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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Everyone! I have a new baby rat named Arlo, and he's super timid and jumpy. Every rat I've had was jumpy and scared of me from the start but Arlo bites.. HARD. He's made me bleed pretty bad before. He would look super curious, walk up to my finger, sniff it, and bite the CRAP out of it. He hasn't done it to any other random objects.. Just my finger. I don't know what to do! I really wanna introduce him to my other boys because I feel bad that he's by himself, But I'm really afraid of him biting my boys and seriously hurting them... Any advice or tips?
 

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Lilac, Comet, and Spark
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I would recommend starting by using the metal spoon method- put some liquid treats on a metal spoon and put it near him, he might bite at first but after a while he will realize that 1) biting a metal spoon doesn't feel good and 2) you have to lick it to get the treats.
Then you can start to hesitantly switch to offering liquid treats on your finger, then starting to touch him, and so on.

How long ago have you got Arlo, and where was he from? If you got him just recently, he might need time to adjust :)
 

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What do you do when he bites? You should pull your hand back and squeak loudly, that let's him know he hurt you.
Also, until you've bonded with him - don't hold your finger out. Use the spoon metod mentioned above and when he wants to check you out - hold your hand in a loose fist and let him approach the flat side. it's more difficult for him to bite and you'll have more time to pull your hand back before real damage is done.

How old is he and how long have you had him? Is it possible you're "rushing" him a bit?
 

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Even if they were "rushing" the introduction process, that shouldn't be grounds for biting like that. That type of biting is aggression/fear which a baby simply should not have.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
What do you do when he bites? You should pull your hand back and squeak loudly, that let's him know he hurt you.
Also, until you've bonded with him - don't hold your finger out. Use the spoon metod mentioned above and when he wants to check you out - hold your hand in a loose fist and let him approach the flat side. it's more difficult for him to bite and you'll have more time to pull your hand back before real damage is done.

How old is he and how long have you had him? Is it possible you're "rushing" him a bit?
I got him 2 weeks ago. I haven’t tried to handle him yet because I wanted to wait until I could tell he was comfortable with his new cage. When he bites, I’m usually talking to him in his cage with the door open and my hand in it just for him to get used to my scent and my presence. He usually smells my finger and bites it. I got him at a local pet shop, (not petco or petsmart or anything like that) but i can TELL they got him from wherever those stores get their rats, because you can tell he was never handled. And I don’t know if I’m rushing him, I’ve only tried to bond with him by letting him run around me in an enclosed space twice. Maybe I shouldve waited?
 

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A baby rat shouldn't be biting like that... Where did you get him from?
I got him from a local pet shop. He definitely was NEVER handled. I thought since it was a local business that maybe they’d be handled a bit more or from a better source but no, Im pretty sure they got him where petco and petsmart and places like that get THEIR rats.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What do you do when he bites? You should pull your hand back and squeak loudly, that let's him know he hurt you.
Also, until you've bonded with him - don't hold your finger out. Use the spoon metod mentioned above and when he wants to check you out - hold your hand in a loose fist and let him approach the flat side. it's more difficult for him to bite and you'll have more time to pull your hand back before real damage is done.

How old is he and how long have you had him? Is it possible you're "rushing" him a bit?
Also, I’ll try the spoon method!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What provokes the biting? Do you go over to him, and then he bites, or is it that he’s coming up to you? Where are you when he bites?
He comes up to me curiously, sniffs my finger and then bites it. I’m never trying to do anything to him, I just put my finger near him to sniff it and then he bites it
 

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Arlo sounds like he just doesn't understand biting is not a good thing. They do explore with their mouths a lot. Up to you to teach him manners ;) Metal spoon is great, and only the spoon for a while. Don't give him the chance to start a habit of biting your fingers. And make sure your hands are not smelling of food. You are NOT food! lol
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Arlo sounds like he just doesn't understand biting is not a good thing. They do explore with their mouths a lot. Up to you to teach him manners ;) Metal spoon is great, and only the spoon for a while. Don't give him the chance to start a habit of biting your fingers.
Okay! I’ll definitely try it! Thanks for the help. I’m just glad he probably doesnt hate me lol
 

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Okay! I’ll definitely try it! Thanks for the help. I’m just glad he probably doesnt hate me lol
I don't think he hates you. I think he's young, scared & confused. Be patient and consistent with him. Use the squeak method when he bites (yes, I know it feels foolish at first) but it does work, What I've done with mine, was followed the squeak up with a firm, but not loud, "Don't Bite". One of mine has been a challenge all the way through - but now, if she goes to bite and I say "Don't Bite" she pulls back.
Talk around him, spend time around him. Let him get comfortable with your sound and smell - calling him by his name helps, as well. And treats - lots & lots of treats. If you end up wondering if he really likes you or just the treats, it's a good start. You want him to associate you with good things. And food/treats is the best way to motivate rats.

And give him as much time as he needs. This is all about building trust with him - on his timeline. I hope this helps. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I don't think he hates you. I think he's young, scared & confused. Be patient and consistent with him. Use the squeak method when he bites (yes, I know it feels foolish at first) but it does work, What I've done with mine, was followed the squeak up with a firm, but not loud, "Don't Bite". One of mine has been a challenge all the way through - but now, if she goes to bite and I say "Don't Bite" she pulls back.
Talk around him, spend time around him. Let him get comfortable with your sound and smell - calling him by his name helps, as well. And treats - lots & lots of treats. If you end up wondering if he really likes you or just the treats, it's a good start. You want him to associate you with good things. And food/treats is the best way to motivate rats.

And give him as much time as he needs. This is all about building trust with him - on his timeline. I hope this helps. :)
Thank you so much!
 

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Cloud and Dew (Pearl Merle and American Mink, both with Irish markings)!
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I agree with everyone. Try a metal spoon, and when he bites you try NOT to immediately leave because if you do, he’ll think “they left when I bit them, so I’ll do it again!”. Don’t give your finger for him to sniff, and if he comes up to you in the same way he normally does before he bites, then slowly leave.

A Good Relationship with Fearful or Aggressive Rats (RAT-C) - JoinRats
 
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