How To Trust Train Your Rats... With These 4 Methods

how to trust train pet rats

Trust training rats isn't an easy task... Since all rats are different and grow comfortable with you at their own pace there's no one perfect technique.

However there’s usually a variation of techniques you can use to get your rats comfortable with you if one technique doesn’t work!

That being said one thing that you shouldn’t ever do is give up on your rats. The process of trust training can be frustrating, especially if something isn’t working. But in this post we’re going to give you a few ideas to try to make sure that you take your trust training techniques to the next level.

How To Trust Train Your Rats:

Below we're going to give you a few different techniques that we've used with success to gain our rats trust.

There may be a few things you need for specific techniques, however there are some techniques which involve no cost at all.

Keep in mind that buying your rats a few extra treats or accessories will be a good investment, not just for trust training, but generally as well.​

Trust training rats effectively is as simple as good planning, remember that if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Frequently Asked Questions:

We've been asked a few questions about trust training before and these are the common questions that we get asked. Hopefully this will help answer any worries you have.

How Long Does Trust Training Take?

Will My Rat Bite Me?

Should I 'Train' Them Everyday?


The Food Giver Technique:

Difficulty
Cost
Time

The 'food giver technique' is a simple training method that most rat owners will use and is most likely to give you a chance of success.

The basis of this technique is letting your rats come to you for treats. This is a vulnerable situation for a rat, so once your rats are happy to take treats from your hand inside their cage it's usually the right time to start picking them up and taking them out of the cage.

This technique of trust training can be slow progress, but it's one of the easiest methods of gaining trust with your rats over time.

As with all techniques, this doesn't work with all rats so it's a good technique to try initially and then potentially adjust your approach if it doesn't work

Here's how to follow this technique!

Step 1: Let Them Settle

Step 2: Treat Training

Step 3: Holding

Step 4: Field Trips



The Bonding Technique:

Difficulty
Cost
Time

The idea behind the bonding technique is to confine your rat in a 'safe' space outside of their cage, then through spending more time around you they will learn that you aren't a threat.

This technique can be a little difficult, especially for nervous rats, but it's one of the most rewarding as a rat owner. It also takes a fair amount of time, as you will need to do this more than once a day, every day until they're trust trained.

If this technique doesn't work out so well, it's a good idea to try one of the other techniques that have a better success rate.

Here's how to follow this technique!

Step 1: Bonding Setup

Step 2: Positive Reinforcement

Step 3: Introducing Hands

Step 4: Field Trips


The Neutral Space Technique:

Difficulty
Cost
Time

The Neutral Space Technique involves allowing your rats to free roam in a safe area they can't escape from, while you yourself are present in the area.

The difficulty for you will lie in not interacting with your rats too much in the early stages, as you want them to come to you once they are ready.

This technique can be wonderful for quickly integrating rats that are a little bit braver by nature, or for continuing trust training after a little success with another technique.

Here's how to follow this technique!

Step 1: Let Them Settle

Step 2: The Neutral Zone

Step 3: Staying Neutral

Step 4: Holding


The Familiarity or 'Scent' Technique:

Difficulty
Cost
Time

The Familiarity or Scent technique for trust training is one that's worked well for us with difficult, nervous cases.

The idea is to simply introduce your nervous rat to you by introducing your scent before introducing yourself.

Nervous rats can find even your presence as imposing and scary, so it's a good idea to gently introduce them to you, and yes this takes more time but there are many rats out there that never get trust trained since more common methods can fail to work.

Here's how to follow this technique!

Step 1: Introduce Your Scent

Step 2: Introducing Hands

Step 3: Treat Giving

Step 4: Petting

Step 5: Selecting Next Technique

Conclusion:

Trust training your rats isn’t the easiest part about being a rat owner, or the most enjoyable… It is a necessary process we must all go through though and we should never give up on training our rats since they’re sociable creatures and will in time come to love and adore your company.

The techniques described above are the few that we personally use and have done so with success. If you use any other techniques or methods please let us know in the comments as we always love to hear what others are doing with their rats.

We hope you enjoyed the post and as always if you have any questions let us know below and we’ll get back to you.

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