Versi Bahasa Indonesia

Before I start saying anything, I should tell you that this is not the sequel of How To Train Your Dragon even though the poster is similar. Well, in fact, it is the same poster…I edited it a little 😉

This post is to share how I train my turtles to be the sweetest turtles in the world 🙂

I should warn you that THIS IS NOT A PROFESSIONAL ADVICE!! Some of you will disagree with what I have here so I need to point out that I always treat my turtles properly in my own way.

I know that some turtle owner thought that turtles are not to be handled, we only need to touch them when we are cleaning their tank or other cleaning activity. They thought that turtles are not used to be touched in the wild….well, my opinion is different to those people. I think that pets (turtles, cats or even dogs) will behave depend on how their owner react to them (although I hate using the word owner but this is an exceptional because I use this for general purpose). If you treat your turtles just by looking at them and then routinely give food to them…then, don’t be surprise if they will only think of you as their source of food.

I did different things toward my 2 lovely turtles. They are not pets to look at. As crazy as this might sound (at least for Indonesian people, this sounds crazy), I love both Kame and Kroten (updated: Kurome and Papoe too) as if they are my own babies. I show them I love them…and I know they DO NOT treat me as a source of food.

The reason to write this post is because I recently found out that my co-works also have turtles too but their turtles always try to bite them or hide their head when they want to touch them. They couldn’t believe when I said that mine aren’t like that. I show them pictures and videos and then they believe me. They even say “I envy you”.

Without anymore delay, here are How I Train My turtles: (toward Kame since October 2006 and toward Kroten since March 2008) (updated: toward Papoe and Kurome since 2012):

1. Give them names!!

Yes, they are only turtles, and yes, they are cold-blooded animal…but never assumed that they don’t need a name. I know at least 4 people who have never given their turtles any names, they thought that turtles won’t understand their names after all *rolling eyes*

Let me make it simple…THEY DO UNDERSTAND THEIR NAMES!!

2. Call their name every time you see them.

This act is to let them know their name and getting used of hearing it.

Both Kame and Kroten will look at me if I call them. I know they are not as smart as dogs and cats, but they often respond to their name.

3. Play with them

You might wonder how you can play with turtles. What games can they do?

The simplest one is to let them see something and let them follow it around. When Kame was still baby, I used to roll something at her and made her runaway out of surprise and then she started looking curiously at the thing. You can also let your turtles sniff on something. Simply said, just spend time with them.

4. Touch them

Now…I know this sound will get me scolded in … but hey, I have been doing it for years and what I got in return is incredible. They are so used to me and they will sort of ask me to hold them. Kame is the one who crave for my touch more than Kroten.

I let them climb my leg whenever it’s convenient for them. They often sleep on my leg or feet. They don’t even put their head inside when I touch their neck.

5. Hand-feed them

This is also against by many people because turtle might misunderstand your finger with food. Fortunately, it works pretty well with my turtles. Kame is the best, she can perfectly measure her distance. She can bite the food without biting my finger even though the food is smaller than 1 cm. Kroten is awful in measuring distance, she still bite my finger even though the food is more than 2cm. it’s because her eagerness to eat. However,none of them try to bite my hand when I’m not holding any food.

Hand feed can give a special bond between you and your turtles.

6. Let them explore the house.

I think this is a good way to make them feel like they are part of the family. It isn’t fair just to let them look at other people from their tank or their basking area. I like letting them out and roam around the house. I am not scared of losing them because they usually come when I call them.

7. Repeat the same instruction

If you want them to do something…do it again and again and again. I am glad Kame can shake hand or more like putting her hand on mine (see it in the last part of the video below). Both Kame and Kroten will extend their head and touch my nose with their nose whenever I let them close to my face. Kame can understand the word ‘naik’ (up) when I ask her to climb on my hand (see it in the video)…Kroten is still in learning process.

8. Let them sleep next to your bed once in a while.

Okay…this must be the craziest idea you’ve ever heard. This might result in losing your turtles according to some people.

Fortunately, I haven’t lost any of them…I put them on a piece of fabric and they will sleep till the next morning, they’ll wake up at the same time I wake up. And after that, the fun begins. They will chase me everywhere I go. I love that moment.

You might think it’s weird to let them sleep near me…well, people let their cats and dogs sleep on their bed….why would it be weird to let turtles sleep near me?

9. Show them you care for them

This last training is the most important one. Don’t just look at them and then feed them. You need to talk with them, spend time with them…basically, just show them you love them.

Kame and Kroten’s tanks are in my room…it’s so nice to see them raising their head and look intensely at me whenever I enter my room. I always rub their neck 1st and then do whatever I want to do in my room.

10. Take Lots of Pictures (extra  training)

This advice is only to make your turtle get used to camera. Both my turtles are natural narcissist.

Well…that’s all for today 🙂

Hope it will help your relationship with your turtles 😉

I don’t know if this would work for bigger turtle, I did this since they are very small. Kame is easier to understand because I have her since she was a bit bigger than 1inch, while Kroten needs more time to understand because I have her when she was already about 2 inches. (updated: Papoe is still very shy but he is getting warmer each year; Kurome is as easy as Kame)

And this is how Kame and Kroten behave 🙂

New video, this is Kroten and Kurome

To ask about things Turtle-ish that has nothing to do with training them, please click the image below 🙂

About Novroz

A working mother trying to find time to keep updating my blogs.

1,192 responses »

Comment navigation

  1. not_a_turtle says:

    I recently started picking up my turtle about 10 times a day and he isn’t scared of me anymore but I still can’t get him to not claw at me, any tips?

  2. not_a_turtle says:

    me again, how do you get your turtles to follow you? I’ve trained them to not be scared of me(well, one anyway) but they just kind of wander around when I put them down.

  3. Joseph says:

    Hi! Thanks so much for that article! I am thinking about getting 2 RES’s in replace of my old turtle, cooper. (nicknamed coop) I never did much with my old turtle besides feeding and looking at him because I didn’t know that you can train your turtle. For my new turtles I will be sure to do those things to make my turtles make a special bond with me.

    Thanks again! 😀🐢

  4. a new owner says:

    hi, i have had a turtle for about 1/2 a year. he is a juvenile map turtle named charlie and i have a problem where whenever i take him out of his tank to clean it or take him outside, charlie squirms and tries to hide from my hand. i have tried giving him a small treat and stroking his shell gently to get him used to my touch, but it isn’t working. any suggestions? since it is summer i will be doing this more, so yeah. thank you novroz!

    • Novroz says:

      Hi new Owner,

      I think Charlie is still not used to your touch…most turtles do not trust people easily. Just be patience with him because it also took me three years to make Kroten bonded with me. I was in luck with Kame which only took me couple of months for her to bond with me

  5. sarah says:

    So perfect my daughter sleeps with our turtle Jorge under her pillow and has done for 8 years…he lovers her as much as she loves him

  6. Aiky Avisoa Rasoamanana says:


    Does it works with all races.

  7. Coffee Bluesey says:

    Mine’s names are shinchan and puffy, its so great to know that you do all the things I do with my turtles, they have grown to know who I am, their mom, yes, and it finally feels great to know I am not crazy. my turtle was sleeping next to me, and he suddenly woke up, and I got scared bc it was raining a lot and I think it sacred them (my other was not really asleep after I put him to -that was puffy) and Shinchan was the one who woke up and became restless.. can you tell me why it could happen.. idk if a nightmare of some sort is possible..

  8. Yara says:

    Hello thank you for making this webpage, its awesome!
    I was wondering if it was ok to take my tulles out of the water at night and put them in a couple of towels so I make sure they don’t get shell rot or soft shell?
    Thank you for answering in advance.

    • Novroz says:

      Hi Yara,
      Sorry for this very very late answer. I did that all the time and they are okay with it and even create great bond with me because I let them out once in a while

  9. brynn says:

    how do i get my turtle to eat??

  10. Eli says:

    My turtle, ender trusts me a lot i like to get him out of his tank and I put him next to my cat, Ender likes exploring everywhere around my room and now my cat won’t stay out of my room!

  11. The Potato Turtle says:

    i will be getting 2 more res turtles (i currently have 2) do you think they will get along? i heard they’re very territorial in the wild. one turtle (his name’s turtle) can shake my hand, climb on my arm and i can touch his neck and shoulders without having him freaking out. the other one (nibble) is still a work in progress (i somehow feel bad saying work in progress) anyway, thanks!

  12. Reptilian says:

    This is helpful, but my wonderful turtle Tank sleeps a lot, do your turtles do this? What did you do?

  13. Catherine says:

    Um, Novroz, did you make this website?
    Also, I’ve read this about 2 times. I tried everything but it doesnt seem to work against my turtle.
    My bigger turtle (Alex) is starting to trust me but still claws at me.

    • Novroz says:

      Hi Catherine,

      Yes I make this blog when I was single. Now that I am a working mom, it’s so difficult to do a lot of blogging again.

      It takes time, for kame, she trusted me so easily but for Kroten it took years for her to trust me. Different turtles different time to adapt

  14. tank says:

    so i recently found a set of RES ones going to my cousin (one male one female) im keeping the female and they are abt 1.5 in long so idk how old they are but mine, tank, ive been handling her nearly everyday since i found her and she already is fairly comfortable any more tips? also she doesnt like eating the turtle food pellets i mean she eats them but it takes a bit of coaxing (had her for abt a week at this point) should i just be patient?

  15. Olamilekan nifemi says:

    Thanks I really really learn a lot today

Comment navigation

Thank you for commenting :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s