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Discussion Starter #1
okay, so it's very clear that picasso is the queen of her hut, so i was wondering, what little every day interactions are actually carefully played out displays of dominance between my rats?

when i put food in, picasso sits on the food bowl (it's a bird cage so the food bowl kind of floats on the wall) and takes noodles out, setting them on the ground behind her. she did this before mozart moved in because the noodles are her fave. she will now defend these noodles, but will occasionally let mozart steal one, but mozart doesn't get access to the food bowl until picasso is done. dominance? or just being a jerk?

mozart is a homebody so she will always find a way back into the cage during free-range time. when picasso comes home, mozart will crawl up to her and lick her face and poke her in the eye. subordination? or being a jerk (lol)?

mozart is also very shy and will hide under stuff, sometimes when picasso runs about like a crazy piece of burning popcorn. subordination? or being skittish?

these are just some random things i've noticed, are there other small hints that they are constantly showing who is boss, like dogs do with the tail up, ears up, etc.?
 

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As far as I've seen, grooming, chasing, biting on the bum, pushing against, standing up and "boxing", pushing their head under the other one and climbing on top of the other one are big signs of dominating.

Taking food from the other one or hoarding - I think this is just them being greedy.

If we take one of ours out without the other one, the other one will jump on them and wrestle them down when we put them back... usually followed by serious grooming.

I think the running around thing is just being skittish and playful.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
so when mozart shoves her head under and crawls under picasso, she's being submissive to picasso? or is she being dominant? because in actual rat-attacks, picasso always flips mozart over and mozart squeals bloody murder.

i would think that the rat that does the bum-biting would be the dominant one, but mozart jumps on and nibbles picasso's tail a lot when it's just waving around in the air in front of her face. is this just her being playful/annoying?

these are just questions out of curiosity really, i can see that no one really has an answer anyway, lol. thanks donnak!
 

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I think tail biting is just baby behavior?
 

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OnlyOno said:
so when mozart shoves her head under and crawls under picasso, she's being submissive to picasso? or is she being dominant?
She is being dominant. Our girls do this most when one is in heat - the one that isn't in heat will shove her head under the one that is in heat.

OnlyOno said:
because in actual rat-attacks, picasso always flips mozart over and mozart squeals bloody murder.
Does Mozart ever flip Picasso over? Our two girls seem to take it in turns.

OnlyOno said:
i would think that the rat that does the bum-biting would be the dominant one, but mozart jumps on and nibbles picasso's tail a lot when it's just waving around in the air in front of her face. is this just her being playful/annoying?
The one that does the bum-biting is being dominant. I would say that the tail nibbling is just her being playful/annoying, but I could be wrong.

I am finding that you don't have to have one dominant rat - like I said, our rats seem to take it in turns to display dominance. They both flip each other over, they both shove themselves under the other, chase the other incessantly when they are in heat, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
neat. i always figured picasso was the ever-dominant one because in the full-body angry stand up and kick-ass fights, picasso always flips mozart over and mozy squeals like death is coming. i've never seen picasso on her back.
 
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