Do Bearded Dragons Have Good Memory

Do Bearded Dragons Have Good Memory?

Research has shown that these animals have surprisingly good memories, with the ability to recognize their owners, remember their surroundings, and even recall traumatic experiences.

This article will explore the intriguing topic of the memory and cognitive abilities of bearded dragons, and discuss how their memory is similar to other animals and reptiles.

How Bearded Dragons Remember

Bearded Dragon
Credit: Luke Sherren

Bearded dragons remember through a combination of Habituation, Classical Conditioning, and Visual Recognition. Habituation is the process of becoming used to a particular stimulus over time, and this is seen when bearded dragons become accustomed to their environment and stop responding to stimuli in it.

Classical conditioning is the process of learning to associate one stimulus with another, and this can help bearded dragons learn to recognize certain foods or people.

Lastly, visual recognition is the ability to recognize and remember certain objects or people, and this is especially important for bearded dragons to recognize their food and predators.


Having established the building blocks of how bearded dragons recognize, remember, and learn from their environments, it is important to further discuss how these lizards habituate.

Habituation is the process of learning not to respond to a stimulus after repeated exposures. In other words, it is the process of becoming used to something. To better understand this concept, here are three distinct sub-lists of how bearded dragons habituate:

  • In terms of sound, bearded dragons can habituate to noises they are exposed to on a regular basis. This can include the sound of their owner’s voice or the sound of the television, both of which they quickly learn to distinguish and ignore.
  • In terms of movement, bearded dragons can habituate to repetitive motions. This can include the motion of a person walking in and out of the room, or the motion of the bearded dragon’s own reflection in a mirror.
  • In terms of environment, bearded dragons can habituate to the overall setting of their home. This can include the decoration, furniture, and other elements that remain relatively consistent.

Ultimately, habituation is an integral part of how bearded dragons remember and learn from their environment.

It allows them to become adjusted to their surroundings and helps them to better recognize and differentiate between the various stimuli they encounter daily.

With the process of habituation, bearded dragons can become comfortable and acclimated to the different elements in their environment.

Classical Conditioning

Building upon the previous section, classical conditioning is another way that bearded dragons remember.

This type of learning is a form of associative learning first introduced by Ivan Pavlov in the early 1900s. In classical conditioning, an animal learns to associate one stimulus with another.

  • In the case of a bearded dragon, this could mean associating a food reward with a particular sound, sight, or touch.
  • For example, a bearded dragon can learn to associate a bell sound with food, and salivate once the bell is rung.
  • In order to properly learn associations, the bearded dragon must be exposed to the bell and food multiple times in a row.

Classical conditioning could be used to help a bearded dragon learn certain behaviors, depending on the reward or stimulus associated with them.

For example, if a bearded dragon is given a food reward every time they are touched in a certain way, they may learn to associate this touch with a reward, making them more likely to experience positive emotions when that touch is repeated.

Classical conditioning could be used to help keep a bearded dragon calm in a stressful situation: if they are exposed to a certain sound or smell every time they are in a potentially stressful environment, they may associate the sound or smell with safety, reducing their anxiety.

Visual Recognition

Despite the common misconception that bearded dragons are solitary animals, they are actually highly perceptive creatures with the ability to recognize and remember their owners. One of the ways in which they recognize and remember is through visual recognition.

Bearded dragons can easily recognize their owners through visual cues alone, such as the shape, size, and color of their owners’ clothes.

They can also recognize familiar objects and locations, such as their terrarium, and will often show signs of excitement when they see these familiar sights. Here are some of the specifics of how bearded dragons remember through visual recognition:

  • Bearded dragons are able to remember visual cues for up to seven months after a single exposure.
  • They can recognize their owners from up to 50 feet away.
  • Bearded dragons use multi-modal recognition, meaning they are able to recognize visual cues, such as shape and color, in combination with other cues, such as sound and smell.
  • They are also able to associate visual cues with positive or negative outcomes, such as being fed or scolded.
  • Bearded dragons are capable of discriminating between similar items, such as different colors and shapes.
  • Visual recognition in bearded dragons is not limited to humans; they can also recognize and remember other reptiles and animals.

Bearded dragons have the remarkable ability to remember visually. This can provide them with a sense of security and can help them form strong bonds with their owners. It can also provide an interesting and interactive experience for both the bearded dragon and its owner.

Bearded Dragon Memory vs Other Reptiles Memory

小紅鬆獅蜥(Bearded Dragon)
Credit: Ultima_Bruce

In comparison to other reptiles, it is clear that the Bearded Dragon has a unique memory system. Specifically, they have strong memory retention, which allows them to remember events and experiences for extended periods of time. Moreover, their short-term memory capabilities are also noteworthy, as they are able to quickly learn and store new information.

Bearded Dragon Memory

Drawing from the previous section’s discussion on the memory retention abilities of bearded dragons, it is apparent that they possess a formidable memory. Bearded dragon memory shines in comparison to other reptiles, as they are able to recall past experiences and apply them to present behaviors.

BehaviorBearded DragonOther Reptiles
Retention of MemoryHighLow
Short-Term MemoryHighLow
Long-Term MemoryHighModerate

Compared to other reptiles, bearded dragons have an impressive memory, particularly when it comes to short-term memory. Bearded dragons are able to remember and recall experiences from the preceding days, months, and even years.

While other reptiles may remember an event that happened the same day, bearded dragons can remember experiences from a much longer time frame. This allows them to recall experiences from the past and apply them to their current behaviors.

For example, bearded dragons can remember the location of food sources and even recognize certain people that they interact with frequently. Additionally, their ability to remember and recognize certain sounds and noises is remarkable.

This can be seen in how bearded dragons react to their owners’ voices, as they often become excited when they hear them speaking. Furthermore, bearded dragons can remember certain commands that have been taught to them, such as “sit” or “stay”.

In comparison to other reptiles, bearded dragons have an impressive ability to remember and recognize sounds, people, and even commands. As a result, their memory is an important aspect of their behavior and personality.

Memory Retention

Having discussed how bearded dragons remember, the next pertinent question is how their memory retention compares to that of other reptiles.

Memory retention is a measure of how long memories are stored in the brain, and can help us understand how well a reptile can recall and make use of the information it has stored. Below is an exploration of how memory retention works in bearded dragons and other reptiles.

It is also important to note that different reptiles have different memory retention capacities. For example, bearded dragons may have longer short-term memory retention than other reptile species. The table below compares the memory retention capabilities of bearded dragons and other reptiles:

Reptile TypeShort-Term Memory Retention (minutes)
Bearded Dragon60-90

Bearded dragons have longer short-term memory retention than many other common reptile species.

This is likely due to their complex social behaviors and the need to remember the faces of other dragons, as well as the environment they inhabit. They can also remember simple behaviors, such as how to open doors or avoid predators.

Other reptiles, such as iguanas and crocodiles, have shorter memory retention. This is likely because they do not need to recall complex information or behaviors in order to survive in their environments. Instead, they rely on instinctual behaviors such as recognizing food or sensing danger.

In conclusion, bearded dragons have longer memory retention than many other reptile species, allowing them to remember more complex information and behaviors. They are able to recall this information for longer periods of time, allowing them to make use of it more effectively.

Short-Term Memory

Short-term memory is an integral part of the memory retention of a bearded dragon. This type of memory aids in the dragon’s ability to recognize its environment and remember obstacles or other objects they may encounter.

To better understand a bearded dragon’s short-term memory, let’s take a look at the following 3-column and 3-row HTML table.

Memory DescriptionTime RangeExample
Short-Term MemoryUp to 30 secondsRecognizing a food that they’ve seen before
Working MemoryUp to 15 minutesRemembering the route to a food source
Long-Term MemoryLonger than 15 minutesRecognizing their mate or recognizing their territory

Short-term memory is the first step in a bearded dragon’s memory retention, allowing them to remember things for up to 30 seconds.

Examples of this may include recognizing a food that they’ve seen before, or recognizing their mate. Additionally, bearded dragons are able to remember things for up to 15 minutes, a process known as working memory.

Examples of this may include remembering the route to a food source, or remembering a particular object or obstacle. Long-term memory, which is retained for longer than 15 minutes, is used to remember things such as recognizing a mate or recognizing their territory.

To expand on short-term memory, bearded dragons use nested bullet point lists such as the one below, to remember different concepts:

  • Recognizing a food that they’ve seen before
  • Recognizing their mate
  • Recognizing their territory
  • Remembering the route to a food source
    • Different obstacles along the way
    • Different locations and landmarks
    • Different paths

These memory retention techniques are what allow bearded dragons to survive in the wild and ensure their continued survival as a species. Through their ability to remember even the most minute details, bearded dragons have evolved to become the expert navigators they are today.

Ways to Help Your Bearded Dragon Remember

Positive reinforcement is a great way to encourage your bearded dragon to remember new behaviors; try rewarding them with a treat after a successful trial. To keep your reptile interested, provide a variety of foods to choose from. Finally, to help your bearded dragon truly remember, make sure to repeat the behavior multiple times.

Positive Reinforcement

When it comes to helping your beloved bearded dragon remember, positive reinforcement is key.

Watching your pet react to the rewards you give them can be a heartwarming experience, and it can also be highly effective in improving their memory. Here are a few ways you can utilize positive reinforcement to help your bearded dragon remember:

  • Verbal rewards: Praising your bearded dragons when they perform a desired behavior is a great way to show them that their behavior is appreciated. For example, if they respond to a command, you can give them a verbal reward such as “Good job!” or “Well done!”
  • Physical rewards: Physical rewards such as treats or favorite toys can also be used to reward good behavior. Treats such as crickets or mealworms are great for this purpose, as they provide a tasty reward that your bearded dragon will find irresistible. To really reinforce the behavior, try giving them the same treat each time.
  • Playtime rewards: Spending time with your pet is a great way to build trust and bond with them. When you spend time with your bearded dragon, you can reward them with a special activity or toy that you know they enjoy. This is a great way to show your appreciation for their good behavior and help them remember what they did right.

By reinforcing your bearded dragon’s good behavior with these positive rewards, you can help them remember and encourage them to repeat the desired behaviors in the future.

Variety of Foods

While memory and learning capabilities vary across different species of reptiles, there are many ways to help your bearded dragon remember. One of the most important methods is to provide a variety of foods.

Studies have shown that reptiles are much more likely to remember when they are presented with a wide array of snacks. This is why it is important to include different types of food in your bearded dragon’s diet.

  • Fruits:
    • Mangoes
    • Cantaloupe
    • Bananas
  • Vegetables:
    • Kale
    • Bell peppers
    • Carrots
  • Insects:
    • Crickets
    • Waxworms
    • Mealworms

For example, bearded dragons can eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and insects. Fruits can include mangos, cantaloupe, and bananas. Vegetables such as kale, bell peppers, and carrots are a great addition to their diet.

Additionally, crickets, waxworms, and mealworms can be offered as protein-rich snacks. By providing different food types, you can help increase your bearded dragon’s memory retention.


Now that we have established the importance of repetition for a bearded dragon’s memory, let’s discuss the best ways to incorporate it into their lives.

Repetition can be used in many ways, such as through positive reinforcement, variety of foods, and more. Here are some of the best methods for utilizing repetition for a bearded dragon:

  • Positive Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement helps to build trust between a bearded dragon and their owner. To ensure that your bearded dragon remembers the behavior that you are encouraging, it is important to be consistent and use the same rewards and reinforcement techniques.
  • Variety of Foods:
    • Providing variety of foods and treats can help your bearded dragon remember what they have eaten in the past.
    • Just like with positive reinforcement, consistency is key when it comes to providing a variety of foods. Make sure to introduce new foods slowly and gradually to ensure that your bearded dragon has a chance to remember them.
  • Repetition: Lastly, repetition is an essential part of teaching your bearded dragon. Be sure to give your bearded dragon enough time to process and remember new information.

By incorporating these methods into your bearded dragon’s life, you can help them remember important information and behaviors. With repetition, patience, and consistency, you can help ensure that your bearded dragon has a great memory.

Do Bearded Dragons Recognize Their Owners?

Now that we have looked into ways to help your bearded dragon remember, it is time to answer a rather interesting question: Do bearded dragons recognize their owners?

The answer is yes, bearded dragons can recognize their owners. These lizards have the ability to remember their owner’s scent and voice, as well as their facial features. When bearded dragon is comfortable and familiar with their owner, they will become more relaxed when they are around them.

It is possible to build a strong bond with your bearded dragon as they can become quite attached to their owners. Bearded dragons can even recognize their owners’ emotions.

They tend to respond positively when their owners are happy and they may even become more active and responsive when their owners are around. If you interact with your bearded dragon regularly, you may even notice that they become excited when they see you, and may even start to run towards you.

It is important to remember that building a bond with your bearded dragon takes time, patience, and consistency. You should make sure that you interact with your bearded dragon on a daily basis, and give them plenty of time to relax. This will help your bearded dragon learn to trust and become familiar with you.

Overall, bearded dragons are capable of recognizing their owners, and it is possible to form a strong bond with them. If you are willing to invest time and patience into your bearded dragon, you will be rewarded with a loyal and loving pet.

Do Bearded Dragons Remember Food?

When it comes to memory, bearded dragons exhibit a remarkable ability to remember food. It is not uncommon for a bearded dragon to recognize their caretaker when it is time to be fed.

They may become excited or even vocalize when they see their owner. Some owners have even reported that their pet has come to recognize the sound of a can opener or other food preparation noise.

Bearded dragons are capable of learning and storing memories, and they can be trained to respond to certain verbal commands or hand signals. This makes them quite docile and receptive to their owners.

They can be trained to do simple tasks, such as returning to a certain point in their enclosure when given a signal. They can also be taught to recognize their names and respond to it.

Bearded dragons are able to remember food smells, making them even more adept at recognizing their owners. It has been observed that they will often recognize the scent of food that they have had in the past.

For example, if a bearded dragon has been fed a live cricket before, it will likely recognize the scent of cricket when it is presented with one. This makes it easy for owners to provide their bearded dragons with familiar food items.

Do Bearded Dragons Remember Traumatic Experiences?

While it may be tempting to assume that bearded dragons remember food, an even more fascinating question is whether or not they can remember traumatic experiences. Bearded dragons are incredibly intelligent animals, and research has suggested that they can remember traumatic experiences.

Bearded dragon memory has been studied in a variety of ways. For instance, one study found that bearded dragons could recall a traumatic experience after being exposed to a mild electric shock.

After twenty-four hours, the same bearded dragons were able to remember the experience and were reluctant to enter the same area again. This indicates that bearded dragons have the ability to remember traumatic experiences.

In addition, research has shown that bearded dragons are able to remember certain people and places. This suggests that bearded dragons have the capacity to build up a memory of their environment and the people they come into contact with.

This could also include memories of traumatic experiences, such as a negative interaction with a human or a predator in the wild.

It is clear that bearded dragons have the capacity to remember traumatic experiences. This is an important factor to consider when caring for a bearded dragon, as it means that they are capable of feeling trauma in a similar way to humans.

Understanding this will help ensure that bearded dragons are kept in a safe and comfortable environment, free from any negative experiences.

Do Bearded Dragons Remember Their Surroundings?

It is clear that bearded dragons can experience and remember traumatic experiences, but what about their ability to remember their surroundings?

To answer this question, research has been conducted to determine whether these lizards have an aptitude for spatial memory. Spatial memory is a type of memory that involves the ability to remember one’s environment or the locations of objects within it.

Studies have found that bearded dragons do indeed possess the ability to remember their surroundings. In a 2019 study, scientists observed bearded dragons navigating a 3D maze.

In two separate trials, the lizards were able to remember the location of a reward, which indicated that they possess a form of spatial memory. This was further supported by a later study in 2020, which found that bearded dragons had a better recall of a second object if it was placed in the same location as the first.

Importantly, this research suggests that bearded dragons may be able to learn and remember their environment. This may be beneficial for their survival, as it could allow them to remember the location of food or predators.

It could also mean that bearded dragons have an innate ability to find their way back to their home or territory if they become lost. All in all, this research demonstrates that bearded dragons possess a remarkable level of cognitive ability.


In conclusion, bearded dragons do have good memories and can recognize their owners, food, and their surroundings. It is important to create a safe and friendly environment for them so that they don’t experience any traumatic events or experiences.

Bearded dragons are capable of remembering things better than other reptiles, so it is important to provide them with a stimulating environment and plenty of opportunities to learn and remember.

By providing a positive and enriching environment for your bearded dragon, you can help your pet remember information and build a strong bond with them.