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Discussion Starter #1
My boy Gadget, whom I've had a for over two weeks now has now bitten my ears three times and given them a seriously hard nibble a few other times, I squeak and tell him no when he even gets near them, but then he'll hop on my shoulder, show no interest in my ears then just bite! He does not bite anywhere else, just my ears, and only during free range time, not during me handling him. He still doesn't trust me entirely, but he does like me, as he likes to sit in my lap during free range time and refuses to even go near my boyfriend. I don't want to live in fear of him biting my ears though! It hurts and it's a mess. I don't wear any jewelry aside from one necklace and he doesn't really bother it so it's not earrings. I'm not sure what it is/
 

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Hm. This is going to sound pretty strange, but what about swabbing your ears with hydrogen peroxide? (I know some people use it regularly for ear infections/cleaning, but some people don't and are always shocked when I suggest it, haha).

There might be something on/in your ears that he doesn't like - but the hydrogen peroxide will dissolve any wax or anything you might have on/around your ear. It'll also probably smell pretty not-pleasant to him, so that might deter him as well.

Just be sure to wipe off your ear with some soap and/or warm water afterwords to make sure he doesn't ingest any if he does decide to nibble.

It's the best "safe" deterrent I can think of, until someone more experienced presents a better idea :p
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll give it a try, honestly my boyfriend and I are starting to think that he's part wild or something. He's never been overly friendly, and I don't mind that, honestly I just want him to stop biting my ears!

I have heard of the hydrogen peroxide thing, I've actually done it before. The thing is he bites the lobes, and he only ever does it during free range time. If I'm walking around with him on my shoulder he'd rather try skydiving than mess with my ears. He hops up onto my shoulder and will hang out, not bother them, then bite! If he's independent and never fully trusts me, that's fine, I can deal with that, it's who he is, but I'd like my ears to remain intact. :\
 

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One of my boys is obsessed with licking my ears, i'm always having to pull him out of there! He can get overly excited with grooming too (licks and nibbles quite hard). I wonder if he might like your ears. Is he biting hard enough to break the skin?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yes, he's broken the skin a few times and there's always blood all over both of us. He does not groom before hand, nor examine them, he just bites them.
 

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Bop him with love in your heart. And shout NO! Don't punish him, but make sure he knows you ears are not treats. He doesn't sound aggressive, just confused.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I'll feel bad bopping him, but if it's what I have to do. :\
 

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My little girl Maya (I've had her about 2 wks now) is the same way. A little skiddish but still friendly. Jumps on me, grooms my hands, etc except she has bitten me twice in the nipples! I was wearing a shirt obviously but no bra and was just holding her.. She did it and I was so shocked (obviously!) that I grabbed her and just put her in her cage. Luckily I don't think it's harmed our growing relationship.. But I do remember to put a bra on now! Just thought I would share.. Some times you'll never know what's going on in your little ratty's mind lol!
 

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My little girl Maya (I've had her about 2 wks now) is the same way. A little skiddish but still friendly. Jumps on me, grooms my hands, etc except she has bitten me twice in the nipples! I was wearing a shirt obviously but no bra and was just holding her.. She did it and I was so shocked (obviously!) that I grabbed her and just put her in her cage. Luckily I don't think it's harmed our growing relationship.. But I do remember to put a bra on now! Just thought I would share.. Some times you'll never know what's going on in your little ratty's mind lol!
The same thing happened to me, and my rat has never bitten me before! It was the weirdest thing! Now I remember never to let her crawl up my shirt if I'm not wearing a bra


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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My oldest girl does this. Shes bit my ear on the upper part and drew blood. I was shocked and confused but shes tried many more times. She not allowed near my ears anymore. She doesnt like being held so im ok with it
 

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Mine don't bite, but they hate it if I don't clean my ears. If they get waxy they will try and scrap it with their teeth. And though it doesn't draw blood or anything it's not comfy. So..I keep my ears clean lol and no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well 20 minutes into free range time, and a gentle flick later no bites yet! He doesn't like getting on my shoulder after I flicked him but that's ok. He and Gizmo are begging baby puffs from me. They shouldn't be getting so many, but I'm using it as a bonding experience for them, especially Gadget. He's learning by touching the treat container I'll fish one out for him. He's even groomed me a bit, it was probably because I had lotion on my hands but hopefully this will open some doors for us. :)
 

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Please do not bop him on the head, that is one of the silliest things I've ever heard being recommended on here especially since there may be a reason since it is directly the ears and no where else which would suggest that he's not doing this out of aggression. Anyway, there are many factors that could be causing this, my baby girls are extremely interested in my ears also and love nibbling on them when they are out, if I don't like it I will not allow them to sit on my shoulder or they will have a time out, as soon as he does it say NO in a firm voice and place him in his cage (don't start screaming no or don't say anything else during this time) after 10 or so minutes go back and try again, he will finally get the point that it is not acceptable. I've been able to tame one of the most aggressive rats who was badly abused and neglected in to a sweet loving little boy without ever having to inflict pain or bop him on the head, that's the answer for someone who's not willing to be consistent and work hard to achieve an end result. I hope things are improving and good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Last ten minutes and no bites. This is the first time he hasn't even nibbled since he started this whole biting thing. I still don't trust him and keep a very close eye on him when he's on my shoulders but it's a start. He's even letting me pet him some while I type this. Hopefully this is the start of something good. He's not big on people, and I don't think he ever will be, but as long as he's happy and not biting me, we're good. He also just laid down on his side, closed his eyes and let me stroke him. I'm amazed!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Quick video of him letting me love on him. He was much more relaxed the first time, but I wanted to share. Gadget is my independent crazy who doesn't need me. The voices in the background are my boyfriend and our friend Spencer making a pillow for Spencer's Gf on my sewing machine. He even went limp when I picked him up to go back to his cage. It's like a 180!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euK79EiCTnQ&feature=youtu.be
 

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My boy suddenly went after my lip a couple times the other day, drawing blood. I remembered RatDaddy's advice about bopping but not hard enough to cause pain and bopped him on the head, then held him close and cuddled him. He never bit again. Sometimes rats just like to test to see what you'll let them get away with. Although my experience with rats is limited, RatDaddy's advice and threads have ALWAYS worked for me and experience with other training tells me that putting them in the cage if they bite would be a BAD idea unless you were CERTAIN they are so well bonded to you that removal of you IS upsetting to them. Otherwise you're literally training them to associate making you go away with biting and they could start to see getting to go back to the safe cage and not be bothered a reward for biting.
 

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The head bop (with love in your heart) was actually developed by my daughter when she was 5 years old. It wasn't meant to punish a rat, it was just a little girls honest way of communicating she didn't like something our rat was doing. It definitely wasn't hard or with malicious intent, and I was just about to put my foot down and put an end to it when our rat got the message and instantly changed what it was doing... and there were clearly no hard feelings. Usually the play wasn't even interrupted, other than NO! bop, behavior corrected, play continued uninterrupted.

Yup, it looked like a pretty silly idea to me too that a rat could understand something as simple as a little bop and correct it's behavior on the spot... If I hadn't seen it with my own eyes I wouldn't have believed it, but it works a treat until the rat realizes you aren't really ever going to hit him for real then it stops working... So don't use the technique too often or your rat will call your bluff and you can't hit him or her for real. That would be wrong in most situations.

Some things might seem silly to us humans, but they do work with rats. And if I think about it, my rats are best friends, but they still pounce on or push each other every now and then when they are annoyed at one another and want to get their friend to stop doing something they don't like... I guess it's just one of those rat things.

Remember, it's communication and not punishment and always tempered with love in your heart. Your just saying NO in a way a rat can understand not getting vengeance.

I never tried rat time outs... I never even tried them with my daughter... As a psychology major from the 1970's and 1980's, when rat running was the thing to do, I never saw a single study that even remotely suggested that caging a rat for time out would improve it's behavior.. If there's something more recent, I'd be interested in reading it and if time outs work for someone they should keep doing them...
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Urg! Last night he went after my boyfriends ears since he gets a swat for messing with mine. I think it's just a thing he does. How can I teach him just because my ears are off limits, doesn't mean others ears are fair game?
 

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I think it's just repetitive bopping and consistency. Generalization occurs in dogs too. When they learn sit for instance, they learn what that motion means in that room you taught them in. You have to take extra steps to go around to new locations to reinforce that the training means the same anywhere. It may very well be the same for rats. Only give him to people who wouldn't be traumatized by a ear bite, understanding of the risks. However I am not sure if it would be a bigger deterrent if you did it every time because you're Alpha or if it'd be more effective for whomever got bit to do the bopping. On one hand they may not respond as well to a bop from another because they don't know the person but on the other they might learn that all humans have a say over them. I don't know enough about rat psychology to know which way thg would go.
 
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