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I bought a clicker with the intention of training the rats to come to me. They usually do when they're in their cage, but when they are in the mood to explore, it's like herding cats…er, rats. And I may even teach them some tricks too, but for now I just want the basics.

First command is to come. How do you normally arrange your command for multiple rats? Should I teach them all "here"? Or should I give each one an individual command like "c'mere Latte", "c'mere Loki", "c'mere Penny"? I read that the shorter the command the better.

It seems like there's no harm in teaching all the same command. It's not like I'll be in a situation where I want to call only one rat and not the others. But before I go and do that, I want to get some input. Better to fix that now than after training has begun.
 

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Rats hear us talking all of the time, most of what we say is pretty meaningless to them. I start every command with the rats name... As in "Cloud" so Cloud knows I'm talking to her then follow it with the command, like "Come to daddy" and then I add the reason.. which come rats get more than others...

So it sounds like "Cloud come to daddy for a treat" when I put it all together.
 

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Similar to RatDaddy, I specify which rat I'm talking to. Trust me, when you have yummy medicine being swarmed by eight rats isn't conducive. So, I call the rat. This will come in handy when someone is being bad as well ("Milo" should stop eating my computer cord, everyone else go about your business).

I usually don't add in incentive -- let's face it, if I'm not interesting enough they'll probably elect not to listen anyway. But I do the "command" - stop, come here, up, etc. It's worth keeping in mind that commands are suggestions. I can sweeten it by either threatening or bribing them, but if they're **** bent on eating carpet, I'm going to have to go over there and remove them.

Personally, I try to keep my suggestions short, so they don't tune me out - I can see it in their eyes, when they look at me, listen, then contemplate. So, "Echo! (She looks) No! Stop (she contemplates)". At that point, she's decided what she'll do. My "so help me god I will bop you on the nose" isn't doing much but making me feel better. If my tone is (bad) then they already know consequences are at risk. If my tone is (good) they know there is a reward.

Rats are really smart is what my ramble is getting at. Throw as many or as few words as you like, once they learn to speak You they'll understand. What they do with it is a whole other matter.
 

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Going off nanashi, the contemplate part is very obvious... Devi got behind the cage where there was some wiring for the lighting set-up I have for the rat shed... That being said, she decided it'd make a good chew toy.
"Devi, don't you dare."
*looks* *sniffs wire*
"Devi! No! Come get your furry butt here right now."
*looks between me and wire* *slowly puts mouth on wire*
"Devi! STOP!
*chews more vigorously*

Sometimes, they really don't want to listen... I had to move the cage to finally get to her... too bad the wire was cut in half already... =_=
 

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All rat owners should own a soldering iron a roll of rosin core solder and a roll of electrical tape.... it's about the very best investment you will ever make... No doubt there's a youtube video that will teach you how to do it.
 

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With mine, they pretty much know their names but they don't always respond to it. What they DO respond to is a kissy sound. Kissy sound means treats.

When one is a little hard to find, the kissy will usually force them out in hopes of treats!
 

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Shaking a tube of baby puffs also works wonders at getting everyone to come.
 

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Going off nanashi, the contemplate part is very obvious... Devi got behind the cage where there was some wiring for the lighting set-up I have for the rat shed... That being said, she decided it'd make a good chew toy."Devi, don't you dare."*looks* *sniffs wire*"Devi! No! Come get your furry butt here right now."*looks between me and wire* *slowly puts mouth on wire*"Devi! STOP! *chews more vigorously*Sometimes, they really don't want to listen... I had to move the cage to finally get to her... too bad the wire was cut in half already... =_=
. Hahaha this is So my rat, Merry. She also makes a funny guilty face
 

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Although I do believe that our domestic rats do really love us, their brains are hardwired to their noses, ears and feet.... hear food, smell food, engage feet. Oddly, this was less true of our part wild rat who had brilliant self control when it came to food. Wild rats have an interrupter gear that keeps them from getting easily trapped, caught or killed. But also oddly enough, she was the most likely to come first when called when no treat was being offered.

I think, responding quickly to signs of food with little consideration of risk was a highly adaptive behavior for domestic rats which has been selected for over many generations of captivity. The other night, we had a bag of peanuts open and Cloud spent her whole evening stealing and stashing nuts like a squirrel... there are now peanuts hidden everywhere in the house... So far she hasn't shown any interest in actually eating any of them, but she just couldn't stop stealing and hiding them... One really needs wonder if there might not be a similar human inclination towards greed that's been bred into our own species that our primitive ancestors had better control of.

I might add that our part wild rat would walk right up to my dinner plate and eat right off the plate with me while our "domestic" rats would grab a piece of food and run off to eat it behind something. I glass topped the table after Fuzzy Rat dragged a whole pork chop across my wife's new tablecloth. It was certainly not a matter of trust as out part wild rat was way less trusting than any domestic rat in general. Likely many generations of living in overpopulated and cramped cages and bins has naturally selected rats that hoard and steal and run for survival. As human populations increase it's going to become interesting to watch how our own morals and behaviors are going to be impacted.

Like I said, I don't like to train rats with food, because I don't always have it handy, but yes food can be a very strong motivator for domestic rats as money can be a strong motivator for humans.
 

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I bought a clicker with the intention of training the rats to come to me. They usually do when they're in their cage, but when they are in the mood to explore, it's like herding cats…er, rats.
Lol

Good luck though! I tried to train my old boy, never had much luck but I think girls are more willing to do tricks?..
 
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