On Bearded Dragons and Cohabitation

On Bearded Dragons and Cohabitation

Bearded Dragons are solitary by nature. They can even be aggressively territorial when housed with their own kind. They don't get lonely, or have any need for a bearded dragon companion of the same gender. In some cases, even the opposite gender will stress them out. Not being able to settle in their own tank will lead to constant stress, negatively affecting their overall well-being.


Surprisingly, when it comes to humans, beardies don't seem to mind us. That's why they're such popular reptile pets!

Due to their popularity, there are many bearded dragons needing homes. That's why uneducated sources often promote them to be purchased or adopted as pairs. This really should not be the case - unless you have separate tanks.

Submission and Dominance

Dragons that are housed together are going to either submit or dominate the other dragon, which leads to stress for both dragons.

Professional Cohabitation

Big box pet stores do keep dragons together, but it's meant to be temporary for the short time that they reside in the store. Even then, injury and death still occur due to co-housing.

Pet store dragons can be a devastating example of what can go wrong - missing toes, limbs, tails, and even death.

Although pet stores mean well, they'll often try and sell dragons together. Not all employees are well versed in why it's a bad idea.

Breeders need to house dragons together in order to get them to mate and produce young, but this act can often be rough on them. They're not very gentle, and they'll often be separated after the act has taken place to allow the female to lay eggs comfortably without the male trying to constantly mate with her. Males can even mate females to death.

Social Groups in the Wild

While it's true that bearded dragons live in loosely-formed social groups, it's important to note that their territory is much larger than we're able to provide in captivity.

Wild bearded dragons have ample space and hiding places to escape their dominant counterparts when things get heated. Even the largest of terrariums don't afford our captive companions the same opportunity for respite.

Closing Thoughts

While there are exceptions to any rule, the safest practice when caring for bearded dragons in captivity is to house them individually.

There are many beardie owners that claim to "successfully" co-house their dragons, but how are they measuring their success? Reptiles are notoriously skilled at hiding their stress and discomfort.

Ask yourself: how would my bearded dragon benefit from having a cage-mate? 

More often than not, housing more than one bearded dragon together is a tactic for making things better and easier for the human - not the lizard.

If you want more than one dragon, just give them their own enclosures. Our beloved pets deserve all of the space and amenities we can offer them, without forcing them to share it with potentially unwanted competition.

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