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help! very shy stubbern rattie!

1196 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  breyer08
hi we needs some help. we purchased 2 boy Ratties (loki & Odin) Loki was trusting and is a good good boy and trains well, on the other hand we have Odin, he is very very frightened and wont budge on being social,, we tried everything. we dont force him to do anything he dont want to do, he does come up and say hi when hes in the cage and even comes out of the cage by himself when we open it, but once we try to pick him up he freaks out and doesnt want nothing to do with us, weve tried giving him treats from our hand and he refuses any of those. weve had these guys for about a month and dont know how to get odin to trust us. any suggestions will help!! thank you!!!
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hi congrads on your new babies, how long have you had them? sometimes they just need to adjust
about 3 weeks,, we work with them every day. like i said Lokie a doing awesome and is one crazy lil dude and come when he's called,, but Odin is just petrified, and we are just stumped on how to get him out of his lil funk.
When I got my male Bruce, he was the same way. Ultra-defensive and never came out of corners in the cage. Wouldn't eat from my hand. Didn't want to come out. Wanted to stay in a corner in the cage for all eternity. He wouldn't even let any other rats live with him. He'd hide all his food in that corner at night so he didn't even have to leave it to eat. ): But I got some great advice from Spaz here on the forums and got Bruce neutered. It was great! It seemed like overnight he was a new rat. Once he healed and was ready to be caged with his new cagemates, my females, he was super happy, and still is. He's still a rat who doesn't like to be held, but he'll tolerate it now. Some rats just don't like to be pet/handled much. :) He doesn't nip at me or fluff up at me in threatening ways though, haha. he went from depressed to happy. Maybe your rat could use the same thing, but idk. Spaz could probably be more help here.
Some ratties just need extra patience and time to get over being shy. It can be a frightening experience for ratties when they have a new home to adjust to and there usually seems to be a brave and adventurous rat and a shyer one who is a bit more fearful as he adjusts to things in his new surroundings. Often, the shyer rat will take cues from his more outgoing brother and follow his lead, eventually. Speaking in a soft, soothing voice, letting him get used to your scent, the sound of your voice and such all helps but it can take a bit for some rats.

Have you tried doing the baby food on a spoon? If you put a bit of baby food (all rats have different favorites) on a spoon and hold the spoon part close to the center of your hand, he will need to come up to your hand and stay there to keep licking the baby food. This is a great trust builder and he learns that you are not a threat, you have yummies, and your hand is safe. Hopefully I am wording this right!

Breyer, one of our regular posters on this forum, has mentioned always wearing the same sweatshirt or pullover when you are interacting with the ratties, so they smell the same scent over and over when you are with them. Hopefully Breyer, Lilspaz and Storyseeker (all regular people here) will be able to add some extra tips, but my method is lots of patience, love and taking it a day at a time.
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UPDATE: lastnight the "Hubs" pute Odin in his shirt for about 1/2 hour and he seemed to mellow a bit,, then he took him out of his shirt, and handed him to me,, he cowerd a lil bit. but i tried to give him a cherrio and he took it and ate two WOW i was sooo happy,, then after that he crawled on my shoulder and decided to poop 6 turds down the fron of my shirt!! ughhh! but at least he took food from me i was happy!
Re: Odin

Aww, that is great!! It sounds to me like your husband had a good bonding session with Odin...I am sure Odin felt safe in your husband's shirt, and covered and secure, so that was good for him. Good job hubby! :D And then Odin took cheerios from you and sat on your shoulder, great! Little steps like these are terrific. Speaking of hubbies, you know, my boys have always had a soft spot for my husband, and although I know they love me to bits and they love for Mom to pick them up and sit on my shoulders (I have long hair and rats love nestling under long hair) they STILL will hang out and get pets and cuddles from their Dad (my husband) for a longer period of time. Maybe it is a male bonding thing, ha ha. :lol:

In any case, I hope your hubby will continue to do cuddles in his shirt with Odin...I am sure he enjoyed it.

As for the poops, yep, that is the usual thing, especially with young ratties. Our boys poop everywhere. Sometimes this happens because rats are very nervous but even after you sense that they are not scared, and seem to be having a good time exploring on your shirts, etc, it still happens quite a bit when they are babies.

Good job so far though, I bet you are thrilled. Just takes patience and lots of love! If you don't rush it, or push Odin into anything too fast to scare him, and take baby steps, you will have a baby that loves you more than anything. It is worth it. :wave:
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thank you to everyone for the advice yes were taking baby steps and it seems to help sloooowwwly but its working,, now were training our girls to do tricks,, kiki is catching on fast to the "spin" and sitting up and walking,, hopefully soon i will have cute video!
Sounds like you are on the right track! Some rats just take a little longer than others to warm up, so take it one step at a time, in short spurts several times a day. Each day you can keep them out for a little longer as they get more used to you. And I'm glad to see you got her to spend time in a shirt--try a hooded sweatshirt with a pouch in front, if you have one. Let them crawl inside the pouch while you wear it so they will feel safe, but they will also get used to your smell. Do not wash this sweatshirt until they are completely used to you, and wear it every time you handle them. This has been a sure-fire method for me with the rats I've had. :D
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