How To Train A Pet Rat

How To Train A Pet Rat


Rats are smart, but that doesn’t mean they’re trainable. Or does it? Can you really train a pet rat to do your bidding? In the past, rats have been cast as dirty pests and villains in stories, but in reality, these creatures are intelligent animals and can become very loyal pets. Rats have complex needs, so there’s plenty of work involved in owning one of these critters. However, if you’re ready to put in the time, effort, and patience required to bond with a furry companion like this, you just might reap the benefits of having a well-trained pet rat at your service (OK—more like by your side). Let’s take a look at how to make this happen:

All rats are trainable, but some will take more time than others.

As with any animal, rats are smart but also very different from each other. They can be more or less willing to learn, more or less stubborn, and some may have more anxiety than others.

Unfortunately, many pet owners have a tendency to think “Oh well! He/she’s just not a good learner.” In reality it’s much better to look at what you’re doing wrong than blame yourself for having an “un-trainable” rat!

Training is about being clever, not about defeating the rat.

Training is about being clever, not about defeating the rat. That’s because rats have been bred for thousands of years to be cooperative and intelligent. It would be silly to think that you could train a rat by forcing it into submission.

Punishing bad behavior is not the way to train a rat. The best way to teach your pet rat what you want him or her to know is through rewarding good behavior with treats and affection, or giving them time outs when they misbehave—a strategy we call “positive reinforcement.”

When your pet does something right, give him or her an immediate reward for doing so: Give them treats (like nuts) or offer them praise (“good boy!”). Then encourage them again by saying something like “another one” in a happy tone of voice as they complete another task correctly!

You need to get your rat to associate things with good feelings.

The goal of training is to get your rat to associate something with a good feeling. This can be done with treats, praise, or even simply making a sound that you like when they do something right. You should avoid using negative reinforcement, as it will just make them afraid and not want to do what you’re asking of them.

Be consistent in your training; if you always give treats when they do what you want, they’ll learn faster than if they only get one every few times. Be patient; don’t expect your rat to learn everything overnight. Don’t give up! Even if it seems like nothing is working at first (and especially if there are setbacks), keep trying different techniques for as long as necessary until the desired behavior becomes second nature for your pet rodent!

Use a reward system, not a punishment system.

  • Use a reward system, not a punishment system.

The goal of rat training is to get your rat accustomed to doing what you want them to do, not just avoiding things they should avoid. In order for this training to be effective and have lasting results, it needs to use positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement or punishment. The way we typically think about “punishment” (or negative reinforcement) is in terms of spanking or other forms of physical abuse that are intended to hurt the animal so that they’ll learn not to do something again because it hurts too much when they do it the wrong way. This type of approach can backfire in many ways:

  • It’s more likely that your pet will become aggressive towards you if you punish them instead of rewarding them
  • A punishment-based approach tends toward an adversarial relationship between you and your pet; whereas with positive reinforcement we’re working together towards common goals

The trick is having the patience to work through it without losing your mind.

The trick is having the patience to work through it without losing your mind.

Patience is a virtue, but it’s also a learned skill. One that can be developed over time as we become more familiar with our own habits and our ability to control them. When you’re working on teaching your pet rat how to sit up or roll over (yes, they learn those tricks), being patient allows you to stay calm when they don’t get it right away. This will allow them to relax enough so that they can focus on learning rather than feeling stressed out by your frustration at not being able to do what you asked him/her to do immediately.

As long as you keep at it, you’ll get there.

Training a rat is not something you will be able to accomplish in a day. It takes time, patience and consistency. However, there are ways to make the process easier for both you and your pet rat. One way is to ensure that you have a good relationship with him or her. This means spending time together every day so that they feel comfortable coming up and spending time with you when they want to learn something new—or go somewhere new!

Another thing that helps when training rats is being creative with how you train them and what types of things you teach them. For example, if your rat needs help learning how not only open doors but also close them after themselves then try using cardboard boxes stacked on top of each other as obstacles for this purpose (as opposed to just providing treats).

Rats can be trained if you have the patience for it and use positive reinforcement techniques.

Rats are intelligent and curious creatures. If you have the patience to train your rat, you can teach it to perform tricks such as jumping over obstacles or walking on a leash. Don’t go into training with the expectation that your rat will learn any specific trick in a few days—it will take time (and more than a few treats) for him to get used to things like wearing clothes and running around outside.

The best way to train your pet rat is through positive reinforcement techniques such as offering food rewards when he does something right and withholding them when he makes mistakes. Rats love treats! It’s important that you do not use punishment or negative reinforcement during training sessions; this will only make your pet afraid of trying new things out of fear of getting hurt by his owner in some way


We hope that this guide has been helpful and that you’re now ready to start your pet rat training journey. As we mentioned earlier, it really is a rewarding process once you get into it. There are so many amazing things you can teach your rat how to do, from fetching nuts to sliding down poles. All it takes is patience and the right approach, so good luck!

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