Training Your Pet Turtle
(Red Ear Sliders)
I have two Red Ear Sliders.
“Crazy One” is the female. She is about 5 years old and weights about 4-5 pounds.
The male one is smaller, fits better in my hand, has sharp long nails, he is around 4 years old, his name is “Pipsqueak”
I love them both very much. As pets go they are not really smart. I have been told by the vet that the minds of these animals are very small. On that note, I am trying to train my turtles to come to me when they bask in the bathtub.
Turtles need to dry off every day. That means their outer shell and their bottom shell. I put them in the bathtub with the heat lamp on so they dry off. They can stay like that for up to 6 hours. To my surprise even the female one, ‘crazy-one’ has delivered her eggs in the tub. That is amazing!
Now, the training begins:
I am out of the tub, sitting on the bathroom floor.
The two turtles are in the tub. The heater is on and the light is on so the room is hot and bright.
I put my right hand in the tub, palm up. (Like I would do, if I saw a dog, camel, good-looking guy for the first time) I start the new famous chanting little sing-song that I do, oh so well.
“Craazy One c’mon, I won’t hurt you, you know me.” My palm heads towards her. She looks at it, but ignores the song and my hand.
She actually walks around my limb and continues on her way to the other side of the tub.
I got to mention right now that both turtles will try to climb out when they both finish their basking. You can hear them; sometimes they will try so hard that they will flip themselves over on their backs.
Next is Pipsqueak’s turn. “C’mon, my sexy little man” I sing to him. He listens, turns his head towards the sound, then he looks at me.
Turtles can hear and see. They can follow where sound is coming from.
He ignores me at first. I call out again. “Hey, master, Pipsqueak, want to look around?”
He stops his movement, looks, and moves very slowly towards my hand.
My palm is up and slowly he walks to it.
I start to feel his claws on me, then his legs and finally his body. He is warm to the touch and dry.
I put him on my hand and hold me well as he might start to wiggle.
Pipsqueak is very curious and as I am holding him he starts to look around. He looks at the bathroom for a while. He looks down at Crazy One and he pulls out his long slender neck and looks down to the floor.
I then take him on a scenic cruise of the condo, heading towards the turtle tank. His neck is extended all the way and his eyes are all over the place. It’s like watching a child seeing the same thing everyday but seeing it for the first time.
He sits on my hand with patience till he sees the tank, then he starts to wiggle and I put him in the tank.
Crazy One is different. I can pick her up for a few seconds then she wants down. She hates to move from tank to bathtub and she will tell me this by hissing at me. I usually hiss back at her!
By picking them both up I also make sure they are in good condition as they don’t inform me when they don’t feel good.
I enjoy both my turtles.
Being reptiles, I thought they wouldn’t have personalities. I was totally wrong on that note. It amazes me the relationship that these turtles have with each other and with me.