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So I'm trying to convince the partner in crime that it's cool to take one of my boys out and about on errands with us. Can you tell me your experiences with this and arguments for/against it? Binky is a no go with his heart condition, I'm too worried it would be too stressful for him as he's not a people rat. But Timey.....he's fearless. He's also young and malleable. So...help?
 

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I made a little bag for squeak to ride in when we go places she doesn't like to stay in but I try to keep her in it in places like grocery stores since people freak out there a little more but I haven't had a problem
 

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I was blessed to be the human partner to the truly amazing Fuzzy Rat, one of the finest true shoulder rat's that ever lived. And I have two now, Max and Cloud, although not nearly as competent as Fuzzy Rat, they passed their final exams and are also true shoulder rats.

I wrote this thread a while back.

http://www.ratforum.com/showthread.php?51718-Shoulder-Rats-and-all-out-of-home-rat-activities

Working and playing outdoors with your rats is dangerous, but with the right rat and practice the risks are manageable.


Max passing her true shoulder rat final test, under the fireworks.
A IMG_0610.JPG

Fuzzy Rat being Fuzzy Rat just chillin in the tree tops
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and walking at heel after a nice swim with the kids.
at heel on beach.jpg
 

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It's so much fun, with the right rat they really blossom. I had never seen Naydeen brux and boggle until we went to the pond one day and just sat on a bench together enjoying the calm breeze. Be careful of weirdos though that don't ask and will just try to grab your rat from you! Usually it's people who are familiar with rats that think rat owner to rat owner it's okay. This creepy dude without asking reached over and tried to pick Naydeen right out of my arms. We were at a flea market and he looked like a rough character so I wasn't going to let that happen
 

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We're nowhere near Rat Daddy and his girl's level, but we have fun and are still learning :)
http://youtu.be/JIxaXk4DJ4k



I do suggest bringing a bag to hide your rat in for non rat friendly places

And kids really like rats too! Children are mesmerized by the rat on my shoulder and will keep giggling and staring so I ask them if they want to pet her :) it's a great way to change the publics bad perception of rats. The girl in this photo approached me and told me how she was so scared of rats but you could tell she was very curious. She started petting Naydeen and then I let her hold her. She was very gentle with her and just lit up it was sweet to watch
 

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I personally wouldn't take my rats out in public, for a couple reasons. Firstly, their comfort. Between all the jostling that comes with being carried in a bag or carrier, not to mention differing temperatures/wind/moisture (and their very sensitive respiratory systems), loud noises, etc... I know they'd be happier (and much safer) at home. Along with that, there are quite a few airborne viruses that are very prevalent in pet stores, such as Sendai and SDA. The rats don't have to make contact or even be near each other, just in the same air space, and the virus can be contracted. Both SDA and Sendai are very fast-developing viruses and, if not caught early and treated very aggressively with antibiotics, sub-Q fluids, and more, are likely to be fatal.

Then, for them being in grass/trees, although it makes adorable photo opportunities (which even I have done in the past, couldn't resist!), they can pick up mites/fleas/lice, etc.

I may come off as a worry wart to some, but I'd rather be safe than sorry with my kiddos! Especially when it's something that is essentially unnecessary for them.
 

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Im looking at this thread from my computer now and my goodness the pictures are HUMONGOUS! Sorry I have no idea why its like that!
 

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A sweet boy who I see and baby sit often loves going on car rides and is so well behaved at pet stores. He sits on shoulder and stays near by. He loves to be out and gets really happy!! Sad I let that foster boy go!!! <3

Chip (RIP) didn't mind it either and usually just crawled in my sweater ...

Honestly I wouldn't take them to crowded places if they're not trained. They can freak out and try to get away, or get hurt. Also some people are scared of rats and will cause a scene and Make it worse.


Sent from Petguide.com Free App
 

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I was blessed to be the human partner to the truly amazing Fuzzy Rat, one of the finest true shoulder rat's that ever lived. And I have two now, Max and Cloud, although not nearly as competent as Fuzzy Rat, they passed their final exams and are also true shoulder rats.

I wrote this thread a while back.

http://www.ratforum.com/showthread.php?51718-Shoulder-Rats-and-all-out-of-home-rat-activities

Working and playing outdoors with your rats is dangerous, but with the right rat and practice the risks are manageable.


Max passing her true shoulder rat final test, under the fireworks.
View attachment 185362

Fuzzy Rat being Fuzzy Rat just chillin in the tree tops
View attachment 185370

and walking at heel after a nice swim with the kids.
View attachment 185378
This is amazing Rat Daddy! Awe, it must be so awesome to have a true shoulder rat like that. 😊😊
 

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The finest true shoulder rats are literally born that way. It would be a tragic waste of their lives to lock them in a cage. They are simply different, almost a different species altogether. I think you can get an idea when you see them doing their thing in photos, but it's impossible to explain in words... When you meet one you just know... And yes other rat owners will spot your true shoulder rat from a distance and will just scoop her off you from behind... It's like they can see the difference too and can't stop themselves from going all hands on.

Then there are rats that can learn the skill set and become true shoulder rats too... but they aren't necessarily people friendly and prefer limited exposure. They enjoy the outdoors too, and can be trained and don't panic easily, but they don't have the same level of confidence as the naturals even when they can have all of the same skills.

Most rats don't have the ability to be comfortable in wide open spaces and they can easily panic and get themselves killed.. these rats should not be taken outdoors beyond the safe site. When a rat panics, it becomes unpredictable and no matter how good you are as a rat trainer and handler, things are likely to go terribly wrong sooner or later.

Working with shoulder rats is risk management, it isn't completely safe, ever. I was very blessed to have known and trained with Fuzzy Rat. She could save her own tail when I screwed up as I learned the craft. Keep in mind, she was a completely unique and amazing animal, the rat co-founder of immersion... She died old and sick, after asking to be returned to her cage one last time, despite all of the odds against her amazingly dangerous lifestyle. She took insane chances, and for the most part we couldn't stop her, but I can't imagine what a complete waste her life would have been if she had spent it trapped in a cage or worse yet if she had been fed to a snake as a pup, as we originally found her at 3 weeks old in a feeder bin...

She was born at a rat mill with no future ahead of her and she lived her life like she had nothing to lose, going from adventure to adventure with intrepid charm and grace many humans might envy. And a legacy that's still helping some other rats live a better life today, both through helping me develop the safe site method for shoulder rat training and immersion. But most of all she was a best friend and a one of a kind individual, she was loved and she was love... The exception that proved just how special all rats can be given the chance.

Maybe, only a few rats should live a life like Fuzzy Rat did... but this was also Fuzzy Rat at her very finest...

Sensitive content, not recommended for those under 18 Show Content
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And in retrospect, moments like these are among those we cherish most. Whether your rats become true shoulder rats or not it's the love you share that matters most. Your rats can truly love you, perhaps rat owners know that already. Don't forget to give each and every rat you share your life with a big hug today. More than swimming at the beach or climbing trees or entertaining crowds, this is what every rat's life should be all about. Sometimes it's the unimportant seeming moments that matter most when you look back.
 

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Rat Daddy, that post deserves a round of applause. Fuzzy Rat sure sounds like she was a special lady.
 

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I always took my rat to my sisters softball games. She loved all the attention she got and even the "yuck what on earth are you carrying!!!". She loved being outside and just rode in my hood of my hoodie or in my pocket or on my shoulder.
 

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Rocco comes with me sometimes. I don't venture around much right now like I did with Wilder. I took Wilder everywhere. Since everyone added awesome pictures, here is a video of me calling him when he was climbing a tree.https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Bp5i7zqW5MM
 

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Please don't take your rats to non pet friendly places..this causes immense problems for people who use service dogs (myself included)..

Pick pet friendly places to go or hang out outside..


That said I used to have a true shoulder rat and he rode in my hood a lot. I even took him to outdoor events and such like festivals and a winter carnival.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
@Kinsey
We wanted to take one of our boys to a pet expo that encourages you to bring them. In the end we decided it was too risky, we don't trust others to keep their animals in check. I personally don't agree with sneaking animals into stores that don't welcome them.
 

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When you take them outside do you ever worry about predators? Like what if a hawk swooped down and carried your poor ratty away? Or a stray dog came over and grabbed him/her before you could react? I could see taking Buddy outside if he just sat in my lap but I'd be super scared to let him just wander around on his own. The rest of them I barely trust around the house. They're the type to dart away from me as soon as they see a chance. However I've let Buddy wander all around the house on his own, with me following closely behind. The only thing I have to be weary of with him is that he likes to chew on cords. Otherwise he comes when he's called, and never runs away from me, so I can trust him to be free on the floor.
 

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Most businesses don't post "Rat Friendly" signs yet. So unfortunately it's hit or miss when you travel. Usually business owners and employees don't have a clue what to do when you walk in. For the most part they watch the reaction other customers have. Fuzzy Rat was always super well behaved and calm, we almost never had an issue with her, Max likewise was a bit shy but Cloud is higher energy and more fidgety and has makes some people nervous. When asked to leave, don't argue... just go. It's their business and their property, by letting you bring your rat they are extending you a courtesy.

Now, I'm not exactly wealthy, so I try and use the money I do have to support rat friendly businesses and I have very politely informed at least one place that used to be rat friendly, but hired a new manager and changed their policy of my own policy. As a business owner myself, I think it's only fair to inform another why his bottom line is going down a few hundred dollars this year. As in: "Thank you, It's been a pleasure doing business with you for the past 20 years, but I really have to support your competitors that still want my business." Then smile, shake hands and exit gracefully add a friendly wave on your way out the door and your gone. No this might not help you, but it will benefit the next rat owner walking in. People in business tend to consider losing customers as a mistake, and people are loathe to repeat their mistakes.

To the credit of some businesses a certain new chain pharmacy manager turned up mis-shelving things next to me one day and broke the ice by offering me assistance, letting me bring up the elephant in the room, or rather should I say rat. I explained that Max was a highly trained fancy rat, that wasn't permitted to roam the floors or shelves and would not run away, much less bite anyone. She spent a few minutes asking a few questions and satisfying her curiosity and assessing the threat Max posed to her business. As soon as she was satisfied that Max was exactly what I said she was, she pushed on and updated her staff on her new policy one by one... The gist of which was... he's not crazy, it's his kids pet and it's harmless. I might add that the store had a huge sign "NO DOGS ALLOWED" on the front door. I took it as quite a complement to Max's exemplary behavior that rats were.

I might add that you should never take a rat into a store that isn't properly trained and well mannered. If the store has to hire an exterminator to get your rat out after you bring her in, you and I will never be welcome there again. True shoulder rats should never wander the floors or on the counter's without express permission of the management. My auto parts store for example let Fuzzy Rat wander the floor with me as I shopped, but it started when I told them she walked at heel and came when called and they asked to see it. I still asked for permission to put her down, which they eagerly granted me and after that they all got a kick out of watching Fuzzy Rat weeble after me. Keep in mind this is an auto parts store and there are no open food items around and no health codes to be violated by a rat roaming the isles. I would never permit my rats to wander the counters of a fast food establishment no matter what the counter staff suggested. I also never let food handlers handle my rats. I don't want my rats to be exposed to germs from uncooked foods and there are people in line behind me that may object to their servers handling my rats.

Like I said, with her charisma and easy going charm and excellent manners Fuzzy Rat was very rarely denied access anywhere. Cloud who likes to slide down my clothes and explore places makes people nervous, even if I can control her and prevent her from getting onto the floor, shelves or counters... she looks like she she could be a problem and people don't want to take chances. Always consider your rat's competence and level of training when deciding where to take her.
 

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Wilder was my roof rat, so he was "wild." I trusted him to know what is best for him. He did eventually leave me for the roof rats in my backyard. Haha. I miss him. Rocco just hangs out, he doesn't leave my side much. He is free range in my room, but prefers to hang out in his cage. Rats aren't stupid, they are built to survive and are pretty hardy. Rocco is a lazy kid, so he doesn't go on adventures. Wilder was built for climbing and being outside, to deny him that would probably be worse than death. All rats are different, I probably wouldn't feel comfortable with Rocco climbing trees. He is one I would worry about getting killed.
 
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