Do Bearded Dragons Get Jealous

Do Bearded Dragons Get Jealous?

Bearded dragons, a type of reptile found in the wild in Australia, have become increasingly popular as pets in recent years.

Although many people may not consider reptiles to be capable of feeling emotions, recent studies have suggested that this is not the case. In particular, studies have suggested that bearded dragons may even be capable of feeling jealousy.

An understanding of jealousy in bearded dragons is important for providing the best possible care and bonding with these animals. In order to gain a better understanding of the behavior of bearded dragons, it is important to learn about their capacity for emotions and how they may be affected by them.

Therefore, the article “Do Bearded Dragons Get Jealous?” will discuss the scientific evidence surrounding the potential for jealousy in bearded dragons, as well as the implications for their care and bonding.

Evidence Against Jealousy

Angry Central Bearded Dragon (Pogona vitticeps)
Credit: cleardrops

One of the most compelling pieces of evidence against jealousy is the lack of cognitive capacity in certain animals to possess such an emotion. For example, many species lack the ability to conceptually understand the idea of ownership and therefore cannot experience the feeling of jealousy.

Additionally, certain behaviors that could be perceived as jealousy can often be misunderstood, leading to misdiagnosis. On top of that, there are typically no physical displays of aggression associated with jealousy, making it difficult to identify.

Lack of Cognitive Capacity

Transitioning to the next topic of evidence against jealousy, lack of cognitive capacity is an important factor to consider. The notion of jealousy requires higher-level cognitive functioning that is beyond the scope of many lower-level animals.

  • Primates: Primates are highly social animals, yet their cognitive capabilities are limited when compared to humans. A study of captive primates found that jealousy-like behaviors were not observed when a new individual was introduced to the group.
  • Carnivores:
    • Carnivores are known to engage in aggressive behaviors, yet these behaviors do not appear to be motivated by jealousy. Studies of wild wolves and coyotes found that when food was shared, there was no aggression between the animals.
    • Similarly, when a new member was introduced to the family unit, the animals showed no signs of aggression toward the new individual.

The lack of cognitive capacity in these animals suggests that they are not capable of engaging in jealous behaviors.

Misunderstood Behaviors

Yellow Mouth
Credit: Nikhila

Transitioning to the next topic, it is important to understand that jealousy is often misunderstood. In some cases, these behaviors can be misinterpreted or overstated.

Many people falsely believe that jealousy is a sign of strong feelings of love for a person. However, this is not the case as jealousy is actually a sign of insecurity and low self-esteem. To further explain this phenomenon, let’s look at three examples of misunderstood behaviors.

  • The first example of a misunderstood behavior is the need for constant reassurance. This need is driven by a fear of abandonment and insecurity and is often mistaken for a sign of love. The truth is, however, that it only serves to create tension and distrust.
  • Another common misunderstanding is the need to control a person or situation. This can be seen through attempts to manipulate situations or people, as well as through extreme possessiveness. Ultimately, this is a sign of fear and insecurity and should not be mistaken for love.
  • The last example is the need to constantly compare oneself to others. This often manifests as envy or resentment towards those who appear to have something the other does not. Instead of being motivated by love, this behavior is often driven by insecurity and fear of inadequacy.

These behaviors can be easily mistaken for acts of love, but it is important to note that they are actually symptoms of insecurity and low self-esteem. Understanding this can help to prevent misunderstandings and to create more honest and healthy relationships.

Tips for Preventing Jealousy

Providing your bearded dragon with plenty of space and resources is essential to preventing jealousy. It is important to introduce new people and animals to your bearded dragon slowly, so they can become accustomed to their presence.

Finally, it is important to be consistent with your attention when interacting with your pet, to ensure they are not feeling neglected.

Make Sure Your Bearded Dragon Has Plenty of Space and Resources

Having established evidence against jealousy, the next step is to prevent it. An important factor to consider is to make sure your bearded dragon has plenty of space and resources.

This includes providing enough food, water, and comfortable places to rest. Here are some tips to keep in mind when providing space and resources for your bearded dragon:

  • Gather the supplies: Bearded dragons need a variety of materials and supplies to feel comfortable and healthy. This includes a tank, substrate, decorations, food, water, and a heating source.
    • Tank: A tank should be big enough for your bearded dragon to roam around freely and should have a secure lid that prevents escapes.
    • Substrate: Substrate is the material used as a bottom layer for the tank, such as sand, soil, or newspaper. A safe and absorbent substrate is important for your bearded dragon’s health.
  • Provide enrichment: Bearded dragons need stimulation to stay active and healthy, so having toys or decorations in their tank can help. They also need places to climb, explore, and hide, so make sure there are plenty of objects and branches.

Creating a safe and comfortable environment for your bearded dragon will help prevent jealousy and ensure its overall well-being. With enough space and resources, your bearded dragon can stay content and happy.

Introduce New People and Animals Slowly

When it comes to introducing new people or animals into your bearded dragon’s environment, it is essential to take it slow. If done too quickly, it could cause your pet to become overwhelmed and lead to feelings of jealousy or insecurity. To properly introduce a new person or animal, it is best to follow these steps:

  • Start by establishing a friendly relationship from a distance. Allow plenty of time for your bearded dragon to observe the new person or animal before physically interacting.
  • When you feel your pet is comfortable, gradually move closer. Let your bearded dragon set the pace, and keep interactions short and positive.
  • Allow your pet to explore and interact with the new person or animal at its own pace. Be sure to provide plenty of treats and verbal praise when your bearded dragon behaves in a friendly manner.

When introducing a new person or animal to your bearded dragon, patience is key. Doing it too quickly could cause your pet to become anxious or jealous, so take your time and make sure your pet is comfortable before moving closer.

Be Consistent with Your Attention

It is clear that jealousy should be avoided, but it is also important to understand ways to prevent it. Consistency is key when it comes to preventing jealousy. To stay consistent, make sure to:

  • Stick to a schedule and routine
    • Give your bearded dragon attention at the same time each day
    • Feed your bearded dragon at the same time each day
    • Allow your bearded dragon to have regular playtime
  • Provide consistent attention
    • Spend quality time with your bearded dragon each day
    • Play with your bearded dragon or just sit with them in the same spot each day
    • Make sure your affection is given in the same manner each day
  • Be consistent with your discipline
    • Be firm and consistent when setting boundaries
    • Make sure your bearded dragon knows what behavior is expected of them
    • If needed, provide a gentle reminder when they are not following the rules

By being consistent with your attention, your bearded dragon will be less likely to experience jealousy. This will help you create a more harmonious relationship. It is important to remember that consistency is key when it comes to preventing jealousy.

Background on Bearded Dragon Emotions

Bearded dragons are highly intelligent reptiles that can form complex cognitive processes. They have the capacity to understand their environment and respond to it through a range of emotions. In this article, we will explore the range of emotions experienced by bearded dragons and their social interactions.

The Cognitive Capacity of Bearded Dragons

In addition to understanding the emotions and behaviors associated with jealousy, it is also important to understand the cognitive capacity of bearded dragons.

Bearded dragons are highly capable of learning, remembering, and responding to their environment. They are known to recognize familiar people and situations, and can even identify and respond to their own names.

Although bearded dragons lack the complex language skills of humans, they are capable of understanding basic commands and learning to associate certain cues with rewards.

Bearded dragons are also capable of complex problem-solving. In one study, bearded dragons were observed creating a mental map of their environment and using it to plan out a route to a food source.

Additionally, they were found to be able to remember the location of items in multiple locations and were able to distinguish between two different shapes.

Bearded dragons are highly social creatures and form strong bonds with their owners. They recognize and respond to their owners’ faces and voices and show signs of pleasure when in their presence.

Their cognitive capabilities make them highly responsive to training and enrichment, making them ideal pets for those who want to create a deep bond with their pet.

  • The cognitive capacity of bearded dragons includes:
    • Learning
    • Remembering
    • Responding to the environment
    • Problem-solving
  • Bearded dragons are highly social and form strong bonds with their owners, making them highly responsive to training and enrichment.

Range of Emotions Experienced by Bearded Dragons

With all the jealousy prevention tips in mind, let’s take a look at the range of emotions experienced by bearded dragons. While many people assume that reptiles, such as bearded dragons, don’t possess the cognitive capacity to experience emotion, there is in fact evidence of the contrary.

Research has demonstrated that bearded dragons, and other reptiles, have the ability to show both positive and negative emotions. Here is a breakdown of the range of emotions experienced by bearded dragons:

  • Positive Emotions:
    • Happiness: Bearded dragons can show signs of happiness, such as head bobbing or vocalizations.
    • Relaxation: Bearded dragons can also show signs of relaxation, such as closing their eyes or leaning into a hand.
  • Negative Emotions:
    • Anger: Bearded dragons can display signs of anger, such as hissing or puffing up.
    • Anxiety: Bearded dragons can also show signs of anxiety, such as tail twitching or rapid breathing.

It is important to note that these reactions may vary from dragon to dragon and can also depend on the individual’s life experiences. Therefore, it is important to observe each dragon’s behavior and get to know them in order to better assess their feelings.


In conclusion, it is still unclear whether or not bearded dragons can experience jealousy. However, it is possible to take steps to prevent potential jealous behavior, such as providing each dragon with its own territory and offering individual attention.

Regardless, the behavior of these reptiles is still largely a mystery and more research is necessary to uncover the true nature of their emotions. With the proper care and attention, we can continue to enjoy this fascinating species for many years to come.