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I feel like I missed some part of basic training of my ratties. I love them very much and we're getting along together very well, all three of us. There is a definite bond, but I am worried about their training. They don't listen to no. I am usually very firm with them and it often doesn't get through. I don't know if it's because I'm just being loud and scary rather than a firm leader. The problem is, my big girl Dory is always jumping off my bed at play time, and she ends up falling. If she didn't fall, it wouldn't be such a big deal. I tell her no, I even touch her to get her attention. She always looks at me before she does it so I have a feeling she knows she's not supposed to but she does it anyway. She is trying to get "home" to her cage, but she can't make the jump.
Another thing I've noticed is that one of them, I think probably Gray and not Dory, isn't using the litter box some of the time. She uses another corner to poop. They both used to be fully litter trained but something has caused them to stop this.
I try to spend an hour with them outside of the cage each day, and I'm in the room with them quite a bit of the day--it's my bedroom and I spend a lot of time watching TV and doing work in there alone. I want my rats to be happy and healthy and I wanted to start training them to do tricks to keep them occupied and engaged, but I want to get the basics down first. I've had the rats since August, so three months now. Gray is four months old and Dory is nine months.
 

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I have alot of experience with animals. Training dogs and cats. IMO rats are very similar in attitude to cats. Telling them no....lol it rarely works well :)

There are some rats (just like some cats) that are sweet loyal angels and will listen and behave. But from my experience that is rare.

Rats are extremely intelligent, they like problem solving, they enjoy having their minds work. The problem is that this means they get bored very easily. If a play area is not interesting enough and does not do anything for them mentally some rats will choose to go find other things to do. You just have smart rats.

I have alot of rats, all with different personalities. My girl Khaleesi is one of the smartest. She is always trying to figure out problems, escaping, and testing my rat proofing skills lol And she will be quite sneaky about it and even wait until I am turned away to be naughty!

It is not about teaching them what is wrong or no. It is about giving them a focus. Teaching them tricks is actually a great way to use up that mental energy! Making their play area more fun is as well.

I also find girls are much more active and need more stimulation. If you wanted a cuddle buddy, you probably should have gotten boys lol. My boys are such lazy dopes lol


As for litterbox training, the truth is it is hit or miss. How big is your cage, how many levels? Adding a second or even third on multiple levels may help.
 

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I agree "No" is very much something which only forms part of a rats understanding when they choose too lol. They do delight in being naughty (and to be honest that's one of the reasons I really like them lol). When it comes to training you have to work with the temprement you've got. So I'd find stuff they like to do and focus on that, rather than being disappointed when they don't do what you want. If you notice that most rat training videos out there show different rats doing different tricks, its all about taking what they enjoy and enhancing it into a trick.

I'm quite relaxed about litter training (it comes of having owned boys a fair bit lol), instead of expecting them to use one litter tray, or say specific trays where I want to put them, I tend to help them along. So I have no shelves in my cage (the place where most rats choose to go to the loo), instead I hang cat litter trays around the cage, making sure I put them in easy range of their face hammocks (so one is right at the top). Rats generally cant be bothered walking a lon way to pee or poo and will go in the easiest place. By doing this my rats actually pee in the litter trays as well as poo (the holy grail of litter training lol). I also don't do any training, they teach themselves.
 
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