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Rats don't generalize like humans or dogs do. When you teach a rat that your chair is chair as in come to chair or go to chair, they think that your chair is chair... and have no clue what you would call any other chair... they don't draw the association that humans do as they don't particularly sit on chairs... When I taught Fuzzy Rat not to eat a wire, she just turned around and snipped another one. One wire was safe but all of the others in my office were at risk... It's not your rat being stubborn, it's just the way your rat understands the world.

So it's not cool to bite your ears, but other ears are still fair game... Which you might have to fix one ear at a time...

But rats can generalize... Fuzzy Rat learned it was fine to pee on pavement, so whenever we put her on my wife's black textured leather chair, which looked like pavement, she peed on it, same with my black textured telephone. Black with a rough texture was good to pee on, that she could generalize... She didn't talk on a telephone or sit in a chair, so she didn't see any distinction there. Fuzzy Rat was that rare rat that was almost 100% consistent in how she behaved, if she did something once she pretty much did it the same way over and over... which made it much easier to understand her thinking. Why would she only pee on one telephone and one chair? Then one day outside when she went to blacktop to pee, it all made sense... But it's an association that took me quite a while to make. And it's been over a year since Fuzzy Rat passed away and the "1" key on my phone still sticks.

So now you have to teach your boy your boyfriends ears are not snacks too... and likely keep him away from other people's ears. Remember, rats learn very specific things and they generalize differently than you do.

Best luck.
 

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Well from my experience of owning rats I've trained rats to discontinue behaviours without bopping, therefore proving that there is no need for bopping in order to get your point across. I've also graduated from a psychology class and soon to be getting my masters. Doesn't make a difference what education you have it's all about experience. My point is there is other ways than swatting a rat on the head, I just think people give up too easily. Also when I say time out I'm talking about putting them in a bare travel carrier or a small cage not their original cage. I'm sure thre are plenty of rat enthusiasts out there who have also tried the no bopping theory and had success.
 

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Bopping never worked for my rats either. I tried, and they just didn't understand, and they didn't care they were getting bopped. Naydeen usually doesn't listen to me unless I use my "mom is serious" voice. One of my rats is a hopeless case, he is constantly getting into trouble and no matter what I try, it all goes in one ear and out the other. I just have to keep after him, it's the only way to stop him. Whenever I see him about to do something bad, I run over and physically stop him. Maybe ever time your rat tries to go for the ears, you can push him away or set him somewhere else.


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As I said, I have no issues with folks that have methods that work for them. And very likely there are many ways to communicate that a rat will understand. That said, I really have never seen a study that used a time out to modify rat behavior. It might make for an interesting master's thesis though. I certainly would be happy to read it with an open mind.

And yes, with rats that know I'm a soft touch and would never hurt them the rat bop is more of an annoyance to them than a real deterrent... When Fuzzy Rat was chewing through the carpet I tried bopping her at least 10 times and she didn't even look up much less stop digging through the carpet... she finally stopped, looked up at me annoyed and weebled away only to finish her hole down to the floor as soon as I walked away. She wasn't quite as sure my daughter wouldn't bop her harder and when I actually wanted to get Fuzzy Rat to stop doing something I called my daughter... I suppose it was the nice dad vs the disciplinarian mom thing. Strangely all of our rats absolutely love my daughter above all else..

For the most part with normal rats the technique works well and it works fast. It involves no pain nor does it cause lasting hurt feelings. I haven't used it often myself but I've seen it work a treat over and over... I also generally raise my voice first and in most cases that works too...

Certainly I believe that punishing your rat is wrong as it is likely to cause your rats to fear you because they may not associate the punishment with their behavior and therefore wind up becoming anxious, nor do I advocate rat abuse of any kind as in inflicting real pain or injury for any reason... I prefer rewarding good behaviors before discouraging inappropriate ones in most cases...

If bopping or even swatting in extreme cases makes someone uncomfortable and they have another method, by all means they should do that... It's just one tool in the tool box to use or not use...

My dad used pipe wrenches, C-Clamps, socket wrenches, ring and open ended wrenches, pliers, and two bench vises. He hated vice grips and got to be 91 years old, he called them a cheat... I have 5 assorted vice grips and they are sometimes my tool of choice although I have all of the other tools too... I think my dad borrowed my vise grip once as it was the only tool for the job, and I actually prefer to use the right wrench for a bolt that isn't stripped, but when my vice grips can make my job easier and faster I don't hesitate... I once had an exhaust clamp break and I clamped the pipe back into place with a vise grip in order to get home, 3 years later I found the same vise grip still holding up the exhaust pipe having forgotten about replacing the clamp when I got around to it, and that tool is still in my box... I suppose it might be a cheat, if you look at it that way. I could have towed the car home and put on the right clamp, but clipping on the vice grip and driving with it for 3 years worked just as well. It saved me a $100.00 tow and a $2.50 clamp, so I might argue it was the right tool for the job.

Whatever gets the job done... IMHO, no tool is a cheat if it works faster or requires less effort, and that's coming from a guy with a 6 horsepower compressor and air tools in the basement... and yes, my dad had a breaker bar and a six foot pipe extension to do the same job. Either way the lug nut always came off.

I might still have my great aunt's rug beater somewhere in the attic, I once tried the rug beater just for fun and it did work as I choked on the dust, but I'll use the Electrolux any day, call me a cheat if you want.
 

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Well from my experience of owning rats I've trained rats to discontinue behaviours without bopping, therefore proving that there is no need for bopping in order to get your point across. I've also graduated from a psychology class and soon to be getting my masters. Doesn't make a difference what education you have it's all about experience. My point is there is other ways than swatting a rat on the head, I just think people give up too easily. Also when I say time out I'm talking about putting them in a bare travel carrier or a small cage not their original cage. I'm sure thre are plenty of rat enthusiasts out there who have also tried the no bopping theory and had success.
Hurf durf I am better than you all, I have a degree in HUMAN psychology. My answer is the only possible solution to ever exist because I’m the best!
 

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Heh I pin my boy nimbus when he does the naughties, just pretend you're a bigger rat and do what they would do :D
 
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