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Hello!

So, It has been 1 full week and a day that I've had the three little guys. I've read a lot of stuff in regards to trust training and establishing a bond... but since this is the first time I've had a rat I'm extremely worried about screwing it up and making a bunch of anti-social rats :p When we got the rats we were told they had been handled a lot, were used to people, and that the two oldest ones were very social and loved to be carried around. So here is how everyone is doing:

Hef (4 weeks old) - Tiny little terror. He sees someone in the house he needs to get out of the cage and come see you. He has loved every single person he's met. He's started grooming me by nibbling my fingers and nails. All the time is party time. No worries about him.

Toku (6 weeks old) - Prefers not to explore his cage, but does so now that he knows there s a soft and fuzzy tunnel on the 3rd level. He will come and check out your hand, walk onto it, and even leave the cage to explore the table... but he doesn't like being picked up. You literally have to chase him down in the cage to get him. He no longer fear poops when you get him, but it takes him a little while to get out of the 'fear zone' and settle down. He especially likes the back of my neck.

Gandalf (6 weeks) - Even less social than Toku. The only difference is that when you stick your hand in the cage he will put his two front paws on you and lick your fingers. He does a lot of licking. He poops like crazy when you pick him up. He spends almost all of his time hiding in his little hide out. He only comes out to steal some food and then runs back in.

Toku is getting better, Hef is awesome, but I am very worried about Gandalf. We've tried letting them come to us, but Gandalf won't. Even for treats he will just come just far enough to snatch it then back into his cave he goes. We now only give him treats when he is physically on one of us, but it's a battle to catch him, calm him, and deal with the poops.

I am not expecting all of us to become BFFs over night. We are currently planning to continue out current course: give them the chance to come to us, but after some time physically taking them out of the cage. Like I've said, Toku is getting better, it's Gandalf I'm worried about.

Anyone care to tell me I'm just being a nervous nelly? It has been only a week, I'm just surprised how scared they behave when the lady we adopted them from said they were so social.
 

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If I read this correctly, you aren't taking them out of the cage for one on one time? Have you read the trust training or immersion stickies? They are young and right now is your best chance to bond to them, but if you don't take them out of the cage for one on one or play time, you are likely to wind up feeding them and watching them play with each other. Please read the trust training and immersion stickies at the top of this forum.
 

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Eh. :x I got my initial 2 at the 6-8 week marker.
I had a week off of work and I would have them on my lap/in my shirt, etc etc. For 12 hours + a day. (I don't have a life, if you haven't caught on. x) )

I feel like rats that are used to being "handled" is a different thing than the proper socialization.

In my personal opinion, the more time you spend with them (Regardless if it's a one on one situation) the faster they will personally bond to you.

Take them out of the cage for a few hours at a time, while you're watching television or something.

Really, the more time you personally spend time with them the faster they will be accustomed to you.
 

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Follow up: The perfect place I use for bonding sessions is on my recliner.
It's hard for my boys to climb off (They don't, anyway.. They're super needy. My Gandalf did the first time I brought him home but he learned quickly to stay.) and we're all in a close proximity.. I'll also have a blanket on me, so they can sleep in said blanket and I can pet them, give them treats etc.

I think you're doing fine, I'd just try to let them out of the cage as much as possible and let them sleep in your shirt/sit with you etc, etc.
 
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