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Discussion Starter #1
I tried searching the forum but had no luck! So if anyone could help, I'd appreciate it.

Both males, Rat A is about a year old; Rat B is roughly 3 months old.
Rat B tries to crawl under Rat A.
Rat A then pushes Rat B away, shoving hard with front paws and holding for a second before moving away.

During another interaction, Rat A lunges at Rat B, and shoves, but does not bite.

There were no other signs of aggression - no sidling, puffing, hissing, or biting. Would this interaction on its own be considered aggression? Or just establishing dominance? Neither? I've never, ever seen a rat just walk up to another rat and try to squish underneath him like this. I've never seen lunging in absence of biting either. I am a little confused, lol.
 

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My boys squish underneath each other all the time. It can usually means one of two things in my experience. Either a request to be groomed or a display of submission. Not sure about the lunging, I'd have to see to know exactly what you mean. My boys lunge and jump on each other quite a bit, usually it's dominance/hierarchy related, and sometimes just play.
 

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Rat B is trying to take Rat As dominant status and Rat A is declining politely.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
My boys squish underneath each other all the time. It can usually means one of two things in my experience. Either a request to be groomed or a display of submission. Not sure about the lunging, I'd have to see to know exactly what you mean. My boys lunge and jump on each other quite a bit, usually it's dominance/hierarchy related, and sometimes just play.
I mean Rat A literally lunges forward at Rat B, and shoves him or presses him down and then moves on. Sorry I wasn't clear, it's hard to explain. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Rat B is trying to take Rat As dominant status and Rat A is declining politely.
I laughed out loud at "politely"! Thank you for this explanation. Any idea what happens next? Rat B is very interested in Rat A, but other than the shoving and pushing Rat A doesn't seem interested at all.
 

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Well, the younger rat has all his hormones telling him he's big and bad and needs to be in charge. Either he will get his wish or Rat A will need to explain that it's not happening a little more roughly. That or he will keep trying and these next six months will suck.
 

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Rat B is trying to take Rat As dominant status and Rat A is declining politely.
Interesting--this is exactly what it would mean in Lagomorph language (bunny behavior).

Maybe all my bunny experience will serve me a tad better than I anticipated, after all.

For those who aren't familiar, rabbit intros can be quite tricky (including fatal violence at worst), and success is highly dependent on individual personalities involved.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, the younger rat has all his hormones telling him he's big and bad and needs to be in charge. Either he will get his wish or Rat A will need to explain that it's not happening a little more roughly. That or he will keep trying and these next six months will suck.
Thanks very much for answering my questions. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Interesting--this is exactly what it would mean in Lagomorph language (bunny behavior).

Maybe all my bunny experience will serve me a tad better than I anticipated, after all.

For those who aren't familiar, rabbit intros can be quite tricky (including fatal violence at worst), and success is highly dependent on individual personalities involved.
I did not know that, very interesting!
 
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