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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
my friend has a new male rat that is a unknown age he came from California and he has bit her several times and even bit me a few he has never drawn blood on us and dosent bite hard enough to hurt but he is quick to do it he is a hairless and when introduced to thunder at play time with every one else he was biteing him every 2 seconds thubder didnt even peep or ahow any sighn of pain amd there is no blood any idea why he is doing this?
 

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He sounds like hes trying to establish dominance. You need to be firm with him, when he bites pick him up firmly and say no, dont back away and dont let him scar you. If the biting hurts more than your comfy with then wear gloves. If he's been alone for a long time its also likley that he doesnt speak rat very well so will need a properly managed intro to a group fo rats, not just meeting up at play times
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the meeting at play time is part of his intro its on neutral ground and its a big space so there is no pressure, i forgot to note he dosent do it to the furry rats just thunder and us and it dosent hurt at all ive been telling him no and my friend will say no and do a angry squeely noise wich works for all of hers and mine he just dose it so fast he will runn up and just grab and let go before you can blink as fast as he moves im suprised he dosent hurt i think he came from a breeder in California so im sure he has been around other rats
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ive seen a lot of types of playful i dobt think this is one she says he is really affectiinate and groom her and such but takes a few nips first since he is a lot bigger than thunder who is 8 months im going to assume he is older than him
 

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I'm not sure about the behavior during playtime. It may be a warning, because he is intentionally controlling how hard he bites you, not wanting to draw blood or actually hurt you. That's usually a sign to say hey I dont like that. But it doesn't seem like you guys are doing anything to make him want to warn you if he is just running up out of nowhere and doing it and then running away. It would make more sense if he was doing it when you picked him up or pet him or something. then I would say he was warning you that he doesn't like be picked up, etc. Does that seem possible? Or is it really completely random of him just running up out of nowhere? If that's the case then I really don't know why he would do that, it's really strange.

But on the topic of grooming, the reason he nips her before he is grooming is because I have found that when a rat first starts out grooming their owner they have to learn how gentle they have to be. With all 3 of my rats, at first they went through a process and with my first one to start grooming me it took him one time of accidentally drawing blood on my ear cuz he bit too hard. I make a loud sound and told him he had to be gentle and he learned right away to be gentle. When they groom eachother they don't have as fragile of skin as we do in some places so it takes a little adjustment for them to know how soft to be. With my 2nd rat, he is just very rough with his grooming all the time and he rarely grooms me so he never drew blood but he hurts me usually when he grooms me cuz he's just too rough and that's how he does it with the other rats too when I watch him power groom them. With my 3rd rat, she's still a baby and she has drew blood on me 3 times in a row and still hasn't really figured out she has to be gentle so some rats take longer to learn. Your friend's rat is probably just trying to groom her when he is nipping and is accidentally doing it too hard. She needs to let him know that he is hurting her and tell him to be gentle and he should catch on from her making a noise. Some ppl say ow loudly or do a loud yelping sound. Either way he should get the hint and get used to being gentle with her. i don't think he's meaning any harm.
 

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If its quite forceful then he is likley being dominant and pushing you guys around, he wants to be boss and is doing the nipping to reinforce his place in the pack (in his eyes thats at the top). You need to be quite firm with him, in small things as well as telling him off when he bites. Try manhandeling him a bit, by this i dont mean being rough or hurting him, instead when you handle him hold him firmly, move him around how you want him to be, basically show him your in control. I tend to do it via my regular quick health checks. To do this i pick them up, stroke all along there body (with them hanging from there shoulder, think stroking a ferret), check each foot, there face and mouth, then give them a scritch and cuddle. It only takes around 1 min if that, but becuase i control it its quite a dominant way of handling. He will probably tense up and resist at first but most rats come to enjoy it and relax through the experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
he dose groom the others but maby the nips are warnings it seems to be a skin on skin thing since he dosent do it to any of the other rats my friend asked me if i wanted him he is too mouthy for her liking and she is afraid the gentle nips will turn into a worse bite i started pushing his nose down a little and saying no and he tackled my hand like he was playing and nibbleing and licking but didnt leave a mark even though i was shocked and a bit scared at first but he didnt hurt me so i just pulled my hand back taped his nose again and said no and put him in the carrier for a few minutes to let him know that was wrong
 

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Another opinion: one of my ratties "bites" my hand all the time--she enjoys fighting with it and chasing it. I can only tell she's biting by watching--I don't feel teeth. If yours is that gentle, it sounds like play or curiosity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
ok updateing, i decided to spend the day with pretty boy(his name) i was letting him freerange on the bed while i cleaned he bit my bf 4 times randomly once on the foot and three times from the sholder to the hand and all my bf did was lay there watching tv, it was hard enough to hurt and the last one made him get up and put pretty boy up each time he nipped he was given a firm NO and a light bonk with no change
 
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