Poor Steve Irwin, always getting himself into trouble. Well I guess that’s what you get when you put yourself in these types of situations. Where this little guy might have been having a bad day, and a whole lot of attitude, most of the time, if you treat your bearded dragon right, they will not hurt you.
Bearded dragons are all bark, no bite, but they put on a pretty good show when they feel threatened. They puff out that spiked pouch until the points stand out straight, then they’ll open their mouths to look more terrifying.
I say that bearded dragons are no bite, but there is the possibility that beardie may become confused and think that a fleshy finger or earlobe might look like something to eat. They typically don’t become aggressive unless they’re provoked into it. Occasionally, they will associate your fingers with feeding time, this is when confusion might end with a little bite.
If you only leave your bearded dragon in his cage, this is a more likely scenario. These guys love human interaction. The more you handle them they will lose that food association with your fingers. They will start seeing that your hands are tools for many things. Such as, a lift up to your shoulder when beardie doesn’t feel like climbing or just a nice cozy spot to sit and chill.
To disassociate beardie from finding your finger and his favorite food choice to be the same, it’s important to feed him food that he enjoys and this list can vary greatly depending on the age and sex. A young beardie should be fed about 2-3 times a day and their diet will need to be balanced with 80% insects and 20% greens. With an insufficient diet they will nip at you, their tails and any cage mates they might have near them.
For adult beardies, you will need to start introducing more hearty meat into their diet and feed them roughly 3-5 times a week. These meats and insects can include: Pinky Mice, Crickets, Mealworms, Wax Worms, King Worms, Earthworms, and Cockroaches.
If you do get bitten by a bearded dragon it’s important not to panic, as your beardie will more than likely still be attached to your hand and if you try to shake them off you risk hurting them even more. Just remember to keep them flat and you should be able to pry their mouth open.
Yet, like every animal the more you love them the more they will love you and you probably won’t have to deal with painful issues like Steve Irwin had and won’t get your poor nose bitten.
More information on how to care for your Bearded Dragon here.