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Discussion Starter #1
Okay then... so I was reading a RAT magazine in Petco today that said a good way to examine a rat was to pick him up by the scruff... so... I tried it on my most hyper (and lightest) rat, Stewie, sure enough he didn't move but after I put him down, he just sat there giving me a good look... (kinda like this smiley here 8O ) that could have meant "I will pee all over your keyboard later, just you wait." and ran off into his cage.

Is it okay to pick them up that way? That one instance kind of made me worried.
 

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it doesn't hurt them but for some rats its like telling them they've been bad, time out. this doesn't work for all rats though. but for some its a very effective behavorial adjust technique.
 

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That's how mummies pick them up when they've run off, so I'm sure they'll associate it with being 'corrected'.

I'll have to remember that for my boys. *thoughtful*
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hmm... maybe I got that look because he was thinking that only mother rats did it and not the giant intrusive hands.
 

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It seems to freak mine out a little bit - I wouldn't do it to a rat that wasn't already well-socialized.

And well-socialized rats will put up with a lot of silliness! We put ribbon bows on the tails of the girls a few days ago, and the best-behaved girls let them stay there for over an hour. ;)

Also, I find it useful for examining bites/scratches on rats who won't normally sit still. If you have a friend scruff them, you can check it out, dress the wound, and they're too paralyzed to care much.

Scruffing with two hands works the best, imho --> if you grab the front part with the left hand and back part with the right, they're much less likely to violently struggle.
 

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I scruff my babies from the time they are very young and they all learn that when they are scruffed, they need to keep calm. I've actually found that when they get scared, the scruffing calms them and keeps them from stressing too much. It comes in very handy if I have someone that needs medication, a check up (and they won't hold still), or to even get belly pictures.
 

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I've found the best way to calm ours down is to cup them with both hands so they feel all warm and secure and just hold them like that until they seem calm.
 

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Ive never tried that with any of my rats but as above cupping rats with both hands supporting their body tends to keep my lot calm
 
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