Training Your Pet Rat

Rats may not be the most common pet but they can certainly be trained to do simple tricks like most other pets. With some patience and time you can teach your rat to come to the sound of his name, as well as, other things.
Using a clicker can immensely help in the training process. Clickers are designed for use in pet training and can be found in some pet stores or on pet supply websites. Because animals cannot understand our language, using a clicker eliminates some of the confusion that can come from our different vocal tones. Getting the clicker associated with positive reinforcement will help your rat understand what they are being asked to do. Just ignore the wrong behavior. Never use punishment during training.
There is a chance that your rate may be startled by the clicker at first. You will need to have some of your pet’s favorite treats, as well. Make sure they are small so your rat can eat them quickly. Once the rat starts to associate the clicking sound with treats everything else becomes much easier. You will, also, want to eliminate all distractions while trying to train your rat. Keep toys, other animals, people, and food away so you can keep your pet’s attention.
To begin the clicker training get some treats and go to a place that is a distance from your rat. Don’t vocalize anything and when your pet comes to you click the clicker and give him a treat – in that order. Move to the other side of the room and wait for him to move towards you again. When he shows up click your clicker and offer a treat. After doing this a few times you will want to give a longer wait between the click sound and the treat. Eventually, your rat will come to the sound of the clicker out of instinct.
After your rat has learned how to come on command, you can move onto begging. Training your pet rat to beg will be quite simple at this point. Make sure you have your clicker and some treats within reach. Take a snake and run it above his nose so he can smell it. Hold it above him and he should reach up to grab it without doing anything else. When he reaches for it, click the clicker. Do this several times and he will start to get the hang of it. Sometimes during training it is good to take a break. Even if you don’t get back to it for a day or two, it is better than trying to train a pet that has lost interest. Just like training your rat to come, once he starts to understand the beg for a click and a treat routine you will want to vary and lengthen the time between the click and the treat. Eventually you can move onto giving a treat every few times he begs but make sure you click every time.
Rats are very intelligent animals and can be trained with some basic techniques. They may not be the most popular pet today but they are great pets for the right people.

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