Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on May 18, 2014
As rat owners for a number of years now, our family can attest to the remarkable abilities and intelligence of our small furry pets. My husband’s favorite, Little Ratty, would come running, as Shadow does in the first video, when any of us called her name. Even when she was across the room. Every time.
Beyond Little Ratty’s coming when called, none of our rats have ever performed tricks like the ones shown in the videos below. Likely from lack of time or training on our part, not from their lack of ability.
Video summary from rat owner, trainer, and YouTube contributor NanaBorderCollie — this video has had more than 1,393,000 views:
Suki (Brown Agouti Berkshire Dumbo Rat)
Famous (Pink-Eyed Himalayan Top-Eared Rat)
Raven (Black Variegated Berkshire Dumbo Rat)
Shadow (Black Mismarked Irish Top-Eared Rat)
Paris (Russian Blue Berkshire Dumbo Rat)
All tricks are taught with positive reinforcement and clicker training.
Most of the tricks in this video are performed by Suki, Famous, Raven, and Shadow, since Paris had undergone surgery during the time this video was filmed. You can read about her surgery on my blog:
I have included footage of a few of her tricks that were filmed prior to her surgery, however she has many other impressive tricks up her sleeve that I haven’t yet filmed. Stay tuned for another upcoming video that will include more of Paris’ (and the other rats’) amazing tricks!
I hope you all enjoy. 🙂
Awesome, Amazing Rat Tricks
Summary of the second video:
Four of my five talented rats return performing their latest incredible tricks: Famous (Pink-Eyed Himalayan Top-Eared), Suki (Brown Agouti Berkshire Dumbo), Shadow (Black Mismarked Irish Top-Eared), and Raven (Black VariBerk Dumbo). All behaviours are taught with positive reinforcement and clicker training.
As you may notice, most of the tricks in this video are performed by Famous, since the majority of the behaviours stem from retrieving, which is Famous’ specialty. She is the most advanced retriever in my mischief, although Suki is following closely in her pawprints.
Epic Rat Tricks
None of the rats are fed peanuts as rewards, as explained here by NanaBorderCollie:
I have noticed that the authours of several websites which feature my rats’ videos have written that my rats are performing their tricks for peanuts. Not only is this incorrect, but I do not recommend using peanuts as rewards since they are unhealthy for rats when fed in large quantities, being very high in fat and protein. Too much protein in a rat’s diet causes kidney damage and skin problems amongst an array of other health issues. When using a certain food as a training reward they will inevitably make up a large portion of the animal’s diet, which is why peanuts should not be used as training treats for rats.
For those who are wondering what I do use, I use a variety of different foods as rewards when working with my rats including rolled oats, dried or fresh fruit (their favourites are bananas, blueberries, and grapes), cooked pasta, steamed vegetables, and puffed rice/kamut cereal pieces. I will also purchase fruit or vegetable baby food and offer some on my finger as a reward.
I believe it is the puffed rice/kamut visible in a few of the clips that was misidentified as peanuts by the website authours.