Introducing tortoise and dog

Tom

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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.
There is simply no way to do this. The dog will not lose interest and even if it appears that he/she has, your tortoise is at great risk of mauling. Many people have the dog and tortoise coexist for years with no problem and seemingly no interest from the dog. Then, one day, they find their tortoise all chewed up. The response is always: "He's never done that before..."

You can hire a professional dog trainer that does snake breaking clinics. They know how to create a negative associate between dog and reptile. In the case of rattlesnakes, it is to protect the dog from harm. In your case, it would be to protect the tortoise, but the concept is the same.

The best policy is to have separate areas for dog and tortoise, and have physical barriers between them at all times. Introducing the scent, and any attempt to introduce or desensitize the dog is only going to generate more interest. As a professional dog trainer specializing in aggression and problem dog cases, and also a tortoise keeper with decades of experience, I know how this will go. I've made all the mistakes and watched many others make them too. I hope you are one of those intelligent people who can learn from the mistakes of others and not have to make them yourself.
 

AesopSlow&Steady

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There is simply no way to do this. The dog will not lose interest and even if it appears that he/she has, your tortoise is at great risk of mauling. Many people have the dog and tortoise coexist for years with no problem and seemingly no interest from the dog. Then, one day, they find their tortoise all chewed up. The response is always: "He's never done that before..."

You can hire a professional dog trainer that does snake breaking clinics. They know how to create a negative associate between dog and reptile. In the case of rattlesnakes, it is to protect the dog from harm. In your case, it would be to protect the tortoise, but the concept is the same.

The best policy is to have separate areas for dog and tortoise, and have physical barriers between them at all times. Introducing the scent, and any attempt to introduce or desensitize the dog is only going to generate more interest. As a professional dog trainer specializing in aggression and problem dog cases, and also a tortoise keeper with decades of experience, I know how this will go. I've made all the mistakes and watched many others make them too. I hope you are one of those intelligent people who can learn from the mistakes of others and not have to make them yourself.

What an incredibly patronising response! Thank you for your advice, I think you may have misunderstood my query - or perhaps I wasn’t clear enough. I have found a solution anyhow.
 

SweetGreekTorts

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I don't find Tom's response to be patronizing at all. And he provided a very sufficient answer to your inquiry.

You're wanting to know if your dog and tortoise can peacefully coexist with your dog having no interest in your tortoise, correct? It really cannot be done. I can see that's not the answer you want, but it's the absolute truth. Dogs have natural instincts and we can never predict how they will react in any situation, even one they have been through before. They might get along fine together at first, but that instance will come when the dog attacks the tortoise, even under supervision, and all it needs is mere seconds to do damage.

I've seen too many stories (with gruesome, heartbreaking photos) of people who had trusted their dog with their tortoise and then one day their tortoise got mauled without warning. The last one I saw, the damage was too severe and the tortoise was euthanized. It all could have been prevented, had those people kept their tortoise safely in its enclosure and completely out of reach from the dog.

Tom gave great insight and he's had years of experience which is why he's trying to help others from making mistakes.

But in the end, it's your dog and your tortoise, so you are going to do what you think is best. Hopefully nothing bad will happen, ever. Good luck [emoji106]
 

Yvonne G

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Just to add a further anecdote for your edification:

I operated a turtle and tortoise rescue for many years. About 6 or 8 years ago an older couple brought me Mildred, a desert tortoise with three legs. The story was that they had Mildred since she was a hatchling. When she was about 10 years old or so they bought a lab pup. The pup grew up in the same backyard as Mildred and they lived together for about 15 years.

One summer the older couple went away on vacation leaving the house and animals to be cared for by their adult son, who came over twice a day to look after things. When the couple got home they discovered that Mildred now had only three legs instead of four. The dog had chewed off one of her legs in their absence.
 

SweetGreekTorts

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Just to add a further anecdote for your edification:

I operated a turtle and tortoise rescue for many years. About 6 or 8 years ago an older couple brought me Mildred, a desert tortoise with three legs. The story was that they had Mildred since she was a hatchling. When she was about 10 years old or so they bought a lab pup. The pup grew up in the same backyard as Mildred and they lived together for about 15 years.

One summer the older couple went away on vacation leaving the house and animals to be cared for by their adult son, who came over twice a day to look after things. When the couple got home they discovered that Mildred now had only three legs instead of four. The dog had chewed off one of her legs in their absence.
Very sad. I have also rescued a tortoise that had been attacked by a dog with its previous owners. No missing limbs, but a chunk of the plastron was ripped off and lots of exposed shell bone on the carapace, though overall it all has been very slowly healing since I've had her (you can see the greenish areas where her new layer of shell is). She's a fully grown female Russian tortoise.

I've been treating her with regular soaks, fresh food and water daily, fresh air and natural sunlight, and a safe haven away from dogs. She's doing great, just takes a long time to heal up completely.
20190505 125004 20190505 124949 20190505 124941
 

Lyn W

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Very sad. I have also rescued a tortoise that had been attacked by a dog with its previous owners. No missing limbs, but a chunk of the plastron was ripped off and lots of exposed shell bone on the carapace, though overall it all has been very slowly healing since I've had her (you can see the greenish areas where her new layer of shell is). She's a fully grown female Russian tortoise.

I've been treating her with regular soaks, fresh food and water daily, fresh air and natural sunlight, and a safe haven away from dogs. She's doing great, just takes a long time to heal up completely.
View attachment 271475 View attachment 271476 View attachment 271477
That is so sad but you're doing a great job and I hope the poor thing makes as good a recovery as possible.
I have a tort with a missing foot which had healed over by the time I got him, but the vet told me it could have been chewed off by a rat or a dog - a horrible thought!
 

Blackdog1714

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Sprinklers! They make motion activated ones that will also work a night for when wild critters come around. Hope that helps
 

Yossarian

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I have two dogs, neither shows any interest in my tort, in fact they avoid it. One is a Labrador and the other is a beagle cross. Even so, I would never leave them unnattended alone because either dog could kill the tort in a few seconds. I think it is very unlikely that either would do anything to it, but I wouldnt take that risk with his life. Pic below is a kid on reddit that broke all the rules, kept two together, let them roam the floor, and had dogs around. This is what the dog did, tort did not survive, owner feels terrible.

1613303871336
 
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Jan A

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Very sad. I have also rescued a tortoise that had been attacked by a dog with its previous owners. No missing limbs, but a chunk of the plastron was ripped off and lots of exposed shell bone on the carapace, though overall it all has been very slowly healing since I've had her (you can see the greenish areas where her new layer of shell is). She's a fully grown female Russian tortoise.

I've been treating her with regular soaks, fresh food and water daily, fresh air and natural sunlight, and a safe haven away from dogs. She's doing great, just takes a long time to heal up completely.
View attachment 271475 View attachment 271476 View attachment 271477
OMG!!
 

Armadillogroomer

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I might be wrong but this looks an awful lot like a bot account. posts a link in their first post and post only vaguely pertains to the topic.

Great catch, that is definitely advertising for a website. It's frustrating that it's spreading misinformation as it goes.
 

ZEROPILOT

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I have never been a dog owner, I keep an iguana at home and I was given a puppy for my birthday, I was very afraid that the lizard could harm the puppy. I was so distracted by this topic that I forgot to name my puppy. It turned out that reptiles and dogs can live quietly together and they will not attack each other if they are raised together. I then remembered the name of my dog and went to search on the Internet and found a list of names oodlelife.com and eventually chose the name Smoke. I just have a gray dog, what's your name? it seems to be considered popular, I have always had problems with imagination, so for me, it is a success ))
The big difference here is that a healthy Iguana of some size can adequately defend itself from most dogs.
A tortoise is a slow moving and defenseless ball.
(Weather this post was actual or not.)
 

Toddrickfl1

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What's with all these Spam bots on the forum lately?
 

LiaNox

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We always have animals in our house, either the kids bring them from the street or I take them from work to the shelter. Our dogs have gotten used to the fact that it is taboo to touch those in their territory. True, it's pretty funny to watch them get acquainted with them for the first time. Such was the case with the Central Asian tortoise. Seeing that brought something or someone new two cheeky snouts already pushed the children to look closer at this strange thing. Impressed she made no impression on them, no effect: do not run, do not play, do not be afraid, to take in the teeth and run - you can not, are not allowed. All interest is over. Generally, if you are interested in these things you should learn about
 
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ZenHerper

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Tortoise shells are made of the same stuff as cow hooves: they smell like something to chew on.

Tortoises are round: they look like something to play with.

Tortoises move their heads and legs in and out: they look like something to dig for.

Tortoises move very quickly along the ground: they look like something to chase.

Tortoises are musky: they smell like prey animals.

No size or age of dog is safe: all dogs are dogs.
 

Sarah2020

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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?
Hi best to take to a reptile shop or buy cat/ dog clippers but as mentioned there is blood in the nails so small careful trim is mandatory over the forthcoming weeks. Introduction of slate / paving stone is good but will take time to take effect and there could be a nail accident in the mean time. If in doubt go professional vet or expert.
 

Sarah2020

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Also to mention a dog will flip , play or crush your tortoise so separation is mandatory.
 

Yvonne G

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Make a separate yard outside for the tortoise and teach the dog "NO!!!" when he tries to go in there. You can even make the sides tall enough so the dog can't get in when you're not watching.
 

Yvonne G

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What's with all these Spam bots on the forum lately?
? so sorry! I really do try to catch them before they post. I look at the "new member" list every morning and catch 90% of them, but this particular one was looking at a tortoise post and seemed legit at the moment. Please "report" them if they post before I get to it, and I'll remove the posts and delete/ban the username.
 

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