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Socialize with my tortoise

Discussion in 'Russian tortoises' started by RossIW, Nov 13, 2019.

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  1. RossIW

    RossIW New Member

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    Hey Everyone!
    I am brand new to the forum and was looking for some answers. First off, I have had a Russian Tortoise for about 4 years now who is feed everyday, walked about once a week, and seems kinda shy towards me and my other family. We want him to be happy and trust us. Any ideas?
    (I have a 50ish gallon tank, heat lamp, half-log that he likes to sleep in, a ramped water container, and some plants.)
    Samantha Graham likes this.
  2. LaLaP

    LaLaP Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Hi! Welcome to the forum. Will your tortoise eat out of your hand? I like to hand feed their favorite foods to encourage them to "like" and trust me. I've also built trust by handling them gently and slowly. This is probably obvious and something you have thought of but one reason a tort might be shy of people is because there is something scary or uncomfortable about the interactions. For example, I realized that one of my torts gets freaked out by being carried out in front of me where the world is moving by like he is flying. Now I carry him with his head toward my body with his legs supported. It's my opinion that these little things help a tort feel safe around its people.
    Here's some bad news that nobody likes to hear... your enclosure is way to small. Russians need a lot of space. It's recommended to allow 4ft x 8ft. There are easy ways to built a tortoise table. Even if you're not handy you can use an old book shelf.
    Do you have a UVB lamp? Very important for their health.
    Samantha Graham likes this.
  3. RossIW

    RossIW New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback! We are hoping to get him a bigger cage soon and he will eat out of my hand sometimes but not always. Yes we do have a UVB lamp. Do you recommend we build or buy a enclosure?
    Samantha Graham likes this.
  4. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    Bribery goes a long way.
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  5. LaLaP

    LaLaP Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Either building or buying is fine. Building will be cheaper. You can look in the "enclosure" section of the forum to see how other people have built.
  6. Butterfly

    Butterfly New Member

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    This may sound weird, but I bond with Franklin by talking to him; and believe it or not, it works. Because now in the morning when I tell him good morning, he starts doing his breathing motion as if he is acknowledging me; and sometimes when he is eating I'll say hi to him and he stops and turns his head to look at me. So I'm pretty sure by this point, he recognizes my voice which is pretty cool and what I believe to be the start of a lasting friendship.:)
    Samantha Graham and Radrn like this.
  7. Sleppo

    Sleppo Well-Known Member

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    Hi - Russians are a bit testy by nature, I hand feed the occasional treat and one will tolerate me the other just gives me the stink eye and scurries away as fast as she can. May I suggest you swap out the ramp bowl for a regular old clay pot saucer, the ramps can be a tipping hazard. Good luck!
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  8. bluewolf

    bluewolf Member

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    My baby also responds to my talking to him and saying his name. He also loves going out to be soaked, and to climb around
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