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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 7 week old dalmatian named Harley. At first she was a nibbler (not out of fear or aggression, she'd just casually sit there as she nibbled your finger). She's realised that my fingers aren't food, but she's now moved onto my (previously long) nails.

Now, I may like my nails, but I would be fine with trimming them regularly. The issue is, she practically rips my nails off. I'm not talking about fake nails, I mean that she'll grab my nails (even when really short) and try ripping them up. It hurts, and she made me bleed once when she broke my nail and it came away from the finger. Ouch.

I've tried squeaking, but unfortunately my vocal imitations aren't that great. I sound nothing like a rat and she isn't phased by it. It honestly doesn't seem like a fear thing, as if I'm just letting my other two rats lick my fingers, she'll run up to me and start biting my nails. Any ideas? ???
 

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Do you change your nail colours often?
I paint my nails everyweek, and my ratties always try to bite them when there's a sudden change. After three days or so they get used to the new colour, just before I change again and they find them strange again, an bite them again.. It's a never ending cicle, Lol!

I've read that most people, when trying to educate their rats, they just bump their nose slightly and say a firm 'no'. I use the squeaking tatic, but it doesn't seem to work for me either. I've tried the firm 'no' one and it seems to be more effective.

I wish you the best of luck with your new buddy!
 

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Both of my rats chew on my nails, I've only had them for 2-3 weeks and they've been doing it since the start. Whenever I put my hand near them and they try to nibble on them I just bend my finger so all they can nibble on is my knuckle and then they just lose interest. Have you tried replacing your nail for something like a piece of corn or your actual finger when they go to chew on it? Just a suggestion if you haven't already tried it :)
 

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My rats do this. A few weeks ago Gus started breaking out of his cage in the middle of the night to come visit me while I was sleeping. I woke up one night with him chewing on my nails!
When my rats try it, I just pull my hand away and maybe gently scold them. I think they get the picture, and hardly ever try anymore. Same with the whole going in your mouth thing. I would let Claudia do it when my mom was around because she hated it and I thought it was funny. Me letting her do it then just seemed to encourage her, and she started trying to do it more often. When I stopped letting her she stopped trying so much.
I would just be vigilant and consistent in pulling away and scolding when Harley tries and see if she gives up on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I usually change my nails, and while the other two try chewing after a colour change, I haven't changed the colour (they don't have any polish on right now) since before I got her. I'm almost scared to bop her while she's still so new, as I don't want to scare her too much ???

I'll try the food method Moo-Michonne suggested. Thanks!
 

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Im pretty sure there are some products you can get, that you paint on your nails and they taste bitter. These products are primarily made to prevent people from biting their nails, and as long as the chemicals arent too toxic to rats this might work for rats too :)
 

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^ that's such a good idea, however there may be ingredients in it that could be toxic to rats I guess you'd just have to check it. I believe what you're talking about is called 'Sally Hansens Nail Bitter'.
 
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