How to hold my Russian tortoise?

Ivankathetort

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I am 12 years old and I recently got a Russian tortoise named Ivanka. I have a food bowl for her that I put food in but she loves to sit in it, so I always have to lift her out. I also carry her outside to walk around and to the tub to soak in. Sometimes I also hold her and rub her neck, because I think she likes it. But I don’t really know how to hold her. I’ve heard you’re supposed to keep all four of their legs on your hand, but my hand is too small (or Ivanka is too big) to fit in my hand like that. I also tried to put my her under my hand with her legs dangling, but she will kick and start to push herself off of my hand, and I’m afraid she will fall that way. Do you have any ideas on how I should hold her?
 

wellington

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When you are going to take her a longer distance like outside use a cloth bag like those used for grocery shopping or a plastic shoe box size box.
If you just want to pick her up and hold her try putting her on a towel or again in a box, at least while you are walking with her.
When I have to carry mine, I grab the shell between the back legs, however, he can still catch a finger and try to push away from me so i wouldn't do that until you get bigger.
 

Ivankathetort

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When you are going to take her a longer distance like outside use a cloth bag like those used for grocery shopping or a plastic shoe box size box.
If you just want to pick her up and hold her try putting her on a towel or again in a box, at least while you are walking with her.
When I have to carry mine, I grab the shell between the back legs, however, he can still catch a finger and try to push away from me so i wouldn't do that until you get bigger.
Thanks! I have a bucket I can use to take her longer distances.
 

Sarah2020

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Hello and welcome. Easy way is to create a c shape with your fingers and the twist and hold between top and bottom shell. They will walk if held flat on a hand. I have a small cat litter tray and also use a washing up bowl to move around between inside and outside enclosures Enjoy looking after your tortoise and feel free to ask questions, they like to sit on food and eat so that is natural behaviour. Try to buy flower pot bases for both food and water so they can climb into both, I use plastic ones not too deep. If your tortoise is small then add some small pebbles stones around the outer edge to help access and exit. They also like to dig and burrow so ensure their is a places in a corner that allow that. Enjoy
 

Ivankathetort

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Ta
Hello and welcome. Easy way is to create a c shape with your fingers and the twist and hold between top and bottom shell. They will walk if held flat on a hand. I have a small cat litter tray and also use a washing up bowl to move around between inside and outside enclosures Enjoy looking after your tortoise and feel free to ask questions, they like to sit on food and eat so that is natural behaviour. Try to buy flower pot bases for both food and water so they can climb into both, I use plastic ones not too deep. If your tortoise is small then add some small pebbles stones around the outer edge to help access and exit. They also like to dig and burrow so ensure their is a places in a corner that allow that. Enjoy
Thanks! That was really helpful.
 

Helen Ruff

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Lovely name for your Russian !
I move my tortoises around in supermarket “bags for life” .... they have quite a distance between their enclosure and the the place I soak them in my kitchen.
It’s all essentially about being gentle and aware that they get stressed when over handled. Fantastic to hear that as a young man you are interested in these fabulous animals and want to learn more about them.
 

KarenSoCal

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When I carry my tortoise, I put a towel around him so he isn't slippery. Then I lay him on my chest, and hold him against my chest with the towel covering my clothes.

This way he has all 4 feet on me, so nothing is dangling. And he's not looking down to see how high he is. I can use 1 hand to hold him securely, and he stays very relaxed in this position.

Just bring the bottom of the towel up over his tail area. If he pees on you, the towel catches it.
 

Ivankathetort

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Location (City and/or State)
St. Louis, MO
When I carry my tortoise, I put a towel around him so he isn't slippery. Then I lay him on my chest, and hold him against my chest with the towel covering my clothes.

This way he has all 4 feet on me, so nothing is dangling. And he's not looking down to see how high he is. I can use 1 hand to hold him securely, and he stays very relaxed in this position.

Just bring the bottom of the towel up over his tail area. If he pees on you, the towel catches it.
Thanks! I will try that.
 

Cathie G

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Thanks! I have a bucket I can use to take her longer distances.
Hello and welcome. I've used a bucket sometimes and that's very safe. My Russian doesn't mind whatever way I take him outside though. I've had him for several years. I think he knows when he's going outside and is happy about it.😊
 
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