Problems with aggressive Hermann Tortoise

TammyJ

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I agree that he needs his very own space, and not yours. A good large space with lots of things to see and do. And in particular, a nice snug hide or two.
What is his diet?
If you are not going to confine him to a new and larger personal enclosure inside, but instead you keep letting him out in YOUR house, then maybe he needs to be given a weight to pull. Hitch him up to a little cart full of heavy rocks. This will definitely slow him down. Just joking - I think....????
 

KiwiSue

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Oh my he sounds just like my Hermann's tortoise Theo. My daughter had him for a couple of years at College and I thought they must have teased him because he loves to bite our feet,especially if we have bare feet and nail polish on feet drives him crazy.
He is about 4 years old now and finally decided to bruminate for the winter. We live in Colorado,so it gets cold but not really cold.He dug down about half a foot in the backyard,but wasn't deep enough,so I had to dig him out and put him in his enclosure for the winter.
 

Moozillion

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Aw thanks everyone for your responses. I think I have spoiled him, lol. Sometimes when he is obsessing on chasing and attacking me I throw a slipper or towel down and then he is quite happy for a long time. I guess I really didn't think it would be like this having a tortoise. I thought they were slow creatures. No one believes me about how fast he is until they come over and see it for themselves. Then they are in shock.

He is also obessed with fabric. Pj bottoms especially. He will run so fast to get to them that he'll literally lose traction on our floor and run in spot like in the cartoons.

He is especially aggressive after his baths. Well, at least he doesn't try to bite when you are holding him. It is only when he is on the floor. I think he has a very strong personality. And a LOT of confidence. Hahaha, sigh, just my luck.

We took him with us to my Mom's over Christmas and barracaded him in a spare room but all we could hear was him trying to get out for HOURS. Crashing and banging. We finally had to turn all the lights off so he would calm down and go to sleep.

If you are in the bathroom and he knows it he will try to come in, and smash and push the door open. Anything new that is brought into the house he will charge over full force to see what it is.

Is there no one else that has a demented tortoise like this?
One of our forum members had a tort who was too aggressive, and when he was checked by a vet, the amount of testosterone in his system was VERY high for some reason. Not sure how they corrected it. I’m trying to remember who it was that had that tort... Will try to remember and steer them to this thread...
 

JoesMum

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Tipped of by Moozillion ... it was me ... or rather Joe with the testosterone excess. The whole sage is detailed here http://www.tortoiseforum.org/thread...gg-with-a-one-track-mind-2016-edition.141520/

Joe was very aggressive, but what characterised his problem was that he was so high on testosterone that he wasn’t eating or drinking and that made him very sick.

I agree with everything that was said earlier about the enclosure size. You need to think big and then make it bigger.

In the wild, these Testudo males roam miles... meeting up to mate and moving on. To be honest, no indoor space was ever big enough for Joe and I think it’s kinder to hibernate them through the winter and give them as much space as possible outdoors in summer.

How I coped with spring and autumn in the UK (even summer weather isn’t that great) is detailed here
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/outdoor-accommodation-in-a-colder-uk-climate.140866/

Basically I did what I could to keep Joe outside. If he wasn’t outside, he hibernated.

And as for the aggression... you wear shoes to protect your feet. You use the sole of your shoe to take the impact from ramming. And you cut the lawn very early before he’s warmed up properly.

Happy to take questions
 

David Salas

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In lamp Keenan video I saw that whenever his tortoises got aggressive he would repeatedly turn them over. After that they did calm down.
 

David Salas

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He said that tortoises understand that turning them over sends them a message they understand in the wild. When one turns you over, you have lost and its time to move on.
 

David Salas

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So he bullied them in order to stop them from bullying?
Basically but he was having issues with a new commer who was creating tension with the established females.and also the males
Turning them over solved the problem.
 

David Salas

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He said he had to show him that this overly dominant behavior is not acceptable.
 

David Salas

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Its on YouTube. Unfortunately I don't know which video. But it involved his collection of redfoots
 

tglazie

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This is fairly common behavior in easterns. I have one that behaves this way precisely. He has the run of a 25 by 6 enclosure, but he is still a giant jerk who runs over to fight me anytime I enter his field of view. I can throw a fist full of mulberry leaves, his favorite food, right into his path, and he will pass them up to see at getting a piece of me. Unlike yours, however, he doesn't know what to do when he reaches my feet. He will just stand there, trying to look intimidating. Once I start walking again, he barrels toward me. Once I'm out of view, he will return to whatever treat I've dropped and resume eating it. He also chases green anoles that move along his fence line. It's funny watching the anoles display their red dewlaps in response to his charge. This behavior started shortly before he showed at around age three, and it has been that way ever since. I have a Greek who is also exceptionally aggressive, though his aggression is geared toward other tortoises. He comes to me and behaves like a charismatic little psychopath to request hibiscus flowers and grape leaves. Ultimately, you will just have to accept this behavior. Me personally, I prefer it to shyness, honestly. I find it rather entertaining.

But yes, the advice on offer is apt. Bigger enclosures, more enrichment, not allowing him access to the house floor (it is dangerous and stressful).

T.G.
 

Moozillion

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I, on the other hand, am much more comfortable with a quieter, gentler pet. When I got my Hermann’s, I paid an extra $100 to get a slightly older animal but GUARANTEED female so I wouldn’t have to deal with a horny, overly aggressive tort!!!!!![emoji38][emoji38][emoji38][emoji38]
Posts like this reinforce the wisdom of my decision- [emoji38][emoji38][emoji38][emoji38][emoji38][emoji38][emoji38][emoji38][emoji38][emoji38]
 

Kimarierae

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I have a male Hermann tortoise who is turning 4 years old in March. I've had him since he was a hatchling. I'm wondering if I made a mistake getting him. Don't get me wrong, I do love the little guy, but he is so aggressive.

I have him in a tortoise table in winter and in summer he has an outdoor enclosure. But I live in Canada so he is mainly inside. He is really big now and I've made the mistake of allowing him full run of the house at times. So he will incessentally try to get out, banging and smashing on the walls, until I let him free range.

But once he is out all he does is chase us around, full speed, and try to bite us. Or he mounts our feet. He is turning into a pain in the butt. I thought tortoises were supposed to be slow but he is fast like a rat and persistent.

Does he need a girlfriend? Will this be how he is from now on? Will he eventually calm down? I thought he wasn't supposed to reach sexual maturity until he is 9 years old? He is not even 4 yet and has been like this for almost 2 years. I think I overfed him and he has grown super fast.

I don't know if I should rehome him somewhere that he can have a girlfriend. HELP!


I have the exact same problem with my male herman tortoise and I live in Calgary. He is 7 years old. Have you had any success yet with any of the recommendations?
 

Kimarierae

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I, on the other hand, am much more comfortable with a quieter, gentler pet. When I got my Hermann’s, I paid an extra $100 to get a slightly older animal but GUARANTEED female so I wouldn’t have to deal with a horny, overly aggressive tort!!!!!![emoji38][emoji38][emoji38][emoji38]
Posts like this reinforce the wisdom of my decision- [emoji38][emoji38][emoji38][emoji38][emoji38][emoji38][emoji38][emoji38][emoji38][emoji38]

Are the females generally a lot less aggressive? Thanks.
 

dmmj

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I love threads like this :) they make me laugh so hard. First time tortoise owners are always amazed @ how active and aggressive they can be.
 

TammyJ

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I love threads like this :) they make me laugh so hard. First time tortoise owners are always amazed @ how active and aggressive they can be.
Yeah! I guess they should be glad it's not an Aldabra.
 

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