Rats are very intelligent and can be great fun to train. A rat can learn a great variety of tricks and, once the rat gets the hang of training, you’ll find that the rat picks up on new tricks pretty fast. I use clicker training when training my rats, which works great. If you’re not familiar with clicker training, please check out my article What is clicker training?
My four pet rats frequently appear on my blog. The girls live in their very own “rat mansion,” a large bird cage with plenty of play toys and fun hiding spots. When not in their cage, they enjoy spending a few hours a day in their rat play area.
Life’s fun if you’re a rat! (A few favorite posts from my blog)
My rats frequently appear on my blog. Here are links to some of my favorite rat-related blog posts.
Amy’s elevator – using positive training to make the world a safer place for my rats
Amy goes exploring – a cute video of Amy, my most adventurous rat!
Amy’s big jump! (video) – Rats can jump VERY far!
Rattie enrichment: Dinnertime puzzles – my rats often have to work for their dinner
Three new rats – photos from when I adopted Izzy, Amy, and Chloe
(Note: If you are thinking about getting pet rats, please consider adopting!)
Pet rats add life – more information about why rats make great pets
Rats on the move – a cute photo showing the incredible power of rat teeth
How to get started with rat clicker training
I actually had a lot of trouble when I first started clicker training my rat Georgie. She taught me a lot about setting up the ideal training environment so that an animal can learn. Check out the links below for more information about how to begin clicker training with your rat, as well as ideas and instructions for a variety of tricks.
What is clicker training? – A basic introduction to clicker training
Getting Started with clicker training – Tips for setting up training sessions and teaching the clicker
Rat clicker training success! – Georgie demonstrates that she’s learned the meaning of the click
Videos of rat clicker training and rat trick training
The video below shows the steps that were used to teach Georgie one of her first tricks, going through a tunnel. Successful training involves teaching each trick in small steps so that the animal understands what you want. This is the process known as shaping behavior.
Here are links to more videos of rat tricks, as well as additional information about rat training. Rats are very smart and really enjoy learning new tricks!
Flower learns to duck through the tunnel
Amy and the bucket trick
Amy learns to come when called
Amy learns to use an iPad
Amy learns to go around a brick
Chloe’s first rat agility course
Georgie learns to spin
Georgie learns to jump
Georgie works on learning to fetch
Constant stimuli: A rat training report
Just for fun: Lab rats learning about Pink Floyd – You won’t want to miss this!
Mice can be trained, too!
I also currently have 2 neutered male mice, Oscar and Dickens. They were “feeder mice” who were meant to be snake food. Both were initially very skeptical about people and wanted nothing to do with me! The three videos below show some of the initial mouse training that I did with Oscar and Dickens, as well as with Jack and Houdini, two other mice who have since passed. The one bad thing about keeping mice as pets is that they usually only live about a year.
Mouse socialization training – Working with shy mice in a bathtub
Houdini learns to step up – Shows the steps I used to teach Houdini to get on my hand
More fun with mouse training – Dickens works on walking onto my hand
Other rat-related sites worth visiting
Joinrats – Lots of great info about rat care, behavior, training, and enrichment
Mainely Rat Rescue Store – Buy some rat hammocks and help out a great rescue organization
Rat Fan Club – Lots of good info about how to properly care for your pet rats
What should pet rats eat? – This page provides a great list of good foods to feed your rats, as well as a list of foods your pet rat should not eat.