Can bearded dragons jump out of their cage? My dragon has tried it several times. It got me worried, thinking about whether he could escape his cage.
If you are also worried, don’t! Just keep reading to find out.
Can Bearded Dragons Jump Out of Their Cage?
A bearded dragon can certainly jump, so there’s a chance they’ll jump out of their cage. But that depends on several factors to do with the beardie.
Such factors include the beardies’ age, the spirit of adventure, and how high the cage is. The beardie also needs to be reasonably fit to do that.
Fat adult dragons will struggle to jump, no matter how hard they try. Adult bearded dragons rarely attempt to jump out of the cage. It is the baby dragons you should be wary of.
Baby beardies usually have the energy to spare, especially if you feed them well. They’ll use this energy to try to escape their cage.
When I first brought my dragon Yoda home, he would attempt to jump out of the cage from time to time whenever I wasn’t looking.
One day, he succeeded in jumping out of the cage. But it’s probably because he saw some food on a table next to the tank. That had me wondering how long can a bearded dragon be out of its cage.
He did it the same way this dragon does it in this video:
I found it funny at the time because I didn’t think beardies were natural jumpers. I thought they were slow-walking animals that occasionally rush for food or run away from danger.
That’s when I realized beardies could jump, especially if they see their favorite prey animals. Try feeding your beardie cockroaches or crickets and see how fast they pounce on them whenever they try to escape.
If you still think beardies can’t jump, check out this video of a beardie repeatedly jumping for food.
Now that we’ve established that beardies have little fear of heights, let’s see why they would attempt to jump out of their cages.
Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Want To Jump Out of Their Cage
Bearded dragons will jump out of their cage for a variety of reasons. These are the most common reasons:
1. The Enclosure Is Too Small
Adult bearded dragons need a proportional size tank. A clear warning sign that you have a small tank is the beardie bobbing their head out of the tank.
So if you notice your dragon attempting to jump out of the cage regularly, maybe the enclosure is too small. If you can’t get a larger tank, always have a tank lid on.
2. They Feel Threatened
Jumping out of the cage can also be a negative sign. The dragon could have seen a larger animal, or another dragon threatened them.
Dr. Bob Doneley says beardies are territorial animals that will fight to protect their space (1).
So if you’ve recently introduced a new beardie into a tank with other beardies, they’ll fight, and one will attempt jumping out of the cage.
So you probably should never put two male bearded dragons in one vivarium.
3. Temperature Stress
Bearded dragons prefer warm or arid temperatures, but anything over their ambient temperature stresses them (2).
For instance, they’ll try to hide under something cool if the temperature becomes too much for them.
The captive reptiles will also attempt jumping out of the enclosure, especially if it’s a small cage.
Always maintain the proper temperature gradient to avoid stressing your bearded reptile friend.
4. Feeding Through the Cage
Some pet owners attempt to feed their beardies through the cage. That will make them jump to reach the food you’re giving them.
Beardies are calm animals, but food can excite them and have them jumping all over the tank.
Small beardies could struggle to jump out. Larger beardies will effortlessly clear the height of a small tank to get to their prey animals.
If that’s how you feed your pet reptile, don’t make it a habit. The tank will probably not be at a safe height for the beardie to jump out. You’ll risk injuring the reptile.
5. The Stress of New Environments
Did you know beardies will attempt to escape their tank if they don’t trust you enough? If the beardies aren’t used to the new environment, they will get stressed out and attempt to escape.
They’ll need ample time to get used to the new place you’ve brought them to. I think this was happening to my beardie as well. Beardies take their time to get used to new environments.
I had just brought him home and was bonding with him when he made several escape attempts.
Look at this beardie trying to escape their tank.
6. They’re Curious and Want To Explore
You might think of dragons as a species of reptiles that isn’t particularly curious. But that’s far from the case.
Beardies could jump out of the cage to explore their new surroundings. That’s not strange behavior, especially if you have a new beardie you’ve just brought home.
Their curiosity can get the better of them in strange environments and have them trying to jump out of the cage.
7. A Poor Perception of Distance
Sometimes it isn’t always about a new environment or curiosity. The dragon could be trying to jump out of the cage because they think the distance isn’t that high.
The dragon might be reckless and think they can do it all. So they’ll attempt to jump out of their cage even if it’s the correct size.
You won’t have to worry about the dragon clearing the height and escaping if you have the right tank size.
If you think the beardie can jump out, always have a tank lid on to prevent that.
Can Bearded Dragons Get Hurt From Jumping?
A bearded dragon can get hurt from jumping. Dragons aren’t natural jumpers.
The dragon might miscalculate a distance and think they can safely jump from there. Jumping from unsafe heights will hurt the beardies’ feet or have them fall awkwardly.
Dragons are usually oblivious to the potential dangers of jumping. So they will fall on you, the pet sitter, to ensure they don’t jump from dangerous heights.
Baby bearded dragons are more likely to hurt themselves by jumping from their cage.
Adult dragons are usually calmer. Maybe it’s the wisdom that comes with age — who knows?
Tips To Stop Bearded Dragons From Jumping Out of the Cage
Though beardies aren’t natural jumpers, they’ll still attempt to jump out of their cages. How can you prevent an escape or broken bones?
Here’s what to do:
1. Get a Larger Tank
A larger tank will prevent the beardie from jumping out. They might attempt to escape, but they won’t manage if the tank is large enough. Reptile experts say bigger is always better when choosing a bearded dragon tank (3).
If you can’t get a larger enclosure, you can always make your own bearded dragon DIY enclosure.
2. Always Have the Tank Lid On
If you can’t get a larger tank for your beardie, consider having a lid on all the time. Remember not to secure the top, so the reptile can get enough air.
A tank with a lid should have enough openings to enable air to pass through and for you to control the temperature gradient.
2. Make Their Tank Conditions Better
If the conditions inside the tank aren’t what the beardie needs, you can expect they’ll try escaping.
So having the temperature and other parameters in good condition will allow the beardie to get used to the tank quickly.
Dr. Robert Ness, a veterinary doctor, advises checking the temperature before placing the beardie in the tank (4).
CHECK: What Temperature Can I Take My Bearded Dragon Outside?
3. Offer Them Food Inside the Tank
If you don’t want them to jump out, don’t offer them food outside the tank — simple.
Each time you give them food outside the tank, you encourage this behavior.
4. Place Climbing Structures in the Cage
Climbing structures in the tent will help to satisfy the need to climb something. A raised basking spot is an excellent way to add a climbing structure to a beardie terrarium.
1. How do I find my escaped bearded dragon?
If your beardie escapes their tank, start by checking the area within a six or seven feet radius. They will most likely be at overly high places, but check all the high and low places.
2. Can my bearded dragon freely roam?
Bearded dragons cannot freely roam since they’ll escape. Don’t forget they’re still wild animals and are more comfortable in the wild. They can also become a larger animal’s prey.
3. How do I know if my bearded dragon wants to be held?
You can’t know if a beardie wants you to hold them. But you can tell if they are in the right mood. Such beardies don’t run away when you move your hand towards them. Some even come to you when you beckon to them.
Can bearded dragons jump out of their cage? Yes, they can. But that depends on the cage’s size and conditions and the dragon’s fitness and age, among other factors.
Though beardies aren’t usually jumping animals, don’t be shocked to see them attempt to jump out of their tank.
Some will do that to explore new surroundings or satisfy their curiosity. So there is no need to worry when you see that.
Has your bearded dragon ever tried to jump out of their cage? Did you catch them? Share with us in the comments below.
- 1. Doneley B, Health A, Toowoomba W. EXOTICS – REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS – CARING FOR THE BEARDED DRAGON [Internet]. 2006. Available from: https://www.cabi.org/ISC/FullTextPDF/2006/20063121821.pdf
- 2. Schabacker S. Bearded Dragons [Internet]. National Geographic. 2019. Available from: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/reptiles/facts/bearded-dragon
- 3. Jones L. Bearded Dragon Care 101 [Internet]. www.petmd.com. 2022 [cited 2022 Sep 5]. Available from: https://www.petmd.com/reptile/bearded-dragon-care-101
- 4. Ness Exotic Wellness Center. Bearded Dragon Care (Inland/Central) [Internet]. Available from: https://nessexotic.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/Reptile-Bearded_Dragon_Care.pdf
My name is Ben Roberts, and I absolutely love animals. So, naturally, I love writing about them too! As far as my animals, I have a Pit-bull, a Beagle-lab mix, a Chihuahua, and one old cat. Each one of them provides me with a new adventure every day. And the best part is they’re all best friends. Well, except the cat when he gets a little annoyed.
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