"Fear Memory" - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 05:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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"Fear Memory"

I was talking to a guy at work about his pet rats and he said that he'd heard somewhere that rats have a 20 minute "Fear Memory" timescale.

I gather this means that if they're nervous, eg, when being held, they have a time of around 20 mins before they will realise that nothing bad has happened, and will start to relax, and not be afraid.

Has anyone else heard of this before? Any evidence to support it?

With this in mind, I'm trying to get my new girly degus to trust me more (slowly, slowly), and wondered if this kind of theory would apply with them as they hate being handled and picked up.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 08:48 AM
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I'm not sure if that would work with degus or not as i've found degus can be stubborn and if they don't want something to happen to them they will do anything to stop it. Rats are much more laid back compared to degus and much more easier to handle and less likely to bite. Whereas degus on a whole don't like being picked up as they prefer to come to you on their terms, they are much more wiggly then rats and are more likely to give you a nip for daring to touch them :loL:

I personally would keep working with them, getting them to trust you by placing treats in your hand etc... And when they are ready they will come to you and start to venture onto your hands and let you pick them up. It does take time but its worth it in the long run

Kirsty


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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 08:54 AM Thread Starter
 
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yeah, i'm not worried about them getting trained really.... the sit on my arms, shoulder legs, hands, head etc, and i trained the boys reasonably well (raisin was so well trained and obedient towards the end!)

I was curious about the theory really! its the holding they dont like.

and what is it about degus and "their terms"?? stubborn little things :-D
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 09:31 AM
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I have found not many degus like being held its the restriction i don't think they like as they are wiggly little things and prefer to be on the go If you think your girls will tolerate being held for 20 minutes and your not going to end up being bitten to pieces then give it a go, would be interesting to see the results

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 09:41 AM Thread Starter
 
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yeah, to be honest i'm not entirely sure i'll managed to hold a degu for 20 mins! far too wriggly!

I'll keep you posted though!
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 11:13 AM
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i dont think i have actually held a rat for 20 mins just in my hand they perfer to be in a pocket or on my sholder or in my hair or bitting my ears then sitting being held and 3 of mine are very tame

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 12:22 PM
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i think rats are smarter than 20 minutes long. if degus can remember something for months, so can a rat lol (see my thread on squashing my degu by accident)

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 03:08 PM
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I don't think Sammy means they have a 20 minute memory span i think she means after 20 minutes they learn there is nothing to be afraid off as nothing bad has happened and hence the fear disappears

I don't think its possible to contain any small animal (with the exception of guinea pigs and rabbits) for a time period as long as 20 minutes as they have a need to be on the go and with degus your more then likely going to get a nip of annoyance for detaining them in their busy lives

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 03:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethystbelle
I don't think Sammy means they have a 20 minute memory span i think she means after 20 minutes they learn there is nothing to be afraid off as nothing bad has happened and hence the fear disappears

I don't think its possible to contain any small animal (with the exception of guinea pigs and rabbits) for a time period as long as 20 minutes as they have a need to be on the go and with degus your more then likely going to get a nip of annoyance for detaining them in their busy lives
i have had mine out dfor this long before and they have never bitten me exept when i seperated them fighting with eachother
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 04:00 PM
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i think she ment to actually hold them in your hand restraining them from running around, not just out and about, i have my rats out for hours, just not holding them in my hand

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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 06:02 PM
 
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i let them out and the go from my shoulder to hand to shoulder to hand... but they do this for longer than twenty minutes
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethystbelle
I don't think Sammy means they have a 20 minute memory span i think she means after 20 minutes they learn there is nothing to be afraid off as nothing bad has happened and hence the fear disappears

I don't think its possible to contain any small animal (with the exception of guinea pigs and rabbits) for a time period as long as 20 minutes as they have a need to be on the go and with degus your more then likely going to get a nip of annoyance for detaining them in their busy lives

lol yes i know, i meant more like....you have an initial 20 minute window to give your best impression. but really it only happens when its a new pet, no? once you've had the pet for a while, it knows you won't hurt it, it's just leery about bonding to an ugly pink giant and exploring the playspace. it's not like you have to re-tame every time, eventually it wouldnt take 20 minutes eh? the time will go down until it doesn't need any? you follow? lol

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-21-2007, 08:50 PM
 
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wow, I didnt know that! That must be why after a while rats are so sweet!?
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-22-2007, 02:01 AM
 
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hhmmmm... I've never even heard of that before.
learn something new i supose
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 02-22-2007, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mebri123
i have had mine out dfor this long before and they have never bitten me exept when i seperated them fighting with eachother
I mean physically restraining them not letting them run from your shoulder to your hand One of my degus is as tame and as cuddly as anything but i know even he wouldn't let me hold him for 20 minutes solid, he has never bitten but i know if i tried to restrain him for a period of time he would get annoyed and more then likely have a bite to make me let go, just the same as us humans would do

Kirsty


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