Signs of bullying in young tortoises

Tom

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'Following' is a form of "mad dogging". Cuddling and sleeping in the same area is a form of trying to crowd the other out of the territory. Does one or both sit on the food? That's another one.

Outward, obvious hostility like biting, ramming, or flipping seldom happens with juveniles. The aggression is much more subtle. These are solitary animals. Other torts are not seen as friends. They are seen as intruders or competitors for limited resources. Other torts are not wanted, and having them in pairs causes low grade stress that can hamper their immune systems, lessen their appetites, and stunt growth too.

Groups of babies can usually work. It is pairs that are the problem. Its too personal. Groups dynamics are different than pair dynamics.
 

JackieJax

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Now... what do I do when my tortiose is bullying me?! Tortimer is no longer scared of me. If I make any change to the backyard, he goes right to it and knocks it down or lays on it. So the garden I've been growing for him has been smashed. He'll come up to me and look at my hands. If I don't have anything for him to eat in my hands, he steps on me. At first I thought it was a fluke the first 4 times. Then I started dodging him. He'll stop, turn, look for my feet and step where they were or follow me until he steps on me. If I do give him something like a piece of pumpkin or a veggie... he now let's me pet him without hiding. I can hear him right now trying to tear down the tomato planter I put up on the side of the house.
 

Tom

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Now... what do I do when my tortiose is bullying me?! Tortimer is no longer scared of me. If I make any change to the backyard, he goes right to it and knocks it down or lays on it. So the garden I've been growing for him has been smashed. He'll come up to me and look at my hands. If I don't have anything for him to eat in my hands, he steps on me. At first I thought it was a fluke the first 4 times. Then I started dodging him. He'll stop, turn, look for my feet and step where they were or follow me until he steps on me. If I do give him something like a piece of pumpkin or a veggie... he now let's me pet him without hiding. I can hear him right now trying to tear down the tomato planter I put up on the side of the house.
You have a normal sulcata that is behaving like a normal sulcata. As he grows you will need to make the enclosure and furniture in it "giant tortoise proof". If not, you'll be seeing things like this:

"Heeeeeeeeere's Johnny!!!"
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JackieJax

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Hahahaha! He has about a quarter acre of grass that he thinks is far, far too small. I sectioned off an area that was supposed to be his garden, but yesterday he decided to trample everything and eat the heads off all of the plants that were barely sprouting. Poor things are only stems sticking out of the ground. He didn't knock over the hibiscus plant I'm growing for him... surprisingly. His nightbox is the insulated 8 ft x 4 ft x 2 ft one that I saw plans for linked on here. I also added an insulated 6ft x 10ft day shed as well. I have a little hallway connecting the two. They're both thermostat controlled, so it helps. But yeah... im going to have to make the doorway a bit bigger pretty soon.

My biggest issue with him now... other than him stepping on me, "chasing" the cats, and knocking things over... is him constantly trying to escape. All the gates are covered so he can't see out. But he knows there is a world on the other side anyways. I had to board up the inside of the covered chain link fence because he tore through the fabric and kept trying to climb up it. He hurt a couple of his scutes and it freaked me out. Every day I hear him scraping against the boards and the house while I'm working. The backyard is starting to look like a paintball village with how many boards I keep putting up.
 

JackieJax

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Side note... I did make the mistake of letting him in the house when I first got him. Positive thing to come out of that experience... I learned how to fix dry wall and tile that weekend.
 

Tom

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Hahahaha! He has about a quarter acre of grass that he thinks is far, far too small. I sectioned off an area that was supposed to be his garden, but yesterday he decided to trample everything and eat the heads off all of the plants that were barely sprouting. Poor things are only stems sticking out of the ground. He didn't knock over the hibiscus plant I'm growing for him... surprisingly. His nightbox is the insulated 8 ft x 4 ft x 2 ft one that I saw plans for linked on here. I also added an insulated 6ft x 10ft day shed as well. I have a little hallway connecting the two. They're both thermostat controlled, so it helps. But yeah... im going to have to make the doorway a bit bigger pretty soon.

My biggest issue with him now... other than him stepping on me, "chasing" the cats, and knocking things over... is him constantly trying to escape. All the gates are covered so he can't see out. But he knows there is a world on the other side anyways. I had to board up the inside of the covered chain link fence because he tore through the fabric and kept trying to climb up it. He hurt a couple of his scutes and it freaked me out. Every day I hear him scraping against the boards and the house while I'm working. The backyard is starting to look like a paintball village with how many boards I keep putting up.
Few people realize the destructive potential of a large sulcata. You and I certainly do...
 

JackieJax

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Few people realize the destructive potential of a large sulcata. You and I certainly do...
Hahaha yes!!! Their stubbornness rivals my own and my cats. I've had to talk people out of getting them as pets. Their cute and it's all fun and games until you're having to replace siding on a house and needing to spend hundreds to thousands on keeping them comfortable. Not happy... just comfortable. LoL
 
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