Can you house 2 bearded dragons?

Quick Answers

Yes, it is possible to house 2 bearded dragons together under the right circumstances. Some key factors to consider are:

  • Size of the enclosure – It should be large enough to allow both beardies adequate space.
  • Gender – Generally only house 2 females or a male and female pair that have been bred.
  • Age – House beardies of similar size and age.
  • Personality – Monitor for signs of aggression or stress.
  • Resources – Provide adequate basking sites, hides, etc. to prevent competition.
  • Quarantine – Quarantine new dragons for health reasons before introducing them.

Can 2 Male Bearded Dragons Live Together?

In most cases, it is not recommended to house 2 male bearded dragons together due to high levels of aggression and territorial behaviors. Even males that are raised together from a young age are likely to become aggressive towards each other after reaching sexual maturity around 10-18 months old.

Males will often fight over territory, basking spots, food, and female attention. Dominant behaviors like head bobbing, arm waving, biting, and chasing are common between 2 males sharing an enclosure. The combative environment is stressful for both dragons and can lead to injuries.

There is always a possibility that 2 particular males may cohabitate peacefully. However, it is an exception to the rule and requires very careful observation to be sure subtle signs of dominance or stress are not missed. Most experts advise housing male bearded dragons separately for their well-being.

Signs of Aggression in Males

  • Head bobbing
  • Arm waving
  • Blackening their beard
  • Gaping mouth
  • Lunging at each other
  • Biting
  • Chasing
  • Scratching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hiding more often

Can 2 Female Bearded Dragons Live Together?

Females tend to be less territorial than males, so housing 2 females together can work in many cases. Ideal pairings are 2 dragons from the same clutch kept together from hatching or introductions starting at a young age under 5-6 months old.

Even females may still compete for prime basking spots or food resources. Having a very large enclosure (120+ gallons for 2 adults) with multiple hideouts and feeding stations helps minimize conflict. Providing adequate heat and UVB across the entire habitat prevents one dragon from monopolizing it.

As the dragons mature, look for signs of stress like decreased appetite, hiding more often, remaining darker in coloration, gaping, arm waving, or biting when approached. Separate them immediately if aggressive behaviors arise.

Ideal Female Pairings

  • Sisters from the same clutch
  • Unrelated juveniles under 5-6 months old
  • Females with docile, passive personalities
  • Similar size for age

Can a Male & Female Bearded Dragon Live Together?

A male and female bearded dragon pair can cohabitate harmoniously in a breeding situation. The key is introducing them properly for mating purposes and providing adequate space in at least a 55-75 gallon enclosure.

House a younger female around 8-10 months with an adult male around 18 months old. Ensure the female is receptive and ready for breeding by looking for physical signs like increased appetite, basking more, and growing wider. Space out introductions initially under strict supervision.

Never house 2 mature males with 1 female, as this is a recipe for disaster and the males will be very aggressive towards each other. Remove the male once breeding is complete, as the gravid female will become stressed by his presence and may refuse food she needs for her developing eggs.

Avoid housing a non-breeding pair together long-term. The male may continually pester the female to mate which can be dangerous if she is not physiologically ready. A stressed female may also attack and injure the male dragon.

Bearded Dragon Cohabitation Enclosure Size

Providing an adequately spacious habitat is critical to reducing conflict and stress when keeping 2 dragons together. Too small of an enclosure leads to frequent confrontational encounters as the beardies are forced into close constant contact.

For 2 adult dragons, the absolute minimum enclosure size is a 55 gallon (48x21x20 inches) tank, but a 75 gallon or larger is strongly recommended. The bigger the better for establishing distinct territories and minimizing unwanted interactions.

Hatchlings under 6 months old can start in a 40 gallon breeder tank. But they will rapidly outgrow this space and should be moved to an adult sized habitat within a few months to a year. Never keep any dragon in an enclosure smaller than 36×18 inches floor space.

Minimum Enclosure Size for 2 Bearded Dragons

Bearded Dragon Age Minimum Tank Size
0-5 months 40 gallon breeder
6-12 months 55 gallon
12+ months (adults) 75 gallon or larger

Providing Multiple Resources

When housing 2 dragons, it is essential to provide 2 of every resource they need to prevent competition and confrontations.

There should be 2 hideouts on opposite ends so each dragon has their own secure sleeping and retreat area. Provide 2 basking sites at optimal temperatures to allow both to bask simultaneously. Positioned at each end works best.

Offer 2 feeding bowls and space them far apart to minimize conflict. Feed daily and monitor that both dragons are eating their fill. Add more insect feedings if one appears to be losing out on getting enough food.

Having 2 water bowls, hammocks, platforms, and sets of decor helps divide up territories as well. The more duplicates of key resources you can provide, the smoother cohabitation will go between beardies.

Establishing Distinct Territories

An ideal cohabitation setup will include designated areas that each bearded dragon claims as their own territory.

Using tank dividers, decor placements, and hides strategically can help divide the enclosure into 2 distinct zones. Each section should have space for sleeping, basking, and food that one dragon monopolizes while the other has their own area.

Clear plastic dividers allow visual separation without completely isolating the dragons. Placing decor like branches, rocks, and plants to create barriers is another approach. Having 2 elevated basking platforms at either end helps define individual territories.

Visual barriers and dividers alone may not prevent confrontations though. Continually monitor the dragons for signs of stress and do not hesitate to separate them if needed.

Importance of Quarantining New Dragons

When introducing a new bearded dragon into an established habitat, it is extremely important to quarantine them first. This means housing the new dragon alone in a separate tank for at least 30-45 days before mixing them with current residents.

Quarantine protects your current dragons from any contagious illnesses the new beardie may be harboring. Some pathogens can be transmitted without showing symptoms so a long quarantine period is safest.

This time also allows the new dragon to settle in, become accustomed to your care routine, and get a full health exam. Once the quarantine period ends, you can begin supervised cohabitation introductions.

Never skip or shorten quarantine when getting a new pet reptile. The risks to your current dragon’s health make this non-negotiable. A proper quarantine sets up the newcomer for safe integration into the habitat.

Quarantine Necessities

  • Separate enclosure
  • Fresh decor, dishes, etc. (no shared items)
  • 30-45 day minimum
  • Fecal exam by vet
  • Treatment for any parasites

Introducing Bearded Dragons

Once proper quarantine is complete, the process of slowly introducing the bearded dragons begins. Rushing this stage often results in conflict so take it slow.

First place the dragons’ enclosures near each other so they can become familiar with the sight and scent. Switch items between tanks like hideouts and blankets so they investigate each other’s smells up close.

After a few days, do short supervised visits of 15-20 minutes. Look for signs of aggression like beards darkening, gaping mouths, arm waving, biting, chasing, etc. Separate immediately if issues arise.

Gradually increase visit duration over 2 weeks. Redirect displays of dominance with hand blocks or obstacles. If meetings remain calm, the dragons may be ready for full integration under constant watch.

Never leave newly cohabited dragons unsupervised until you are positive they have established a peaceful hierarchy. Separate enclosure sides for a while if needed.

Signs of Stress in Cohabitation

It is crucial to continually monitor for subtle signs of stress in beardies housed together, as they can easily hide illness. React quickly if problems emerge by separating dragons.

Look for changes in normal behavior like decreased appetite, basking less, darker coloration, hiding more often, or sleeping excessively. Lethargy, tremors, and twitching limbs can also signal stress.

One dragon consistently puffing out its beard, arm waving, or gaping at the other is a red flag. Biting or scratching marks signal serious aggression issues.

Displays of dominance like head bobbing, chasing, and keeping the other dragon from basking or feeding all require an immediate habitat separation to resolve.

Signs of Stress in Cohabited Bearded Dragons

  • Appetite changes
  • Altered basking habits
  • Hiding frequently
  • Darker coloration
  • Lethargy
  • Limb trembling
  • Gaping mouth
  • Beard puffing
  • Arm waving
  • Biting
  • Scratch marks

When to Separate Bearded Dragons

Despite best efforts, some bearded dragons will simply never get along with others in close quarters. It is important to recognize when a habitat separation is necessary for their health.

Continual signs of stress, avoidance, and fear are clear indicators cohabitation is not working. Any actual physical altercations also warrant permanent separation immediately.

Likewise, if one dragon is being bullied, chased away from basking and feeding, or shows chronic signs of submissiveness, remove them for their well-being. Their health will decline over time under constant stress.

Separate by rehoming to a new owner if possible. Otherwise, acquire another full habitat setup. Never attempt to divide one tank with a physical barrier long-term, as dragons housed alone require full enclosures.

While disappointing when transpiring, dissolving a failed cohabitation by separating the bearded dragons is truly best for their health and happiness.

Situations Requiring Separation

  • Ongoing stress signals
  • Frequent confrontations
  • Physical attacks
  • One dragon being bullied
  • Health deterioration
  • Never leaving a barrier divide as permanent solution

Can Baby Bearded Dragons Live Together?

Baby dragons under 4-5 months old generally tolerate cohabitation well since they are less territorial. Housing clutchmates or similarly aged juveniles together can work out fine.

Provide multiple basking sites, hides, feeders, etc. to minimize competition. Monitor for signs of aggression or stress as they mature. Be prepared to separate them into individual enclosures as needed once adult behaviors emerge after 5-6 months old.

Never house babies and adults together, even with ample space. Adult dragons may become territorial and aggressive towards the smaller juveniles. And they can easily injure or intimidate the babies.

Ideal Baby Bearded Dragon Cohabitation

  • Clutchmates or unfamiliar juveniles
  • Under 5 months old
  • 40 gallon minimum enclosure
  • Multiple resources provided
  • Separated by 6 months old if problems appear

In Summary

Cohabitating bearded dragons carries risks, but can successfully work under certain circumstances. Provide a large enough enclosure, visual barriers, multiple resources, and individual territories. Quarantine and slowly introduce newcomers.

Constantly monitor all dragons for subtle signs of stress or aggression. Never house 2 mature males. Females tend to tolerate cohabitation best. Separate immediately if issues arise for the health of all dragons involved.

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