Why is my bearded dragon scratching at the glass?

Why is my bearded dragon scratching at the glass

Bearded dragons are amazing lizards and reptiles with unique behaviors such as head bobbing, waving and doing pushups.

Not all the behaviors of your bearded dragon may indicate that they are happy. At times you may see them scratching at the glass.

The scratching at the glass by the bearded dragon is known as glass surfing, and it is a frantic behavior of them trying to climb the glass tank.

Other people may call this frantic behavior glass dancing. While your bearded friend is scratching at the glass, you may also see them standing on their back legs trying to climb the tank walls, and they continuously slip and fail.

Additionally, you may see your beardie be running up and down in their enclosure while scratching at the glass. When you see your bearded dragon doing this, it could be multiple reasons.


Reasons for your beaded dragon scratching at the glass


There are multiple reasons for your bearded friend scratching at the glass. Here are some of the reasons: –


The enclosure is too small


You may see your bearded friend scratching at the glass of the tank if the enclosure is too small.

Beardies are adorable creatures that like adequate space. You have placed them in the tank, and they have outgrown the space.

The inadequate space within the enclosure may be affecting how they eat or sleep. Should their enclosure be too small, they will get stressed, and you can see them surfing. If you do not provide a larger tank, this can lead to your beardie becoming ill.

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They cannot sufficiently thermoregulate


Bearded dragons must be able to move from basking spots with higher temperatures to others with a relatively lower temperature for them to be able to thermoregulate adequately.

Should the temperature within the enclosure be the same and maintained throughout, your bearded dragon may be forced into scratching at the glass since it is challenging to acquire basking spots with different temperatures.


Something has changed in their habitat


Beardies are beautiful reptiles that love simple surroundings. Additionally, they prefer relatively predictable days.

Therefore, should be there any changes in the tank, you are likely to see them scratching at the glass.

The changes can be new tank decorations or other additions within the enclosure. You can bring changes in their enclosure one at a time, giving them time to adjust.


They see their reflection


Bearded dragons are known to be very territorial in their natural habitat. When they spot another beardie or other creatures in their line of vision, your bearded friend may exhibit frantic and energetic behavior. When they see their reflection within the enclosure, they can be startled or confused. Seeing their reflection may make them scratch at the enclosure’s glass since they may feel threatened or want to interact.


They want to eat


On rare occasions, this may happen. Like other animals such as cats and dogs, your bearded dragon may scratch at the glass when they are hungry, and they are trying to signal you for food.


They are getting ready to lay eggs


If your bearded dragon is female and around 18 months or two years old, you may see them scratching at the enclosure glass or digging when they are getting ready to lay eggs.

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They may be bored and want to spend time with you outside their cage


Being scooped in one place can take a toll on any creature. Your bearded friend may have been bored in staying in the same enclosure for long. They may then want out of the tank or spend time with you leading to them scratching at the glass.


Intimidation from other pet households


You may be having other pets such as cats or dogs that your beardie is not used to being around. When they see other pets, they may start scratching at the glass to express its feeling.


How to Stop Your Bearded Dragon from Scratching the Glass


When you see your bearded friend scratching at the glass, it is an indication that they are stressed, and it may not be an easy task stopping the behavior if you do not know the source of the behavior. You can try to stop the behavior in the following ways: –


  • If you had brought in a new item in your beardies enclosure that is causing them to scratch at the glass, it is advisable that you remove them and return the tank to the way it was. This may entail getting rid of the decoration should it be causing behavioral changes.


  • If you had introduced your bearded friend into the tank when they were a baby, they are a possibility that they may have outgrown the cage, and the space has become small. Therefore, it is advisable that you get them a larger tank. When it is grown, you should keep your bearded friend in at least a 55-gallon tank.


  • If you have brought in a new tank or your bearded friend is new, you should try as much as possible to imitate the previous surroundings as much as possible. The familiarity will make your bearded dragon feel at home and then stop scratching at the glass.
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Can Glass Surfing make Your Bearded Dragon Ill?


Your bearded dragon will only scratch at the glass if there is something wrong with their surroundings causing them to feel unhappy or stressed. There will be no health concerns to your bearded friend if you can find reasons for scratching the glass fast. However, if the scratching continues and you do not find the proper cause in time, your beaded friend may become ill due to stress.




How Do You Calm a Bearded Dragon?


You can calm a bearded dragon by reducing its handling to a minimum for them to feel at ease in their enclosure. Additionally, you can give them a warm and calming bath for hydration. You can also offer them food and speak to them gently and softly to help in getting rid of stress in them.


How do you know if your bearded dragon is happy?


You will know your bearded friend is happy when they do not display any symptoms of aggressiveness but affection. When you approach them, they should not bite, bobble their head, puff out or even hiss at you when they are happy.




Beaded dragons are generally active and adorable reptiles. Providing them with ample and friendly surroundings in their enclosure plays an essential role in keeping them healthy. With the information above, you will easily understand the causes that make your bearded friend scratch at the glass. You also have the ways and means to help stop the scratching at the glass.

Would like to learn more about your pet’s behavior? We answer the question why do bearded dragons hate being upside down.