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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Tonight was my first night of free range time with my new (unnamed) boy. He is very skittish/timid, understandably. Where he wasn't handled much in his past home, we anticipated this. Besides being thankful that he has never bitten or even nibbled, we were very presently surprised with his free range experience tonight. He did not care for being picked up initially, but ended up being very cuddly and sooky. He curled up into my side while receiving pets, not even attempting to explore. He even crawled up onto me/sniffing me all over. I THINK he may have even been bruxing a bit.
Anyway, I'm just curious if his behavior tonight was a good sign? It seemed to me like a large improvement. Is there anything I can do to help the bonding process, or to make him feel more comfortable/ less jumpy? Also, could this just be his overall personality or will he likely outgrow it? I have never experienced a timid ratty before as my last boys were extremely social, haha.
 

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Hello fellow Nova Scotian! :D

It's hard to tell what babies are really thinking because they're kind of just all over the place. As long as he's not totally freezing up, I'd say it's a good sign. From my experience with the last boys I got as babies, their timidness kind of sticks with them but they get a lot better at overcoming it. I've also found that talking very little seems to let them relax more, rather than talking to them. Only time and repetition will get a rat used to anything, I wouldn't say there's much you can do that's special to help him be more comfortable while out of his cage other than that.
 

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People have dealt with much worse....so i'd say it's good. Long sessions do the trick more than anything, I think. It really gives the animal the chance to relax into the experience instead of merely being overwhelmed. I think that your boy will become more used the giant hand in time. My rats didn't enjoy being touched initially either, but they got used to the fingers and accepted them as a source of treats and rubs. I was also probably scritching them in a way they didn't like. (they like being stroked with the sides of my fingers more than my fingertips. I think the fingertips are too pokey.) It's a mutual process. You learn your rats, and they learn you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you guys very much for the responses. I will certainly keep up with the long sessions out, and even if this is his permanent personality that is alright with me as I can relate (very shy). Just hoping he comes out of his shell a bit more, but I suppose that will happen with time and work :)
 
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