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Mouse & Rat Discussion Twitching whiskers, tiny paws, and all else mouse or rat related.

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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 02:07 PM
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I was never a big fan of forced socialization as I hate to force an animal into anything! But as you may have noticed, I am a big softy with no alpha skills whatsoever when it comes to the little furries. I am 100 percent pushover girl and my rats always ruled the roost, ha ha. I just did what most people do, taking my time, being patient, using a soft soothing voice to talk to my babies, treats, smelling my hands and getting used to me, etc. But others on the forum may disagree with my aversion to forced socialization.

The little jingle balls are great, aren't they? My boys used to love those too. They liked picking them up in their mouths and carrying them around their house to put them in a new place, like housekeeping or something, ha ha. And of course, playing basketball with them, by putting them into their potty tray. Score, two points! Hee hee.

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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 02:08 PM
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If you're using baby food, I'd recommend sticking to the veggie kind mainly, and sometimes fruit.

Rats are actually not generally biters, unless provoked or extremely scared (in some cases, never socialized). I had a rat named Roger when I was in high school, and he was not socialized since birth. I got him when he was young, but it took a while for him to get used to me. Every day I put my hand in his cage and held it there for about 10 minutes at a time, several times throughout the day, gradually progressing to touching him (after he felt comfortable enough to come up to my hand) and then holding him while still inside the cage. As he got more used to being held, I gradually lifted him a bit further out of the cage until finally I was able to get him all the way out. The process took a couple of weeks, but it was well worth it. In the end, he was an incredibly sweet boy.

ETA: Roger's brother, Ralph, on the other hand, was a social butterfly from the time we brought him home! His outgoing personality might have helped with Roger's socialization.


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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vladina View Post
I was never a big fan of forced socialization as I hate to force an animal into anything! But as you may have noticed, I am a big softy with no alpha skills whatsoever when it comes to the little furries. I am 100 percent pushover girl and my rats always ruled the roost, ha ha. I just did what most people do, taking my time, being patient, using a soft soothing voice to talk to my babies, treats, smelling my hands and getting used to me, etc. But others on the forum may disagree with my aversion to forced socialization.

The little jingle balls are great, aren't they? My boys used to love those too. They liked picking them up in their mouths and carrying them around their house to put them in a new place, like housekeeping or something, ha ha. And of course, playing basketball with them, by putting them into their potty tray. Score, two points! Hee hee.
I see. I hate the thought of doing something forced but Mori has this very sad look when she's hiding in her corner, I'm worried if she'll ever come around.

And the jingle balls are really awesome haha. My ferrets like them but are more interested in "human" objects and its not unusual for me to see out of the corner of my eye a shoe being carried off to an unknown location. One of mine liked a pair of sand filled wrist weights that were almost too heavy for him to carry.

Momento took the ball into her cage immediately so I think that little noise makers are going to be her thing.

and that reminds me, I have to teach potty training. Is it the same way you'd teach a hamster? Just putting their messes into an appropriate corner/place until they get the message?


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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 04:20 PM
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Yes, I read the same thing for potty training gerbils when we had them as I did for rats...the thing to do is to see what spot they naturally pick for their potty area, then put the potty tray where they tend to go. And yes, leaving one or two poops in there while training to keep giving them the message that this is the spot where they should go. Sound about right folks? Or did I miss anything? Both my gerbils and my rats did very well with their potty trays..not always 100 percent perfect, but for the most part yes!

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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 06:10 PM
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Ah. Can you use meat based baby food or fruit only? I have meat based for my ferrets when they need to be on a bland diet.
So last night I got up the strength to pick up one. (Momento) and she was so/so about it. At times she'd calm down and snuggle in between my arm and side and at others she just wanted to skitter back into the cage. Mori, on the other hand is extremely skittish. No ammount of soothing could keep her in my hands she wanted back into the cage.

I was reading up on training methods and found the whole 20 minute socialization where you hold your rat for 20 minutes at all costs (Minus squealing and squeaking) so that was my motivation. I didn't get near 20 minutes but now I feel like I can reach in to hold them without worry.

They're not biters at all. I was afraid they'd lash out the way I've seen other rodents do but they seem to although not be too keen on being held of picked up they seem to not have that air of "Don't come any closer" Being able to reach in to touch them without fear makes me feel so happy!


I'm curious what anyones thoughts on forced socialization are. Is it something that has great success or something that's to be used as a last stitch effort? I've got a feeling that Mori may be a case for it.
i've never used meat based, but i have given them some meat before, i know they are allowed to have some and they seemed to like it but i'm thinking that a once a month thing.

i'm glad you're getting comfortable with them and beginning to handle them without fear or frustration is great! congrats!

i don't know much about forced socialization, but i think its something i may need to try with Skaven, as he seems to only get better when his more social brother is not there to do all the socializing for him.

as of right now, i would say, see how far you can get without it...

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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 06:12 PM
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Yes, I read the same thing for potty training gerbils when we had them as I did for rats...the thing to do is to see what spot they naturally pick for their potty area, then put the potty tray where they tend to go. And yes, leaving one or two poops in there while training to keep giving them the message that this is the spot where they should go. Sound about right folks? Or did I miss anything? Both my gerbils and my rats did very well with their potty trays..not always 100 percent perfect, but for the most part yes!
i concur, that's how i potty trained Queequeg good luck!

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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-21-2010, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Destroyah
With Mori, she's much more comfortable when her sister is around.


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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 10:46 AM
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Thanks Destroyah
With Mori, she's much more comfortable when her sister is around.
well the thing is when D'artagnan is there Skaven hides and will only come out after i put food in the cage or take my hand out or whatever. When D'art is in another room playing with dad, Skaven has no choice but to come up and get his own food and look around. He's also more likely to approach me on his own, i won't have to go find him.

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post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 12-22-2010, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Ah. Yeah, Mori's the opposite. She'll gladly go out running around if her sister is already out of the cage. Otherwise its back up to the corner to hide.


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