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tortoise plus dog equals happy home?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

We have the opportunity to take in a rescued red-footed tortoise. We babysat -- petsat? -- a red-footed tortoise for a month last year and I really enjoyed the experience. I've been asked if we'd be able to take in a larger (approx. 10- to 15-year-old) tortoise who was hit by a car and I'd love to. Currently we have a 15-year-old cat. He was fine with the last tortoise visitor, so I'm not too worried about adding a tortoise to our family as it currently stands. However, we're strongly considering getting a dog in the next few years. Possibly a standard poodle. Definitely a "hypoallergenic" dog, possibly a service dog or a rescue dog depending on our family's needs and abilities at that point -- but basically, a dog on the larger side.

 

How do dogs tend to do with tortoises (and vice versa)? Is that just flat out dangerous for the tortoise or do they tend to ignore each other? Having never had a dog in the family, this is new territory for me.

post #2 of 4
This is going to depend entirely on the individual dog. I know dogs who would be fine and ignore the tortoise. I also know dogs who might try to eat it (not because they're mean, just because they're curious chewers, and well, dogs) Dogs can certainly be trained to leave other pets alone, but a lot of that will depend on the breed and temperment of the dog. Is the tortoise so large that it would be free ranging? Would it have a dedicated cage or room to call its own? If you could seperate them safely, its not much of an issue. If a service dog is a real possiblity, and you would get one already trained, I wouldn't be too worried. Those dogs are pretty highly trained to ignore most things, and the trainers would match your needs, like cats and a tortoise, with their choice of dog. A rescue dog, you could try a place that fosters their dogs out, so you have some idea of temperment, and then ask to give it a trial run to see how it goes. I wouldn't completely rule out a tortoise just because you want a dog.
post #3 of 4
I have a black lab/golden retriever that pretty much ignored my tortoise and a husky mix that was fascinated with the moving rock. Every time they met she needed to re-sniff which was annoying to the tortoise but she never did anything mean.
post #4 of 4

Yep, it's completely dependent on the dog. Those with a high prey drive are likely to not coexist peacefully.

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