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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had my rat, Theodore, for nearly two weeks now. He is from a breeder who has handled him daily and he is very friendly and not afraid of people. He runs up to see me whenever I come home and jumps into my arms when I open the cage door. I've been giving him free-time on my bed and let him hang out with me for around an hour at a time. He generally runs around the sheets and on me and sometimes sits and curls up with me.

The last few days he seems to be acting CRAZY. He is running around like a maniac and jumping all over everything, running up my pant leg, up my shirt, all over me and just kind of acting like a maniac. It sort of seems like he's been attacking me? He just kind of lunges at me all of a sudden which makes me pull back pretty quickly. I might be wrong, but it seems a bit more aggressive than friendly. He then follows me as I pull back. (this happens on my forearm a lot)

A few days ago, I noticed he would chase my hand on the bed. I realize now that me and my boyfriend doing this probably wasn't the best idea since it seems to have trained him that it's ok to rough house with us. I used to give him a lot of treats on the bed, and I am thinking this is probably a bad idea also?

Is this just how rats are? Is he settling in and totally comfortable with us? Or is my guy a little crazy/dominant with us.

He is a lone rat now, we are getting another male when the breeders other litter is old enough in a couple of weeks.
 

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I don't know about the quantity, but that all sounds pretty normal to me. I I've having them chase and tussle with my hand!
 

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I've never had males but it sounds like his hormones might be kicking in and he's trying to be the alpha rat.
 

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Sounds normal to me. Especially because he is a baby AND he is alone (I'm surprised a breeder let you take him home alone, makes me question the breeder to be honest) he needs play, which includes rough housing. There is nothing wrong with playing with your rat. Of course it's ok to rough house, you just teach them what is to far, ie hard bites are bad, chase and follow ok. They'll learn quick enough. I chase, and let them chase my hand, all around the cage, both genders. With the boys I grab them sometimes and tickle, and sometimes I let them sit on my hand as if they have won. They usually start grooming my hand now when I do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all your help with this! He definitely seems to have calmed down. Sometimes he still does that play fighting thing but then he goes right back to being sweet and hasn't showed any signs of real aggression at all. Which is good! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sounds normal to me. Especially because he is a baby AND he is alone (I'm surprised a breeder let you take him home alone, makes me question the breeder to be honest) he needs play, which includes rough housing. There is nothing wrong with playing with your rat. Of course it's ok to rough house, you just teach them what is to far, ie hard bites are bad, chase and follow ok. They'll learn quick enough. I chase, and let them chase my hand, all around the cage, both genders. With the boys I grab them sometimes and tickle, and sometimes I let them sit on my hand as if they have won. They usually start grooming my hand now when I do.
What do you mean about the breeder? I am getting another one this weekend which is the soonest the next litter is available. I know rats are supposed to be social, so I had asked the breeder if i should wait to pick up Theodore (the 1 rat I have now) until the next litter was ready. She said he would be just fine for a couple of weeks. I'm curious to know your thoughts or if there is anything I should be aware of. I'm so new to rats, and as much as I research, I know yours and everyone's experience on this forum is key!
 

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Snow would act like this. She would grab my finger (I didn't pull back), nibble on it (rough, but didn't hurt), and run off only to do it again. When we got Luna, she would do this to her and Luna would do it back. My best guess is that he's trying to play with you. The lunging could be like what a dog would do (go down on his front legs, lean forward and woof, then take off) to show playfulness.

Of course, I've never had males so someone else might chime in and I'll be wrong, and that's okay! I hope it's a playful tactic. From my own personal opinion, my girls used to play like that, so to me it sounds playful. Have you tried not pulling away and seeing what he does? My current girl, Sweetpea, used to lunge a lot out of fear, but when I stopped pulling my finger away, I learned she wasn't really out for blood. She would just grab my finger, hold it in her teeth, and then gently let me go before running off. I spoke softly to her the whole time so she would realize I wasn't going to hurt her. Our relationship is developing much better now, but that could be a thought too.

Anyway, I'm blabbering. I wish you luck! And Merry Christmas Eve!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
He is definitely not at all afraid of me! I think I tend to get more afraid of him than he does to me hahah He has no fear :p But I think you're right it's just play. He does it mostly at night when he's most playful too. The problem seems resolved now though, definitely has been happening less and less.
 
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