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Trust Training

1167 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  relken0608
So, I just moved Remy (who's about 3-4 months old) into a bigger cage because the previous occupant, Nico, passed away. :( Before when I let Remy out for free range I would take the smaller cag and put it on the floor because it's small enough for me to do so. Remy is a pretty timid rat and it would take him a while to dare to come out. Now that he's in the big cage I can't put it onto the floor, so I can't get him out of his cage to come out and play. With Nico I would just open the cage door and he would climb out onto me, but Remy's to nervous to do that. It's not like he's terrified of humans, once he's on the floor he will climb all over you, and beg for food, but he has a problem coming out of his cage. He doesn't want to climb onto someone to get out. I'm worried he won't get enough exercise. How can I convince him to get on my shoulder?
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Hold a treat at the door and call his name :). That's what I always do and then they eventually come out
Have you ever tried immersion? There's a sticky by Rat Daddy explaining everything and it helped me a lot. It would require you to get him out of the cage first though, is there any way you could just scoop him up and out? I've had rats go from puffed up biters in the far corner of their cage to running into my arms the second i open the cage door so i'm sure it would work wonders for you! The longer you leave it between socialising with him the worse it will get. Immersion requires you to really think like a rat, instead of just letting him run over you you actually interact with him and make sure he knows that's what your doing. It's enlightened me a lot, i've loved all my rats but i've never felt quite as close to them as i do now!
You know something, my Marley won't come onto my hand from his cage. He's 2 years old now and loves me to death, he'll come onto my shoulder or hand off the bed during free range, but when I'm trying to get him out of the cage its almost like he doesn't want to. I STILL don't get it. I'll use a treat and he'll just stretch as far as he can without getting all his paws out. I usually either work with him for 7 minutes before he gets the picture, go on in and scoop him out (which I try not to do, I want him to come out on his own accord), or use something else as a bridge to get him from the cage and onto my shoulder, like a piece of tile.

So it could be that he's just weird about stepping out of his cage. But I would definitely check out the immersion sticky from Rat Daddy. Other than the immersion, what I would do when my boys were young to get them more friendly was put water on my hands, and show it to them. They would lick the water off, and even when it was all gone they'd still be licking to be sure they got it all. Or apple juice if they weren't interested in the water. Yogurt I've tried--at first they would think it was something to grab on to, and would get my finger but after a few moments of confusion they'd start licking. I also recommend you invest in a bottle of Gerber Puffs. Little star shaped puff things of different varying flavors (dont get sweet potato, rats can't have them). There's nothing to these treats, as far as calories and fat, so they can have a lot before they've had "too many". I associated a sound to the giving of a treat, so every time I had a morsel for them I'd make that sound and they'd learn it meant I had something for them.

I've also heard a few people that wear hoodies with those long front pockets, and put the rat in that pocket and just walk around with it. I know Marley loves to snuggle in my hoodie pocket now, but as a new rat it would be a place to hide, near his new mommy, while I introduced him to the smells and sounds of the house.

Jess <3 mentioned at the end that she's never felt as close to them as she does now; what got me to this point, personally, was really thoroughly understanding that these are thinking, emotional creatures. I handed Marley a kleenex to stuff his house with and he gets super excited about these, so he grabbed it really quick and accidentally nipped my finger. It hurt, so I made that hiss noise when you get hurt surprisedly, and examined it. He'd run about halfway to his house by then, but stopped and set the kleenex down to come back to me and give my hand a few quick kisses before turning again to finish his house-stuffing. He realized he hurt me, felt bad, and came back to apologize. Once you get to a spot where you can read your rat, listen to it and understand what it's trying to communicate to you, I'm sure it'll be easier to trust train. I didn't really understand that until after we'd already connected, but I'm really pretty sure it'll go the same for you at this point.

best of luck :)
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