Bearded dragons are ideal pets for any reptile lover, but are they the kind of lizard you can let loose from its tank every once in a while?
Bearded dragons can be walked on a leash if they are trained to do so and if they are willing. Not all bearded dragons possess the proper personality for leash training so assessing your bearded dragon’s willingness is important.
In this article, we will review the basics of leash training your bearded dragon, whether leashes are good for bearded dragons, and how to tell if your bearded dragon will accept leash training.
Stick around and soon you’ll be taking your lovable lizards on leisurely walks through the neighborhood.
Are Leashes and Harnesses Bad for Bearded Dragons?
Leashes are not bad for bearded dragons provided you use a proper leash and harness, and your dragon is willing to train with it.
The harness should fit around the front legs and torso of your pet – not just its neck which could cause harm or be easily escaped from.
You should also be sure to only leash train your bearded dragon once they’ve reached a minimum length of fifteen inches. If you try to train a smaller animal, it could be easily hurt.
A bearded dragon is not a dog, never pull on a leash as you could choke or seriously hurt your beardies neck.
How Do I Train My Bearded Dragon to Walk on a Leash?
Leash training a bearded dragon takes time and patience.
- The first step is to allow your pet to become comfortable with wearing a harness. Put your lizard in its harness and let it roam around its tank so that it can get used to the feeling in a familiar environment.
- Slowly introduce your bearded dragon to the outside world. Choose a place that is quiet and especially devoid of birds as your lizard’s natural instinct will be to hide from these reptilian predators.
- Let your pet sit in your lap and take in its new surroundings from a place of familiarity. Allow your lizard to explore in its own time and comfort.
- Only spend about five to ten minutes outside to begin with, so as not to overwhelm your bearded lizard.
- After a few days of adjusting to the outside world, you can try to walk with your pet.
- Go slowly and gently redirect your bearded dragon if it wanders in a direction it shouldn’t. If at any point during this training your lizard shows signs of stress, return it to its tank so that it can regain its composure and try again the next day.
Check out these awesome bearded dragon harnesses and leashes over at Amazon.
Can I Walk My Bearded Dragon Outside Without a Leash?
It is never a good idea to walk your bearded dragon outside without a leash nor leave it alone even if you secure the leash to a post.
There are too many dangers that may pose a serious threat to your lizard if you are not present to protect it. Birds of prey such as hawks and seagulls are likely to make a quick meal of an unleashed bearded dragon.
There are also many plants that may be poisonous to your lizard that it may try to consume if it wanders away from you.
No matter how disciplined your bearded dragon may be, the lizard’s natural instinct will kick if threatened and it will run and hide in places you may not be able to reach or find.
Always keep your bearded dragon on its leash and stay with it when you are outside.
How Do I Know If My Bearded Dragon Can Be Leash Trained?
The simple answer: you never know until you try. Have patience with your bearded dragon and follow the steps above at a leisurely pace.
The best candidates for leash training are bearded dragons that enjoy being handled, are friendly and are not easily stressed.
If you push too hard, too fast they may reject it altogether.
Most bearded dragons are easygoing enough to eventually accept wearing a harness even if they may not like it at first.
In fact, a lot of times, bearded dragons begin to associate the harness with going outside which means soaking in some fabulously warm sun rays which is the pinnacle experience of your lizard’s life.
If you find though that your pet is fighting you every step of the way and constantly stressing even after multiple attempts, it may not be the best candidate to take on walks.
Bearded dragons don’t have to be strictly indoor pets; you can train your lizard to take walks on a leash outdoors.
Two of the most important things to keep in mind when attempting to walk your bearded dragon is to have lots of patience and take it slow, and to never let your bearded dragon roam free without a leash and harness outside.
Taking a stroll up and down your driveway will allow your bearded dragon some much-appreciated sun time and can offer a much-needed change of scenery from its tank.