Neutered male aggression, please help

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Green ratmom

New Member
Nov 26, 2020
I posted the same thing on ratforum, reposting here too

A mature male rat "rescued" from a feeder shop, rehomed several times because of aggression on human and other male rats.

I took him in a month ago and neutered him and have tried to work with him, but he is still aggressive.
He will lick treats off my fingers now, but will bite fingers with no treats.
He doesn't let me near him(raises body and opens mouth) but will walk all over me when I stay still. I took this to be the sign of friendliness, but now I think he looks down on me.
Can you help me??

A. He was neutered two weeks ago, should I wait longer for him to be less aggressive?

B. I let my girls (three 1year old girls) meet him through bars, and they hate him. Charges and trys to attack through bars, makes hissing noises and thump their tails. Been letting them meet for over a week now and they are in the same room all day but still they hate him. Will introducing them in a neutral area help?

C. I read about immersion training. I think my boy belongs to the not-pet-rat group.....
Immersion training says I have to fight to gain dominance over the rat,, does this really work?
To say the truth now I am scared shitless cause I've been bitten several times, I tried every taiming/training method except the third one. (Maybe it'stoo late to do immersion trainingnow, I don't know)

D. If I DO have to wait for his hormone level to fall, how do I clean his cage ?? I can't really move him, and he doesn't like to go into a moving container.


Well-Known Member
Nov 13, 2018
How old is he? With many owners, it's hard to tell how he was treated. Especially if he was aggressive. I'd definitely wait a couple more weeks, to a month for his levels to ho down all the way. In the meantime, don't push him. Use a spoon to give him lickable treats, and little by little, make the handle smaller. When I've had a biter, I'd always give a high value treat when I opened the door (unless they charge me). Open door, give treat (plain cheerios are great). Close door. Open, treat, then close the door. He will quickly learn you mean treats. If you need to clean his cage, you can try the box method, but you said he doesn't like moving containers. Maybe try putting a smaller cage or carrier in his cage. Add treats, and give him time to hop in. Avoid his rump and if need be, used a towel over his head and shoulders to grab him and put him in a carrier to clean his cage. Look at Www.joinrats.com for some good info on socializing him with your girls. This may take time for them, and him. Don't feed through bars, and always wash your hands before attempting to mess with him, so you don't have any food smells, or smells from your other rats on them. Believe it or not, just the scent of your other rats on your hands can set him off. And vise versa.

Just DON'T give up on him! Good luck!


Staff member
Jul 21, 2007
Toronto, Canada, Earth
OK with a hormonally aggressive male it can take a LOT longer than 2 weeks for the hormones and the behaviours to subside. I have had some of my worst cases take a few months.

AVOID immersion training, its vile and dangerous advice.

The rearing up with mouth open is actually a defensive posture more than an aggressive one, so your boy was probably not very socialized and timid, plus the hormones put him over the edge. I call this more fear aggression. Go slow, become his friend, see if he will allow you to stroke him once he's sleepy in his hammock. Become the Bringer of Good Things whether that be Out time, or treats and yummy foods. Offer the back of your hand as its harder to bite down on then say fingers...its discouraging to them.

For cleaning his cage, use a towel to pick him up...and put him elsewhere.

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