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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple weeks ago I decided to take Beadle with me to the pet store. Normally I take Gustav, because he adores all the attention and new smells, but I figured it would be good for Beadle to get out too. However, while Beadle is friendly at home, it turns out he is skittish in public. Shortly after I got into the store and was talking to an employee he defecated and dove into my purse (where he peed and pooped four more times). Since then, all he wants to do when he comes out of his cage is hide under the blankets or in my lap. He gets stressed if I take him out of the bedroom.

I'm not sure what to do to help him feel more confident. I don't think I'll be taking him anywhere else, but I feel bad about him being stressed.
 

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Some rats are easily stressed out and like you said; best to keep him at home. I have a couple of girls that would go bonkers if I took them out in public. That is just the way some are. Nothing to be concerned about ;)
 

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I think, although I've tried, that it's difficult to describe the personality of a good true shoulder rat. The best of which I've ever worked with was Fuzzy Rat... she was completely at home outdoors and while traveling until her faculties started to fail her. But even then she would relax when around people or in a familiar outdoor setting...

Some rats are kind of midway between normal and exceptional and can do pretty well outdoors as long as they can stay pretty close to their humans or go to familiar places. As long as they don't panic these rats can be worked with pretty confidently.

Then there are most rats, which really are animals that prefer familiar relatively small surroundings and are terrified of wide open spaces. For them the kinds of adventures that a true shoulder rat enjoys are down right traumatic. They panic and quite frankly are very risky to work with outdoors. These rats should never go beyond a perfectly safe outdoor site, and even there they aren't likely to enjoy themselves.


To be honest when you take a normal rat outdoors some of the trauma does last for a while after you bring them home, but it's relatively short lived... most rats get over trauma pretty fast. There's a good chance you didn't realize how shy Beadle really was before you took him outdoors and you notice it more now, and yes our Amelia did get more reclusive the more we took her outdoors, but she would generally return to her normal self pretty quickly... and her normal self was pretty reclusive and shy to start with. In retrospect she always was a bit withdrawn and never had the kind of outgoing personality Fuzzy Rat did, but when both rats were indoors it wasn't something we noticed too much. Once we realized just how terrified she would get outdoors we keyed in on her indoor reclusive personality more... So it becomes a matter of what you are looking for as much as what you notice...

I might add that towards the end of Amelia's life, she actually asked to go outdoors to pick up my daughter from school a few times, I never put her down during these walks and she would snuggle under my coat and just poke her head out now and again... As long as I didn't expose her too much or put her down, she seemed to like the limited exposure. She even explored a little around the small trees at the safe site. Meet and greets with crowds of people weren't ever going to happen nor would she ever be capable of feeling comfortable in a wide open place, and if you put her down she would bolt for any dark place she saw so she could never be a shoulder rat, but all in all no permanent damage was done.

I wouldn't worry too much about Beadle, given a little bit of time he'll be back to his normal self, whatever that was to begin with.

Happy holidays
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both!

Well, yesterday he started to come act a little bit more like himself after a nibble of pie. He's definitely staying an indoor rat from now on.
He's busy sleeping in my lap right now.
 
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