How to Train Pet Rats

By Ryn Gargulinski

Rats are some of the most intelligent animals that are a breeze to train. You can train pet rats with a little patience, a couple of props and plenty of treats. The key to training a rat is repetition. Once the rat learns a certain behavior will merit him a reward, he’ll be willing to perform that behavior again and again. You can train pet rats with a few simple steps.

Get a small bell that you ring every time you want the rat to do something. At first the rat will most likely hear the bell and just sit there. You may luck out with a curious chap who will actually come out to see what the bell’s about, in which case half your work is done.

Ring the bell and give your rat a treat. Each time you treat your rat, ring the bell so he associates the bell ringing with movement and a positive reward.

Ring the bell, wait for the rat to emerge and come to you, then give your rat a treat. At this point you want him to understand the bell means to perform some type of action. Coming to you for a treat is a very simple action that can be expanded upon for more elaborate tricks.

Ring the bell as you say the rat’s name. Make sure to enunciate the name clearly, repeat it in a sing-song way or somehow make it stand out from other words your rat may hear. Once the rat starts responding to his name, you can use his name as another cue without the bell. Now you have two methods to get your rat to come to you or entice him into some type of action.

Expand to other tricks. These tips offer very simple training techniques and ones that can be used for a variety of other tricks. Once your rat learns that the bell means action and he comes when called, you can train him to bring you items in his mouth, walk from one arm to another, run across the room when called or whatever else you’d like to try.