Interaction/Handling Opinions

KCCO

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I just got my tort last month and I've heard various opinions of how much you should handle a Russian tortoise. My tort is very active and although he/she does not have a clear enclosure it still paces and walks into the sides of it. (It's a huge tank as well, just to clear that up). I try to let it out every other day or so to let it get some exercise now that it has settled in and gotten comfortable. Does anyone else let their tort explore in a safe, small environment while supervised? Most the time she will just go to my sliding doors and stare out of them for an hour or so and then go sit under the coach. She hisses at me less now but it seems like she's just restless and unhappy all the time.
 

wellington

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You should house him outside if the temps permit. You should not let him roam your floors. It is too cold on the floor if you live in a cold area and too many things that the tort can try to eat that would not be good for him and even possibly harmful.
I used to spend lots of time with my tort when he was little, now I can touch his head, feet, tail and he doesn't mind or pull in. To me, it makes sense to get them used to being handled just incase they need to see a vet or have their toes or beaks trimmed.
 

dmmj

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I don't house roam. My tortoises have dedicated outdoor enviroments. Is an outside enclosure an option for you? Also I ( ppersonal choice) don't handle often, again it really is a personal choice to handle or not.
 

Jodie

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I always keep my tortoises in their enclosures. I do handle them and spend time rubbing their shells, head and feet. How large is a huge tank? Outside enclosures are very helpful. It sounds like he wants to go outside badly.
 

smarch

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The only house roaming I let my Franklin do is climb on me when I'm on my chair watching TV. He'll sleep or climb around then sleep, but that way when he is out he is under constant supervision and can't be hurt by anyone or anything.
I used to let him go for a quick roam of the floor in the winter since in MA it MUCH too cold for a tort outside. I thought it was getting his energy out and exercise, but in reality I was showing him theres a whole world outside his enclosure and he would "stampede" more in his enclosure because he realized it wasn't huge. To me it stopped being worth the dangers of letting him roam even when watching him like a hawk.
Sounds like your tot wants outside, if its warm enough out (consistently over 60°F) I highly suggest an outdoor enclosure. And keeping him in his enclosure and stopping roaming since bad things can happen and torts can play here one minute gone the next if you look away.
 

smarch

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I rub my tortoises shell and talk to him through his enclosures back wall but other than that the only time I "handle" him is to move him outside in the summer or have him sit on me like I'd just mentioned.
 

bouaboua

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Oh....My wife talk to everyone of them daily and taking them out for sun bathing and soaking. She pat them, touching their head and chin. I'm not sure they like it. I think they just got use to it.
 

jlpicc

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Mine HATES to be handled, so we try to only do it when we take him out for "walks." He doesn't get to house roam, because when we tried he just found someplace cozy and went to sleep. But in the warmer months we take him outside a few times a week to roam in the sun, which he seems to enjoy. He doesn't like going back in his enclosure afterwards, but he'll deal (permanent outdoor enclosure isn't an option for us at this time, unfortunately).
Word of caution, if you don't have someplace super/secure for outdoor roaming, DO NOT take your eyes off him. They are so quick when they want to be, and can literally be gone in an instant, possibly forever.
 

KCCO

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Thank you all for your opinions! After a couple weeks I've found that letting him roam and get energy out is definitely making him more restless. He paces a lot more and continuously walks into the corner of his tub. I'm definitely going to build him an outdoor enclosure this summer but seeing as its winter thats not going to happen quite yet.
 
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