How Can You Train Your Turtle To Do Tricks?

How Can You Train Your Turtle To Do Tricks
Written by Mehwish Imtiaz

Turtles are not as social and intelligent as your other furry fellows. However, they are smart enough to be trained for multiple things. You may disagree with me and find your corner in the folks who believe in not touching their pet turtle unless absolutely necessary. So, if you are interacting with your turtle only to provide food, why is it going to think you are more than just a relish food source?

So, in my perspective, we can train our turtle for multiple things, all depending on your agility to interact with your pet. In this article, I am going to discuss all the important details you should consider when it comes to training a turtle. Also, how can you train your lovey-dovey pet for multiple tricks?

Many of the turtles can perform simple tricks, but some of them are also able to perform complex ones.

You can train your turtle in the following ways:


Turtles usually don’t climb. The particular reason for this behavior is that they are not made physiologically to do so.

However, on the other hand, you can train them to jump or climb up the stairs. The jumping of turtles depends upon their sizes, as large turtles are not skilled/smart enough to jump because of their sizes. On the other hand, small turtles on training can jump up to 3-4 inches.

So, it is no surprise when someone tells you about their turtle hopping on the stairs.“Turtles Can Jump/Climb!”

Eating By Hand:

It may seem odd to hand feed your turtle. Turtles are habitual of eating food from the bowel or so.

Moreover, they are usually unable to distinguish between hands and food. So, it is believed that they may bite your finger along with food.

Well, it is true to some extent. Especially when your turtle is untrained and new to you, it might bite you. But you don’t need to worry about it. Turtle bites will not cause you much harm. However, I can surely say that “turtle bites are painful.” By training your turtle, they will soon be able to eat by your hand without hurting you.

So, “You Can Hand-Feed Your Turtle!”

How To Avoid Turtle Biting?

Turtles bite when they feel threatened or get annoyed. If you are moving your fingers continuously, there is a possibility that they’ll bite. In order to avoid their biting, you must limit the movement of your finger when handling them.

Also, we have a detailed article on How To Train Your Turtle Not To Bite? You may give it a quick read for a complete understanding of the reasons behind this behavior of your turtle. Moreover, how can you train your turtle effectively to avoid such happenings?


Playing with your animal is the most fun thing to do. It is not only the comfort and exercise time for your little friend but also for you. However, reptile pets are not very fond of playing, especially pet turtles and tortoises, which are quite lazy in their life. However, you can get your turtle out of its tanks for the purpose of playing.

Turtles love to bask! So, you can give them a relish spot by putting a log in the tank under the UVB source. Another way is to take them out in the direct sunlight. They can bask in the sunlight and can play on the ground. Usually, they dig holes in the sand, which brings back their innate exercise.

Playing is also their exercise which will make them active/healthy.

So, my fellas, “Your Turtles Can Play Around/With You!”


As turtles are semi-aquatic organisms, most of them are naturally good swimmers. However, some of them are not. It is because they forgot to swim in the first place!

If turtles are kept in shallow water for a longer period of time, they will forget how to swim. You can train them to swim by introducing them to deep water gradually (increase water quantity by 1 inch). After that, you can make a separate tank for them to swim. This regulates their blood flow and also helps them to grow.

“Turtles Will Swim In The Water. “

Knocking Doors:

You can train your turtle to knock on the door while going in and out. This trick is a complex one, and it requires real patience.

Simply, you just have to knock on the door a few times and then open the door immediately while coming in or going out. After some time, your turtle will be able to memorize/recognize that knocking action is used for the opening and the closing of the door.

“Turtles Will Knock On The Door While Coming In Or Going Out!”

Calling Them By Their Names:

You can also give your pet turtle names. Turtles are smart and clever reptiles. You just have to give them names and call them when they are around.

Turtles are affectionate pets and can recognize owners and their voices. Likewise, they are also able to recognize their names. Some turtles are trained for their names in a few weeks. However, some need years to make them habitual to a new call out. So, you need to have patience in training your turtle for a particular name.

“Turtles Will Come When Are Called. “


Turtles are clever enough to solve a puzzle. The training process is quite simple. You can offer them a treat after solving a simple puzzle. Slowly introduce the hard puzzle. Out of taste, they will try to solve all the puzzles.

Actually, turtles are smart enough to have a good spatial understanding and memory. They usually never repeat a path or way that leads to an obstacle. Solving puzzles will not only help them rattle their brains but also involve them in a physical motion.

However, you have to take care about the number of treats which you are giving to them. You may consult to diet chart for turtles to know the treat options and their quantities for turtles.


Turtles are slow-moving animals. One would expect that they can never run. On the contrary, turtles can run, or you can say, walk fast as compare to their normal speed. You can train them to run by improving their speed. Their speed is fast in water as compared to ground.

Disadvantages Of Training Your Turtles:

There are a few disadvantages of training your turtle, which is described below:

  • Training is a slow and steady process, and it requires patience. If you are trying to train your turtle quickly or several times a day, then, strictly speaking, stop doing this. More physical exercise per day will lead your turtle to get tired and weak.
  • If you offer more treats to your turtle, then it will be malnourished.

Malnutrition is a condition that results either from less or more intake of nutrients. Both of them are equally harmful.

  • Offering more treats can make them obese. Obesity is very dangerous for turtles. You can also say that obesity is the mother disease of all the diseases.


Turtles are pretty smart yet underestimated creatures. Though they need much more patience and consistency in their training than other furry fellows, it is not impossible. They are going to stay with you for decades, so this effort really worths it. You just need to love your turtle, believe in it, and never get disappointed by its progress.

I hope this article answered all your questions regarding turtle training. In case you still have any other queries, you may drop down the comment. We would be happy to help.