Rat Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
265 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I got my new baby Rosie a week ago. I already had 2 boys before her. Rosie was really well socialized before I got her. She is 6 weeks old and was from an accidental litter and the previous owner said she handled her daily. I can definitely tell that she was well socialized because she wasn't stressed when I first got her, she doesn't fear poop when I handle her and she is very adventurous already and not that skittish. I had no problems introducing her to my boys and she is happily living with them now in the big cage. She follows them around constantly and i always find her and Lily cuddling together. Even though she was well socialized in general she is obviously still going to have to warm up to me. It helps when she sees my boys climbing on me and then she will be more willing to come by me. My boys free range in my bedroom which is a pretty big space so I took Rosie into my closet with a little lamp so we would be in a small space for immersion training. I've done 2 or 3 sessions with her about an hour a piece and when we are in there she is very comfortable climbing on my lap and shoulder and even sitting on my head. She doesn't really like it when I pick her up and pet her and hold her but she was making progress with that to where she wasn't running for her life anymore when i started to pick her up. She also would let me pet her sometimes. She is definitely so much further ahead than my boys were since they came from a pet store. Here's where my question comes in. i know with immersion training you are supposed to stay with them and work with them until you make progress that you are satisfied with and then after that you are supposed to build upon the immersion training with playtime bonding. But when I let her out to free range with my boys the progress that I make during my immersion goes away. When she is in the bigger space of my bedroom she doesn't want anything to do with me and when I so much as talk to her she runs the other direction. She acts terrified of me and my room is rat proofed and all i had to change was the radiator cuz she's smaller than my boys so she can actually fit inside my radiator but it's now safe for her to be in my bedroom but I don't want her to be afraid to interact with me but I'm not sure that the only thing I should be doing with her is immersion in the tiny closet? why does she seem to lose her progress once I add more space to the mix? Do I just need to do a few more immersion sessions with her? Or should I just continue letting her run around my room and see if she comes around to wanting to interact with me? Unfortunately it's not the most convenient thing to shut myself in a dark hot closet with a little lamp lol so I wish i had a better space to free range with her for the mean time but I can't use the bathroom so that's really my only small option right now. Any advice would be helpful because my free ranging situation is different with her as it was with my boys cuz Ive moved since then. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
955 Posts
When I got my three boys I started out with some immersion sessions in my small bathroom, then I moved to my larger hallway space, with no furniture and a few rat toys. Progress was going well, but when we finally moved freerange into the living room, with all the interesting furniture to explore, my boys wanted nothing to do with me! After all, they already knew me, but this strange huge space was new, exciting, and a little scary! It took them a few weeks to start using the whole room as it was a bit overwhelming for them, but eventually, they were interacting with me again. It can be quite frustrating, and for a long while I felt like I wasn't connecting with them. I did a couple of 'top up' immersions with the boys about a month or so after I got them and it seemed to help. At that point they were having some dominance fights and going back to immersion helped strengthen our bonds and my leadership. You can go back to immersion any time you feel like you need it, it can be helpful at any point during your relationship with your rat.

If Rosie is on her own right now then that may be part of the problem. Rats are a wee bit braver in groups, and the bravest of the group usually teaches the other shy rats a few tricks, and they learn from each other not to be so afraid of things.

I would just keep working on your girl. She's bound come round eventually. Maybe this would be a good time to start training her to come for her name. Lots of yummy treats when she comes to you and eventually she will realise that running toward you rather than away is a good idea :) Also, don't wait for her to come to you - go to her! Don't be afraid to follow her around and engage her, touch her etc. Keep talking to her, keep moving around so that she can get used to the movement and noise. Its tempting to tiptoe about and speak in hushed tones with a scardy rat, and while we don't want to go about shouting and thumping about like godzilla, at the same time, we want to get them used to your normal movement and speaking voice.
What really helped bring my guys out there shells was for me to be more confident around them, less hesitant about picking them up and a wee less delicate with petting them. Nice firm full body pets, and deep scratches behind the ears work well. Another trick you can try is popping her inside your hoody while you are in your bedroom, so she gets used to your smell and being close to you, while feeling safe and enclosed in the fabric.
Try engaging her in some play too. My boys like it when I drum my fingers on the floor and move my hand about like a little playing rat. They get excited and popcorn about.

Patience is key with ratties, and you will probably find that one day something just 'clicks' and she will suddenly be your friend.

Best of luck!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,244 Posts
I know sometimes an hour can seem like a long time, but really is isn't. A longer session makes more progress than a shorter one. Keep in mind that most folks recommend regular play sessions of about 2 hours. Try to find yourself a little more space and a little more time and stay engaged so your new rat really gets to know and bond with you... And yes, rats like kids, tend to ignore their parents when they are busy playing with each other. Call almost any 5 year old human child and tell them it's time to go home and see which way they run.

Best luck.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top