Are Chinese Water Dragons Friendly? | Temperament and Handleability

Are Chinese water dragons friendly?

One of my favorite pets of was my Chinese water dragon named Bruce. My experience with Chinese water dragons is that they are friendly beautiful pet lizards when properly cared for. However, because they are not the smallest pet lizard, people often wonder about the temperament of Chinese water dragons.

Chinese Water Dragons are typically friendly to humans when handled regularly from a young age! When properly cared for it is my experience that Chinese water dragons are fun and friendly pets. 

My Chinese water dragon Bruce for example loved being held and never showed signs of aggression. That said, proper handling and care is essential if you want a Chinese water dragon with a friendly temperament.

Chinese water dragons are not huge like Iguanas but they can grow up to 3 feet in length. So they are big enough to make having an aggressive one be a bit hard to handle. 

Like every animal, there’s a lot to learn about Chinese Water Dragons before deciding to purchase one. They might be cheaper than most lizards, but you still need to read up on them to know if there’s a reason why they’re so cheap.

Chinese Water Dragon Temperament

Chinese Water Dragons are friendly reptiles that tend to have a pretty special personality. In fact, the temperament of Chinese water dragons is what makes them such great pets compared to many other lizards. That said, there are some problems when it comes to Chinese water dragon care, but we will focus on that later.

There really aren’t many occasions where you will have to worry about a Chinese Water Dragon being aggressive to a person. However, there may be times they lash out if they are scared or if they come in contact with another Chinese Water Dragon or pet.

Additionally, if you get a Chinese Water Dragon that’s an import, there’s a chance it will be a bit more aggressive due to being transported with many other Chinese Water Dragons. This means there was most likely a lot of aggressive fighting involved in their life before you. 

In addition, when I say that Chinese water dragons are friendly and have great temperaments I am assuming they have been lovingly cared for. Any pet that is neglected will likely become aggressive simply due to fear. 

Do Chinese Water Dragons Like To Be Held?

Most Chinese Water Dragons actually like to be handled. At least compared to most other pet lizards. If they are neglected and aren’t handled often, they could actually become aggressive.

Take precautions to ensure you do not appear threatening or scary to the dragon to minimize the potential of it lashing out. For example, if someone roughhouses with the lizard, it might feel like it’s in danger which can lead to it biting or whipping its tale.

Their bites aren’t venomous and their tale is unlikely to cause any major damage, but no bite is going to feel good. It is especially important to make sure safe handling is at hand when children are involved. 

If you allow a child to handle the Chinese Water Dragon, do not leave the child unsupervised. Chinese Water Dragons might enjoy being handled, but they, like any animal, do not enjoy being tossed around, swung by its tail, or hit. 

There’s a difference between handling and horseplay so if you or anyone else handles a Chinese Water Dragon, do it in a careful way to assure the lizard that it is safe in your hands.

Are Chinese Water Dragons Friendly With Each Other?

If you have a Chinese Water Dragon that’s feeling lonely, you’re probably thinking of buying another to house with yours. 

You can technically house two Chinese Water Dragons together, but there is something you should be aware of. Chinese Water Dragons, typically of the same sex, tend to get aggressive towards each other so you should never house two males together.

Sometimes, multiple females will get along with each other. However, this is not always the case.

Males are typically the ones to be aggressive if housed together, but in some cases, females can also be aggressive towards each other. It’s important to make sure that you know your lizard’s sex before housing it with another Chinese Water Dragon.

They can actually get lonely as they are communal animals meaning they do better if in pairs or in groups. 

Are Chinese Water Dragons Aggressive and Do They Bite?

Again like all pets, Chinese water dragons mite bite when they are scared and not properly socialized. However, this is not because Chinese water dragons are aggressive but rather defensive. 

A Chinese water dragon who is familiar with its owner and used to handling is not going to see you as a threat. But if they are not used to humans or handling they will assume that you mean them harm and become protective. 

So if you purchase a Chinese water dragon or any pet lizard make sure to take the proper steps to socialize and care for your pet. 

Are Chinese Water Dragons Good For Beginners?

If you’re a beginner and are wanting to get a Chinese Water Dragons, there’s a lot that you should know before making a decision you might regret. While they are pretty easy to handle, caring for one of these creatures is a completely different story.

They can be quite the handful, especially if the Chinese Water Dragons are imported rather than captive-bred.

If they are imported, that essentially means they are farmed, loaded up with many other Chinese Water Dragons, and then shipped off. Through this process, they come in contact with:

  • parasites and diseases
  • aggressiveness through other Chinese Water Dragons
  • lack of hydration and food
  • other environmental-based issues that hurt their health

In a YouTube video, Clint Laidlaw, founder of Clint’s Reptiles, talks about how he has searched high and low for a healthy adult Chinese Water Dragon. The truth is those are very rare because most have been through the importation process.

The Chinese Water Dragon he is handling in the video is not only a juvenile lizard but it isn’t even his. It was provided by Animal Ark.

Check Out Clint’s Video On  Water Dragons Here

Another thing that might turn any beginner away from buying a Chinese Water Dragon is the keep up that’s necessary for their enclosure and food. Chinese Water Dragons are carnivorous/omnivorous. They eat mostly bugs like crickets, hornworms, Dubai roaches, pinky mice, and superworms.

However, you can also try to feed them a small amount of fruit and veggies. Not all fruits and veggies are a great option though some make sure you choose safe options first. If they do eat some fruits and veggies it should only make up 15% or less of their total diet. 

The main issue with caring for Chinese Water Dragons is just how much work you have to put into their enclosure. The humidity has to be very specific for them which can be mastered by using a water misting system, fogger system, substrate, a UVB lamp, and a heat lamp.

You will very likely need to build a custom cage for your dragon. I have a whole article that covers the Chinese water dragon enclosure size requirements. But your looking at something roughly 6 feet tall, 6 feet long, and 4 feet wide.

Chinese Water Dragons Are Fun and Friendly Lizards

Chinese Water Dragons are, in fact, typically very friendly. However, it’s still important to keep in mind that they should be cared for to make sure that they don’t get aggressive. That care can be difficult to maintain if you don’t have the money or knowledge to do so.

There are often problems with the health of many of the Chinese water dragons. My water dragon was very friendly and a great pet but he did have health problems pretty early on. So if you want a Chinese water dragon try and find a really good source first.

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