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Scratching Tortoises “Butts”

Discussion in 'Advanced Tortoise Topics' started by tortoiseplanet, Dec 19, 2017.

  1. tortoiseplanet

    tortoiseplanet Active Member

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    We all know tortoises go crazy when we scratch their butts, but do we know why? Do tortoises truly enjoy the action, get tickled from it? Or is it the natural reaction of fear? Should we continue to do this? Tortoises cannot see behind themselves, so when scratched in a behind, in a blind area, the tortoise could be reacting from fear. What’s your input/ideas?
  2. Prairie Mom

    Prairie Mom Well-Known Member

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    If my tortoise gave a big physical reaction to something I was doing, I would stop doing it. When my tortoise seems to like what I'm doing like head, neck, and chin scratches she'll hold still and lean into it. She occasionally will even close her eyes and rest while I do it.
  3. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    When my redfoots are outside they seem to take pleasure in scratching their rear vertebral scutes on overhanging logs I have. Exact same dancing moves as when I scratch them.
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  4. tortoiseplanet

    tortoiseplanet Active Member

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    Thanks for your input! How do your tortoises react when scratched on the front of their shells?
  5. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    They don't react
  6. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    I won't even think about it.
  7. cheerios586

    cheerios586 Active Member

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    Hi,

    Wow! Never thought of rubbing under her chin let alone her behind, I thought she might bite. My tort seems to be afraid of everything and jumps or pulls her head and legs in even when I rub her shell, which I do before I pick her up so as to not startle her. I think she's had a hard life, who knows how long she was at the pet store before purchase. I've had her for less than a year and she is relaxing more each day with our routine, but sure seems to be taking a long time for her to be completely comfortable with me. Although, my husband swears she winks at him when he talks to her, maybe she likes men more than women. He can rub her head and I seem to frighten her.

    Good luck with your tort, they seem to be a daily learning experience.
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  8. Bee62

    Bee62 Well-Known Member

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    Hi, and I noticed that my young sulcata torts sometimes "dance" with their butts when I spray their shell with a flower sprayer and water. I think they like it !
    cheerios586 and Anyfoot like this.
  9. ColaCarbonaria

    ColaCarbonaria Active Member

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    I’ve observed same behavior, also have seen them doing the “dance” while “scratching” their plastron on root or edge of water dish or rock. I scratch them when they come check me out when I’m sitting on their wall and then they’ll just wander off when they’re done with me!
    karrirae, cheerios586 and Anyfoot like this.
  10. Oogway the russian tort

    Oogway the russian tort Active Member

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    when I try to scratch Oogway's shell he seems to lung forward away form my hand I think some tortoises enjoy it and some don't. Also does the same when I try to pet his head he retreats to his shell.
    cheerios586 likes this.
  11. cheerios586

    cheerios586 Active Member

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    Hi,
    Yoshi is very shy and I have to approach her extremely slow or she retreats. At least she doesn't hiss at me anymore. ha ha
  12. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

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    Keep feeding her and she will tame up and see you as food god.
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  13. cheerios586

    cheerios586 Active Member

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    Hi,
    They are slow to trust, aren't they? Anytime I make any changes to her enclosure she freaks out for a few days. Makes me hesitant to do anything that will upset her. ha ha She has me trained. :)
    Anyfoot likes this.
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