Suggestions for Wannabe Tortoise Mom

Emmylou

New Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Springfield, OH
Hi Everyone!

My name is Emily. I have been interested in adopting a tortoise for quite some time. My husband and I own a home now and have a nice yard...I am not quite ready to get a tortoise, but hopefully will be soon. I am very taken by Sulcata tortoises...I think they are beautiful and I love that they are huge :) I have recently been doing some research on them and am having second thoughts as to whether or not they are the right match for me and my family. As a first time tortoise owner, I would love to have some opinions on recommended breeds. Let me tell you about myself and my family so you can give me appropriate recommendations.

My family consists of me, my husband, our 7 month old baby, and 6 dogs (yes you read that right, 6!). We live in Ohio where summer is hot, winter is cold and honestly, one day can be completely different than the next as far as weather is concerned. We have a privacy fenced in backyard.

We are looking for a tortoise as a family pet - one that is on the social side and will interact with us. We have a busy household and I don't want the tortoise to be scared - that wouldn't be fair to him/her. I am happy to create a tortoise habitat outside so he/she can live outside in the summer - weather dependent of course. I like to garden and spend time outdoors - the tortoise could have free roam of the fenced in yard when I am outside with him/her.We are looking for something on the larger side, but I really want to bring the tortoise into our home - during bad weather/winter/night time/anytime for fun. Are there any types of tortoises that can free roam in a home - with visits to their enclosure for potty and eating of course?

Any suggestions and help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you :)
 

Jodie

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
4,357
Location (City and/or State)
Spokane Valley WA
Hello and welcome. Free roaming is never a good idea. A tortoise would need a dog safe enclosure. Essentially you are bringing a walking bone home as far as the dogs are concerned. Interaction from tortoises is pretty much limited to food. Read the care guides for sulcatas and any others. The care required should help with your decision.
 

Emmylou

New Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Springfield, OH
Hello and welcome. Free roaming is never a good idea. A tortoise would need a dog safe enclosure. Essentially you are bringing a walking bone home as far as the dogs are concerned. Interaction from tortoises is pretty much limited to food. Read the care guides for sulcatas and any others. The care required should help with your decision.
Thank you Jodie!
I read up a lot on Sulcatas. Could you possibly tell me the names of any other large breed tortoises (maybe not quite as large as a Sulcata) so that I can research them as well?
I think I might need to clarify the "free roaming" part of my post. I want to be able to get the tortoise out of his/her enclosure from time to time - to walk around the house. This would ONLY be with supervision - I certainly don't want anyone getting hurt. If you think that is a bad idea still, please let me know. I totally understand about the dog safe enclosure...we have an entire basement that the dogs do not go in...that would be a very safe place to set up the indoor enclosure :)
 

Grandpa Turtle 144

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Messages
10,893
Hello Emily
You say you have researched tortoises ? Have you read about problems with one dog and a tort ? You have 6 time that . When your tort gets to be 200 pounds you want it in the house in the winter ( 9 months ) ? You like to garden ( a 100 pound will eat it all ) ? You want a tort that will hold its own against 6 dogs but interact with a baby ? I'm just a little lost . But I wish you luck , God bless !
ImageUploadedByTortoise Forum1457993406.040773.jpg
 

popeye tortoise

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2015
Messages
390
Location (City and/or State)
Pennsylvania
Hello and welcome. As you can see there are a lot of keepers on this forum with great knowledge. I have 3 sulcatas and I live in Pa so we get seasonal weather and you have to be ready to house your tortoise indoors during this time. It can become costly and also most tortoises no matter what size need a lot of room. Good luck in you decision.
 

SarahChelonoidis

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 20, 2015
Messages
1,895
Location (City and/or State)
Toronto, Canada
Leopards, yellow footeds, and Burmese brown/blacks are smaller species than Sulcata but also large tortoises. You may want to look into them as well.
 

Emmylou

New Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Springfield, OH
Hello Emily
You say you have researched tortoises ? Have you read about problems with one dog and a tort ? You have 6 time that . When your tort gets to be 200 pounds you want it in the house in the winter ( 9 months ) ? You like to garden ( a 100 pound will eat it all ) ? You want a tort that will hold its own against 6 dogs but interact with a baby ? I'm just a little lost . But I wish you luck , God bless !
View attachment 167631

Hello and thank you for the response.

I have read about problems with dogs and tortoises, but have also read about tortoises and dogs getting along. Are the things I have read about dogs and tortoises getting along rare occasions? I understand that it would take time and have to be a monitored situation between the dogs and the tortoise - I would never leave them unattended, so the tortoise wouldn't need to hold its own. Looking back on my original post, I think that I gave the wrong impression. When I say interact, I don't mean play or snuggle - and I think my son is too young at this point to interact. I am simply looking for a tortoise that might be okay with being hand fed from time to time, might walk up to us and around the room, and not be scared of a busy household. As my son gets older, I want him to be able to enjoy a tortoise as a pet.

I have researched Sulcatas and the more I read about them and looked into their enclosure needs - specifically having to house them indoors during bad weather with their large size - the more I am thinking that they might not be the correct match for my family. That is why I have asked for suggestions for tortoise breeds that are on the larger side, but not quite that big.

If you have any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!
 

Emmylou

New Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Springfield, OH
Hello and welcome. As you can see there are a lot of keepers on this forum with great knowledge. I have 3 sulcatas and I live in Pa so we get seasonal weather and you have to be ready to house your tortoise indoors during this time. It can become costly and also most tortoises no matter what size need a lot of room. Good luck in you decision.
Thank you!
 

Emmylou

New Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Springfield, OH
Leopards, yellow footeds, and Burmese brown/blacks are smaller species than Sulcata but also large tortoises. You may want to look into them as well.
Thank you very much for the suggestions - much appreciated! I will research each of these breeds as well!
 

Grandpa Turtle 144

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2013
Messages
10,893
Hello and thank you for the response.

I have read about problems with dogs and tortoises, but have also read about tortoises and dogs getting along. Are the things I have read about dogs and tortoises getting along rare occasions? I understand that it would take time and have to be a monitored situation between the dogs and the tortoise - I would never leave them unattended, so the tortoise wouldn't need to hold its own. Looking back on my original post, I think that I gave the wrong impression. When I say interact, I don't mean play or snuggle - and I think my son is too young at this point to interact. I am simply looking for a tortoise that might be okay with being hand fed from time to time, might walk up to us and around the room, and not be scared of a busy household. As my son gets older, I want him to be able to enjoy a tortoise as a pet.

I have researched Sulcatas and the more I read about them and looked into their enclosure needs - specifically having to house them indoors during bad weather with their large size - the more I am thinking that they might not be the correct match for my family. That is why I have asked for suggestions for tortoise breeds that are on the larger side, but not quite that big.

If you have any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks!
Thank you for your understanding and kindness while reading the words I put down . Some people would get angry at my thoughts . But I really just wanted you happy with the tort you find in your future ! And God bless your family .
 

Emmylou

New Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Springfield, OH
Thank you for your understanding and kindness while reading the words I put down . Some people would get angry at my thoughts . But I really just wanted you happy with the tort you find in your future ! And God bless your family .
Thank you for the response, I want to be happy with my tortoise - but more importantly, I want the tortoise to be happy. I definitely appreciate your honesty - that's what I am here for. Take care and peace to you and yours :)
 

Jodie

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
4,357
Location (City and/or State)
Spokane Valley WA
Thank you Jodie!
I read up a lot on Sulcatas. Could you possibly tell me the names of any other large breed tortoises (maybe not quite as large as a Sulcata) so that I can research them as well?
I think I might need to clarify the "free roaming" part of my post. I want to be able to get the tortoise out of his/her enclosure from time to time - to walk around the house. This would ONLY be with supervision - I certainly don't want anyone getting hurt. If you think that is a bad idea still, please let me know. I totally understand about the dog safe enclosure...we have an entire basement that the dogs do not go in...that would be a very safe place to set up the indoor enclosure :)
Others have offered options. Here is what I will say about roaming. I have a large Sulcata, and after his weekly soak I let him wander my house for 10 minutes or so. Until he gets close to The door to save my back a little. The dangers, especially for a small, young tortoise are unimaginable. They will eat about anything. This can be a poison or impactation risk. They get lost or hurt so fast. The floor is usually not the correct temp either. If you decide on a leopard, I have hatchlings for sale. :)
 

Careym13

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2015
Messages
1,604
Location (City and/or State)
Northern Virginia

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
39,848
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Hello and Welcome. The leopard is a good choice. If you get a hatchling and spend lots of time with it, it will get used to you. That said, they don't have the dog like behavior that a lot of sulcatas do. They may or may not walk up to you. They need a proper indoor and outdoor enclosure. Roaming the house is never a good idea and even supervised time with 6 dogs is not recommended. Tortoise and dogs should never be considered friends or that they will get along.
Please read the threads linked at the bottom of this post for proper leopard care. The sulcate threads will also apply to a leopard.
 

Emmylou

New Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Springfield, OH
Others have offered options. Here is what I will say about roaming. I have a large Sulcata, and after his weekly soak I let him wander my house for 10 minutes or so. Until he gets close to The door to save my back a little. The dangers, especially for a small, young tortoise are unimaginable. They will eat about anything. This can be a poison or impactation risk. They get lost or hurt so fast. The floor is usually not the correct temp either. If you decide on a leopard, I have hatchlings for sale. :)
Thank you Jodie! I have some research to do :)
 

Emmylou

New Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
11
Location (City and/or State)
Springfield, OH
Hello and Welcome. The leopard is a good choice. If you get a hatchling and spend lots of time with it, it will get used to you. That said, they don't have the dog like behavior that a lot of sulcatas do. They may or may not walk up to you. They need a proper indoor and outdoor enclosure. Roaming the house is never a good idea and even supervised time with 6 dogs is not recommended. Tortoise and dogs should never be considered friends or that they will get along.
Please read the threads linked at the bottom of this post for proper leopard care. The sulcate threads will also apply to a leopard.
Thank you...I will definitely read them!
 
Top