9 fun ways to stimulate your rat’s mind

Rats are intelligent and curious creatures who can be taught a variety of tricks. Not only is training your pet rat a fun and rewarding experience, but it also helps to strengthen your bond with him. It’s absolutely amazing what rats can learn. Here are some of the cool tricks you can try…

 

1. Spin around

What you need Treats

Steps

  1. Hold a treat in front of his nose and slowly move it in a circle around him.
  2. As he follows the treat, say the cue ‘spin’ or ‘turn’.
  3. Once he completes the circle, treat and praise him.
  4. Repeat this process until he spins without needing the treat to guide him and he follows your command and your finger indicating you want him to spin.
  5. For an added challenge, try teaching him to spin in the opposite direction.

Note He will automatically spin in the direction you taught the trick, so you will have to repeat all the steps to teach him to spin the other way.

 

 

2. Jump through a hoop

What you need A hoop (a thin masking tape roll works well) and treats

Steps                                                                                                     

  1. Hold the hoop on the ground in front of him and lure him through it with a treat.
  2. Once he goes through the hoop, treat and praise him.
  3. Raise the hoop slightly off the ground and repeat the process until he is comfortable jumping through it.
  4. Gradually increase the height of the hoop until he is jumping through it from a standing position.
  5. For an added challenge, try teaching him to jump through a series of hoops in a row.

Note Always use a hoop that is big enough for him to jump through comfortably and make sure he is not jumping from a height.

 

 

3. Play dead

What you need Treats

Steps

  1. Hold a treat in front of his nose and let him sniff it.
  2. Slowly lower the treat to the ground while saying the cue ‘play dead’.
  3. He should automatically lie down to follow the treat. Once he does, treat and praise him.
  4. Repeat this process until he lies down when you say ‘play dead’ without needing the treat to guide him.
  5. For an added challenge, try teaching him to play dead when you snap your fingers instead of saying the command.

Note Always reward him for performing the behaviour correctly, even if it takes a few tries to get it right.

 

 

4. Push a ball

What you need A small ball and treats

Steps

  1. Hold a treat near the ball to get him interested in the ball.
  2. Place the ball in front of him and wait for him to touch it with his nose.
  3. As he touches the ball, say the cue ‘push’.
  4. Reward by treating and praising him.
  5. Repeat this process until he pushes the ball without needing a treat to guide him.
  6. For an added challenge, try teaching him to push the ball to a designated area.

Note Make sure the ball is small enough for him to push and that it doesn’t have any small parts that he could chew off.

Would you like to read the rest of the cute tricks article? Get the June 2023 edition of Animaltalk magazine now from retailers, or order a printed or digital copy from www.coolmags.co.za.

 

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