Tortoise and the dawg

Lewmanauti

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I know that everywhere online will say to never leave your tortoise unattended with your dog. But Since the beggening with this dog I’ve never felt uncomfortable. My worry was he was to old when I got him (only 11 months) but he has always been very calm around my Cthulhu and had seen no issues last year. He does get a little excited by small things but stays controlled and it’s pretty funny. Anyways… this year my dog will be in the backyard and dog house full time to protect the garden, with the tortoise I’m the pen. Both Hardly ever interact unless we are all together. I would like to know if anyones had a situation like this that has gone bad. My dog has no aggression towards anything or anyone really besides a those pesky squirreles and rabbits. I also think my dog just knows that I’ve had the tortoise king before him. My Old childhood dog who was much small but more aggressive to animals was a westie, never paid any mind to him neither. So I am not concerned but still would love to hear of any one has had this go south.
 

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wellington

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Yes, @Tom can tell you about a friend who had their tortoise killed by their well trained dog that they thought of the same as you do with your dog.
Why do you want to risk it? If you are wrong, your poor tortoise pays the price.
You won't know if it will work until it doesn't.
 

Tom

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I know that everywhere online will say to never leave your tortoise unattended with your dog. But Since the beggening with this dog I’ve never felt uncomfortable. My worry was he was to old when I got him (only 11 months) but he has always been very calm around my Cthulhu and had seen no issues last year. He does get a little excited by small things but stays controlled and it’s pretty funny. Anyways… this year my dog will be in the backyard and dog house full time to protect the garden, with the tortoise I’m the pen. Both Hardly ever interact unless we are all together. I would like to know if anyones had a situation like this that has gone bad. My dog has no aggression towards anything or anyone really besides a those pesky squirreles and rabbits. I also think my dog just knows that I’ve had the tortoise king before him. My Old childhood dog who was much small but more aggressive to animals was a westie, never paid any mind to him neither. So I am not concerned but still would love to hear of any one has had this go south.
NEVER NEVER NEVER leave any tortoise with any dog unattended. There needs to be a fence that the dog can't get through between him and the tortoise. All dogs will chew on a tortoise. That they have previously showed no interest is completely irrelevant. I have seen dozens of cases of this over the years and the number one statement after the tortoise gets chewed up is: "He's never done THAT before..." Well of course not. No one would leave the dog with the tortoise if they thought anything was likely to happen. Every single person who has had their tortoise chewed up by their dog was completely confident that the dog would not do any such thing. They were all wrong, and their tortoise paid the price.

Please heed these words. Don't learn this lesson the hard way. I've been keeping turtles and tortoises since the 70s and I can't even count how many tortoises I've seen chewed up by dogs. The dog should never have access to the tortoise area and the tortoise should never have access to the dog area. There is no way to train this out of a dog, and there is no way to predict when it will eventually happen.
 

TammyJ

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Dogs are a lot like us humans. They can get bored and start doing something idle and stupid, but harmful to whatever they focus on...your tortoise. I have seen the results of this first hand with some turtles I once had that I thought my dog was totally indifferent to. He was just biding his time, or got bored. Poor turtles...I will never forget it.
 

Tom

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Dogs are a lot like us humans. They can get bored and start doing something idle and stupid, but harmful to whatever they focus on...your tortoise. I have seen the results of this first hand with some turtles I once had that I thought my dog was totally indifferent to. He was just biding his time, or got bored. Poor turtles...I will never forget it.
You, me, everybody... We are all in the same boat. Nobody realizes the danger until it is too late. It is my hope that our words on this forum have saved many a tortoise from this fate over the years.
 

Yvonne G

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Let me tell you the story of Mildred, the desert tortoise:

Mildred lived in the back yard of an older couplefor many years.

One day the couple brought home a labrador pup. The pup wasn't just tossed out into the backyard, it was Welcomed into the family as a treasured member, living in the house with the people. They lived in peaceful harmony for 15 years.

One summer the older couple packed up their camper, made arrangements with their grown son to come over and take care of the animals, and went off on a vacation.

When they got home they discovered that Mildred only had three legs. While they were gone the dog chewed off one of Mildred's front legs.
 

Farcryjj

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In my opinion, it really depends on the dogs also. My previous dog, Harry, was a cocker spaniel who has the most gentle soul. He naturally doesn't like to chew anything. He is gentle with any small animal. I saw him once from far away that he sniffed at something and then just left. I went up close to see what it is, and it turned out to be a tiny mouse who was alive but barely moving. Harry was interested in chasing squirrels when he was younger. But one time when he actually caught up with one baby squirrel, the squirrel was squealing and froze on the ground. Harry just stood there and let it go. Later on when Harry was at 12, I had princess Clydie, my Russian tortoise. Harry allowed her to bite his hair and not cared at all. Harry passed at 14 years old.
Now, 2 years later, we had a Scottish Terrier puppy, Scottie. Knowing Scottie, I would never leave him to be with princess Clydie, not even under supervision. 😮‍💨 I just bought a house with a big backyard recently for Scottie and also Clydie. I right away bought a chicken coop looking cage enclosure for Clydie. Mainly to protect her from Scottie...and potential big birds. 🤣🤣🤣
 
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Dogs are a lot like us humans. They can get bored and start doing something idle and stupid, but harmful to whatever they focus on...your tortoise. I have seen the results of this first hand with some turtles I once had that I thought my dog was totally indifferent to. He was just biding his time, or got bored. Poor turtles...I will never forget it.
😨😨
 

Guts

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My dad thought the same until his dog who had peacefully coexisted for 5+ years decided the hermanns would be a fun chew toy. Thankfully the tortoise survived but he’s got permanent damage from it.

Doesn’t matter how friendly/trained the dog is, it’s still a dog.
 

MenagerieGrl

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So, @Lewmanauti you asked and many in the Tort community ave tried to answer your question.
Ultimately this is your decision. PLEASE be an advocate for your Tort Buddy, and figure out how each can have their own space, and NEVER the two will meet. . . .but live healthy lives...
 

Thessle

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While out in the backyard for one of our warmest days so far I ran into just this problem….it’s totally my fault and not the dog or tortoise’s to blame. I had the Sulcata tortoise about 5-6 months old in what I thought was a safe enclosure…but as I got distracted taking care of things in the yard when moments later I went to do a quick check the tortoise was missing. My dog Molly is very well trained and has always been nothing but sweet to the tortoise so I actually asked her to help find turtle….the word she associates with the tortois. She quickly brought me to an area or grass about 10 feet from the enclosure and the tortoise was on its back. I quickly realized that Molly had jumped into the enclosure while my back was turned and used the tortoise as a quick chew toy. I am totally filled with the feeling of guilt along with a generous helping of stupidity. The tortoise has been acting very depressed since the trauma and didn’t eat or poop for 2 days….finally it is eating a little for me and I finally got a small poop after about an hour of a warm bath. ….my question is will the areas that were damaged eventually heal and is there anything I can do,to help like use any antibiotic ointment on the areas?
Any help will be greatly appreciated
 

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TammyJ

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Wow. Sorry this happened. Can happen so easily and quickly in this context of dog/tortoise!
Experts here (I am not one) will help you as to treatment. Silver Sulfadiazine (Silvadine?) is good but Neosporin over the counter ointment is also good.
 

tag78

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WARNING-WARNING-NOT A SHORT STORY.......
(not a bad one either)

My 100lb sulcata - Herman - recently had an encounter with a dog or coyote (I don't know which) this winter, at night. If it hadn't been winter he would have been in his underground den and this wouldn't have happened.
In the winter he has a hot house but the opening can be accessed, indirectly, from the sunny side of the enclosure. The tortoise area is fenced but not high enough to keep out larger four legged critters. He has been good in that area for 12 years now... but as the saying goes,, "you never know".

The result was chew marks all the way around his shell but it held up to the abuse. The attacker was able to put a little "road rash" on his forearms and back of his thighs. These tortoises did evolve in the African Sahara after all. I screwed up and left a gate to the property open over night. I'm still kicking myself for that one.

Anyway, my retired vet buddy recommended some Chlorhexidine Solution ( 2% ) and Furacin Dressing I got at the local Feed, Grain and horse supply store. This worked well to clean and dress the lesions with. Hydrogen Peroxide and Neosporin would probably have done the job. It has scarred over now and you can hardly tell it happened. Tortoises heal very slowly.

My rottenpit (Rottweiler-Pit Bull cross) Buddy got along great with him for the 9 years I had Buddy. Herman would even let Buddy lick pumpkin off his face without even flinching but I didn't let them interact without supervision. Dogs can have ancient instincts that are not something you see coming.

I agree that you should not let dogs have full time access to your tortoises. Herman is big enough that I don't worry about birds. When he pulls everything in, nothing is getting to him. His tail does still seem like it could be a little vulnerable though.
 

MenagerieGrl

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While out in the backyard for one of our warmest days so far I ran into just this problem….it’s totally my fault and not the dog or tortoise’s to blame. I had the Sulcata tortoise about 5-6 months old in what I thought was a safe enclosure…but as I got distracted taking care of things in the yard when moments later I went to do a quick check the tortoise was missing. My dog Molly is very well trained and has always been nothing but sweet to the tortoise so I actually asked her to help find turtle….the word she associates with the tortois. She quickly brought me to an area or grass about 10 feet from the enclosure and the tortoise was on its back. I quickly realized that Molly had jumped into the enclosure while my back was turned and used the tortoise as a quick chew toy. I am totally filled with the feeling of guilt along with a generous helping of stupidity. The tortoise has been acting very depressed since the trauma and didn’t eat or poop for 2 days….finally it is eating a little for me and I finally got a small poop after about an hour of a warm bath. ….my question is will the areas that were damaged eventually heal and is there anything I can do,to help like use any antibiotic ointment on the areas?
Any help will be greatly appreciated
My understanding is skin will heal slowly, shell, ( plastron, carapace) will not. In extreme cases, epoxy is used to repair plastron, carapace after the chance of infection is taken care of. Don't beat your self up too much. there are several here that have had similar experiences.
 

tag78

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My understanding is skin will heal slowly, shell, ( plastron, carapace) will not. In extreme cases, epoxy is used to repair plastron, carapace after the chance of infection is taken care of. Don't beat your self up too much. there are several here that have had similar experiences.
Our vet got pretty good at surfboard repairs on damaged desert tortoises. He was even successful doing the same thing on red ear sliders.
 
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maggie3fan

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Any dog / cat would be a threat to a tortoise. It will live a life of continuous threat and become stressed. Best to keep tortoise safe in their environment and dogs in theirs.
In my personal experience cats don't like torts and don't bother them. I had a senior kitty who like to sleep underna UVB basking light for the warmth, but if the tort moved Lil Roxie left...
 
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