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Can Bearded Dragons Recognize Their Owners? [& Their Name?]

Bearded Dragons are hugely rewarding pets in many different ways. As an owner, you put so much love and attention into their care that it would be nice to know if they appreciated your efforts and associated you with looking after them. Intrigued, I decided to do some research. I will be sharing all in which I have been able to find here today.

So, can bearded dragons recognize their owners? Bearded dragons can learn to recognize their owners, and do so primarily as a food source. While they are generally docile, they do develop preferences for certain people and are more comfortable and trusting when handled and cared for properly.

Due to their friendly nature, bearded dragons make excellent pets as they are usually very even tempered.

Whilst they can be handled, there are certain guidelines to follow to ensure everyone remains safe.

For instance, the right technique, the right approach and being very stringent on when are all of importance.

Let us now take a closer look at how a bearded dragon can respond to their owners and environment.

We will be taking a look at some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding this topic so be sure to read to the end!

You’ll be surprised at what you’ll learn if you do!

Do Bearded Dragons Get Attached To Their Owners?

For the most part, bearded dragons are solitary reptiles. Instinctively, they are generally used to being alone for extended periods.

This is primarily why it is important that they are housed alone, or at least away from males, as they can be very territorial and aggressive with other males.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that they do not make for a great pet. In fact, quite the opposite:

Bearded Dragons are highly social, friendly, animated, curious, docile and gentle animals that are easy to tame and are very responsive to their owners.

Source: Rick Axelson, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.

But it does take time, and new owners will likely find that their bearded dragon does not take to them right away.

It takes time to build trust, and for a bearded dragon to learn to recognize that you are a their main source of food.

In fact, there are several reports from bearded dragon owners whom notice their beardies preferring, or being more trusting of certain individuals in the house over others:

Bearded Dragon Reddit Thread
Source: Bearded Dragon Subreddit.

So, as we can see, there certainly does appear to be some recognition over time involved.

Nevertheless, its all about security and safety for your bearded dragon.

So, if they see you, or another family member as being able to provide this, they will generally be more receptive to you.

As with most reptiles, patience and consistency is key.

This is why handling is so important when keeping a bearded dragon; it needs to be done correctly and safely. They need to feel supported yet not confined.

You can look to talk to your bearded dragon. In this way, they can get an understanding of what you sound like.

Can Bearded Dragons Recognize Their Name?

Whether or not a bearded dragon can recognize their name is a subject of much debate.

However, it has been observed that a bearded dragon can learn to respond to their name, if they associate it with something that benefits them i.e. food.

That being said, its important that the same tone of voice is used consistently and repetitively over time.

So, if you did want to build this association, you need to begin talking to your bearded dragon each time you look to feed them.

Its also a good idea that your bearded dragon hears you speak at other times, but it is during feeding that you are likely to get a response.

Can Bearded Dragons Smell Their Owners?

Bearded dragons have an interesting sense of smell, and like most reptiles, smell using their tongues and by licking!

This is used as a means of detecting danger, seeking out food, and sampling it before consumption.

They do this through the Jacobsen’s organ – which connected to the mouth.

This is also why, when owning a beardie, you may see them poking their tongues out from time to time.

Chances are they are having a good old ‘sniff’ (or taste) of their environment!

Ensuring it is safe, looking out for food.

Sensitivity to smell means that you may see changes in your bearded dragon’s behavior if they are exposed to strong or unusual smells, for example perfume.

When handling your beardie, you may notice that on occasion they appear to be licking you, too.

This is your bearded dragon making itself familiar with your scent and also probably making sure that you are not something to eat!

It therefore comes advised to avoid wearing aftershave, perfume or strongly scented products. Otherwise, this change in aroma may make your beardie stressed and ingesting it is not good for them either!

Due to the fact that bearded dragons do not have the best sense of smell, they generally need to get quite close for their safety checks.

It is for this reason, that any bearded dragon owner needs to think about regular contact and careful handling. This is how a bearded dragon can get used to you, and learn to trust that you are safe.

Do Bearded Dragons Show Affection?

It is often said that bearded dragons are the only reptiles to show affection. Another reason why they make such rewarding pets!

However, these displays are in more obscure ways, than you may have initially had expected.

For instance, you may observe your bearded dragon closing their eyes and relaxing their entire body in your presence.

This may not sound like much, but take it as a HUGE compliment. This is a clear and visible sign that they feel comfortable, safe and calm in your presence.

You’ll know if a bearded dragon likes you by how much trust they place in.

Licking you is one such way that they will look become familiar with you, and in time, they will likely be a lot more relaxed and docile in your presence.

So, the more time and the better care/handling you have with your beardie, the better your relationship will be with them.

Here are some good tips:

  • Establish a feeding routine by ensuring there are fixed meal and snack times, consistency is key,
  • Handle your beardie carefully and allowing them to explore you by walking over you,
  • Making note of the food that your bearded dragon responds most positively too and treating them with this,


Bearded dragons make amazing pets. Fascinating to watch and rewarding to care for.

In time, with proper care, you should start to notice that your bearded dragon trusts you.

Being that person whom provides food is one sure-fire way to get them to recognize you. Just be consistent, and patient.

Its all about investing time and meeting the needs of your beardie. That is our responsibility as the owner, after all.

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