15 Incredible Rat Tricks by Abby Roeser
Rats are very intelligent and can even be taught to do tricks if you are consistent and patient. For a time, we worked with Loki on learning tricks and he was making progress, until he finally decided he just wasn't interested anymore. He would kind of give us that look that says, "What do you think I am, a dog?" and walk away - turning his nose at the Cheerio pieces I had to offer. Loki is his own rat and we learned a long time ago that there is no point in trying to make him into anything else.
Now that the girls are approaching five months old, we are thinking it may be time to try working with them. They are still very energetic and maybe too scattered to focus, but they are also very curious and very eager to please if it means a treat. They are more mobile and athletic than our two big squishy boys - and thus much more capable of learning to climb or walk a tightrope or jump a chasm. Unfortunately, they are also easily distracted, so they will probably take a bit of work.
Training your rats is a good way to keep them stimulated and entertained while bonding with them in a positive and challenging way. Not only does it keep your rats challenged, but it makes interacting them more stimulating for us as well. I have a long way to go in learning how to be an effective rat trainer, but fortunately, there are some great training videos out there on YouTube.
The videos that I have learned the most from have come from crazy4ratties2 on YouTube. If you are interested in some training videos to get you started, I recommend her New and Improved Rattie Training Videos Play List. This includes an introduction to training techniques and detailed instructions for teaching your rat to spin, walk a tightrope, and raise a "bucket" on a string. You can also check out her original training videos play list - which are less polished videos that include the information in the new and improved play list, but also some videos that she hasn't redone yet, including clicker training, and jumping platforms.
To give you an idea of what is possible, be sure to check out the video embedded above by Abby Roeser - or any of the videos on her YouTube channel. These videos won't show you how to train your rat, but they will wow you with the possibilities.
And just today, in the process of looking up the links to all of these videos, I found this new one, extremely well done, just uploaded a few days ago by NanaBorderCollie, called Awesome, Amazing Rat Tricks:
They all make it look so easy - but it must be a lot of work. Someday, maybe Bella, Ruby, and Jo will be able to make their own video - but for now, I will be content with working on simple things, like Up and Spin.
There is a lot more out there on YouTube - so if you are interested, make sure to do a YouTube search on Rat Tricks or Rat Training. There are some amazing rats out there in Cyberspace!