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Discussion Starter #1
[align=center]I'm going to get two rats soon, and I was wondering about training. I've heard they're really smart and can learn tricks. So, how long per day should I train them until they learn to come when I call their name or something? Will they get bored if you train them for too long? What treats work best: yogurt drops, Cheerios, or something else? Are the yogurt drops unhealthy for them?

And also, what tricks should I teach them besides to come?[/align]
 

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Welcome to the forums, Whiskers :)

The first and best thing you can teach them is to come to their name. This will open doors for giving them a bit more free range and teaching them more tricks. You should aim to spend at least a couple of hours a day with them, and more if you can manage it.

The best thing to look for in treats is to find something healthy that they like, so you can give them lots of little bits of it. Yoghurt drops are ok, but they're not really very nutritional and shouldn't be given in any quantity. You could try things like rice krispies, which are quick for them to eat, they won't get full too quick and they're not too unhealthy for them.

As for what to teach them, there are endless possibilities. I've even read of people teaching their rats to roll over! I taught one of ours to hop up into a hanging tube to receive her treats, and both of our rats will climb onto me when I say it's home time, now. Experiment with what you can teach them... I'm sure you'll be surprised. Remember, rats are very intelligent, so keep it varied for them and you should have some very happy smart rats! :)
 

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[align=center]Thank you for all that information. :) I have a more questions, though....

Since I'm going to get 2 rats, should I train them one at a time? Like after the couple of hours I spend with one rat, put it back in its cage and start with the other one? Wouldn't that take a lot of time? I still go to school and have to study, do homework, eat dinner, etc....

If I train them both at the same time, they wouldn't get individual attention and they'd get distracted by each other. Two more questions....Since rats are nocturnal, when should I train them? (I go to sleep by 10:00 p.m. when there's school.) And should I train them before or after I give them their dinner? (I don't want to spoil their appetites with the treats. But I don't want to do it after because they maybe they won't take it because they're not hungry?)[/align]
 

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You will certainly train them easier if you can do it one at a time. Do you have somewhere you can let them both out, so you can work with one while the other runs around a bit, and vice versa?

Rats are nocturnal, but they are also very good at adjusting to your schedule and can be awake when you are.

Most rats don't eat all their food when you give it to them; they tend to stock pile it and ration themselves, so I don't think you need to worry about them spoiling their appetite. Also, if you are giving them something yummy that they don't get in their normal dinner, they will still come running for it.

I hope this helps. Let us know if you have any more questions. :)
 

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[align=center]I could let them both out in my room, but there's some space under my dresser that they could get under and I don't know if they'd come out. (They might be scared of me at first or something....) When I first get them, will they come to me when I hold out a treat?

I stay awake really late this time of the year because it's summer break and there's no school, but summer break is over I'll have to go to sleep earlier. Will they adjust to this?[/align]
 

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Right when you FIRST get them? Probably not, unless they're true little loves.

My rats still aren't sure about treats out of the cage.


As for adjusting to your schedule, yes, they will.
 

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when you first get them thye will probably be at least a little timid so I wouldn't count on thme getting out from under the dresser for soemthing you offer. When they get used to you and aren't afraid of you they should probably want to come out from wherever they are and come see you, climb on you, groom you, etc. If you can't get something to train them that is very small you can get something that breaks up into pieces easily.
 

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Playing with them on a table top is a lot easier. When ever I get a new rat, I place to quarantine cage on my desk next to my computer. I leave the cage door open when I'm there so that they can come and go as they please.

It makes a huge difference.
 

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Yogert drops are a great motivational tool for rats, but they're completely unhealthy. No more than one or two a day. I would give our rats yogert drops once a day and I would call their names before giving them. From doing that they've learned to come to the cage door when I yell their names. As stated in a previous post its a great thing to teach them in case they escape or get lost in your house.
 

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After teaching Acid her name, I taught her to "c'mere"(easier for me to say), and then a series of commands leading her up on of my legs to my knee(I would be sitting with my knees up), to hop to the other knee(about a foot away), and then climb up on my shoulder to get her treat.

I haven't been too consistent with that one since it got old showing everyone who came to visit so I dunnow if she'll do it now. But it was still great fun teaching her those things. :D
 

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I love party tricks...

My dog can "freeze" with a treat balancing on top of his nose. The Melon (my eldest rat) will run up his body and grab it.

People love that one, especially when we act like it wasn't supposed to happen. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
norax said:
Yogert drops are a great motivational tool for rats, but they're completely unhealthy. No more than one or two a day. I would give our rats yogert drops once a day and I would call their names before giving them. From doing that they've learned to come to the cage door when I yell their names. As stated in a previous post its a great thing to teach them in case they escape or get lost in your house.
[align=center]Well what if you give your rats, like.. 5 yogurt drops in one day, then don't give them any for the next few days?[/align]
 

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Whiskers said:
norax said:
Yogert drops are a great motivational tool for rats, but they're completely unhealthy. No more than one or two a day. I would give our rats yogert drops once a day and I would call their names before giving them. From doing that they've learned to come to the cage door when I yell their names. As stated in a previous post its a great thing to teach them in case they escape or get lost in your house.
[align=center]Well what if you give your rats, like.. 5 yogurt drops in one day, then don't give them any for the next few days?[/align]
What happens if you eat a whole quart of ice cream one day and then don't have any for the next few days? :lol:

It's still not good for them.

Try breaking them up. Then you can give little bits as treats.
 

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I just got a mental image of the smorgasbord scene from Charlotte’s Web... :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Forensic said:
Whiskers said:
norax said:
Yogert drops are a great motivational tool for rats, but they're completely unhealthy. No more than one or two a day. I would give our rats yogert drops once a day and I would call their names before giving them. From doing that they've learned to come to the cage door when I yell their names. As stated in a previous post its a great thing to teach them in case they escape or get lost in your house.
[align=center]Well what if you give your rats, like.. 5 yogurt drops in one day, then don't give them any for the next few days?[/align]
What happens if you eat a whole quart of ice cream one day and then don't have any for the next few days? :lol:

It's still not good for them.

Try breaking them up. Then you can give little bits as treats.
[align=center]Oh. Okay.[/align]
 

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I love party tricks...

My dog can "freeze" with a treat balancing on top of his nose. The Melon (my eldest rat) will run up his body and grab it.

People love that one, especially when we act like it wasn't supposed to happen. Wink
THAT is completely AWESOME! LOL :)
 

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Thanks!
 
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