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a little bit of rat training

3371 Views 13 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Night
I've inquired about some of these issues in another topic, but wanted to put them together with some of the other questions i have.

1. Coming to their name
Simply... they don't. They will come to me. No to their name, but they will come to me... when they feel like it. Hasn't really been an issue, but I would like to give them more freedom, but I think I need to get this down first.

2. Taking treats
They won't take them while I have them out... they hardly show interest in it, but as soon as I put them back in their cage, they'll grab it so fast... This is a problem, because most of the positive reinforcement comes from... treats... how am I supposed to teach them their name or anything really, if I can't reward them while they're still out?

3. Running when I try to pick them her up
Only one of my rats does this. She'll run every time I try to pick her up. Once she's out though, she's fine. Maybe she just views it as a game? While in the cage, if I stick my hand in there, she'll come sniff it, whatever. She only does it when I go to pick her up... She'll even come sniff me right after I've tried to pick her up, but as soon as that hand goes over her, she's running again lol.

4. Sleeping too much?
They don't seem to be too terribly active. Well, somewhat. I heard the wheel going last night, I got up and looked, could only find one of them. The other was up in her hammock napping. That same one also seems to sleep later than the other and she doesn't run around on me as much. I took them to the vet a few weeks ago and they were perfectly fine. She's eating fine still. Maybe I'm just catching her at her down times?

That's all I can think of atm. Any help would be appreciated... I'm just not feeling that strong bond I've heard about. I love them to death, don't get me wrong... I just feel like both them and I are missing out.
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TheMutt - rats need to be out of their cage for at least 2-4 hours a day.
No way! That's awesome :) I'm really happy to hear that, since rats need a lot of stimulation and attention because they're so intelligent and personable. Some owners don't understand this at all, so I'm always glad when others do! I let my rats free-roam in my room most of the day. I leave their cage open and have a ramp down to the floor so they can get out. They love it :D
Well, make some rat-proofed rooms! ;) Being out on your shoulder really doesn't count as playtime, since they're basically not moving at all. They need to run around, explore, climb, et cetera. If you can't rat-proof a room currently, look into getting a playpen for your rats (Martin's Cages has a great large one).
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