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For any of you who had been following this, my (with luck, formerly) aggressive ratty boy Lucifer has finally started to calm down. Honestly I don't know what caused it, but I'm glad for this change. I took him out the other day, prepared to go through with extreme immersion with him. I took him to the bathroom, all padded up myself, but...He didn't lunge. He didn't bite. He just sort of regarded me for a while, so I slowly sat down on the floor with him rather than up on the toilet where he couldn't reach me. He climbed up on my lap, sniffed around a bit (peed on my knees), but didn't seem to be acting aggressive towards me at all. After a while I removed my gloves and started offering him treats, which he took calmly from me (though he'd run off to eat them). This went on for a while before he went back to his cage (which was in the bathroom at the time as well, closed so he couldn't get into it); I opened it and let him back in, and he went to his little house and fell asleep.

I'm taking things slowly with him now; he doesn't lunge at me anymore when I walk past his cage. He just watches me, looking at me like he wants out. I don't trust him enough to let him run around with the other five yet, but he seems to be calming considerably. I'm not letting my guard down completely just yet, but I think that this might be a sign that he's not going to resort to acting so aggressively towards me anymore. Maybe he's giving me a chance to see a better side of him. c:

And for the record, I have not done anything different with him. No vet appointment, no change in diet, no change in his free-roaming time.
 

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Getting into a small space where you have the upper hand and getting down on the floor is a good start, being all armored up is a big confidence boost for you too... It changes the message you are sending...

I'm here to meet and if necessarily confront you from a position of strength. And Lucifer being a smart rat too this as a good time to change his tactics.

We've seen extreme immersions last under 5 minutes in some rare cases when rats realized their time as a bully was up... but tossing in the towel before the first lunge may or may not be the record. Rats somehow strangely get our body language... when it's bed time Misty evaporates. I don't know how she knows, but she can tell if we want to play with her or put her in her cage... If it's play she runs to us, if it's cage time she's gone in a cloud of dust. Somehow she can read our body language. Lucifer realized things were changing and he adapted, luckily for everyone.

Nice Job.
 
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