of love for them.
Only Females Wave
Females do arm wave during mating season but that is not the only reason bearded dragons wave. Males wave as well. They wave to show submission to other bearded dragons and animals.
All Bearded Dragons Wave
Finally, not all bearded dragons wave. Don’t worry, there are plenty of videos out there watch. But always keep an eye out, you never know when your beardie will surprise you.
When You Should Be Concerned
As mentioned, waving is normal. There is only one time that waving should concern you. If it is accompanied by glass surfing. This is a sign that your bearded dragon is stressed and trying to escape. Recheck your temperatures and lighting, these are usually the main reason. Check around the tank to see if anything might be mistaken for a predator. Remove each object one by one until you see the glass surfing stop. If your bearded dragon continues to glass surf take them to a vet to have them examined.
We have covered all the reasons why a bearded dragon is waving. You also explored all the misconceptions of the arm wave. We talk about the only time you should be concerned when your beardie is waving. Hopefully, we answered all your questions. If you want to read more about bearded dragons check out our other related articles.