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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so I am really into watching rats body language lately but there is a real lack of videos about shoulder rating outside of the house. Particularly I am interested in off the shoulder free ranging videos of a extended time or journey. Does anyone make videos of their trips out shoulder rating and would feel like sharing them here? ???;D

Of course with the don't try this at home your pets might get killed disclaimer...
 

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I have a couple of Fuzzy Rat, one swimming in the lake with the kids... but it was taken at sundown and she's hard to make out when she's in the water, I think you don't really see her until she climbs the ladder onto the raft and one where she's leading us back to the car which is better quality.

I honestly don't have a clue how to post them here and I don't have a video sharing account.

I suppose I could take some of Cloud once she loosens up a little again, but right now after a winter indoors she's not a big explorer, she pretty much just stays on us or around us or heads for the house door. Cloud has always been a very easy shoulder rat to manage, but not a very exciting one.
 

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Oh, Rat Daddy! It's simple. You see the icon RIGHT next to the little tree [image uploader] there's a film reel icon.
Click on that, that's how you upload videos!

I'd love to see your videos, I'm very interested!
 

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I just checked but it wants a web address, I have the vids on my back up drive.
 

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I just checked but it wants a web address, I have the vids on my back up drive.
You can always upload them to YouTube.
When you upload them to Youtube, they will have a URL that you can copy and paste!

Do you have any videos/would you be able to take any videos of your rats free ranging your home?

That'd be awesome to see, too!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Anyone who's interested, I don't mind where they are just post the details here if its a file upload site or a account doesn't matter. :)

Try this, you can upload videos without an account https://vid.me/

The more different rats the better! So I can see what's a natural and whats individual.
 

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That's soooooooo cooooooooooooooool!!!!!!!
 

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Post them all!!!
 

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I had just remarked on a different forum, and I was told... actually flamed... that shoulder rats don't exist... That rats can't navigate outdoors by sight (notice I took the photo right after a rain storm) and that a rat outdoors would always get lost or killed...

So I shot that little video for my personal sanity and dedicated to those who don't believe.


You may or may not notice that Fuzzy Rat not only found our car, but she waited for me to catch up. She could find the house from over half a mile away only by watching the way we went while we carried her.

And just to be clear, Fuzzy Rat was very special. We often let her free range outdoors, like she was doing when the vid started and she was very good at taking care of herself... I wouldn't dream of doing that with a "normal" rat.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I had just remarked on a different forum, and I was told... actually flamed... that shoulder rats don't exist... That rats can't navigate outdoors by sight (notice I took the photo right after a rain storm) and that a rat outdoors would always get lost or killed...

So I shot that little video for my personal sanity and dedicated to those who don't believe.
Don't worry about what people say most of it is based on myths, opinion or what I call emotional projection (seeing something which isn't true, related to how the person feels). The fact shes way out ahead in the open shows she is comfortable in the situation as that is often used in labs to assess rats anxiety levels. I did have a really interesting video that you would probably like to watch.. I will see if I an find it.

But yeah this is the kinda video I was hoping for and also more new or complex environments where the rat can avoid the owner if it chose to. I know that's risky and most people wouldn't take that risk. I just hope more people post! The more rats the better! ;D
 

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Fuzzy Rat swimming at the Lake

I tried to get some video of Fuzzy Rat swimming from kid to kid, but it didn't come out as she had a black head against black water and the camera wasn't waterproof so I had to shoot from land...

I might add that she jumped into the lake herself and as you might notice this was just another day at the office for Fuzzy Rat, she's calm and relaxed and mostly trying to avoid getting drowned by the little kids she was swimming with.

Thatnkfully, there's no vid of "Look Daddy... Fuzzy Rat can swim underwater!"

And yes... The rest of my comment which I started with "I can't bear" was me about to say "to watch".

https://vid.me/3edL

S
orry about the quality, I couldn't see anything in the viewfinder so I shot this blind. But it might give you some idea of what a "normal" outing with Fuzzy Rat was like.

What I don't think anyone can see from the vid just how charismatic she was, she would attract mobs of kids and adults and she lived for the attention. She would actually sulk if people didn't want to meet her... which didn't happen often.
 

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Amph,

I doubt there are too many vids of true shoulder rats out there... TSR's are very rare and ones like Fuzzy Rat are practically once in a lifetime rats...

You are very correct about her ability to deal with stress. I suspect it had something to do with her excellent vision. She could identify someone she knew from over 100 feet away while some rats I've had cant tell one person from another at nearly that distance. She free ranged the park, the beach and even the woods just like an 'average' rat free ranges your bedroom.

On the down side, her ability to handle stress made her an action junky; indoors in winter, she got bored easily and damaged stuff to get attention.
 

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I almost forget to add my usual warning:

Fuzzy Rat was a highly skilled true shoulder rat with hundreds of hours of outdoor experience. PLEASE DON'T TRY THIS WITH YOUR OWN INDOOR RATS AT HOME! You will get them killed or lost.

I wrote a thread on how to train and test true shoulder rats at a safe site, if you think your rat has the potential to be a TSR start there and be very careful.... Fuzzy Rat died of old age and tumors safely at home... lots of rats the get taken outdoors aren't nearly so skilled or so lucky.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm trying to find this video about rats memory.. It was explaining that when rats enter a new area they explorer around, then they stop groom and replay it backwards in their head. This allows them to memorize the location of all the important landmarks. Which supports her being able to find her way back but its interesting how large of a scale that appears to work for. :eek:

When I was in my teens my friends all got a rat each and we would meet up after school at the park with them or walk into town with them on our shoulders. The local pet shop would always give them free dog biscuits because it drew a lot of attention to the little store. My boy didn't want to travel far off shoulder though, maybe because he had ruby eyes or maybe its just a lazy male thing... My current rat doesn't like being put down so I don't force him but it would be so interesting to build up a collection of shoulder rat videos to see common traits that could help when choosing future shoulder rats. I get they are uncommon but I've read stories about trucking rats and a man that walks about with a rat sitting on a cat that's sitting on a dog.. so I live in hope LOL
 

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The rat cowboy of Times Square comes to mind, he supposedly carries 3 at a time.

I suppose Fuzzy Rat was different when we met her... I really thought she was too plain and took her from my daughter and put her back in the feeder bin 3 times. Fuzzy Rat was only 3 weeks old and she kept crawling back to my daughter who insisted on adopting her.

Other than that, it's just dumb luck. You can tell a sweet rat and a nice rat, but you can't really identify an amazing one when you choose your rats.

We just adopted Misty and I'm training her... She was a dumbo about 3 weeks old and she was still squinting... She was blue and had black eyes so we thought we were safe, one week later tan guard hairs start to grow in and last night her black eyes bugged out and flashed red under the street lights...

Our Amelia had black/ruby eyes and washed out of the shoulder rat program pretty quickly... I'm still not giving up on Misty. I suppose we'll find out if a black/ruby eyed rat can become a TSR one way or the other in the weeks to come... But to be very clear, she's already nothing like Fuzzy Rat was at her age. I sat down on the soccer field and she crawled all over me, but didn't go more than two feet from where I was sitting... Fuzzy Rat would have been all over the field exploring. By 5 weeks old we had already lost Fuzzy Rat twice for about an hour each time and she came back entirely on her own...

As to learning where something is, Fuzzy Rat always went to where the car was parked the day before first, then she would start a search pattern for where it is today. In the clip, you can see she stops and I tell her to keep going. The pause was where the car was the day before. But yes, then she promptly found the right car. Rats do seem to do some of the spacial mapping overnight when they sleep.


As to distances... Fuzzy Rat could easily map distances of over half a mile with several complex turns, but I suspect many if not most rats can... it's just like running a maze in a lab just on a grand scale. She could also maintain a fast jogging pace for that distance... What actually became more interesting was that when she got older she would invent short cuts and knock off corners bypassing the turns we took to get her somewhere and cutting diagonals. Unfortunately we couldn't follow her through people's back yards and she got old and sick before I could really study this phenomenon. It's more than just memorizing turns and places to turn, I suspect a rats brain can really map an area and they might have some primitive GPS type ability that they can learn to use.

Lastly rats actually seem to learn to see and map... When we first train a shoulder rat they don't seem to be able to distinguish one house from another or one person from another or navigate any long distances... both come with time and experience. It's like an ability they have that they don't know they have until they learn to use it.
 

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What I don't think anyone can see from the vid just how charismatic she was, she would attract mobs of kids and adults and she lived for the attention. She would actually sulk if people didn't want to meet her... which didn't happen often.
What an amazing animal.

:)

I'm so happy you got to share these videos! They're so incredibly cool to watch. ^_^
 
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