Rats are very smart animals who can do a variety of tricks, and it can be easier to teach them than you may think. You need to handle your rat every day and spend time with him – this way you will build his trust in you. Rats younger than two years tend to learn faster than older rats, so start teaching him as early as possible. And use his favourite food as a reward.
Standing up This is one of the easiest tricks to teach. Hold a small treat over your rat’s head so that he needs to reach up to get it. When he does, say the cue ‘up’ or whatever word you want to use. Keep doing it until he responds automatically to the cue, and then practise some more.
Going through a hoop You can use any round object that looks like a hoop and that your rat will fit through. Hold the hoop directly in front of your rat, and have a treat in your other hand at the other side of the hoop. The idea is that your rabbit has to go through the hoop to reach the treat. Gradually move the treat further away, and then later on, move the hoop further away as well.
Jumping hoop Once your rat has learnt how to go through the hoop, you can raise the hoop a little higher, so that he has to jump through the hoop to get to the treat.
Remember to practise each trick several times a day, and be patient with your rat. It can take weeks for some rats to learn tricks, but they will eventually learn.