Taming the wild degu - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-06-2005, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
Naked Dog Mom
 
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Taming the wild degu

Any suggestions on how to encourage an older degu to be nicer and enjoy being held? The only degus we could find around here are already full grown. The shop wasn't sure exactly how old they are, but they'd had them for 4 months, and said they were full grown.

They worked with the male some. He "meeps" when we try to get him out, but is otherwise fine. The female resists constantly, even bites, any time we try and pick her up (even if she's already out of the cage). The only place she will allow us to pet her is on the cheek, behind the ears and on top of her head.

Any suggestions on how to get her to realize that we're not going to hurt her and she doesn't need to bite?

Momma to three pups:

Ein, Pembroke Welsh Corgi (black headed tri) born 7/12/2004
Tucker, golden colored lab mix, rescue - est dob fall 2004
Colleen rough collie (sable and white), rescue - est dob: 2003-2004
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-06-2005, 05:34 PM
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In my experience i'm afraid that the battles lost i had a degu just like that as i have previously posted and he was plain old mean, you could touch him but only when he said you could and not under any circumstances would he let you pick him up or do anything to him full stop apart from the customary tickle behind the ear and arm pit etc, i used to let him out and he'd walk by me and bite me He certainly lived upto his name as i called him Nippa I tried everything with him but he would have non of it and carried on his way of being mean, i tried bribing him that didn't work as he was just to clever for all of that and i used to spend hours with him but made no difference, oneday he was nice the next back to being grumpy. He did mellow with old age though and i did get quite close to him at the end of his life. His brother Jerry was totally different though he was the most loving degu going and would climb into my hands and sit on my shoulder all day, we often used to leave old grumpy in the cage ripping a box up and Jerry would be out with me for hours. They were my first degus and they were adults when i got them too so like you i didn't know too much about them or how they had been brought up or handled. I think basically its best to continue doing what you are doing and being gentle with her and petting her and letting her if she wants to come to you in her own time as she might surprise you and come round in her own time once shes settled in and knows you pose no threat! Goodluck with them and keep us posted on how you get on

Great name for your degu by the way, Basil, one of mines called Basil as well

Kirsty


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 08:23 AM
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there are a couple of thinks i tried when we got ours (they were a bit older too).
Firstly, don't give treats when they bite, they might associate treats with biting.
secondly, put a treat that lasts a while in the palm of your hand, just out of reach or just outside the cage. basically make it so that to get the treat she must sit or jump onto the palm of your hand. if she eventually stays sat on it whilst she has the treat, you can use your ear tickling trick. this might work!

alternatively, try and find something else she likes that involves contact. two of mine for example still don't like being picked up. when you've got them thay area fine. its just getting them. so i sit outside the cage and let them go up my jumper. only then can i stroke them and pick them up, after they've snuggled under my fleece!!

Good luck!
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 02-07-2005, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Firstly, don't give treats when they bite, they might associate treats with biting.
secondly, put a treat that lasts a while in the palm of your hand, just out of reach or just outside the cage. basically make it so that to get the treat she must sit or jump onto the palm of your hand. if she eventually stays sat on it whilst she has the treat, you can use your ear tickling trick. this might work!
This is good advice.My first 2 Pebbles and Bam Bam were not very friendly when it came to picking them up.I had to let them get used to me by placing my hand in the cage and letting them get used to it.I then started opening the door and letting them climb onto my hand.It takes awhile but eventually you will be able to hold them.
I have several Degus and some I can reach in a pick up but some don't want me to pick them up.They prefer to come out on their own into my hand.Give them time most will come around and be friendly.
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