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Hello :)

I recently got a male bearded dragon from a lady who could no longer keep him due to being pregnant. She says he's 3 years old and has always been friendly, never known to be aggressive. He came with a tank and all of the things that I needed for him...although, on the first night I cleaned out his tank and it was very dirty and seemed as though it hadn't been seen to in a while which worried me.

For the first few days he was very friendly, very tame and lovely to be with. He would hand feed, chill out on your shoulders, lap, arms etc and be completely fine. However, after a few days he began to hiss whenever someone would put their hand in his tank, to clean it or handle him...his beard would go black instantly and he would flare and puff his body out. At first it would just be the hissing but after a day or so he would start going to bite.

I've spoken to a few people I know personally who have bred and kept dragons who say it's because he wants to breed and obviously with the stress of being moved I'm thinking maybe that has something to do with it, too...However, I was wondering if anyone had any other ideas what it could be and what I should be looking out for if it isn't breeding/stress and what I can be doing in general just to make sure he's happy.

I've done my research on Bearded Dragons but it's always good to have other people's opinions and suggestions from their own experiences...

Thank you :)
 

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It takes a lot to get a Beardie to the point it will actually bite.
They're known to occationaly get over excited taking insects and catch a finger maybe, but actually attacking is rare.

It would have to be feeling severely threatened and backed into a corner (which is a viv is really).
The best thing you can do is leave him alone, pretty much completely.
Put food in at the end away from him, use insects like morio worms and mealworms that can be put in a worm dish and left and reduce all interaction as much as you can.

Let him get used to the new surroundings and over the stress of that change, then maybe look at introducing handling.

Is there anyone else in the household? Or are you the only person?
I would really suspect someone had mistreated him for that to be an instant reaction like that. He'd have to be really freaked out to be so instantly aggressive.
 
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