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I have one rat who is a bit afraid of humans. She hates to have me pick her up (Though the other two aren't terribly thrilled about it, they hardly fight it), she sometimes won't take treats from me unless she's in her cage, and she poops and pees on me when I get her out.

I've heard people mention "forced socialization" a few times. Is that the method mentioned here?

http://members.aol.com/juliesrats/behavior.html#forced

If not, how do I do it? Also, any other things I should try?

One thing I've been considering is putting their food in my hand and letting them take it off of me. Will that help?

I've also read about putting something like baby food on me and letting them lick it off, but I know that's the right way to getting me bit by some of my overzealous rats so I'm a bit afraid of doing that.
 

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How old is the rat? I find that 'forced socialization' works best on young rats that haven't had any bad experiences, they just don't know what to expect from the big scary humans. They quickly realize that nothing scary happens when you pick them up and take them out of the cage, and in fact it can be fun.

Older rescue rats who have had bad experiences it doesn't work as well IMO.

I think the best technique for keeping the rat with you for 15 - 20 minutes is to use a bonding pouch, or to put the rat on your stomach in between a t-shirt layer and a baggy sweatshirt layer, or in the pouch of a hooded sweatshirt. Sometimes just throwing a blanket over them while they are on you will calm them down as well... but its harder to control where they are going with that method.

Then just remember that changes don't happen overnight, everything takes time. And it is critical to not skip a day if at all possible during socialization beause they can very quickly "forget" what they had just learned a couple days before. Even my rats that are well socialized get a bit "wild" when I'm in teh middle of exams and ignoring them more than usual...
 
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