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Discussion Starter #1
Trust Training with pepper if still not working. For the past week and a half minus yesterday due to my own hospital visit. HE still wont take treats for my hand and still wont settle easily into the blanket. In my opinion its very important that he trusts me enough to take food from me. Im wondering about taking away all food from him and only offering him food out of my hand. once or twice a day until he takes it from me regularly I wanted to check with you guys though before I started that to see if it would be considered cruel.
 

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I wouldn't personally do this. I like to let my rats have access to food all day. He'll come round in his own time. You could try something yummy on a spoon like yogurt or babyfood. When they are little though they can be a bit wary of trying new things. A lot of the foods my boys refused as babies are now their favourites!
 

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Yeah I second not doing that. It could backfire horribly. And honestly you don't want him to associate your hand with just food, otherwise you risk him going for your hand for food and then you'll just have to retrain him not to expect or bite for food every time. Depending on how long you've had him he will take time to see that its ok to take food from you. If there is a certain food he loves, our girls go nuts for Yogis, then offer that by hand, consistently. He'll take it eventually.
 

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It took my little girl about month to take a treat from my hand, whereas is only took my boys a couple of days. All rats are different, just keep being patient :) You'll be so happy when he finally does take a treat because you'll know he wants to and it's a sign of trust.
 

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Yeah it can definitely take some time. Patience is a virtue with rats.
It took a while for my boys to be comfortable eating from my hand, and they never have settled into a blanket or wanted to sit still for long. They are explorers and are far to excited about sniffing out interesting things to stay still for long. Now that they are 5 months they will jump up on my lap for 30 seconds for a quick pet, but then they are off again. They do enjoy being inside my hoody so you could try that. Every rat has a different personality that you've just gotta roll with.

Focus your efforts on petting, touching and playing with your boy. Pretend your hand is a little rat and scritch him, drum your fingers and chase him about. Have some fun with him! Eventually he will trust you enough to take treats.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The thing is he doesnt have fun at all with me, he still is so focused on escaping me the i can barely handle him outside of bathroom sessions, and even then he generally just hides behind the toilet as much as possible.
 

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In the bathroom you gotta just keep engaging him as much as possible. If he's hiding then he's not learning, so you gotta be 'in his face' a bit more. If he hides in the corner, you hide there with him. Just follow him about petting him and speaking to him. Pop him inside your hoody. Eventually he will come round! Its so tempting to be quiet and gentle when they are skittish, but I find when you are firm and confident in your handling, the rats respond better. You'll get there eventually though so don't feel too disheartened. It really does take time, but its worth it in the end :)
 

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if your struggling with getting him to intereact with you in the whole bathroom i would move into a smaller space. Sit on a chair or small sofa with him, give him nowhere to hide and treat him as though hes a brave confident rat, picking him up normally even if he panics and runs away. I personally dont allow my rats to free range until im confident the will allow me to pick them up in an emergency so always start small and work up to big spaces. I also spend a lot of time in and around the cage with them (well my hand and arm in the cage, i could probably fit in my cage but it would be a squash).

I defintily wouldnt deny him food , whilst rats cope well with periods of new food it doesnt mean its a kind thing to do and with him being young he needs food more than an adult
 

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Discussion Starter #9
see the last time we tried the couch he ended up in in it. So that was a no go. Also in his fear he forgets his own safety so i worry in his fear he would jump right off a couch. (its what he tried to do with the table experience) I mean hes been here a month already and weve already tried immersion, gradual trust training and intensive trust training. I feel really bad because now i dont look forward to handling him out of fear that an hour or so of play/exposure is going to turn into 4 hours of me attempting to get him out of whatever situation hes gotten himself into.
 

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What to do is to make sure your bathroom is nice and safe and free of any holes he can escape into so that you can relax a bit. Get some tape and some cardboard and mask off any danger areas. Move any furniture that might be in there. Then clear a good few hours of your day and just lock yourself in there with him. Isamurat hit the nail on the head - treat him like a brave rat, give him lots of cuddles and skritches, lots of speaking to him, lots of firm and confident handling. You don't want him to sense any fear or worry from you - he needs to see you are a confident parent who knows whats best. Rats trust a confident leader. The more exposure he gets the more he will relax.
 

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If you need to make the space smaller or block of areas where it's hard to get to him, try using cardboard boxes. I bought a couple at walmart, I cut them so I could unfold it all the way and stood them up to create a wall. It's too smooth a surface to climb up. My girl used to try to jump over them, couldn't quite make it though. I just put some towels down to soften her landing (also she's a roof rat and a crazy jumper, this might not even be an issue for you).
 
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