yellow beardie on a branch

Does a Bearded Dragon Recognize its Owner? [4 Ways]

Bearded dragons are smart creatures and can learn to recognize their owners. They use their sense of sight, smell, sound and touch to do this. They can recognize familiar scents, sights and sounds, as well as the feel of their owners’ hands.

When a bearded dragon is around its owner, it may remain relaxed when picked up, greet them at the glass, lick their hand, or even follow them around. All these behaviors are indications that your bearded dragon knows and recognizes you.

The ability of a bearded dragon to recognize its owner is determined by several factors such as genetics, environment and handling. Therefore, if you have been consistent in interacting with your dragon, they will most likely be able to recognize you.

How Do Bearded Dragons Recognize Their Owners?


Bearded dragons don’t have the best sense of “smell” as we know it. Because they can’t just sniff something as we do, but they are still able to recognize certain scents, particularly those associated with their owners.

Over time, they will become accustomed to their owner’s scent, and this can help them to recognize and trust their handlers. This is an important part of forming a bond with your bearded dragon and is necessary for successful handling.


Sight is another key factor in recognition. Beardies can recognize their owners by sight and will likely become more familiar with a person they see frequently.

It is important to give your beardie time to get used to you and your movements, as well as your facial features. When introducing yourself, move slowly and try not to make any sudden movements that may startle the dragon.

Offer treats and interact with the dragon in a positive way, so that it learns to associate you with pleasant experiences. As time passes, your beardie should be able to recognize you from a distance or even when you are wearing different clothes or accessories.


It is also possible for bearded dragons to recognize their owners through sound. Bearded dragons rely on their ears’ tiny membranes and bones to transmit sound to the brain. This process helps them recognize familiar voices and learn the differences between different people.

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When a bearded dragon hears its owner’s voice, it is likely to respond in an excited way. This could be in the form of arm waving, tail wagging, or even vocalizing. Additionally, a bearded dragon may show more attentiveness when its owner speaks, compared to when other people speak.

Owners should be aware that their bearded dragon can learn their voice and learn to respond to their commands over time.


Touch also plays an important role in bearded dragons recognizing their owners. Bearded dragons like to be touched and will often respond positively to being handled. This can help them to associate their owner with safety and comfort, which can result in a stronger bond between the two. When handled properly, bearded dragons can learn to trust their owners and become very comfortable with them.

Signs That Your Bearded Dragon Recognizes You

There are several signs that a bearded dragon recognizes its owner. One of the most obvious ones is when your bearded dragon remains relaxed when you pick it up. If your bearded dragon is comfortable enough in your presence to stay relaxed, that’s a clear sign that he or she recognizes you.

You may also notice your beardie greeting you at the glass, licking your hand, or even following you around. All of these signs indicate that your pet has bonded with you and is comfortable in your presence.

Remaining Relaxed When Picked Up

A big sign that your bearded dragon likes you is if it remains relaxed when you pick it up. Before building a strong bond with your beardie, you should make sure that it is comfortable with being touched.

Most often, beardies are known for being calm in demeanor, and if your beardie allows you to pick them up without squirming or trying to escape, then this is a positive sign that it recognizes and trusts you.

Beardie gestures are not random; they all have their meanings and they can tell you something about their health, mood, and environment. Signs of stress for a bearded dragon can include the scales on the beard turning pitch black or their eyes becoming wider than usual.

A relaxed and happy bearded dragon will be more at ease and will close their eyes when being petted, a sign of trust. So, if you notice that your beardie is not exhibiting any signs of stress when you pick them up, this is a good indication that they recognize and trust you.

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Greeting You at the Glass

When you come near your pet’s terrarium, your beardie will often wave at you with their front legs in a friendly gesture. This is their way of saying hello and acknowledging your presence, just like a dog would wag its tail. It may take some time for your dragon to get used to you, but once it does, you’ll likely find it waving at you every time you come near.

Licking Your Hand

Bearded dragons may also lick their owners’ hands as a sign of recognition. This behavior is similar to cats and dogs who will often lick their owners to show affection. Bearded dragons that have been regularly handled may start to lick the hands of their owners as a sign of familiarity, which can be an endearing experience.

It is important to remember that licking can also be a sign of dominance in female bearded dragons, so it’s important to observe their behavior when they do this.

Following You Around

This behavior is common in many lizards, especially when they feel comfortable in your presence. When your bearded dragon follows you, it’s a sign that it trusts you enough to stick close. Of course, if your beardie is always following you around, it may just be looking for snacks. Be sure to provide a balanced diet and plenty of exercise to keep your pet healthy and content.

Factors That Determine Bearded Dragon Recognition

Bearded dragons are intelligent reptiles that can recognize and remember their owners, responding positively to loving attention. But what exactly determines how well a beardie will recognize its owner?

Genetics, environment, and handling all play a role in how well a bearded dragon can recognize its owner. Genetics determine how intelligent a beardie is, and how easily it can learn and remember. Environment helps shape the bearded dragon’s behavior and reactions to stimuli, including its owner. Handling helps create a bond between the beardie and its owner by providing positive reinforcement through gentle touches and voice commands.

All of these factors can help bearded dragons recognize their owners more quickly and accurately.


Genetics play a major role in how a bearded dragon recognizes and interacts with its owner. There are eight species of bearded dragons recognized today, each with different genetic traits. These traits can affect the size and color of the dragon, as well as its temperament.

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For example, Silkies are the only dragon morph without a ‘beard’ in the classic sense. They also have wrinkled skin under their heads instead of scales. Genetic traits can also affect how a bearded dragon responds to its owner, so it is important to be aware of these differences when selecting a pet.


Bearded dragons’ recognition of their owners also has to do with environment. Through repeated contact and exposure, beardies learn to recognize their owners’ scent, sight, sound, and touch. With repeated handling and associating those moments with positive reinforcement such as treats, the beardie will learn to recognize its owner and become comfortable with them. This can help the bearded dragon learn to trust its owner and build a bond that can last for years.


Handling is an important factor in determining whether a bearded dragon recognizes its owner. Regular, gentle handling can help a bearded dragon build trust and comfort with their owner.

Doing so can help them become more relaxed when being held or petted. It is important to give the bearded dragon plenty of positive reinforcement during handling sessions, as this can help them recognize their owners more quickly.  Stay consistent with interactions with the bearded dragon, as this will help them understand that they are safe and comfortable in their environment.

Key Points

  • Bearded dragons are incredibly intelligent reptiles, and with time and patience, they can grow to recognize their owners.
  • Some key points to remember when trying to build a bond with your bearded dragon are repetition, consistency, and patience.
  • Make sure to give your beardie plenty of time to get used to you, and don’t be afraid to give them treats or rewards when they show recognition of you.
  • With enough time and effort, you can form a strong bond with your beloved pet!