One or two dragons?

I often get the question if to buy one or two bearded dragons, and if so two females, a male and a female or two males? Before you get more than one dragon you have to ask yourself the question WHY you want two. Is it because you think they need company? They don't. A single dragon doesn't suffer from being alone. Do you want two because you want to see them interact and show typical behavior? Yes, it is very interesting to have two dragon since their "dragon behavior" becomes more clear. Or - do you want two dragons because you want babies in the future?

Male + male
First of all - you can never ever keep two males together in the same cage after 3-4 months of age. It might look like it is working - in the beginning. But males are very territorial and one of them can kill the other without warning. I have heard more than one story where one of the males killed the other despite the fact that they were sweet friends the day before. Never take a chance on this - if you got two males - separate them right away!

Female + female
Two females together are usually ok - but not always. Most of the time they accepts each other and function well together. But there are no guaranties - it happens that one of the females is so dominant towards the other that they can't live together. If you see that one of the females are very dominant you have to separate them. The less dominant female is suffering…

Male + female
A male and a female works fine - periodically. BUT - not year round, especially not during the breeding season (which usually happens during the spring/summer). A male can be so pushy that it stresses the female down. She won't be left alone to eat or bask with a excited male that wants to breed. The male can also be quite rough and hurt the female physically if she can't get away (which she can't in a cage…). This is very stressful for BOTH the female and the male. If you have a male and a female you should have two cages so you can separate them when necessary.

Another aspect if you have a male and a female is that they will mate sooner or later. There will be eggs, and later babies. Maybe you think that it is just to throw the eggs away if she gets gravid. Well, it is not that easy… it is very hard on the female to become gravid over and over again (and she will, if she is kept with a male). A female can lay up to 6 clutches of eggs after only one breeding - and that is hard on her little body. She needs a lot of extra care during this time (extra vitamins, extra calcium, egglayingbox etc) so I wouldn't recommend breeding TOO often - for the females sake!

If you put a male and female together remember that they shall be at least 18 months old - it is not recommended to breed a female before that age. Her body is not fully developed.

If you want babies it is still recommended to keep your male and female in different cages and let them meet occasionally.

It can work sometimes…
Sometimes it doesn't have to be a problem to keep a male and female together. It depends of how they are. I keep Teo and Cicero together - MOST of the time, but not always. Teo is very calm and rarely move so Cicero doesn't quite see her as a willing female. So - most of the time it works. But I am always ready to separate them if necessary. I have an extra cage for Cicero when he gets "too excited".

If you buy two babies
If you buy two babies from the same breeder - notice that they probably are siblings and therefor breeding isn't a good idea.. You should never breed siblings.

If you end up with two males, you have to separate them before they get sexually mature - or sell one of them. Selling one of the dragons you had since they were babies is sad. So it might be better to buy just one baby dragon to start with, see what sex it is and then buy the "missing sex" as an adult.

If it is two female babies it is usually ok. But it is very hard to tell the sex with babies - at least for sure. If you want two babies - my advice is that you buy them from two different breeders. Or even better - buy ONE baby, wait until it is big enough to sex and then buy the "missing sex". Then you are sure that you don't end up with the "wrong sex dragons"…

Copyright © Gunilla. All Rights Reserved.
No part of this website may be copied or reproduced without permission.