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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just adopted two very cute little rats from the animal shelter. They're ten weeks old and I've handled them and played with them everyday for the last 4 days that I've had them. One of them took to me immediately and the other one was really shy and timid but he never bit me. Over the past few days he's been getting more comfortable with me. I think mostly because he sees that his brother likes me. Anyway, so he's been sitting on my shoulder recently which is sweet and he sniffs my ears but twice in two days hes bit my earlobe to the point that it bleeds.

Any idea why he's doing this? He got very careful and gentle handling at the shelter and he doesn't nip or nibble on me all the time. A Playful nip is one thing, I got used to that with my last pair of rats but I think he's actually bit almost THROUGH my earlobe. I don't want to give him back to the shelter but I don't know what else to do. I don't like to give up. If I can, is there a way to train him not to do it? Playful nibbling is fine like I've said before but these bites are just so painful. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Someone else was having a very similiar problem with one of their rats a while back I believe. Maybe he bit because something smelled good around your ear, or maybe he was frightened for some reason. Were you petting him at the time, and maybe scritched a sore area? Could be alot of reasons. I would def. let out a good EEP if he does it again, let him know that type of behavior is not alright, but do it in a gentle way. Are your boys neutered and did the shelter say about how old they are? There is alot of great knowledgeable people on here who will have much more advice than me especially when it comes to boys. I would not give up on him yet,but that is just my opinion.
EDIT-I forgot to ask what kind of cage you had them, is it pleanty big enough for the two boys?
 

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when hyper bites (cuz my sister never holds her :cry: :c i say NO! firmly but not meanly or too loud (dont want to scare the poor thing) then she turns her bite into a lick : ) if it really hurts ill eep then say no again

oh and good job for rescuing!
 

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and maybe ehr incisors are growing in and she needs something to chew on and maybe she thinks your another rat and just wants to play with you
 

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Rats can grind their teeth to keep them short. They don't need to chew on something, necessarily. And I don't think a squishy ear would do much. ;) :lol:

I would assume it's overzealous grooming, but many people seem to have rats that nibble or bite ears for some reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Berks- I don't know if they are neutered or not but I do know that they are 10 weeks old. So I know they're gonna be rambunctious. I also have them in a 3 tiered Rat Mansion. They have plenty of room. I learned about enough room the hard way with my first pair of rats.

Rat_Ratscal-I'll try EEPing. I think I've been scaring him when he bites me because it's such a surprise that I yell OWW!!!!. I'll try not to scare the crap out him.
 

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OMG, my rattie Punkin bites my ear when she wants back in her cage


but she doesn't bite hard or anything, just little love bite telling me to put her down!


I'm sorry your rattie pierced your ear!
 

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ahh theyre young yet so my guess is they are not neutered and like you said, there gonna be playful. I have learned that with my girls, ears are just irresistable thing. :) good luck with them keep us updated.
 

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ratrover said:
grinding and chewing are almost the same thing
Umm... no... they aren't. A rat will grind it's teeth or gnaw on something hard, like a block of wood, to file it's teeth down, but they certainly won't bite into flesh for that reason.

o_O

More likely the rat in question is simply being overzealous in it's play biting. That would be my guess.
 

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You're the one that posted "about something as little as that". I simply felt compelled to inform you that you are mistaken.

How old are you? I'm pretty sure you have to agree that you are 13 or over when you register here.
 

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To bring this back on topic… :wink:

Two of my rats where obsessed with nipping my bare feet. (Only my feet, they are otherwise very sweet.) Which is why I always wear socks when they are out free-ranging.

They are growing out of it, so I’d just give it time with your little guy. :)
 

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Back on the subject of ear biting... one of my girls bites my ears. I really have no idea why. Now I don't let her on my shoulder unless I'm wearing a bandana or something to cover the tops of my ears, which is where she bites. She leaves my earlobes alone.

Definitely try the loud eeping. That seems to usually work for people, but it hasn't stopped my ear-biter. Otherwise just be careful ^^;
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
God, I freaking love this place. I used to visit another rat forum and they weren't nearly as knowledgeable about rats as you guys are. You all have given me great advice. I'll try all these things.
 

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I have an wanna-be eyebrow piercer, myself, and they're friendly girls. I'm going to concur that it's not them being mean/scared.

This is good advice for me, too! I'll try the eeping, but usually I just end up brushing her off me and moving my face. Which doesn't really solve the problem...
 

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CaptainFlow said:
I have an wanna-be eyebrow piercer, myself, and they're friendly girls. I'm going to concur that it's not them being mean/scared.

This is good advice for me, too! I'll try the eeping, but usually I just end up brushing her off me and moving my face. Which doesn't really solve the problem...
lol, I have 3 girls who feel I never completely clean my ears good enough and find it nessacary to thouroughly groom my eye-lashes. Only nibbles so far. (oh and I do clean my ears-every day)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
UPDATE!!!!!!!! Smeagol is no longer biting me. Now he just nibbles wich is fine. I've also found that they like to groom my psoriasis too. They nibble off the flaky skin. It feels nice.

I eeped a lot when he bit me, and I guess he got that through his head. :D
 

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Well I just posted a new topic about one of my girls doing the ear biting thing (I call it a CHOMP in all caps because it felt like she freaking pierced my cartilage). I guess I should bump this topic since it has so many replies. I've been desparately searching for a behavior modification technique that will extinguish this behavior ASAP because I do like to walk around with my rats on my shoulders, and when they run around me on the furniture, my ears are always going to be exposed. And what about my friends?! There is no way I'm going to let a biter near any of my friends (and this will just not do).

The only thing discouraging me is the reports of multiple ear bites. And I believe it! As soon as one of the rats learns a new way to be mischevious, they will do it OVER AND OVER AND OVER again. Ear chomps hurt and bleed like a mother, but if I have to sacrifice my ears in order to yell MEEP, I guess I will sadly take that painful course of action. Maybe I can find some stuff that makes ears taste horrible?
 
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