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Problems with aggressive Hermann Tortoise

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by Lady Thompson, Jan 6, 2018.

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  1. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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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....????
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  2. KiwiSue

    KiwiSue New Member

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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.
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  3. Moozillion

    Moozillion Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    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...
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  4. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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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
  5. David Salas

    David Salas New Member

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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.
  6. Big Charlie

    Big Charlie Well-Known Member

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    So he bullied them in order to stop them from bullying?
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  7. David Salas

    David Salas New Member

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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.
  8. David Salas

    David Salas New Member

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    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.
  9. David Salas

    David Salas New Member

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

    David Salas New Member

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

    tglazie Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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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.
  12. Beasty_Artemis

    Beasty_Artemis Active Member

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    I totally agree with tglazie about the aggressive personality types being more entertaining! More outgoing!
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  13. Moozillion

    Moozillion Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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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!!!!!!
    Posts like this reinforce the wisdom of my decision-
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  14. Kimarierae

    Kimarierae New Member

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    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?
  15. Kimarierae

    Kimarierae New Member

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    Are the females generally a lot less aggressive? Thanks.
  16. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator

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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.
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  17. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    Yeah! I guess they should be glad it's not an Aldabra.
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  18. Ketta

    Ketta Active Member

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    What's an aldabra?
  19. Big Charlie

    Big Charlie Well-Known Member

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    Very, very big tortoises! If you go to the species section of the forum, you can find the aldabra forum.
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  20. Ketta

    Ketta Active Member

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    Oh like Galapagos?
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