my tortoise hates me...

tootles1

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I have a Russian tortoise, whom I’d estimate to be about 12 years old, and I’ve had him for about 4 years now.
The problem is that I’m sure he hates me. He doesn’t like me touching him (he’ll let me pet his shell for a while but he doesn’t let me touch his limbs), I’ve only been able to hand-feed him once (and it was years ago), and he just seems to overall hate me.
One fault that I’ll admit is that I do pick him up somewhat often, which I’ve heard that they don’t like, but that’s only when I give him a bath or get him out of his enclosure. Besides that, I really don’t know why he hates me so much. Any tips on getting him to warm up to me? Please help!
 

Beasty_Artemis

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Hmmmm...... mabey they are a wild caught specimen....? My red foot loves a back scratch. Im struggling to force myself to avoid contact with her during this whole virus thing. But she follows me around the perimeter of her table anyway.
 

LaLaP

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Treats? Nothing bad for him but just hand feed him his favorite foods. I have a Russian that didn’t like me at first and he is still just luke warm towards me but I’ve been able to win him over a little by figuring out which foods are his favorite and only feeding them to him by hand. That way he associates me with the good stuff. After working on him for a year he finally allows me to pet him without stomping off.... sometimes. My guys diet is all weeds from my yard but his treats are store bought greens. He loves anything from the store... lettuce, radicchio, endive!
 

Millerlite

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I wouldn't say he hates you. Tortoises are very instinctual and as they do get use to human interaction like all reptiles they all are different. Tortoises are also not really the type to pick up and handle just kind of a look type reptile. Your guy seems to just like to be a tortoise and doesnt really have a human friendly side. Most my russians are like this.
 

Beasty_Artemis

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Give butt scratches ! Turtles and tortoises love a butt scratch! Someone posted the cutest video once of turtle shaking it's back side whenever someone petted him. My red foot is totally like that!!!!
 

Blackdog1714

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Tom my Russian I am just the hired help that feeds and cleans up the messes! My Leopard dust the butt wiggle when I scratch the shell and will even come over to see me sometimes. I would say if you want undying love and affection get a dog, but I also have a female Chow-Chow! :p
 

Yvonne G

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Maybe it's the way you pick him up??? Think of Jack's beanstalk giant in relationship to poor little Jack. And then think of the giant picking Jack up between his thumb and index finger with Jack's legs and arms flailing in the air.

Your tortoise won't be nearly as afraid of you handling him if you support his whole body in the palm of your hand. Always have some sort of support under him so he's not floating in air, and he'll be much more comfortable and less afraid.
 
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