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Discussion Starter #1
I have two rats they're both around 5 months old and I've had them for a month or so maybe a little more...they're both not very affectionate rats but the smaller one is the least. He's skittish, he doesn't like me touching him and sometimes he pushes me away with his nose or paw or just runs away. Very uninterested :( it seems like he doesn't like me at all! Do you think they'll change over time??
 

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Have you checked out the immersion thread? They don't sound aggressive, so don't do the extreme immersion, but you could try the basics.

I had one rat who was really shy. I spent a few evenings with her in the bathroom. I had a towel on the floor so she should hide there, but mostly there was nothing else for her but me. She became more aware that I wasn't going to eat her. I would offer food, but she mostly climbed up on me and then hopped off to eat it away from me. But with just her and me in that room, she had no choice but to check me out. It wasn't immediate either. Just be patient and let the rat check you out. Offer treats every so often.

A lot of people sit in the bathtub. I don't have that option, but I was able to wall off a part of my bathroom. It was about a 30"x60" space. She wasn't forced to climb on me, but she did anyway. Spend a few hours a night with yours that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They do crawl on me it's weird they're like right in the middle. They aren't scared by they aren't like on me all the time or looking for my affection ya know it's hard to explain. The big one is not scared of me he is a bit skittish when I pick him up. The smaller one is the one who I think doesn't like me :/
 

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I see what you mean. They accept your presence, but kinda in the same way as they accept the furniture. Not scary, but not something they want to interact with either.

I think it would definitely be worth you having a go at Immersion Training. The whole point of it is to create a dialogue between you and your rat. Good luck xx
 

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What do I do?? I read the thing but I didn't see anything other than for aggresive rats...the bigger one kinda interacts with me he does this funny game he comes to the door and ducks and peaks out and ducks it pretty funny I think he likes me I just need to get him to not be scared when I pick him up...The small one is the one that is the one that needs work...what do I do???
 

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Just settle in and try and engage him, offer some treats, scoop him up, skritch him, follow him around a bit or even play a little chase or toilet paper tug of war... it really depends on the rat... Don't be overwhelming or overbearing but it's OK to get his attention so he understands you aren't furniture...

Basically it's engage him, then see how he responds and then try to reply to him... try to get a dialogue started.

I know it's hard because your rat is small and you are large, this would be easier with a puppy you can chase around the yard with, but it's the same general principle. Another analogy is working with a kid from a foreign country that doesn't speak your language(s). You use body movement, vocal tones, treats hand signals and whatever it takes to get your rat to understand that you are very much like him... He has to understand that you are a sentient being too then he will begin to try and understand your meanings and be more interested in interacting with you.
 

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This is very much a case of what do the rats see that you've got to offer. They aren't going to automatically know your a fun place to be, what can you do to make yourself interesting and fun to be around. I tend to focus on smaller scale play times with youngsters. Whilst I free range a bit in small spaces I also spend time with just them and me, where I'm the most interesting thing there. We play lots of hand games like wrestling, I give them scritches and they in turn groom me. Once they've established what your for then the rest follows, its a two way thing except you know that your going to love them, and they don't yet.
 

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When my rat was really shy, she would fight any attempt to be picked up out of the cage. She'd run from the hand when she realized that it was trying to pick her up. And when I did pick her up, it didn't take long for fear poo to happen.

But immersion helped with that. She crawled on me of her own accord. When she was on my chest, I would pick her up and skritch her. I'd then let her hop back down. She gained confidence then because she could control the situation. She would come when called and let herself be picked up. I generally put her back down after a while. There was no fear poo during those sessions.

And now I can pick her up without problem. The way she shoots her rear legs out means that she's a little nervous about where she's going to stand (I don't always have the right leverage to scoop up a rat), but that changes when I nestle her on my arm where she can regain her footing.
 
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