If you’re looking for a fantastic reptile, German giant bearded dragons are at the top. Your traditional bearded dragons are easy to find, low-maintenance, and friendly little things. German giant bearded dragons are more elusive – and they’re the largest of all bearded dragons, as their name suggests.
So, what is a German giant bearded dragon? Well, these beardies still possess all of the attractive traits of ordinary-sized dragons. They’re just much bigger.
If you currently have a sizeable bearded dragon, have you ever considered that he is a German giant morph? These are the most uncommon type, however, and are pretty rare. They also have a few additional needs – a larger, more extensive enclosure, for example. As a result, it’s essential to know if you have a German giant bearded dragon as soon as possible.
In this guide to German giant bearded dragons, we’ll tell you everything you need to know, including how big their get, how much they weigh, and what they need. So keep reading to find out more!
What Is a German Giant Bearded Dragon?
The German giant bearded dragon is a bearded dragon morph. This morph has been created through many generations of breeding selectively. As a result, German giants are approximately 50% bigger than the standard bearded dragon.
Though many owners talk of this type of beardie becoming extinct, this isn’t true. However, they are becoming more and more challenging to find compared to standard beardies.
What Do We Mean by Bearded Dragon Morphs?
In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, morph is used to describe particular characteristics of bearded dragons. It’s almost like saying a ‘variety.’
Typically, morphs have been created to make lizards of different colors. However, the German giant morph was created when people decided to breed two large adults, producing their offspring with larger beardies, and so on. As a result, they don’t occur naturally in the wild.
Eventually, the bearded dragons become much larger than your average dragon.
It’s similar in humans – if two parents are over 6 feet tall, their children will likely be over 6 feet tall too.
Related: Bearded Dragon Morphs and Colors
Facts about German Giant Bearded Dragons
To learn a little more about German giant bearded dragons here is some information about them.
Bearded dragons first started becoming pets in the 1990s in the United States. Their popularity has increased ever since. Though it was considered rare to have a bearded dragon as a pet twenty years ago, it now isn’t so rare.
The popularity of these reptiles has been attributed to the fact that they have a rather personable nature. They’re both friendly and interactive with their owners.
Suppose you’re a true bearded dragon fan. In that case, you might already know about the different types, but have you ever heard of or seen a German giant bearded dragon? This is a morph rather than a separate species (we’ll explain more about morphs later) – and they’re huge in comparison!
Bearded dragon’s natural habitat
Bearded dragons are native to Australia’s deserts, savannah areas, and subtropical woodland areas. Essentially, they like arid climates with a bit of rainfall as they need to moisten their skin and drink.
German giant morphs are no different from regular bearded dragons in this respect.
You won’t find German giants in the wild, though, as the beardie community has created them for pets.
German Giant Lifespan
There is a difference, however, in how long a German giant bearded dragon will live. The average lifespan of this morph is between five and eight years old. Other bearded dragons live between ten and twelve years old.
German giant bearded dragon diet
Like a typical bearded dragon, a German giant bearded dragon is an omnivore and, as such, will eat both insects and plant material – 20% and 80%, respectively. It has also been known for German giant bearded dragons to eat small mice too!
What are bearded dragon morphs, and how are they created?
We mentioned above that German giants are a bearded dragon morph. This means that they have been bred over many generations for specific characteristics. In this case, it’s for their size.
Other morphs have been created for their colors or scale types.
German giant beardies were created by breeding two normal bearded dragons that were large. Like humans, adult bearded dragons vary in size depending on their DNA.
Once these bearded dragons were old enough, they were also bred with other large bearded dragons.
Over time, this results in a large morph.
Though the German giant bearded dragon is a morph, it is also dependent on a recessive Giant gene.
How do you know if you’ve got a German giant bearded dragon?
If you already have a bearded dragon and it’s on the large side, here are some ways in which you can tell if it’s a German giant:
- The parents’ genetics
- A blood test
- Adult weight
- Adult length
Until your bearded dragon is an adult (after 18 months), you can’t know for sure.
The Parents’ Genetics
The easiest (and best) way to know if you’ve got a German giant bearded dragon is to look at its parent’s genes. If the parents are German giants, you could well have a German giant, too (though this isn’t guaranteed).
If you don’t know the parents, this isn’t possible. And, if you bought your beardie from a standard pet store, it’s improbable you’ve got a German giant bearded dragon.
A Blood Test
Some specialist reptile vets can test your beardie’s blood to find out what bearded dragon morphs are in your pet lizard’s ancestry. However, finding a vet who will do this might be challenging, and it will also be expensive.
As you might expect, the most apparent factor determining if a bearded dragon is a German giant is its size.
German giant bearded dragons can be as long as thirty inches! That’s 76 cm!
You can’t know if you have a German giant bearded dragon until he’s an adult. This is because bearded dragon growth isn’t linear in all bearded dragons. Some grow long young and stop, while others stay smaller for longer but then have a growth spurt.
Like length, you need to wait until your bearded dragon is an adult before you can use its weight to determine the likelihood of him being a German giant.
This beardie can weigh 24 ounces and above. That’s 680 grams.
Weight, however, is less reliable than the length in terms of using it to distinguish between a regular bearded dragon and a German giant bearded dragon. This is because there can be a naturally lean but long German giant or a stocky standard bearded dragon – much like there is variety in human weights.
How can you get hold of a German giant bearded dragon?
Many people state that it’s now become impossible to get true German giants these days. However, lots of breeders say otherwise. Most beardies are of the standard size.
It has to be said, though, that they are challenging to get hold of. The best place to go is a local breeder. Even if the breeder doesn’t have German giants, they might know of someone who does. You can also look online – especially at rehoming pet sites.
Some people unknowingly end up with a German giant bearded dragon, then realize they don’t have enough space, so look at rehoming.
Here are some other places to look:
- Pet lizard Facebook groups
- Reptile forums online
- Classified ads (in local newspapers, for example)
- Pet exhibits
- Notices in pet stores
- Contacts through pet centers.
If you’re desperate to have a German giant bearded dragon, you’ll need to be a little patient as this will likely take time.
How much are German giant bearded dragons?
Like anything, the amount you’ll pay for a German giant bearded dragon will vary depending on your location and the breeder. However, the average price is around $350.
As well as the cost of the animal itself, you’ll also need to factor in other things like
- An enclosure
- Heat lamp/light bulbs
- Substrate (we recommend reptile carpet)
This isn’t vastly different from owning standard bearded dragons. However, due to their size, they will need a bigger enclosure and as much as twice the amount of food as normal bearded dragons.
Compared to owning other animals like dogs, beardies are still relatively inexpensive to look after once you’ve got the setup right.
Setting up an enclosure for a German giant bearded dragon.
When you first get a German giant, he won’t look very big at all. He might even look like a typical baby bearded dragon at first. However, by 18 months, this tiny lizard will have grown to around 25 inches. For this reason, you should invest in a large tank from the beginning.
Just like ordinary beardies, you’ll need to know all about heat, humidity, food, substrate, etc., for him to have a healthy life.
For your German giant bearded dragon to be happy, you’ll need a tank of at least 100 gallons. Of course, that little baby will be minuscule in comparison, but they soon grow to fill the space!
Though the food ratio of insects to plants stays the same for a German giant as any other bearded dragon, the amount they eat is vastly different. What’s more, they can also cope with larger bugs.
Here are some foodstuffs German giants can eat:
- Bell peppers
- Mustard Greens
- Green beans
Fruit (as a treat)
- Wax worms
- Black soldier fly larvae
- Turkistan roaches
- Dubia roaches
You should avoid providing mealworms as a regular food as these contain a high amount of fat. The same applies to wax worms.
As will all beardies, food should be no bigger than the size of the space between their eyes, which for German giants, is more significant than a typical bearded dragon.
You should also ensure that you provide a calcium supplement too. This can be dusted on insects, for example, and will ensure that your pet has strong bones. Doing this will help prevent health issues like metabolic bone disease.
Will German giant beardies bite?
Yes, this is possible – but no more so than a standard bearded dragon.
However, because these animals are much larger, their bites will be more painful.
The best thing you can do is to make sure your beardie has the right amount of space and isn’t stressed. However, you also need to learn how to handle your beardie appropriately.
Being a large beardie means he’ll be heavier to hold, so learning how to handle him without startling him is essential.
Are German giants dying out?
We’ve alluded to their scarcity above. However, German giants aren’t likely to become extinct any time soon. Yes, they’re rare compared to standard bearded dragon morphs, but you can still get hold of one if you know where to look.
Some breeders only breed German giant bearded dragon babies. So, while they’re unlikely to be commonplace, they’ll still be available.
Despite being bigger, they’re fantastic pets – even if they don’t live as long.
Final thoughts on German giant bearded dragons
The German giant bearded dragon can be pretty hard to find unless you know where to look. However, many breeders can tell you where to look, even if they don’t breed this morph themselves.
The rumor that German giants are dying out is down to the fact that the ‘giant’ part of them is a recessive gene. So even if you have two German giant parents, you’re not guaranteed the same size offspring.
Compared to your average regular beardie, a German giant bearded dragon needs more space and food in its diet. They also need similar amounts and types of care as other beardies.
When fully grown, these beasts are unique variations of the bearded dragon species! These lizards make fantastic pets, and as long as you get their enclosure and diet right, you’ll have lots of fun with them.