Why is My Bearded Dragon Scratching at the Glass? 7 Reasons

Bearded Dragons

Why is My Bearded Dragon Scratching at the Glass
05 Jun, 2024

Many bearded dragon owners complain that they have experienced their bearded dragons scratching at tank glass, also called glass surfing or glass dancing. Most owners question why is my bearded dragon scratching at the glass, which is expected behavior in bearded dragons.  

Let us find out why a bearded dragon scratch at a glass.

What is Glass Surfing in Bearded Dragons?

Bearded dragons keep their hind legs on the glass and press their bodies on it. After that, they paddle their legs. It is called glass surfing or glass dancing. Sometimes beardies do this when running up and down the tank because of stress. 

Usually, bearded dragons do this funny dance when they are unhappy or stressed. Due to stress, they try to escape their tank, so they do glass surfing to free themselves from it. 

Therefore, you should always keep an eye on your bearded dragons to see if they are comfortable in the tank. 

7 Reasons Why Your Bearded Dragon is Scratching at the Glass

1:The Enclosure is Small for Them

Bearded dragons love to live in a place where they can feel free. They need a place to move around quickly and keep everything consistent. 

Bearded dragons tend to become stressed when there is a sudden change. Due to this stress, they start glass surfing with their arm and leg flailing or paddling to escape the tank. Therefore, ensure the tank where you put your bearded dragons has enough space.

2: Sudden Change to a New Enclosure

Bearded dragons do not like change in their surrounding. If there is a sudden change, they start a reaction toward it. If you introduce your beardie to a new enclosure, they will begin their glass surfing. These creatures usually have a problem adjusting to new environments or places.

A slight change in their environment can increase stress for your beardie. The simple way to change the enclosure is to take things slowly. 

You can gradually add new objects and change the basking and cooling areas, which will help your beardie adjust and get used to the change. 

3: Feeling Cooped Up

Bearded dragons can start scratching the glass when they feel bored, and they scratch it to come out of it.  

Another reason why they can scratch the glass is for attention. Sometimes bearded dragons get used to their owner, and when the owner is not giving them enough attention, they start scratching the glass. You should always take time for them and play with your pet to prevent this.

Free them from the tank and let them move around the house. Let them climb on to encourage exercise.  

4: They are Hungry

These reptiles are very clever and scratch the glass to get your attention when they want food or water. Therefore, make a proper feeding time for them and feed them healthy food. 

5: Scared of their Reflection

Bearded dragons are territorial and never want any other creature or reptile in their territory. Whenever it happens, they become aggressive and start reacting. They will respond if they notice their reflection in the tank glass and think some other beardie is in their tank and will start scratching the glass.  

6: Changed in their Habitat

If bearded dragons see a slight change in their habitat, they react to it. They sometimes scratch the glass to tell you they are unhappy with the change. Therefore, always change one thing at a time to let them get used to it. 

7: Feeling Hot or Too Cold

If you pet a bearded dragon, it is essential to maintain the correct temperature inside its tank. These bearded dragons need to thermoregulate to stay healthy and happy. Therefore, ensure the basking area is warm at 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. And the cooling area should be around 85 degrees. 

Reasons Why Your Bearded Dragon is Scratching at the Glass

7 ways to Stop Your Bearded Dragon from Scratching the Glass

As you read above, here are a few reasons a bearded dragon scratches the glass. Now let us see some ways to stop them from doing it. 

1: Keep Them in a Big Tank

If you notice your bearded dragon is scratching the tank glass for quite a time. Observe its behavior. If you feel it is suffocating in the tank or it has less space to move, put them in a big tank. 

2: Try Adjusting the Lights

You can also try adjusting the intensity of both the regular and UVB lights. It would help if you kept the tank temperature according to the needs. Remember to change the temperature between the warmer and cooler basking area inside the enclosure.

3: Take Them Out of the Tank for Sometime

The bearded dragon might feel bored in the tank, so it can start scratching the glass. Therefore, give them proper time to play outside the tank as an owner. Let them move around the house and play for some hours to feel good.

4: Slowly Make Changes in the Tank

It will help if you take the time to change the environment in the tank. Add or remove the items slowly and let your pet get used to them.

Apart from that, if you plan to move your bearded dragon into the new enclosure, set the new habitat the same as the old one. It will help your beardie sense familiarity and will not feel stressed.

5: Keep them Away from Other Reptiles

If you pet more than one bearded dragon, ensure your pets don’t see each other. If your bearded dragon is scared or stressed by its reflection, try to add a background border. You can also try to adjust the light to reduce the reflection. 

6: Clean Up the Tank

Bearded dragons need a clean habitat. Make sure to clean the tank from time to time and clean up the poop littered around the enclosure.

7: Ready to Lay Eggs

Your female bearded dragon might start scratching the glass or tank to give you a sign they are ready to lay eggs. In this case, prepare a lay box for a female bearded dragon.


We hope you got an answer why is my bearded dragon is scratching at the glass. Bearded dragons can not easily adjust, and beardies usually take time to get used to the changes. Therefore, you need to take proper precautions when it comes to them. 

If you change the item in the tank, give them 1 to 2 weeks when adding new items. This way, your bearded dragon will get used to the new things. However, after taking all the precautions still, the glass surfing is getting worse, then the last option is to take them to the vet and get them checked.


Could my bearded dragon be sick if they’re scratching the glass?

It is not necessary that if your bearded dragon is scratching the glass, it is sick. Your bearded dragon scratches the glass when it is stressed. However, if your bearded dragon is showing other symptoms with scratching, like not eating, being inactive, or acting lethargic and not eating, it might be sick.

Can class surfing hurt my bearded dragon?

You don’t need to worry because there is nothing significant to worry about. Bearded dragons do not harm themselves by scratching, which could increase their stress and cause health problems.

How do you calm a bearded dragon?

To calm a bearded dragon, give it a warm and calming bath. You can offer them food or cover the tank with a towel to limit their response to sensory stimuli. Additionally, use your fingers and gently stroke your head.

What does it look like when bearded dragons are mad?

Bearded dragons usually make a hissing sound, bite, fluff their beard and open their mouth wide. These are signs your bearded dragon is mad and upset.

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