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Does my Russian hate me?

Discussion in 'Russian tortoises' started by Laura49, Feb 14, 2018.

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  1. Laura49

    Laura49 New Member

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    I'm a first time tortoise owner, I got Norman off a buy and sell site about a year ago and the previous owner told me he was about 3 but she wasn't sure as she had bought him from the same site a year before that. Everything has been going great (I think) until about 2 weeks ago, now every time he sees me he runs ( and yes, I mean runs) at me with his mouth open, if my fingers are in getting his bowl or changing his water he bites me. And it's sore! What happened? What have I done wrong? Is it a time of year thing? Is it an age thing? Is he sick?

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    Samantha Graham, xMario and CarolM like this.
  2. CarolM

    CarolM Well-Known Member

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    I cannot tell .you. but ask one of the more experienced breeders. @Will, @Tom, @YvonneG, @TidgysDad, @Bee62, @bambam
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  3. Bambam1989

    Bambam1989 Well-Known Member

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    He doesn't HATE you. He hates that your in his territory. He has probably reached sexual maturity (probably a lot older than 3yrs) and feels like it is his duty to assert dominance over everything and drive potential competitors away.
    You may try gently flipping him onto his back for a few seconds then flip him gently back right. This in theory would represent you asserting your own dominance. It may take several "flips" over time to make your point and it may not work at all..
    Russians are known for being tenacious torts.

    I always recommend hearing multiple opinions.

    Is his beak chipped?
  4. Bee62

    Bee62 Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    I agree with @Bambam1989
    Can you post a pic of the tale of your tort ?
    He is probably a matured male and his behavior is territorial. Russian tortoises are known for that.
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  5. tortoiseplanet

    tortoiseplanet Active Member

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    @Bambam1989 may be totally correct, but he could also be associating you with food. When my Russians thought my fingers were food I let them bite me and after a few times they stopped because they learned I’m not food.
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  6. Laura49

    Laura49 New Member

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    This is going to sound that like I'm a nutter, but he actually knows the difference between my fingers and food, he goes for the fingers every time.
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  7. Laura49

    Laura49 New Member

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    What sort of picture would you like? Normally I have tons! But I've taken them all off my phone cause I ran out of space, oops. He's very photogenic lmao

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  8. Laura49

    Laura49 New Member

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    Yes, he bit his dish and a bit broke off, but he seems fine, he's eating and biting away as normal.
    I've only ever turned him over once cause YouTube said that if he could right himself quickly it showed that he was healthy but after what felt like a lifetime to me I righted him cause it looked so awful! I was scared I was hurting him. You sure it's ok for me to turn him over?
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  9. Laura49

    Laura49 New Member

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    This is a wick photo, I'll jump on the laptop and find some better ones.

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  10. Bee62

    Bee62 Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Hi, I want a pic from the underside ( plastron ) of your tortoise with the tail. Males have a longer and thicker tale than females.
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  11. Bambam1989

    Bambam1989 Well-Known Member

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    For short periods of time it is ok. Do so slowly and don't leave him there for very long since it does make it difficult to breath.
    If you want us to verify that he is indeed a male, a good picture of the underside of his shell showing us his tale would be needed.
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  12. Laura49

    Laura49 New Member

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    Oh, I don't have one of those. I'll take one.
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  13. Laura49

    Laura49 New Member

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    Ok brilliant! I'll do that. Can you tell his health from his shell? Or how old he actually is?
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  14. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Maybe he wants more protein in his diet? :)
  15. Laura49

    Laura49 New Member

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    lmao I nearly took the bait there to give you a run down of his diet to see if you were right hahahaha
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  16. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Was it the smiley face that gave away the joke? :D

    Some russians are just very territorial. The nice thing is: All you have to do is move your fingers out from in front of him, or move him somewhere else, and the problem won't exist anymore.
  17. Laura49

    Laura49 New Member

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    His is actually quite cute chasing people about. I have a dane and Norman chases him round the room.
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  18. Cheryl Hills

    Cheryl Hills Well-Known Member

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    Give you some advice. Your tort should never be allowed to run on the floor. The temps are not right and he could get hurt or eat something and it could kill him. And, never let your dogs around him. All it takes is a second, they could bite him and kill him. There are many horror stories on here about this. Even when you “watch them closely”.
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  19. Laura49

    Laura49 New Member

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    Oh ok! Good to know! He bangs on the sides of his tank to get out, so I always let him out to run about. I have a che on a clip and a clamp stand that I move so that it heats a spot for him if he cools down, when/if he goes to the heat I'll put him back in his enclosure.
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  20. TechnoCheese

    TechnoCheese Well-Known Member

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    They usually start banging on the walls when their enclosure is too small, they can see through it, or both. Letting them out lets them know that there’s a world out there, and they will stop at nothing to get to it.
    Your tort needs a minimum enclosure size of 4x8 feet. Unless you have a huge, custom made tank, I doubt it’s big enough and that’s why he bangs against the walls.
    Don’t let him out anymore. There is so much wrong that can and will happen.
    Samantha Graham, Tom and RosemaryDW like this.
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