Rat Twirling

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AnnaOwl

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Feb 10, 2021
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One of the first tricks I like to teach my rats is twirling around for a treat. With my new rats, one of them (Nancy) is already confident and sociable, so I began teaching her the trick.
The way I normally do it is I move my hand around with the treat between my fingers so the rat follows the treat, then I make a clicking sound as I give the treat. I did this with Nancy and she got it within 10 minutes which is great, however she keeps repeatedly spinning now on and on and she won't stop until I give her a treat. How do I undo this? I've never had this happen before.
 

Pepper_rat

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May 9, 2020
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67
Location
New York
One of the first tricks I like to teach my rats is twirling around for a treat. With my new rats, one of them (Nancy) is already confident and sociable, so I began teaching her the trick.
The way I normally do it is I move my hand around with the treat between my fingers so the rat follows the treat, then I make a clicking sound as I give the treat. I did this with Nancy and she got it within 10 minutes which is great, however she keeps repeatedly spinning now on and on and she won't stop until I give her a treat. How do I undo this? I've never had this happen before.
I would add a command and only reward her when you give the command. That way she learns that the trick is called spin or twirl and will only do it when asked. My girls do this sometimes and at first I reward it as I like that their offering the bahavior but then as I reward I add the command and work on adding in the words so they know to respond to that command and not just randomly do the trick. I hope you have lots of fun training Nancy 😄
 

AnnaOwl

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Feb 10, 2021
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UK
Ah of course thank you :) I've never really done that in the past because they never seem to understand the difference between the words I'm saying haha. Hopefully I can do a better job of it with Nancy :)
 

Dena

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Nov 13, 2018
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Ah of course thank you :) I've never really done that in the past because they never seem to understand the difference between the words I'm saying haha. Hopefully I can do a better job of it with Nancy :)
I think it's mostly in the tone you use (almost every spoken word comes out differently in tones, even when you don't realize it) and the cue you give. I usually make a motion above their head for spin, like a circle, and finish it with my fist up. They will follow your facial, hand, and voice cues. 😁
 

AnnaOwl

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Feb 10, 2021
Messages
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Yeah you're right, they definitely can tell the different hand movements. Nancy now understands that doing a circle with my finger means 'spin' and I also now say 'spin' out loud so I'm hoping she learns both the hand gesture and vocal cue. I can imagine her getting really confused when I move onto the next trick though which I think will be 'paw' or 'handshake' I'll go with handshake since they have hands rather than paws 😃
 

Dena

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Nov 13, 2018
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298
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I just say paw, and hold my finger out, and put it under their paws the first couple of times, then with the other hand, I give the treat. Trick is, to always make the treat go to them, not them to the treat. If they do a trick I don't ask for, I redirect them. 😁
 

AnnaOwl

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Feb 10, 2021
Messages
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Location
UK
Thank you very much for your advice. I've made some progress with 'paw' although she still doesn't recognise it when I say it haha. I'm sure she'll get there though.
 

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