Degus and handling. What are your experiences? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Degus and handling. What are your experiences?

I've heard lots of people say degus don't like being handled, all over the place, but the thing is, that my friend's degu, who isn't even the most tame of all degus, hates being grabbed, but will fall asleep in your arms, hands, pocket, or shoulder. She sleeps in my friend's hood on her coat. She's adorable, but squeaks when picked up.

I was just wondering how individual each degu is, and your experiences.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-09-2006, 11:32 PM
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From my experiences, degus do not like to be picked up and would rather come to you. They do become tame, just not in the same way as say a hamster or rat.

My degus usually like to ride around on my shoulders or climb on me. They also will come and sit on my hand but the moment I tried to carry them they'd run off. If you grab your degus alot then they will probably stop trusting you. Instead, you should respect them and let them come to you. Then you'll find they'll bond very closely to you .

So, yes, my degus are very tame but I can't exactly carry them around or anything. I mean, they might let me but I won't since they don't like it.




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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 05:02 AM
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I totally agree with Sasami while they love to come out and ride around on your shoulders they don't like to be picked up and handled too much. They tolerate being picked up but they don't like it and can and will struggle and as Sasami said they will be distrustful of you if you try and grab at them too much and it is much better to them them come to you on their own terms as they will bond with you much better. I can see their point in a way as think how big our hands must look to them and what it symbolizes to them as in the wild they would be prayed upon by birds of prey etc... My degu's all vary. Basil my eldest isn't over keen on being picked up or coming out in general except when its for his twice weekly run which he loves. Bertie and Herbie love to come out and i can pick them up and they are quite happy. And like your friends degu they will go fast asleep in your pocket or hood. My babies are just to boisterous at the moment but i'm getting there with them and i can pick them up to a degree. The best way in my opinion to pick a degu up is with cupped hands and never grab at them, let them walk up to you and let them climb into your hands and then gently lift them up if they will allow it. It does take time and patience but it is worthwhile especially as the results are so rewarding

Kirsty


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Last edited by Amethystbelle; 03-10-2006 at 05:04 AM.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 07:36 AM
 
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My four girls all have different tastes (?) when it comes to being picked up. Subaru likes to perch on your shoulder but will get very nervous if she is sitting on your lap. Fatty loves to sit on your lap but hates to perch. Hilary and Carrie both loves to perch and will run from my left to right shoulder when I'm doing things around the house. All four of them tolerate being picked up for a bit but will struggle or nibble our fingers gently to tell us when its enough. We do scoop them up when we have to (ie. when Carrie escapes!) but we prefer to let them come to our hand when they want to play outside the cage or for a treat.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 09:23 AM
 
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Neither of my degus let me pick them up. It's just about physically impossible, they completely spaz out. But like others have said, if I take them out of their cage and sit patiently on the floor, I'll have degus crawling all over me before too long Once they're on me, they tolerate being petted more and as long as I don't try to grab them, they seem pretty happy.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 09:35 AM
 
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None of mine like being picked up, although once i've got them, they're fine. Sometimes it takes ages to get the out of the cage!

Rum and Raisin do like snuggling up under my jumper, and when they're out, they do run to me and sit on me or hide behind me when theyre startled.

Jerry LOVES being tickled/rubbed on his belly and under his chin and behind his ears, but hates being picked up! Jerry also comes over to me periodically when hes out, like security thing... checking i'm still there!

I think its one of those things that degus like to think they are in control of!
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-10-2006, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
 
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Now I have a feeling the reason your degus don't like being picked up is because you just don't do it. xD At first, my friend's degu would bite her when she tried to get it out of its cage. Now it just runs away from her hand, like all of my guinea pigs did, and hers does. I think it's just instinct to be afraid of being picked up from above.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 02:47 PM
 
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most of the time my degus will come right to my hand when i open my cage... but usually seems that when i needa clean the cage they wont come lol almost like they know, then i have to bribe them with a treat . i find that since i take my wheels out at night, in the morning thier waitin for me to wake up at the door and they all try to jump on my hand. its cute but guess theve been bored all night.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keppeh
Now I have a feeling the reason your degus don't like being picked up is because you just don't do it. xD At first, my friend's degu would bite her when she tried to get it out of its cage. Now it just runs away from her hand, like all of my guinea pigs did, and hers does. I think it's just instinct to be afraid of being picked up from above.
It is instinct as in the wild they would be prayed upon by birds of prey so when you drop your hand down towards them instinct kicks in and makes them afraid no matter how much they love and trust you. And remember that our hands must look huge to a small degu. I pick each of my degu's up on a daily basis and have done since getting all of them. And they still don't like its just natural instinct at the end of the day it over rides anything else that they might think

Kirsty


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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-12-2006, 08:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethystbelle
It is instinct as in the wild they would be prayed upon by birds of prey so when you drop your hand down towards them instinct kicks in and makes them afraid no matter how much they love and trust you. And remember that our hands must look huge to a small degu. I pick each of my degu's up on a daily basis and have done since getting all of them. And they still don't like its just natural instinct at the end of the day it over rides anything else that they might think
Exactly.

Plus, if they don't like it, I'm not going to force them to be held if I don't need to. Just like my house rabbits . My hamster, on the other hand, doen't mind being held so I carry her around.




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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 11:17 AM
 
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I agree wholeheartedly with all that's been said. My three are happy to come and sit on my knee, sit on my hands and play on me, but they don't like being actually handled and picked up. So I don't pick them up..... I let them come to me, which I feel is only fair to them. They're not afraid of me, and they always come to me when I speak to them, which is all I want. They're too bouncy to enjoy being restrained, lol!
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 01:22 PM
 
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Hello, My little guy loves being picked up as long as I scoop him from the bottom. He knows that if I pick him up he will get lots of scratches. I wonder if he tolerates this because he is a lone degu? I used to have a pair that were much less sociable, because they had each other. I find the all vary, but I agree with the majority that it's best to let them come to you and crawl/lie on you.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-13-2006, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
 
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My buddies will handle being picked up from the bottom, but I just can't bring myself to pick them up any other way. It just makes you feel so cruel. I suppose it's for the better.
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-14-2006, 02:09 PM
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Picking them up from underneath and cupping them is the correct way to handle them there is no other way to pick them up in my opinion

Kirsty


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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 03-14-2006, 04:18 PM
 
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I think that maybe lone degus do tolerate more. I don't have any lone degus, but I have a lone chinchilla and she trusts me way more than the rest of the chins and degus. I think if they're alone they bond faster because you're pretty much the only social contact they have and they learn to accept you as "one of their own".

As for my degus, they don't really like to be held either, just like everyone said I scoop mine from the bottom too.
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