Our Rodent of Unusual Size says “Hi” – Wordless Wednesday

photo (22)

Here’s Doc.  He’s my 2 pounder of pure muscle.  He is humongous.  If he looks normal sized in the photo, it’s only because black is slimming.

At his size, he should be a wonderful squish, but he’s not fat, so he’s not really squishy.  Rather, he’s BIG.  When he jumps on you, he lands with a significant impact.

And, this Rodent of Unusual Size comes with his unique behavioral issues.  He’s our big wimp.  He’s highly sensitive and very reactive.  Without known trauma, he used to bite even to blood.  That’s extremely rare in pet rats.  But, we figured out that he doesn’t like his fur brushed backwards.  And, since then, he hasn’t bit for blood while being pet.  He does have to be removed from the cage for cage cleanings as cage cleaning freaks him out, and you’re risking your fingers redecorating his cage with him around.

He gets his own modified training sessions.   Every thing is itsy bitsy baby steps for him, but he responds beautifully to positive behavior modification.  He loves to snuggle and try out new food.  We’ve learned to watch his mood and help him stay calm and not get nervous.  He’s really brave when he’s not freaking out.

And, he loves to hang out with a blue minion especially Alfonse who he turns to bolster his bravery.

 

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6 Responses to Our Rodent of Unusual Size says “Hi” – Wordless Wednesday

  1. Tarynt says:

    I can’t imagine a pet rat that large. Wow! What a big boy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Robin says:

    That is a really large rat! I have to say, the black is quite slimming and he is adorable . Isn’t it funny how big animals can be such wimps sometimes? My little cat is much tougher than her bigger brofur.

    Liked by 1 person

    • salxandra says:

      We’re fortunate that Doc is very social and trusts us and his buddies to help him out when he freaks. My bravest rat is Kitty, nothing freaks him out; and he’s our smallest (or will be when the minions (our pair of blue rat brothers) out grow him. Kitty is our adrenaline junky and he loves to explore and be gently tossed. If you tried to toss Doc, your arm would be clawed up and he probably would stay attached. This is something I would not do with Doc. Kitty, on the other hand, lands on his soft cushions and comes running back to get tossed again.

      Like

  3. I’ve never thought of the challenge of training a reactive rat. I had an iguana who bit… but that was before I knew about reactive dogs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • salxandra says:

      I may be stretching the term “reactive” a bit when used with Doc, but it helps me with his training sessions. I’m sure positive training techniques would have worked with your iguana, but rats are very similar to dogs, and they just love being able to interact with humans and play. That reminds me of our “breakthrough” day with Doc when we realized that he didn’t like his fur brushed backwards. Once he realized that we wouldn’t brush his fur backwards when he was snuggling, he suddenly wanted to play which, of course, means tickling and otherwise disturbing his fur. It was a bit freaky for us, but he was so obviously happily playing and not biting that it just encouraged us more to work on recognizing his moods.

      Like

  4. bjbangs says:

    Now there’s one cute rat. Coool

    Liked by 1 person

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