My tortoise is constantly violent, help please?

Kentcalling

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Hi everyone I am new here and I wondered if any of you could help please. I ahave a 5 year old Hermann's and he has been with me for 3 years and he is always biting everything including me, my other tortoise, carpets, doors, walls, well basically everything he comes into contact with and I don't know how to get him to calm down. I don't understand why he is like it, I love both my tortoises and they have never been mistreated! I can't have children so my dog and my tortoises are my babies and they have everything they need! Does anyone have any advice or ideas or anything that might be helpful, I really would appreciate any help at all
 

wellington

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First they are not suppose to be roaming your home and they should not share the same enclosure.
Make each of them the proper size enclosure and hopefully one inside and one outside.
Start reading the many threads on this forum for proper care, housing, diet and why tortoise should roam your house.
Their own enclosure will stop the biting of all the stuff you mentioned that actually could hurt them. When it comes to biting you, move away. You can move faster then they can.
 

Kentcalling

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Hi thanks for your reply but sorry I didn't make it clear that my tortoises both have their on enclosures, I could never put them together he would hurt her and that would break my heart. And the area they like to roam is my front room and the only thing in my front room is walls, doors, carpet, furniture, and a waste paper bin so there is nothing that can hurt them. I think they like my front room because it's a massive 25ft by 17ft and it has huge 14ft panoramic style windows and the sun shines through the windows all day so it get extremely warm. And I have had them for 3 years and they are the right weight and length and my vet has given the all clear on every annual check up they have had, the only problem I have is him and his biting. And of course I move away when he tries to bite me, lol!
 

wellington

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All the stuff in your living room and hurt them. Carpet fibers can be swallowed and cause impaction. Fibers can wrap around limbs. Same with dust bunny's, furniture fibers etc. Tortoise need their own enclosures that is set up properly just for them.
We see it a lot on here, just like you, thinking the roaming the house is just fine, refusing to listen to the more experienced and then all of a sudden,things arent fine. Their tort can't poop or wont eat.
Tortoises need their own house with the proper temps, basking etc or they will be sick.
Don't listen to me. But hopefully when others tell you the same, you will listen.
 

JoesMum

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They are, as you have discovered, very territorial and at 5 years the hormones will be running on high especially at this time of year. They are not social creatures. They don’t want, need or particularly like company… not even of other tortoises. They roam for miles, meet up to mate and move on.

I know all about hormone-fuelled testudo… Joe was a prime example; he had his own section of the garden fenced off.

If he is attacking you, don’t get in his space … and, more importantly, don’t put him in your space. He isn’t going to calm down any time soon. He needs a proper sized enclosure which he can pace and guard be certain that there is nobody else trying to take over his space or eat his food.

Tortoises are not cuddly, social pets, sorry. You have your dog for that.
 

Yvonne G

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JoesMum makes a very good point - your tortoise needs his own space to guard and make sure no other tortoise is invading it.

Tortoises are solitary creatures. They neither want nor need other tortoises in their territory. If you allow both tortoises in the room, even when it's not at the same time, they know and can smell that other tortoises have been there. This puts them on their guard and puts them into aggressive mode.
 

Tom

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Hi everyone I am new here and I wondered if any of you could help please. I ahave a 5 year old Hermann's and he has been with me for 3 years and he is always biting everything including me, my other tortoise, carpets, doors, walls, well basically everything he comes into contact with and I don't know how to get him to calm down. I don't understand why he is like it, I love both my tortoises and they have never been mistreated! I can't have children so my dog and my tortoises are my babies and they have everything they need! Does anyone have any advice or ideas or anything that might be helpful, I really would appreciate any help at all
Tortoises are wild animals with wild instincts and wild hormones. In the wild your torotise would be a dominant individual and would control a large territory. Invaders would be attacked and driven away, and females would be forcibly bred and then sent on their way too. My own term for tortoises that become and behave this way is "super males". There is a spectrum of adult male behavior. Some are mild mannered and easy going, while others like yours, are crazed maniacs.

The way to deal with it is keep to him alone, in a large enclosure, and stay out of his way. Enjoy him as more of a hands-off pet and for what he is.

Keep him in his own enclosure. Not out roaming loose. Your tortoise will find a way to get sick, impacted, injured or dead if you continue to let it run loose. Everyone thinks its safe and that there is nothing that could happen, and they supervise very closely, right up until the day they realize they were wrong. We've seen heads squashed in doors, dog maulings, hair impactions, jewelry ingestion, sewing pin ingestions, carpet/rug/thread ingestions, broken legs from stepping, kicking and door hitting, escapes, poisonings, respiratory infections from the cold and stress, leg problems from the slick floors... the list is endless. You can mentally eliminate all of these possibilities, and your torotise will still find some new and creative way to kill itself. Don't be "that guy".
 

Lyn W

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My leopard tort has his own room - it has rubber flooring with a heated hide. He doesn't like me invading his space and will try to barge me away if I spend too much time in it because it is his territory.
There are many dangers in our homes which we don't think about, some listed above, but also dog and human hair which can cause impaction if ingested so having their own spaces is very important.
Also be careful of your dog around torts because if he is spooked or bitten then he could attack and kill your tort. There are many sad stories here of people who have let their guard down and lost their torts because the usually calm and trusted dog has been spooked or wanted to play.
 

Kentcalling

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They are, as you have discovered, very territorial and at 5 years the hormones will be running on high especially at this time of year. They are not social creatures. They don’t want, need or particularly like company… not even of other tortoises. They roam for miles, meet up to mate and move on.

I know all about hormone-fuelled testudo… Joe was a prime example; he had his own section of the garden fenced off.

If he is attacking you, don’t get in his space … and, more importantly, don’t put him in your space. He isn’t going to calm down any time soon. He needs a proper sized enclosure which he can pace and guard be certain that there is nobody else trying to take over his space or eat his food.

Tortoises are not cuddly, social pets, sorry. You have your dog for that.
Everything you said made so much sense thank you so much! He does have a really lovely enclosure of his own and he marches like a soldier around it whenever he wants to. He has his UV light and heat bulb and food bowls as well as water basking area and his little wooden hut that I had made for him but he does also like to walk around my living room for some reason and I don't really want go take it away from him now as he goes in and out of his enclosure as he pleases and he has done for 3 years without eating any fibres or anything he just like to bite things he doesn't eat anything other than his foods. I don't cuddle him or pet him because he would bite me! But he does have a wooden bridge in his enclosure and he sort of has sex with it! Should I find him a female to mate with of just let him get on with it? Thank you for what you said though i wish i would of asked a long time ago
 

Kentcalling

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Tortoises are wild animals with wild instincts and wild hormones. In the wild your torotise would be a dominant individual and would control a large territory. Invaders would be attacked and driven away, and females would be forcibly bred and then sent on their way too. My own term for tortoises that become and behave this way is "super males". There is a spectrum of adult male behavior. Some are mild mannered and easy going, while others like yours, are crazed maniacs.

The way to deal with it is keep to him alone, in a large enclosure, and stay out of his way. Enjoy him as more of a hands-off pet and for what he is.

Keep him in his own enclosure. Not out roaming loose. Your tortoise will find a way to get sick, impacted, injured or dead if you continue to let it run loose. Everyone thinks its safe and that there is nothing that could happen, and they supervise very closely, right up until the day they realize they were wrong. We've seen heads squashed in doors, dog maulings, hair impactions, jewelry ingestion, sewing pin ingestions, carpet/rug/thread ingestions, broken legs from stepping, kicking and door hitting, escapes, poisonings, respiratory infections from the cold and stress, leg problems from the slick floors... the list is endless. You can mentally eliminate all of these possibilities, and your torotise will still find some new and creative way to kill itself. Don't be "that guy".
Tom thank you for everything you said I just wanted to know if was being a good owner and now I am here in floods of tears because I have ruined his little life but I promise you I will take everything you had said and make all necessary changes straight away but I would just like everyone to know that no other tortoise has ever been in his home I wouldn't ever let that happen, when my mum died sudenly and I took her tortoises to give them a home and give them the best life possible I never meant any harm ever
 

Lyn W

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Everything you said made so much sense thank you so much! He does have a really lovely enclosure of his own and he marches like a soldier around it whenever he wants to. He has his UV light and heat bulb and food bowls as well as water basking area and his little wooden hut that I had made for him but he does also like to walk around my living room for some reason and I don't really want go take it away from him now as he goes in and out of his enclosure as he pleases and he has done for 3 years without eating any fibres or anything he just like to bite things he doesn't eat anything other than his foods. I don't cuddle him or pet him because he would bite me! But he does have a wooden bridge in his enclosure and he sort of has sex with it! Should I find him a female to mate with of just let him get on with it? Thank you for what you said though i wish i would of asked a long time ago
I wouldn't get a female because that would cause more problems for you.
She would also need her own space otherwise he would harass her to mate all the time and she would have a pretty miserable life. Groups of tortoises work better than pairs but only if you have an massive space where they could spread out and avoid each other.
 

Lyn W

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Tom thank you for everything you said I just wanted to know if was being a good owner and now I am here in floods of tears because I have ruined his little life but I promise you I will take everything you had said and make all necessary changes straight away but I would just like everyone to know that no other tortoise has ever been in his home I wouldn't ever let that happen, when my mum died sudenly and I took her tortoises to give them a home and give them the best life possible I never meant any harm ever
I'm sorry for the loss of your Mum, it's great you gave her torts home.
You haven't ruined his life, so don't upset yourself for trying to do your best.

I had no idea what was involved in looking after tortoises when I gave a home to mine but thankfully I found this forum. By following all the advice from people with many years of experience who only have the best interests of torts at heart, my tort is safe and healthy, and now you know there are better and safer ways of doing things to avoid disasters ,you can correct any mistakes and your torts will benefit too if you are prepared to make changes.
This is the caresheet for Hermanns that will help
 

zolasmum

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If his wooden bridge inspires him, then just leave him to it ! He might find some alternative "love object " in time - mine is 20, and has preferred shoes to anything else for years - it is a very common behaviour in male tortoises, so nothing to worry about - as long as his bridge doesn't break apart, in which case you would have to offer alternatives to him ! i think it often calms Zola down, eventually, so it might help with your chap too. In time, he might become more friendly to you -I hope so.
Best wishes from Devon
Angie
 

Kentcalling

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See this happen the most with Hermans and Russians because they are small. This leads to thinking a small enclosure is fine and house roaming for added exercise. @JoesMum is dead on. Your babies will do fine when

If his wooden bridge inspires him, then just leave him to it ! He might find some alternative "love object " in time - mine is 20, and has preferred shoes to anything else for years - it is a very common behaviour in male tortoises, so nothing to worry about - as long as his bridge doesn't break apart, in which case you would have to offer alternatives to him ! i think it often calms Zola down, eventually, so it might help with your chap too. In time, he might become more friendly to you -I hope so.
Best wishes from Devon
Angie
Hi angie thanks so much for your advice I will get a back up bridge just incase because he does have a special bond with it lol x
 

Krista S

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Welcome to the forum @Kentcalling 🙂

I have a 2 year old Hermann’s who grew rather quickly. He was showing off his boy parts already around 20 months old. Along with this seems to be the hormones like you are describing. My sweet little tortoise turned into a raging lunatic, seemingly overnight. He’s become incredibly territorial of his enclosure and if he’s been awake for more than 20 minutes and I do any tending to in his enclosure he comes charging like a bull in a China shop trying to bite me. At times he will even lunge towards me to try and bite my hands. I don’t quite understand it either. I am hoping he will settle down with time. I just have to leave him be more than I used to. Anyhow, I just wanted to let you know you’re not alone. I’d love to see a picture of your little guy, if you wouldn’t mind sharing!

Here’s a pic of my little lunatic with evidence of his naughty behaviour. For context, this is a screenshot from a video I took of him. I had this idea that if I let him “get” me and bite me that he might think he has “won“ and would settle down. For the record, it didn’t work and might have actually made the situation worse so I don’t recommend trying it. 🤣

C0B88C8B-AB0E-42AF-BD4C-9358566EA319.png
 

Lyn W

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Welcome to the forum @Kentcalling 🙂

I have a 2 year old Hermann’s who grew rather quickly. He was showing off his boy parts already around 20 months old. Along with this seems to be the hormones like you are describing. My sweet little tortoise turned into a raging lunatic, seemingly overnight. He’s become incredibly territorial of his enclosure and if he’s been awake for more than 20 minutes and I do any tending to in his enclosure he comes charging like a bull in a China shop trying to bite me. At times he will even lunge towards me to try and bite my hands. I don’t quite understand it either. I am hoping he will settle down with time. I just have to leave him be more than I used to. Anyhow, I just wanted to let you know you’re not alone. I’d love to see a picture of your little guy, if you wouldn’t mind sharing!

Here’s a pic of my little lunatic with evidence of his naughty behaviour. For context, this is a screenshot from a video I took of him. I had this idea that if I let him “get” me and bite me that he might think he has “won“ and would settle down. For the record, it didn’t work and might have actually made the situation worse so I don’t recommend trying it. 🤣

View attachment 325532
Maybe it's high testosterone levels that makes them like that. I'm sure @JoesMum 's Greek tort (Joe) had to have treatment for it. Maybe she can tell you more.
 

Jannra

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Welcome to the forum @Kentcalling 🙂

I have a 2 year old Hermann’s who grew rather quickly. He was showing off his boy parts already around 20 months old. Along with this seems to be the hormones like you are describing. My sweet little tortoise turned into a raging lunatic, seemingly overnight. He’s become incredibly territorial of his enclosure and if he’s been awake for more than 20 minutes and I do any tending to in his enclosure he comes charging like a bull in a China shop trying to bite me. At times he will even lunge towards me to try and bite my hands. I don’t quite understand it either. I am hoping he will settle down with time. I just have to leave him be more than I used to. Anyhow, I just wanted to let you know you’re not alone. I’d love to see a picture of your little guy, if you wouldn’t mind sharing!

Here’s a pic of my little lunatic with evidence of his naughty behaviour. For context, this is a screenshot from a video I took of him. I had this idea that if I let him “get” me and bite me that he might think he has “won“ and would settle down. For the record, it didn’t work and might have actually made the situation worse so I don’t recommend trying it. 🤣

View attachment 325532
Maybe he is an angsty teen and will calm down a bit as he gets older🤣
 

Krista S

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Maybe it's high testosterone levels that makes them like that. I'm sure @JoesMum 's Greek tort (Joe) had to have treatment for it. Maybe she can tell you more.
Thank you @Lyn W for the info. I’d love to hear more about this @JoesMum. Maybe it’ll be helpful for what’s going on with @Kentcalling tortoise as well.
 

Jan A

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Tom thank you for everything you said I just wanted to know if was being a good owner and now I am here in floods of tears because I have ruined his little life but I promise you I will take everything you had said and make all necessary changes straight away but I would just like everyone to know that no other tortoise has ever been in his home I wouldn't ever let that happen, when my mum died sudenly and I took her tortoises to give them a home and give them the best life possible I never meant any harm ever
Nobody thinks that of you. We're just trying to warn you that past behaviors become real & sad problems today or tomorrow if you don't make adjustments in the best interests of your tort. You're his caregiver. We're here to help.
 
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