Beardies enjoy human company. (at least that's what I think)

Beardies enjoy human company. (at least that's what I think)

Postby gsouth » Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:17 pm

Hi Guys.

This isn't a post to ask a question or find out about anything really.
I just wanted to share my thoughts with some people that share my interest.

Before I got a bearded dragon, I did a heck load of research, for a few months beforehand.
I live in a flat while I'm studying, and my girlfriend moved to a new job she couldn't refuse, at the other end of the country.

Naturally, it gets lonely, and that's why I started looking for a pet.

I wanted to get a pet that would enjoy me like I enjoy it and actually want my company, but living in a flat made getting any large mammal (horses, dogs & cats) impossible, and any rodent (Hamsters, Rats & Yorkies) impractical because of their inherent scents. (To the Yorkie aficionados, I'm just joking about the Yorkies, my mother has 2 and their adorable, please don't show up at my front door and make an example out of me, I'm innocent)
Many, many blogs, forums and posts I read mentioned that bearded dragons "tolerate" being handled, probably better than most other reptiles, but when people are asked whether they actually enjoy human company, most people state that they like sitting on your lap or lying on your stomach, but that is probably just because you're warm.
This seemed good enough for me, and along with the "cool" factor, and my love for anything out of the ordinary, I decided that a Beardie would be for me.

I've had my Beardie for about 6 months now, and shes only about 7 months old, but I am really starting to think that the reason she likes sitting with me or lying on me might be more than just my body heat.

Shes started shedding quite frequently now, the first few sheds were spaced about 1 or 2 months apart, but the past 3 times they've been less than 2 weeks apart.
Naturally, as I've also read many times, she becomes very agitated while shedding, and seeing as lately, just after finishing one she starts all over again with the next, the moodiness is a permanent attribute.

She would run around her enclosure, burrow non stop, scratch against the glass, and just never ever sit still for a few moments and just bask or be calm like she used to, and this level of agitation was starting to get to me a little, as her enclosure sits right next to my working desk.
One night while having a conversation with my girlfriend, she suggested I take her out of the enclosure and see if she isn't just looking for a little love and TLC.

I always took her out every night when I was at home but because of her restlessness and moody behavior the past few weeks, and the fact that I have exams to concentrate and study for, I didn't want to struggle with her and not get my studying done.

Anyway, I thought it was a silly Idea, its a lizard, not a mammal with emotions, group bonding dynamics and affection.
But to my surprise, it actually worked, and she actually calmed down, and definitely preferred sitting with me and sleeping under my shirt than being in her enclosure.

Now this can just be because of my body heat and the fact that its dark under my shirt, but I doubt that as the temperatures in her enclosure are perfect, and my body heat is obviously way less, and it also has a dark cave for sleeping in, but I remained slightly skeptical.

So I started doing a little experiment the past week.
I put up a webcam and noticed that not only is she a little more calm the next day if I had handled her the previous, but the is much more agitated with being in her enclosure when I'm home than she is when I'm not.
And as soon as I take her out and put her on my shoulder or under my shirt she would calm right down and even fall asleep.

I now, once again take her out every night, and she just sits and sleeps with me, and her moodiness has drastically improved. And shes just started shedding again yesterday, so its not because of the shedding being over.

I know that the psychological aspects of the behavior that I am perceiving are much more complex than I can wrap my head around, but I truly believe that she is actually enjoying my company and attention and not just my body heat.

I know this is a huge and elaborate story that probably wont mean anything to many people, and if you don't like reading a lot of words that don't say much, you should probably skip this post.
Although I now realize that by the time you read that sentence its already too late... Ag well, that's life.

In any case, I just wanted to share my experience and thoughts.

Continue being helpful guys, and thanx a bunch for making my research very interesting and a lot easier.

PS. we should get some lizard emoticons to add to our posts.
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Re: Beardies enjoy human company. (at least that's what I th

Postby Bushviper » Sat Nov 16, 2013 7:29 am

This is not the first time that I have heard this. It does seem unnatural for a animal which is basically a prey item to want to interact with another larger animal (which could be a predator). Is this not how domestication works? I know some foxes were totally domesticated over a period of only a few years/decades but the rapid breeding cycle of bearded dragons might have speeded up this process.
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Re: Beardies enjoy human company. (at least that's what I th

Postby Durban Keeper » Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:12 am

Gsouth.I adopted my beardy out of a loving family who could no longer keep her. The little girls father told me she (Daisy) craves human interaction. I honestly believe this 100%. She is incredible.  She loves being stroked and petted and just generally being held. My snake room is next to my bedroom. She knows when we are home and will scratch the sliding glass of her inclosure in the morning until I get her out and place her into bed with us. Once there she will snuggle up against myself or my girlfriend and then fall asleep. She eats from my hand and there is no way she has a predatory instinct towards me. I don't care what people say, these animals are capable of seeking out and displaying effection.Dean. 
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Re: Beardies enjoy human company. (at least that's what I th

Postby Rexi » Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:50 pm

I agree. When it gets to about 18:30 my baby scratches against the glass to get out, every day. He runs around on the bed and looks at everything, after a while he runs back to me and snuggles up in my hand and falls asleep. The same thing every day. And I don't dare put him down before he falls asleep. He will just climb back and jump into my hand again and fall asleep.

Even with my parents the other day. My mother came into the room and he sat there looking at her on the edge of the bed. As soon as my dad walked in (my dad breathes hard being a bit overweight), my beardie ran straight from the edge of the bed up to my chest, turned towards my dad and puffed up. My lil warrior protecting me. lol

They truly are amazing pets. They get angry, depressed, happy just like any other animal does. They might not lick us or jump into our laps like a dog, but they do show their emotions in their own unique way.
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