Why Is My Bearded Dragon Glass Surfing And Wall Climbing? (2023)

I don’t blame you if you’re worried that your pet bearded dragon is going to injure itself while engaging in the peculiar habit of glass surfing. Have no fear, though, fixing the issue is relatively easy and requires only a few simple steps.

But what causes this behavior in the first place? Glass surfing is an oft-seen behavior where bearded dragons scuttle around their tank, flinging themselves repeatedly at its glass walls. The solution could be as simple as introducing a new hiding spot or rearranging things inside the tank.

It’s time to stop your poor pet from continually hurling themselves against their enclosure and figure out how to quickly address the issue!

What Is Glass Surfing?


  • What Is Glass Surfing?
  • 8 Reasons Your Bearded Dragon May Be Glass Surfing
    • 1. Enclosure Too Small
    • 2. Sharing Space With Another Bearded Dragon
    • 3. New Space
    • 4. New/Rearranged Furniture
    • 5. Hungry
    • 6. Temperature Is Low
    • 7. Confuse Reflection
    • 8. Can’t See The Glass
  • How To Stop Glass Surfing
    • Checklist For Stopping Glass Surfing

Glass surfingis the hilarious way to describe the behavior that bearded dragons demonstrate when they appear to desperately want to escape the tank. Also referred to as glass dancing, these funny looking reptiles scurry around their enclosure and quickly rub their bellies against the wall trying to get a grip, while waving their arms frantically in their attempt at freedom.

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Glass Surfing And Wall Climbing? (1)

Watching a bearded dragon glass surf is almost comical with them trying to stand on their hind-legs and reach higher heights as they persistently climb up and down each wall of the tank. Some may stick to one wall while others wander around different walls.

8 Reasons Your Bearded Dragon May Be Glass Surfing

A bearded dragon’s mysterious glass surfing may have you scratching your head, but never fear – these eight reasons could provide some much-needed insights into why it’s distressed. Let’s figure out what the problem is and put a smile back on that scaly face!

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Glass Surfing And Wall Climbing? (2)

1. Enclosure Too Small

If you’ve got a bearded dragon, you’d better make sure their enclosure isn’t too small… or else they’ll glass surf it! That’s right – these rascally reptiles have all kinds of nefarious ways to expend their energy and if their tank doesn’t give them enough room to do that, they’ll find other… deadly… ways.

So, don’t be setting up your scaly friend in anything less than 50 gallons – but if there are multiple dragons or you don’t ever want to upgrade, 75 gallon tanks (or more!) are what we recommend. If upgrading is inevitable, check out this post – it’ll review our favorite tanks that will keep your dragon happy and away from the glass!

2. Sharing Space With Another Bearded Dragon

If you’re sharing space with another bearded dragon, you may get a serious case of the heebie-jeebies! That’s why glass surfing could crop up in your cutie-pie reptilian’s life – they just don’t have enough of their own space! Usually, if two dragons are close in size, it can often lead to some territorial skirmishes, which are as hilarious to watch as they can be cringeworthy.

So if sharing a space is causing too much drama for your dragon, better start looking into those glass surfing activities!

Why Is My Bearded Dragon Glass Surfing And Wall Climbing? (3)

Warning! Never keep more than one male in an enclosure.

The teeth and claws might tell you that keeping a larger and smaller reptile together isn’t always the safest idea. The larger one will often think they run the show, giving the smaller one no chance to break out of their oppressive control. You know it’s serious business when you see glass surfing – that’s when the less powerful tries to make a daring escape with some stylish moves.

See also: Why Is Your Bearded Dragon Shaking?

So, if you decide to cohabitate a couple of reptiles, just remember: size matters! Then again, unless you’re breeding them (with protective supervision of course), it really shouldn’t be an issue in the first place.

3. New Space

As instinctive animals, bearded dragons don’t always like change, especially to their living spaces. Who can blame them? I mean, their natural abode is the glorious desert of Australia – why on Earth would they want to adjust to a new environment!

This weird phenomenon called ‘glass surfing’ happens when they are relocated, and yes, they do it even when they’re lil babies and juvies! Love dolls, you will never be able to create a tank whose sand and sun match the real deal.

4. New/Rearranged Furniture

Believe it or not, even changing the position of furniture or getting new furniture can have a major impact on your bearded dragon! It’s like everything feels brand-new and they don’t quite know how to react so they go glass surfing -it’s hilarious to watch but still no fun for them.

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Plus, their liking for things to stay exactly the same means that too much change, too fast can be traumatic for them. So if you’re gonna switch up some tank decor, take it slow to make sure your scaly pal is always comfortable in his or her home!

5. Hungry

As the reptile gets hungrier and hungrier, its brain conjures up desperate solutions like a daring escape plan. So it takes matters into its own hands and dives deep into the world of glass surfing – essentially, scaling the sides of its tank in search of food!

Be sure that you are providing your dragon with enough food as it grows – but make sure to not overdo it too! Stick with a 15 minute rule and never feed them too much protein or too often. If you’re looking for more tips on proper feeding ratios, check out our infamous bearded dragon guide.

6. Temperature Is Low

When it comes to bearded dragons, don’t be fooled by their chill vibes – they need a lot of warmth to survive! The deserts of Australia naturally offer much heat and UVB from the sun, but if that gets too cold, these little scaly pals go in search of it or even enter brumation (aka primo hibernation!

Don’t think that only happens in winter though – if placed in captivity, a recently brumated beardie will try to flee the tank by scaling walls and running around like a maniac. Not only is this running hilarious to witness, but it also helps raise the reptile’s body temperature. Heat is essential for good health, especially when it comes to digesting their food too.

7. Confuse Reflection

Guiltily, I admit this reason for territorial behavior is kind of amusing. But it’s still an easy fix! If your furry friend is being territorial to its own reflection in a glass tank, all you’ve got to do is put up a background! Not only do backgrounds help solve the problem, but it’s also a great way to get creative and express yourself!

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And if you’re trying to find the perfect background but not sure where to start, we’ve got cha covered with our top picks. So don’t let your bearded dragon fight the same opponent twice; decorate that tank and find the best background around.

See also: Why Is My Bearded Dragon Digging? (The Real Causes)

8. Can’t See The Glass

Just like you, many beardy keepers have noticed their scaly pals trying to escape through glass walls. Sadly for them, they don’t understand what’s stopping them from getting to whatever is luring them on the other side so they may try over and over again.

Don’t despair though! The solution for this quandary is easy—so easy that it could just make you facepalm – just add some decor against the walls or remove the item of interest from view and your little buddy should stop running into a barrier time after time.

How To Stop Glass Surfing

Stopping glass surfing is easy to do.

The best way to go about it is to follow this checklist of items to check and fix.

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Follow these steps to determine what’s wrong and then correct it to the recommended specifications.

Checklist For Stopping Glass Surfing

  1. Check the size of your tank (50 – 75 gallon tanks are recommended).
  2. Remove any other bearded dragons or reptiles to another enclosure.
  3. Check the temperatures.
    • 105° degrees Fahrenheit (41° C) for basking spots
    • Overall temp 90° – 95° degrees Fahrenheit (32° – 35° C)
    • Hide spot 70° – 85° degrees Fahrenheit (21° – 29° C)
    • Nighttime 60° – 65° degrees Fahrenheit (15° – 18° C)
  4. Check the diet and look for frequency, as well as the type of food.
    • Adult bearded dragons should have 30% insects and 70% vegetables
    • Feed protein one day, Veg the next, take a day off, and repeat
  5. Cover the glass walls with any type of background if needed
  6. Calm the bearded dragon
    • Remove stressors
    • Bathe
    • Stroke head
  7. Give him time to get used to new enclosures or furniture (1 – 2 weeks)
  8. Take to the vet

You could try different things in hopes of resolving your pet’s issue, but if all else fails, the next logical step is to get them to the vet for a checkup. Consult the stars and ancient fortune-telling practices if that’s your thing, but eventually it’ll boil down to getting your scaly companion an in-person examination from a professional. Who knows what mysteries lurk beneath their precious lizard surface? Only thorough testing can tell!

However, if you do notice some of these other behaviors along with glass surfing, you may want to take it to the vet to be safe:

  • Frothing at the mouth
  • Lack of appetite over long periods
  • Visible injuries
  • Persistent hiding
  • Lack of movement


Your bearded dragon may be glass surfing and wall climbing because they’re trying to escape their environment. This can be caused by many different factors, such as the size of the tank, temperature, or diet. You can stop your beardie from escaping by following our checklist and correcting any issues that you find. If all else fails, take your pet to the vet for a checkup.

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Last Updated: 02/09/2023

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