Bearded Dragon Glass Surf (7 Reasons to Know) (2023)

Bearded Dragon Crystal Surfis a common topic of conversation among beard owners. Finally, my curiosity was piqued when I saw my kite doing it for the first time.

So I thought it would be helpful to do some meaningful research and create a guide.

Read on and learn all about glass surfing on these amazing reptiles!

Also read:Why is my baby bearded dragon waving??

table of contents

Short Summary

  • Bearded dragon glass surfing refers to when a bearded pet stands on its hind legs, rubs its stomach against the glass of its tank, and uses its paws as if paddling.
  • Glass surfing is often a response to stress that enters a bearded dragon's life. It could be due to the presence of another dragon, hunger, boredom, or many other causes.
  • Preventing glass surfing is a matter of managing the stressful event. Once addressed, the behavior should stop almost immediately.
  • Glass surfing only becomes a serious concern when it is accompanied by other symptoms such as slow movements, loss of appetite or lethargy.

Bearded Dragon Glass Surfing: What Does It Look Like?

Glass surfing is one of the most notable behaviors of bearded dragons. A bearded man stands on his hind legs and rubs his stomach on the glass of the tank.

At the same time, this bearded man will use his legs as if he were rowing. So the term is a pretty accurate description of this strange default behavior.

Here's a video of a bearded pet dragon showing off his glass navigation skills.

Obviously, this action often leaves homeowners wondering why it's happening. I'll go into more about the causes in our next section.

What makes my bearded dragon surf crystal clear?

Bearded Dragon Crystal Surf often stems from the same issue. In most cases, it's a sign of stress caused by something new in their lives.

But the key is to figure out the reason for your bearded man's stress. Therefore, I will cover some situations that can cause a barb to surf and how to fix it.

1. Improper tank conditions

Your bearded dragon spends most of its time in its tank. For this reason, insufficient condition of the tank can cause immeasurable stress.

One of the main culprits would be a tank that is too small. Of course, your beard will respond to smaller bearded dragon tanks by doing its best to find more space.

Crystal surfing is therefore their attempt to find it. So an obvious solution would be to buy a tank with enough space to suit your needs.

Here's an excellent guide detailing how to find the perfect oneTank size for bearded dragons. They will help you find the ideal size for your beard without any problems.

Meanwhile, size isn't the only tank feature that can cause stress. Inadequate lighting or temperature can also wreak havoc on your bearded man's mood.

Therefore, it is important to do everything possible to create the perfect habitat for the aquarium. Trust me; It will make your bearded pet a much happier camper and help prevent glass surfing.

2. Habitat changes

A bearded dragon owner who frequently changes his bearded dragon's habitat is asking for trouble. Unfortunately, these pets do not like environmental changes very much.

I would honestly recommend waiting at least four months before making any further changes. It allows you to adapt to new elements and present a less stressful environment.

Then you should see the surf dance of the bearded dragons much less often. Instead, they will be able to handle the changes without showing much stress.

3. Other Barta Dragons

The presence of another bearded dragon can cause you great stress. You can see them as competition and they are"known to be territorial(1).

This is one of the most common reasons experts advise against keeping multiple dragons in one tank. It would be better to give them separate tanks to thrive in.

(Video) Why YOUR Bearded Dragon REALLY Surf's the Glass? Know the Facts!

But I wouldn't put them close together. Dragons can detect feelings of stress even when they see another bearded man nearby.

4. Reflections

One of the most surprising stressors is your bearded dragon's reflection in the mirror. Our bearded ones won't realize that their reflection isn't another dragon.

So they start fighting with their reflection in the mirror. This process doesn't go well and causes them a lot of stress. Then you can expect them to surf glass like crazy.

Fortunately, there is an easy solution to this problem. Owners only need to cover the sides of their barber's tank.

The reflection will disappear and with it the stress of your bearded man. Some people also like to use background images for the same purpose.

In my case I have a nice background image of an Australian desert. It gives the tank a more natural living environment than some other options.

5. Your beardie doesn't understand how glass works

It sounds ridiculous, but your bearded man won't understand why he can't climb the glass. However, your beard is not like thatintelligentlike other traditional pets like cats or dogs (2).

So they don't have the cognitive awareness to understand that glass cannot be scaled. Therefore, they will keep trying and browsing until it comes to mind.

6. Boredom

I can't imagine how boring it must be to be stuck in a tank all day. But I'm sure my bearded guy does, considering he does it every day of his life.

Unfortunately, this boredom can cause a lot of pent-up energy and stress. Therefore, owners must find time every day to remove them from the tank.

It doesn't have to be long or extensive as a good 10-20 minutes should be enough. You just have to make sure they have an open area to explore during that time.

Your bearded pet will burn off any pent-up energy while moving solidly. Then it will prevent your bearded man from navigating through the glass in the tank.

After all, even a trip abroad in a safe place would not hurt. It provides your beard with excellent natural UVB light and the warmth of the sun.

7. Hunger

Nothing stresses a bearded dragon more than hunger. Dancing on glass or scratching glass is a common way for its owner to show displeasure.

(Video) Why Your Bearded Dragon Is Glass Surfing

But this problem will not be a big problem with a proper schedule. This is a topic covered in more detail in “How long can a bearded dragon go without food?? „

Is glass surfing dangerous for a bearded dragon?

Bearded Dragon Glass Surf (7 Reasons to Know) (1)

Luckily, glass surfing isn't due to any health issues other than stress. Therefore, this glass navigation often reminds its owner of a problem in his tank.

But when other problems are added to this glass surfing, things can get more serious. Therefore, owners should have their beard checked if they exhibit these symptoms while glass surfing:

  • Appetitverlust
  • slow movement
  • lethargy

Honestly, every classic sign of a sick bearded dragon along with glass surfing is alarming (3). So it never hurts to schedule a visit to the vet and get to the bottom of things.

Can the Crystal Surf harm them?

The act of glass surfing is not known to harm a bearded dragon. Of course, the dragon could slip, but that's a bit of an exaggeration.

But you still have to figure out what makes them navigate the glasses and appeal to them. Once you do this, the problem should go away fairly quickly.

In general, glass surfing doesn't become a massive problem if no other symptoms are present. It's often a problem that homeowners can fix without professional help.

Also read:What are some interesting facts about bearded dragons??

frequently asked questions

Do bearded dragons surf for attention?

Bearded dragons surf through glass to get their owner's attention. It could be a method to get more food, to deal with it, or to express your dissatisfaction with the condition of your aquarium.


(Video) Is Your Bearded Dragon Stressed Out? 8 Signs You Should Be Aware Of

On the surface, the bearded dragon crystal surf is quite enchanting to behold. But it's your bearded husband's cry for help for something that's causing him a lot of stress.

Therefore, it is better to find out what is causing the problem and fix it immediately. After that, your bearded man will feel much better and return to a glass burn free life.

Bearded Dragon Glass Surf (7 Reasons to Know) (2)

Is your bearded dragon surfing crystal clear? Let us know in the comments section!


  • 1. Schabacker S. Dragones barbudos [Internet]. National Geographic. 2019. Available at:
  • 2. Intelligence of Bearded Dragons Intelligence of Bearded Dragons Sydney Herndon [Internet]. Available at:
  • 3. Signs Your Bearded Dragon Is Sick | Clermont Animal Hospital [web]. Available at:
Bearded Dragon Glass Surf (7 Reasons to Know) (3)

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My name is Ben Roberts and I love animals. So of course I like to write about them too! As for my pets, I have a pit bull, a beagle/lab mix, a chihuahua, and a senior cat. Each of them offers me a new adventure every day. And the best thing is that they are all best friends. Well, except for the cat when she gets a little mad.
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Why is my bearded dragon constantly glass surfing? ›

Glass surfing is thought to be a result of stress and a bearded dragon may be stressed for several reasons: An enclosure or tank that's too small for it can stress a bearded dragon out. Another bearded dragon, even if they're not housed together, may be interpreted as competition for a bearded dragon and cause stress.

Should I let my bearded dragon glass surf? ›

In general, when bearded dragons are glass surfing there really isn't anything significant to worry about in terms of their potential to injure themselves. However, this behavior does indicate possible increased stress levels which means there might be other suboptimal conditions that could be impacting their health.

Why is my bearded dragon glass surfing with a black beard? ›

Fear or feeling threatened

In the wild, dragons' beards expand and turn black as a defense mechanism. If your dragon is feeling threatened or scared, he may have a black beard. A dragon who is still getting used to her environment may feel scared for a while.

Why is my bearded dragon not eating and glass surfing? ›

Not eating is the number one sign of stress in bearded dragons. Refusing food, lower activity levels, increased aggression, black beards, pacing and glass surfing are all signs of stress. There are many causes of chronic stress: Wrong tank temperature or humidity.

What do bearded dragons love the most? ›

In the wild, Bearded Dragons mainly eat animals, they make up about 75% of their diet and can include crickets, cockroaches, worms and even small creatures such as mice however mice aren't fed to bearded dragons kept as pets. Greens, vegetables and limited fruit make up the other 20% to 25% of their diet.

Why is my bearded dragon waving at me? ›

The most common reason why a bearded dragon waves is as a sign of submission. Where head bobbing displays dominance, and will typically be shown by alpha males or females, waving is a submissive sign usually given by dragons who view themselves in a subservient or beta position.

What should you not put in a bearded dragon tank? ›

Make sure you don't use vinyl or linoleum, which are too slippery for your bearded dragon's claws to gain any traction. The other issue with those materials is they retain a lot of heat and there is nowhere for it to escape in your dragon's tank, so it can burn your dragon.

How many times a week do you have to clean a bearded dragons cage? ›

It's best practice to spot clean your beardie's enclosure daily and to do a full substrate change and disinfect every three months. Any old food left in your dragon's tank should be removed on a daily basis and the same goes for any bowel movements your dragon has had.

How do I know if my bearded dragon is scared? ›

If your bearded dragon is experiencing stress, you may notice any of the following symptoms:
  1. Diarrhea.
  2. Not going to the bathroom.
  3. Not basking.
  4. Loss of appetite.
  5. Not eating at all.
  6. Lethargy.
  7. Sluggishness.
  8. Frenzied activity.
Dec 22, 2021

Why does my bearded dragon jump out of my hand? ›

They're not used to being handled

Don't expect your bearded dragon to be used to being handled right away. At first, practice holding him or her over a bed, only a few inches or so from the surface. Your dragon needs to learn that you will not drop him or her.

How do you calm a stressed bearded dragon? ›

A warm bath (85-92 F) will relax your beardie, as well as giving them a chance to clean and hydrate themselves. Offer food daily. Alongside their normal greens, offer food daily, even if they are disinterested. This will help the beardie to positively associate with you.

Why is my bearded dragon opening his mouth? ›

When a bearded dragon reaches its thermal maximum, it will often sit with its mouth open. This behavior, called gaping, shows that the lizard is at its optimal temperature for basking. This gaping will allow a bearded dragon to dissipate extra body heat.

How do you force hydrate a bearded dragon? ›

  1. Offer water or diluted electrolyte solutions such as sports drinks, Pedialyte or Ricelyte near the reptile's head for easy, convenient drinking.
  2. Use an eyedropper or needle-less syringe to drip water onto the reptile's snout. As the reptile licks the moisture off, continue offering drinks in this way.

What does a dehydrated bearded dragon look like? ›

Signs of Dehydration in Your Bearded Dragon

Wrinkly, dry-looking skin. Loose skin. Sunken eyes. Fatigue.

How long can a bearded dragon go without eating? ›

If your bearded dragon stops eating, don't despair as this doesn't mean they will die. While it mostly depends on the age, health, and weight of your pet, the fully-grown dragon can usually live for three weeks and sometimes up to two months without eating.

Do bearded dragons like to watch you? ›

Beardies are known to enjoy sitting perched up on their owner's shoulders as they go out for walks around town.

Do bearded dragons like to be kissed? ›

Play safely: Don't kiss or snuggle your bearded dragon, and don't eat or drink around it.

How do bearded dragons recognize their owners? ›

Beardies recognize and respond to their owners' voices and touch and are usually even-tempered. They can be great pets for someone who wants a reptile who likes to be held and taken out of his cage.

How do you tell if a bearded dragon is happy or mad? ›

How Do You Know When a Bearded Dragon is Mad?
  1. Biting. This is an obvious sign that your beardie is mad, and it usually occurs when they are not happy with the way you are handling them. ...
  2. Hissing. ...
  3. Bearding (Fluffing Their Beard) ...
  4. Head Bobbing. ...
  5. Gaping (Opening Their Mouth Wide)
Feb 26, 2020

How often do you need to hold a bearded dragon? ›

Bearded dragons usually tolerate handling better than other lizards. Regular handling helps bearded dragons get used to people, so you should handle your beardie daily. Doing so also minimizes stress during regular care, such as bathing or tank cleaning.

What do bearded dragons like in their cage? ›

Large rocks, easy enough to climb on or around, in the cage also allow for basking and provide a more interesting, natural environment. Bearded dragons may enjoy low, horizontal, natural branches to climb on as well. Make sure all branches are secure and won't fall onto the lizard and injure it.

Can you hold a bearded dragon too much? ›

Even the calmest bearded dragon will eventually become stressed out if you handle him for too long. In fact, it is important to understand that bearded dragons probably do not “like” being handled – they simply “tolerate” it. So, it is wise to avoid pushing their limits by keeping handling sessions relatively brief.

Is bearded dragon poop toxic? ›

Bearded dragons can carry Salmonella germs that can spread to you and make you sick. Always take steps to stay healthy around your bearded dragon. Bearded dragons can carry Salmonella germs in their droppings even if they look healthy and clean.

Do bearded dragons need a bath every day? ›

As a general rule, bath time three times a week should be sufficient to keep your dragon clean and hydrated. If your dragon absolutely hates baths, then once a week may be a reasonable goal. If your dragon can't get enough bath time, you may want to do it more frequently, maybe even once a day.

How long should I let my bearded dragon soak in water? ›

Let your beardie soak for about 15 – 20 minutes. Once bath time is over, gently pat your pet dry with a soft sowel. This is very important! If he's still damp when you put him back in his tank, the substrate may stick to him.

How long do bearded dragons go between pooping? ›

Baby bearded dragons that are 3 months old or younger usually poop one to three times a day because their diet is rich in proteins. A young bearded dragon (4 to 18 months old) will have a bowel movement every day or so, while you can expect those older than 18 months to poop 1-7 times a week.

What is toxic to bearded dragons? ›

This includes fireflies, lightning bugs or any worms that can glow in the dark. The chemical responsible for these insects' glow is highly toxic to bearded dragons. Avocados should also be avoided because they're also poisonous to beardies.

What emotions do bearded dragons feel? ›

Bearded dragons have an underdeveloped hypothalamus and doesn't give the same range of emotions as we humans have. They have three basic emotions which are fear, aggression, and pleasure. These three emotions are all triggered by their natural instincts depending on the environment around them.

What does it mean when a bearded dragon goes flat? ›

Bearded dragons will flatten their body in response to various things, including fear, stress, improper body temperature, and illness. This behavior is instinctual and does not cause harm to the dragon in and of itself. Most importantly, this is not a sign of trust but a sign of stress.

Why does my bearded dragon shake when I pick him up? ›

A bearded dragon that is shaking or moving in abnormal, jerky motions is exhibiting another sign of calcium or vitamin D deficiency. Not getting enough of these nutrients can lead to metabolic bone disease.

Why do bearded dragons walk weird? ›

Head or spine injury or neurological problem. There is a chance that your dragon's odd or stunted walking is caused by a trauma or illness affecting the brain or nervous system. This is definitely a situation where you would need a vet to treat your dragon.

What color is a stressed bearded dragon? ›

What Color Is A Stressed Bearded Dragon? Stress marks can appear as dark lines, ovals, or spots on your dragon's skin, or their entire beard may be black even if it is not enlarged. Stress marks may also appear on your dragon's body, including on her belly.

Can bearded dragons cry? ›

Many reptiles do cry, including bearded dragons, but they do this because the flow of tears helps to clean out and protect their eyes, not because they are unhappy.

Do bearded dragons have a third eye? ›

Bearded Dragons have a "third eye" known as the parietal eye, which they use to sense shadows and light changes above them.

Is my bearded dragon too hot? ›

Here's one final piece of advice from Molesey Vets' team – it's not normal or healthy for bearded dragons to sleep all day in the summer as they can miss vital basking time. If your pet has become lazy, lethargic, and isn't eating, this could be a sign of being too hot (or something else).

Do bearded dragon bites hurt? ›

The answer is it's situational, but the worst-case scenario really isn't that painful. Even though these lizards have tiny sharp teeth, it really just feels like a brief pinch or sting. The age of your bearded dragon when it bites you will impact how much their bite hurts too.

How do you read a bearded dragon's body language? ›

The tail curling gesture in bearded dragons signals alertness. Bearded dragons will curl their tails up when excited, chasing prey or running around for other reasons. They will also exhibit the tail curl as a reaction to warmth – when put in hot surroundings or in warm water.

Does bathing a bearded dragon hydrate them? ›

Better Skin Health

But when it's time to shed, dry and rough skin will only make the process more difficult. Regular bathing will keep the skin more hydrated and supple. In times of shedding, a bath can help get rid of stubborn flecks of dead skin. Peeling skin off your beardie is a big no-no!

Can bearded dragons drink tap water? ›

Bearded dragons can drink tap water; however, it is a good idea to use one of the commercially available dechlorinating products to treat the water. There are chloramines and chlorine in the water that you want to remove as well as unwanted minerals present in the water.

Do I spray my bearded dragon with water? ›

It's a smart idea to provide your beardie not only with a shallow and sturdy dish of water, but also with regular mistings. If you mist your lizard's enclosure and vegetables, you might be able to promote increased hydration.

How do you stop glass reflection in a bearded dragon tank? ›

There are a few options to help minimize your bearded dragon from seeing their reflection. These include covering up to 3 sides of the tank with background paper, experimenting with the lighting in and around the terrarium, adding plants and decorations to block/reduce the reflection, or creating distractions.

Why does my bearded dragon keep opening and closing his mouth? ›

It's A Sign of Aggression. Bearded dragons are generally calm and docile lizards. However, if they feel threatened, angry, or afraid, they may open their mouths as part of an aggressive stance. When an animal feels threatened or afraid, it will go into a fight or flight response.

Why does my bearded dragon keep trying to jump off things? ›

They're stressed out

There are a number of factors, but common ones include an enclosure that is too small, improper temperatures, rearranged decorations, and a perceived threat from a reflection or another dragon nearby. Even boredom or lack of stimulation can make your dragon try to climb out of the tank.


1. Bearded Dragon Behaviors! Normal or not?
(Reptilian Garden)
2. Bearded Dragon quick tips PART 1: How to stop bearded dragon from glass surfing
(Garrett Rose)
3. New Bearded Dragon Glass Surfing
4. Bearded Dragon glass surfing
(Nikki Ball)
5. How to get your bearded dragon to stop glass surfing
6. Bearded dragon cage problems demonstrated


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