-up image of a bearded dragon running in circles, its claws skittering and its tail lashing, eyes wide and alert

Top 5 Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Run Around Like Crazy

Bearded dragons, a species of lizard native to Australia, are known for their active and energetic behavior. This includes running around in circles or darting around their enclosure seemingly without purpose. But what is the cause of this behavior?

In this article, five key reasons behind why bearded dragons run around like crazy will be explored to give insight into their nature.

Key Takeaways

  • Bearded dragons may exhibit increased activity due to territorial behavior, aging, breed characteristics, or the requirements of certain breeds.
  • Stress and anxiety can also contribute to increased locomotor activity, and it is important to provide a secure habitat and adequate enrichment activities to minimize stress levels.
  • Lack of stimulation and boredom can lead to increased locomotor activity, and providing an enriched environment with hiding spots, climbing branches, and varied diet options is important for their mental well-being.
  • Exploring their surroundings is essential for the mental and physical health of bearded dragons, as it allows them to observe, investigate, and practice their natural instincts while providing mental and physical stimulation.

Territorial Behavior

Bearded dragons may exhibit territorial behavior, which can result in increased running and other active behaviors. This is often seen during mating rituals or when temperatures change drastically. To protect their territories, they may feel the need to assert dominance by patrolling an area or chasing away intruders.

Bearded dragons also tend to become more active as they age, which can lead to them running around more frequently. Lastly, some breeds of bearded dragon are naturally more energetic than others and require higher levels of activity throughout the day.

Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety can cause increased locomotor activity in lizards. A stressed or anxious lizard will often display changed behavior, such as pacing around the enclosure or running back and forth rapidly. These behaviors serve to relieve the built up tension in a lizard caused by an uncomfortable environment or unknown stimulus.

Overheating, temperature changes, dietary imbalances and external disturbances are all potential causes of stress for bearded dragons. Providing your pet with adequate enrichment activities, along with a secure habitat free from extreme temperatures and frequent disturbances can help to reduce their stress levels and minimize or eliminate this frantic behavior.

Boredom and Stimulation

Lack of stimulation can lead to boredom in lizards, resulting in increased locomotor activity. Bearded dragons need to play, dig, hoard food, bask in the sun, and fast periodically in order to stay mentally and physically healthy.

Without appropriate enrichment activities, they may resort to running around erratically as a way of relieving their boredom. Providing them with an enriched environment consisting of hiding spots, climbing branches, and varied diet options are key elements for a bearded dragon’s mental well-being.

Exploring Their Surroundings

Exploring their surroundings is an important activity for bearded dragons to engage in order to remain mentally and physically healthy. For these reptiles, playtime can double as exercise, allowing them to explore new areas of their habitat and observe different things.

Bearded dragons use this time to investigate their environment, look for food or potential mates, and even practice defensive techniques. This type of behavior provides the opportunity for learning as well as physical stimulation which can help keep them entertained and active.

Natural Instincts

Bearded dragons naturally possess instinctual behaviors that drive them to investigate their environment. These behaviors include:

  • Seeking out sources of heat to regulate body temperature.
  • Foraging for food and water to satisfy dietary needs.
  • Finding shelter from potential predators.
  • Exhibiting territorial behavior by claiming an area as its own.
  • Engaging in courtship rituals.

These instincts are essential for survival and provide freedom in the wild.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Big Do Bearded Dragons Get?

Bearded dragons typically reach a size of 18 to 24 inches in length when fully mature, depending on the species and breeding requirements. Temperature needs are also important for their growth as they require warm temperatures to thrive.

How Often Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon?

Bearded dragons require a combination of exercise and varying temperature requirements. Feeding them once or twice daily is recommended, depending on their age and size. Make sure to provide plenty of opportunities for exercise to maintain their health and well-being.

What Kind of Environment Do Bearded Dragons Need to Be Healthy?

Bearded dragons require a temperature range from 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit and a 12-14 hour light cycle to remain healthy. Temperature regulation and natural lighting are essential for proper growth, digestion, and overall wellbeing.

How Often Should I Handle My Bearded Dragon?

Handling a bearded dragon should be done carefully and with respect. It is important to keep the temperature regulated and ensure adequate light exposure when handling them. Doing so will help the dragon feel secure and comfortable, allowing for more frequent handling sessions.

What Kind of Medical Care Do Bearded Dragons Need?

Bearded dragons require regular medical care to maintain their health. This includes temperature regulation, shedding issues, and other routine check-ups. Proper husbandry and a clean environment are essential for optimal health. Regular vet visits are recommended to help prevent any potential health problems.


Bearded dragons have a natural instinct to explore their environment and they can become stressed or bored. Territorial behavior, stress and anxiety, boredom and stimulation, exploring their surroundings, and natural instincts are all reasons why bearded dragons may run around like crazy.

Understanding the behavior of these reptiles is important in order to keep them healthy and happy. By providing an appropriate environment with plenty of enrichment activities, owners can help promote a calm demeanor in their pet bearded dragon.

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