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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
one of my rats like stashing food in a corner of the room, i cant block it off and he doesnt cause any problems but their are wires there and i would rather be safe. Is their anything i can put on the corner? pepper or something strong to keep him from making it his stash place?

also he likes jumping on my wifes leg, crawl up, and then jump onto a desk... problem is, it hurts my wife and all he does up their is just look around, im assuming he likes heights. Ive tried telling him no, squirt a lil water on him before he does it, and even put him in his cage right after.. been doing it for awhile but none of them worked. Hes just stubborn and keeps doing it. I am sooo getting a breeder rat the next time.
 

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While I agree that it is normal for your rat to be adventurous and this is healthy, it isn't reasonable to require your wife to always wear pants. You can try having your wife eep at her (high pitch squeak) every time she tries climbing up her leg. I understand how incredibly painful it is to have little rat claws in my shins, and have very sensitive skin which can react to scratches as if they were an allergen. I wouldn't squirt more water at her, but be sure to react very quickly with eeping and putting her back on the ground. You have to be very consistent with her so that she knows climbing up legs wont get her anywhere.

As for blocking off wires, you have to take some responsibility here and make a proper barricade. Putting down anything like pepper to deter rats can potentially upset their sensitive respiratory systems. You can use poster board, cardboard, or something like coroplast (chloroplast??) to create a 'play pen' or to block off areas that are unsafe.
 

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What makes you think getting a rat from a breeder is going to change their curiosity to their surroundings?

I agree with MadCatter - the eeping will help. Much like dogs, the sound will deter their attention to the fact someone is being hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yea she already does and we dont "throw water in its face"... either keep that attitude private or just dont post at all

Schmea said:
Tell your wife to wear pants. Your rat is curious, adventurous and should be. Don't throw water in it's face.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
what makes you think thats the reason why id get one from a breeder?
eeping doesnt help with this lil guy, its been over a month the eeping thing has been put in place

Neuroticax said:
What makes you think getting a rat from a breeder is going to change their curiosity to their surroundings?

I agree with MadCatter - the eeping will help. Much like dogs, the sound will deter their attention to the fact someone is being hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
okay, i never said ITS WRONG that hes curious, ive arranged the wires so he doesnt get to them and even let him up the desk, its not about responsibility all i wanted to know if theirs a way to teach a rat no, like a dog.. i know a rat isnt a dog but figured their was a way to tell them not to do something (teach them) before i change the entire room around.

I dont squirt water in their face, its more misty since the eeping thing wasnt working, a fellow rat owner on another forum suggested it so i gave it a shot.. it actually does work but the weathers cold so i stopped doing it. the pepper thing was also suggested but, and that worked too but i didnt like wasting too much pepper just for that.


so besides the eeping, is their another way to teach a rat "no" ?




MadCatter said:
While I agree that it is normal for your rat to be adventurous and this is healthy, it isn't reasonable to require your wife to always wear pants. You can try having your wife eep at her (high pitch squeak) every time she tries climbing up her leg. I understand how incredibly painful it is to have little rat claws in my shins, and have very sensitive skin which can react to scratches as if they were an allergen. I wouldn't squirt more water at her, but be sure to react very quickly with eeping and putting her back on the ground. You have to be very consistent with her so that she knows climbing up legs wont get her anywhere.

As for blocking off wires, you have to take some responsibility here and make a proper barricade. Putting down anything like pepper to deter rats can potentially upset their sensitive respiratory systems. You can use poster board, cardboard, or something like coroplast (chloroplast??) to create a 'play pen' or to block off areas that are unsafe.
 

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I didn't mean the 'responsibility' comment to be a criticism, just that it's not really something you can just turn a blind eye to, as the wires can be very dangerous.

Do you consistently have your wife grab him and immediately put him back on the ground EVERY time he tries climbing up her leg? If not, make sure you start this. You have to be consistent and be more determined than he is.

A lot of people use the 'jet' stream from a water bottle to discipline rats for various reasons. I suggested not to use it anymore because it obviously hasn't been working.

You can try positive reinforcement with him. Find a (healthy) food that he likes a LOT (if you have a petco in town, try the .99cent Natural Balance food rolls and cut them into tiny little bites - works wonders with my girls). You can try training him to sit still for a moment before going to legs, so he can get a treat. Rather than trying to eliminate the behavior with discipline, you may be able to distract the behavior positively with treats. Still eep at him and put him down the second he tries to climb up legs, but perhaps give him a treat when he comes to you and waits for you to scratch him on the ears, then walk away or pick him up. This may take several small steps - 1st giving him treats when he comes to you, then gradually making him wait longer and longer. Immediately making him wait for 5 seconds is going to confuse him, and he'll probably want to just jump up up your wife's legs. In fact, it would probably be a very good idea to have your wife do this training, as it will help her to work with him, and perhaps help them to build a closer bond - this in itself may help him to respond to her eeps ;)

Don't give him the opportunity to get up legs. Absolutely don't give him a treat if he makes an attempt at going up legs, and make training sessions short (10 minutes or less at a time) and end them on a good note (with him getting a treat after a wanted behavior).

You'd be amazed at how quickly they pick up on exactly what you want and what will get them a treat.

Again.. consistency and quick reaction time. If you're too slow in giving a treat after a wanted behavior, he's not going to connect the two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Its no problem, i know wires can be dangerous, my bunny is a wire killer but he plays mainly in the backyard.
I think i may have gotten lucky with these rats, they dont bite wires at all, their more interested in finding and stashing food and playing. Thanks for the tips ill let my wife read this, she cant eek though, weird i know but she just cant.. i will try the positive reinforcement. thanks again

MadCatter said:
I didn't mean the 'responsibility' comment to be a criticism, just that it's not really something you can just turn a blind eye to, as the wires can be very dangerous.

Do you consistently have your wife grab him and immediately put him back on the ground EVERY time he tries climbing up her leg? If not, make sure you start this. You have to be consistent and be more determined than he is.

A lot of people use the 'jet' stream from a water bottle to discipline rats for various reasons. I suggested not to use it anymore because it obviously hasn't been working.

You can try positive reinforcement with him. Find a (healthy) food that he likes a LOT (if you have a petco in town, try the .99cent Natural Balance food rolls and cut them into tiny little bites - works wonders with my girls). You can try training him to sit still for a moment before going to legs, so he can get a treat. Rather than trying to eliminate the behavior with discipline, you may be able to distract the behavior positively with treats. Still eep at him and put him down the second he tries to climb up legs, but perhaps give him a treat when he comes to you and waits for you to scratch him on the ears, then walk away or pick him up. This may take several small steps - 1st giving him treats when he comes to you, then gradually making him wait longer and longer. Immediately making him wait for 5 seconds is going to confuse him, and he'll probably want to just jump up up your wife's legs. In fact, it would probably be a very good idea to have your wife do this training, as it will help her to work with him, and perhaps help them to build a closer bond - this in itself may help him to respond to her eeps ;)

Don't give him the opportunity to get up legs. Absolutely don't give him a treat if he makes an attempt at going up legs, and make training sessions short (10 minutes or less at a time) and end them on a good note (with him getting a treat after a wanted behavior).

You'd be amazed at how quickly they pick up on exactly what you want and what will get them a treat.

Again.. consistency and quick reaction time. If you're too slow in giving a treat after a wanted behavior, he's not going to connect the two.
 

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Can she whistle, or better yet, can she make "kiss" sound with her lips that is high pitched? (may take some work to make it just right - high pitched is the key). Often my girls react as if I was eeping at them if I kiss at them, and it's always when it's a higher pitched kiss.
 

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The first comment posted in this thread from me was from my girlfriend, who was working at my computer and loves to check out this forum to hear everyone else's rat stories and pictures... I'll try to give a more constructive post with a bit of background that I've worked in a lab setting researching behavioural chaining techniques in rats, but, with the caveat that I stand by the original post that rats CAN tell the difference between bare skin and pants, and so having your girlfriend invent in a pair of crappy jogging pants to toss on when the rat is out is going to help you two enjoy your rat a million time more.

First of all, from a non lab experience: "eeping" works, and I've used it myself. Basically what you're doing is emulating the rat's own "that's too much" noise that they make to each other during play, grooming, whatever. I have one little girl that used to like to give my toes a trial nibble if I was wearing socks, and as soon as I made the "eep" noise she'd jump and make a mad dash to my face to lick my nose. The toe nibbling hasn't happened for a long time.

As for basic behavioral chaining techniques you can use to keep your rat from climbing your girlfriend's leg... basically, behavioral chaining is taking small blocks of behaviour, and linking them together to create a complex whole. It's how Seaworld gets their animals to performs those incredible tricks... first the reward them when they look to the left... then when they swim to the left... then when the swim to the left and up... then when they swim to the left and up further... and so on, until the animal is doing the desired behavior. For you, simply, I'd recommend training your rat to come to his name when called, something he's more than capable of, and will help you with all sorts of things.

Same principle: call his name, and do something to get his attention. When he looks at you, give him a treat. Keep doing that repetitively for a week or two, until he's "got" it, gradual reducing and eventually removing the other attention getting thing (which could be a big motion, anything non frightening.) until the rat is just looking at you when you call his name, and then getting a treat. Then make it so the rat has to turn towards you before he gets the treat. Then make him come thirty centimeters to you. Continually expand the distance until he comes no matter where you call him from. The hard part is, he needs to be doing the behavior PRIOR to receiving/seeing the food, so that he's responding to the stimuli of his name, and not the food... or else you'll have him trained to only come when you have a treat (like many dog owners dogs only sit when they have a treat for them, etc.) Basically you're chaining together a bunch of small behaviors, that in the end will result in one impressive big behavior: your rat will come to you when you call his name. Eventually, you don't need to give him a treat every time you call his name and he comes, but make sure you give him one every few times to avoid behavior extinction.

Your rat will love doing this with you, he's smart, and the stimulation will be a blast for the little guy. And in the end, you may not have taught him "No", but you'll be able to end any behaviour he's engaging in that you want him to stop by simply calling his name, and he'll come flying to you as fast as possible. Make sure you get a low calorie treat he enjoys (I used Cheerios, broken into smaller pieces) or you'll end up with a super fat well trained rat by the end.
 

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Awesome post Schmea!

Can I just add, Mrdeluxe, you mention squirting water before your rat scrambles up your wife's leg. This would probably just confuse the situation. If you're trying to train a particular behaviour you need to introduce the punishment or (preferably) the reward right as that behaviour happens. If you squirt a little water at him before he runs up her leg, he might associate something else with the punishment - he might accidentally be trained to stay away from your wife.

Also, I'd be a little nervous of using the 'kiss' sound. They react really strongly to it because it mimics the sound of a rodent trapped by a predator. If it's used too much it can make for super-nervous rats. (It can work quite well if you're out and about and want to attract the attention of a predator - when your rat's at home, obviously! It works really well with otters!)

I hope you get it figured out soon - rat scratches can be nasty... At least it's winter so your wife has some time to recover before it's bare leg season! :)
 

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so im new to training rats but u know how theres click training..u click when they do something good...y not get a squeaker from a dog toy for no so they do good u click n a treat and if they do bad u squeak n correct them (move them off or stop them from doing what theyre doing) ive heard if u use ur mouth to make noises ur noises may b inconsistent which will cause confusion with ur rat ...hope this makes sense n helps 🥰
 
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