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Introducing tortoise and dog

Discussion in 'Cats & Dogs' started by AesopSlow&Steady, Apr 8, 2019.

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  1. AesopSlow&Steady

    AesopSlow&Steady New Member

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    Does anyone have any tips or advice for introducing my dog (Rollo, labrador) to my marginated tortoise (Aesop)?

    Soon the weather will be good enough to put Aesop back outside and I don’t want any interest from Rollo. We have hens and other animals which he doesn’t look twice at and I think the worst thing he would do is try to retrieve Aesop. How do you introduce them without encouraging an interest in the tortoise?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

    IMG_4667.jpg IMG_1554754866.510640.jpg
    ZEROPILOT likes this.
  2. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Tips for introducing dog: Don’t!

    I am afraid that even the best behaved dog will see a tortoise as a chew toy. We have seen far too many victims on TFO. Please keep them entirely separately. Let Aesop have his own safe enclosure outdoors that Rollo cannot get into and is never let into.
  3. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    What she said.
    Even the friendliest dogs still just one day seem to decide that a tortoise looks like something to chew on.
    It's not a dog being vicious. It's a dog being a dog.
    Nice animals by the way.
  4. hollyandT

    hollyandT Member

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    I think it depends on the doggos personality from my experience.
    My dog when he was younger say 5-6 I had a hamster that would roll it’s ball into the wall and crack it open to which no one knew until the hamster went flying across the room because jacko(my dog) was playing with it:/
    but as he’s grown older - he’s now 12 - I’ve had a few animals in between that he’s had easy access to and has not shown the slightest interest in them nor his toys really!
    He only plays with one toy which used to be a teddy Dalmatian (his girlfriend ) it is now a straggly piece of material due to the actions of another dog
    I still wouldn’t leave my tort unsupervised outside where they could interact and they don’t interact at all it’s just a safety precaution,
    id recommend making an outdoor enclosure if you want to be able to just leave them outside as @JoesMum said because it’s a win win both animals can be outside and no harm done to either of them :)
    Sorry for the long story I could’ve gotten straight to the point but I feel like sometimes experiences can help
  5. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Also keep in mind that tortoises are easily lost in a garden, no matter how closely you watch them. Having a secure enclosure means you know exactly where your tortoise is.

    They also have a fairly revolting habit of eating poop... their own or that of other animals. It’s a good way for them to get parasites. Again, being kept in their own secure enclosure when you have other animals around minimises this risk.
    TechnoCheese likes this.
  6. domalle

    domalle Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Your question has been well answered.

    Off topic but your nice little turtle's nails are seriously overgrown. It will affect his gait and there is a danger of nails snagging and being ripped from the nailbed. Since they are so overgrown they will have to be clipped back gradually. It can't be corrected in one sitting because veins grow out as the nail does and if you cut too close all at once bleeding will occur.
    Please excuse the unsolicited advice.
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  7. AesopSlow&Steady

    AesopSlow&Steady New Member

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    Thank you very much for the unsolicited advice! I have always thought he had long nails but assumed it was for digging and climbing. Do you think if I put him on paving stones a couple of times a week they might wear down naturally?
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  8. AesopSlow&Steady

    AesopSlow&Steady New Member

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    Thank you for the advice!
  9. AesopSlow&Steady

    AesopSlow&Steady New Member

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    Hi, thanks for the story and advice. I asked because my friend’s tortoise lives loose in her house with the dogs. It sleeps on a hot water bottle in the dog bed. But I think hers might be a unique set up by the sounds of things.

    He has an outdoor run the dog can’t get to. I just had ideas of him roaming around the house but I think you are right - it’s not worth the risk. Hey ho!
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  10. domalle

    domalle Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    While many on the forum will advise this, in practice it will only work as a preventative measure and in my experience not an optimal one when the nails are already overgrown. Once a tortoise's nails are in this condition, they must be clipped initially to bring them under control. A regular nail clipper will be effective on this little one's nails. Again just take the tips off and gradually snip them back over time. The more these routine grooming chores are addressed, the less likely the tortoise will resist as they become used to it. Some retract into their shell and refuse to cooperate however. If that proves to be the case, put it off for another occasion and don't be discouraged. As they get used to it, you will too. And if you should clip too far and the nails bleed a little, it's nothing to worry about. Just keep it clean, it will heal right up.
  11. AesopSlow&Steady

    AesopSlow&Steady New Member

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    Thank you so much for this - I clipped his nails this morning and it was no problem at all. He was very obliging and the prospect of a handful of dandelion leaves made it very rewarding. I will keep a closer eye on this in future. I don’t suppose you can think of anything else I may have overlooked?!
  12. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    It seems like you've already gotten the point, so now my concern is for your friend's tortoise. This tortoise is very likely to die if she doesn't change things. Please try to help her, or invite her here.
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  13. AesopSlow&Steady

    AesopSlow&Steady New Member

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    She’s had it for 35 years and it’s lived like this so I think it’s a lifestyle that works for them. It isn’t an arrangement that would concern me at all, but I suppose it’s eccentric.
  14. Ben02

    Ben02 Well-Known Member

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    Dogs and torts are not a good match. This little fluffy beast is Stan, he’s my best mate and kinda like my own assistance dog. However!!!! I would not let him near the torts:D

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  15. jsheffield

    jsheffield Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    My dogs have seen my redfoot tortoise, but never without me present ... they're well behaved but why take a chance with deeply-programmed instincts?

    Jamie
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  16. Lyn W

    Lyn W Well-Known Member

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    It is not safe for your tort to roam the house with so many choking hazards, cleaning chemicals, and the fact that the floor is the coldest place. There have even been terrible reports of torts having heads crushed in doors. Your friends tortoise has been lucky to live so long without the proper care it should have.
    Even loyal family dogs cannot be trusted near torts.
    Just type 'dog attack' in the search facility and see what comes up.
    There's a particularly gruesome post that TechnoCheese posted last October, but that's the sort of thing that could happen to your tort if your dog suddenly got spooked by it or decided to 'play'.
    Don't risk it!!
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  17. AesopSlow&Steady

    AesopSlow&Steady New Member

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    I think this thread has veered from my original question which perhaps wasn’t clearly written.
    I really want advice for reducing interest In the tort from my Labrador. I’m not suggesting a set up like my friends but when Aesop (tort) goes back outside in his outdoor run I don’t want Rollo (dog) to sit and stare at him all day. I just wondered if anyone had any tips, but I think my instinct is to not make a fuss and the dog will get bored eventually.
  18. hollyandT

    hollyandT Member

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    Hmmm I suppose scent swapping could help if you have a rag or something to put in with your tortoise so the tortoises scent sticks to it and then putting the rag anywhere your dog can smell it then he should learn the scent and know of the torts presence and hopefully will make him less curious
    I’ve never done this but I know it’s a procedure done when bringing new animals home
  19. Lyn W

    Lyn W Well-Known Member

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    I would make sure the tort's outside enclosure has a very secure mesh cover - something your dog can't move or lift , so that if he does show interest and gets over excited he can't get to the tort and even have your dog and tort areas completely separate.
  20. AesopSlow&Steady

    AesopSlow&Steady New Member

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    Thanks - it’s worth a go!
    hollyandT likes this.
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