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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since the night I got Rufus, our training has been a combination of forced socialization and immersion. With those, he has become incredibly attached to me. However, I still have yet to successfully teach him his name, and have yet to get him comfortable to leave his cage on his own.

UNTIL TODAY.

Yesterday I started a very rigorous and time consuming trust training strategy with Cheerios to lure him out. He has successfully managed to come completely out of his cage, take the Cheerio, and then run back to safety. I have yet to get him to climb onto my arm from his cage, but him just crawling to sit on my dresser is a start!

I'm going to spend a lot of time teaching him his name today. Any suggestions or methods would be lovely!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
ALSO,

whenever I shake his bowl of Cheerios he'll come running from wherever he is to find me.
 

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Basically repeat his name over and over in precisely the same way. A rat has trouble identifying words that sound similar but different... Someone named Richard might also respond to rick, rich or even dick... But to a rat these are totally different human sounds... So try and pronounce his name clearly and in the same way and for now no nicknames. I start everything I say to our rats with their name... they listen for it and if they don't hear their names the ignore everything that comes next.... So when I say "Cloud, come to Daddy" only Cloud responds, when I call Misty she responds, or ignores me depending on how tired or busy she is, but Cloud doesn't even blink. If I say "come to daddy"... neither rat even looks up... Humans talk a lot, for the most part rats think of it as noise... but when they hear their names they respond...

Sadly, the other night Cloud started to have a conversation with me... really hasn't happened often... but she crept out from under her cabinet and started clicking and softly chirping and it went on for quite a while... I sat there clueless pretending to understand her... then I figured it must have been related to not feeding her yet, and I said "food?" and she crawled out and climbed on me... I guess I got it after all... but it's strangely sad that she understands the word "food" and I had no clue what she was saying... Fuzzy Rat knew dozens of words and phrases, and after all these years I don't understand a single word of rat... Makes me wonder who's smarter....

I might add that both my current rats understand a few hand signals... rats will get shaking the box or even waiving them towards you, sometimes faster than words.

Best luck.
 

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I was reading your last thread with sympathy (I totally understand how you feel- both of my girls are still very new to me, but they're incredibly skittish, though not aggressive, and one has no interest in me, just exploring/escaping) and I'm so glad you're seeing progress! Yay! Maybe I should try cheerios as a treat. Lara has little interest in food so far, so maybe I need to up the treat stakes :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was reading your last thread with sympathy (I totally understand how you feel- both of my girls are still very new to me, but they're incredibly skittish, though not aggressive, and one has no interest in me, just exploring/escaping) and I'm so glad you're seeing progress! Yay! Maybe I should try cheerios as a treat. Lara has little interest in food so far, so maybe I need to up the treat stakes :p
I use these special Cheerios that are high in protein, and they're somewhat cinnamon flavored and have oats in them. He goes NUTS for those oats.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Basically repeat his name over and over in precisely the same way. A rat has trouble identifying words that sound similar but different... Someone named Richard might also respond to rick, rich or even dick... But to a rat these are totally different human sounds... So try and pronounce his name clearly and in the same way and for now no nicknames. I start everything I say to our rats with their name... they listen for it and if they don't hear their names the ignore everything that comes next.... So when I say "Cloud, come to Daddy" only Cloud responds, when I call Misty she responds, or ignores me depending on how tired or busy she is, but Cloud doesn't even blink. If I say "come to daddy"... neither rat even looks up... Humans talk a lot, for the most part rats think of it as noise... but when they hear their names they respond...

Sadly, the other night Cloud started to have a conversation with me... really hasn't happened often... but she crept out from under her cabinet and started clicking and softly chirping and it went on for quite a while... I sat there clueless pretending to understand her... then I figured it must have been related to not feeding her yet, and I said "food?" and she crawled out and climbed on me... I guess I got it after all... but it's strangely sad that she understands the word "food" and I had no clue what she was saying... Fuzzy Rat knew dozens of words and phrases, and after all these years I don't understand a single word of rat... Makes me wonder who's smarter....

I might add that both my current rats understand a few hand signals... rats will get shaking the box or even waiving them towards you, sometimes faster than words.

Best luck.
at
I'll definitely try that, thank you! That makes sense, because I've found myself saying "good boy" lately, such as, "does good boy want a treat?" and he's starting to pick up on that rather than his name. Sigh.
 

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How long did it take you until your rats liked it when you held them?
 

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I take treats to mean just that... a treat is something really special that rats love... apple pie, snickers, chocolate, candy, cheese cake and such... You don't have to feed your rat the entire candy bar or pie, but an occasional treat won't hurt any reasonably healthy rat. Imagine your own life without occasional goodies... Most rats really don't get to live an optimal life with acres of land to explore and families to raise, in fact most rat's lives are pretty mundane, that's not to say their lives are bad or not rewarding.... but imagine how welcome some tasty novelty treat would be if you lived indoors all your life and ate all healthy foods....

If you use special treats for special occasions and teaching reinforcements, or even to remind your rat just how special he or she is to you every once in a while, you won't do any harm and make your best furry friend very happy....

I know the too much of a good thing argument applies here, but sometimes you also have to consider that too little of a good thing isn't right either. My rats might come for cheerios but they will kill for apple pie or fortune cookies.
 

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I use these special Cheerios that are high in protein, and they're somewhat cinnamon flavored and have oats in them. He goes NUTS for those oats.
They sound delicious, I'm not surprised he loves them haha!

Rat Daddy, thanks for that, you're so right! I know how much a delicious treat enhances my life, so why should my ratties not get the same! Cucumber isn't much of an incentiviser :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I take treats to mean just that... a treat is something really special that rats love... apple pie, snickers, chocolate, candy, cheese cake and such... You don't have to feed your rat the entire candy bar or pie, but an occasional treat won't hurt any reasonably healthy rat. Imagine your own life without occasional goodies... Most rats really don't get to live an optimal life with acres of land to explore and families to raise, in fact most rat's lives are pretty mundane, that's not to say their lives are bad or not rewarding.... but imagine how welcome some tasty novelty treat would be if you lived indoors all your life and ate all healthy foods....

If you use special treats for special occasions and teaching reinforcements, or even to remind your rat just how special he or she is to you every once in a while, you won't do any harm and make your best furry friend very happy....

I know the too much of a good thing argument applies here, but sometimes you also have to consider that too little of a good thing isn't right either. My rats might come for cheerios but they will kill for apple pie or fortune cookies.
one time i was eating a brownie and he came off my shoulder down my arm and STOLE MY BROWNIE.
 

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Since the night I got Rufus, our training has been a combination of forced socialization and immersion. With those, he has become incredibly attached to me. However, I still have yet to successfully teach him his name, and have yet to get him comfortable to leave his cage on his own.

UNTIL TODAY.

Yesterday I started a very rigorous and time consuming trust training strategy with Cheerios to lure him out. He has successfully managed to come completely out of his cage, take the Cheerio, and then run back to safety. I have yet to get him to climb onto my arm from his cage, but him just crawling to sit on my dresser is a start!

I'm going to spend a lot of time teaching him his name today. Any suggestions or methods would be lovely!
Haha! Just got my new rattie today and the only thing that got her to warm up to me were an army of Cheerios! Cheerios are rattie magick xD
 
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