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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i have been teaching my rats to come when called and they are catching on really fast. but when i call them they start cleaning their selves or sniffing and then they come. how do i make it so that they come right away.
 

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Treats, treats, treats and positive re-enforcement like praises. But I mean, it's good that they come to you. My boys are still a little unsure as to what I'm talking about.
 

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I had that problem too! They seem more content to do their own thing... I would start by calling them from only a foot away or so they don't have to go that far. Show them the treat to get their attention away from getting distracted. Do this until they come without hesitation and then move a little farther away, and repeat it. If they get sidetracked guide them with the food. Just keep on doing this. Hopefully it will work... this is just a theory.
Good luck!
 

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I had that problem too! They seem more content to do their own thing... I would start by calling them from only a foot away or so they don't have to go that far. Show them the treat to get their attention away from getting distracted. Do this until they come without hesitation and then move a little farther away, and repeat it. If they get sidetracked guide them with the food. Just keep on doing this. Hopefully it will work... this is just a theory.
Good luck!
What kind of treats did you use? I was thinking about Cheerios. haha
 

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If they are preening (according to Rat Daddy) they are thinking about coming.

I taught all my rats their names by the simple expedient of saying their names when I gave them treats two or three times a day. After they knew their names when I would get them out of their cage, they would both cuddle and play with me for a little while, then Xena would go sploring and Aphrodite would head back to the cage. If I called Xena, she would always come and accept the treat on offer, give me kisses and say "Momma, I gotta go. More sploring to do." Her nickname was Cristina Columbus, explorer. If I called Aphrodite while she was on her way to the cage, she would stop, look at me, look at the cage and if I was closer, she would come and take the offered treat. If the cage was closer she went to the cage. Rats (like children) often have things they would rather do than come to you when called, they aren't quite like dogs who only want to please you, more like cats who are willing to please you if it suits them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thx I will try everything. I do use treats and they are the dried papaya stuff which they seem to love. Hopefully they will stop thinking and just get the TREATS yum.
 

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When you call your rat, it starts to do an analysis, it evaluates your tone of voice, the smell of what you have in your hand, whether she heard packaging crunching before you called, where you are in terms of safety as well as what she would rather be doing. It's a very complex equation. Yes, you make it simpler if there's a tasty treat involved every time.

As a shoulder rat handler, I don't always have treats at hand, so I tend to train without them and I usually get less than perfect results, but the tone of my voice is important. I find that a genuine element of urgency in my voice is very motivating to my rats.... Indoors they more or less do as they please, but when the chips are down and there's real danger they respond pretty quickly outdoors, like if I see a dog off it's leash. I have tried to imitate my "urgent" tone of voice, but for the most part they can tell when I'm really serious and when I'm not.

I suppose it's like when we got pulled over by a local cop down in south Jersey for violating an ordinance that isn't enforced in north Jersey.... When the cop asked us if we knew what we did wrong? We honestly said "NO". Instead of giving us a ticket he explained the law to us. My friend turned around to me and said... "Try and remember what your face looked like when he asked us if we knew what we did wrong, whatever we did he believed it." I suppose there are subtle tells we have when we are telling the truth or are serious about danger... and somehow rats can tell. Rats are great students of human behavior.... As to getting rats to respond to commands like dogs, I don't think it's likely although some are much better at taking you seriously than others. Our part wild rat was usually the first to come when called, unless I raised my voice in which case she evaporated for a few hours. She was wired for survival and everything was high priority for her. Max didn't take anything seriously unless I was actually yelling, Fuzzy Rat waited to smell food and Cloud waits to hear plastic packaging crunching before coming. Dogs obey commands, rats are little thinkers, they are metacognative and everything is a matter of consideration and subject to particular situations.

If you think about it, rats survive and thrive in the same environments as humans and dogs and they are a whole lot smaller than their competition... they make up for their physical size by superior risk analysis and thought processing power. They may look like simple little fur balls but their wheels are always spinning. Before a rat engages it's feet, it engages it's brain.

Have fun with training and don't get too frustrated, remember they are training you while you are training them...

One last story... One night Fuzzy Rat refused to come out of the storage room which is way to cluttered to find a rat in... So my wife brought me a slice of french apple pie... she said..."It's a rat, stupid!" and she was dead right, as soon as Fuzzy Rat smelled the french apple pie when magically appeared. After that, every evening when I turned off the computer she evaporated and wouldn't come out without a treat. Basically, she trained me to give her a tasty treat every night before bed. And every top rat we have had since expects the same privilege. And yes, I always keep cookies on hand for bedtime. My wife was right, Fuzzy Rat was a rat and I may have been stupid, but she sure wasn't.

Best luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks so much rat daddy that was sooooooo helpful. Same to everyone else that posted. My rats are coming way quicker now.
 
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