Complete guide to Rat Training (Book)

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Complete guide to Rat Training (Book)

Post by Helzie » Sat Jan 17, 2009 6:53 pm

Not a website, but a book...

The Complete Guide to Rat Training, by Debbie Ducommun (2008) TFH publications, ISBN 978-0-7938-0651-5
£12.99 available cheaper from Amazon.

This is, as it appears to be, a book focussing specifically on rat training, rather than general rat care, ans is the only one I know of. It has 10 chapters and covers a wide range of relevant topics, beginning with rat perception, intelligence and behaviour as a foundation, moving on to the basic principles of training (positive reenforcement, behaviour shaping, etc) and general training issues such as litter training, trust training and introductions. It then covers basic tricks (eg jumping, tightropes, standing) and more complex ones (stay, fetch etc), and then tricks involving props (such as basketball, pushing a cart). It also covers 'science projects' such as mazes, T-mazes, lever pressing etc. and also has a section with instructions on how to make the props and mazes.

It's good to have a book that genuinely does focus on training, rather than the basic and often out of date advice in most books about rat care. The advice on the principles of training seems sound, based on dog training, and considers rat welfare. Some may disagree with or want to add to some of the advice, for example, on introductions or trust training but I don't think following any of it would cause problems. The tricks have clear instructions (tho doesn't always give different ways to teach a trick, if your rat doesn't get it!) and there are plenty of ideas. Some may find some of the tricks a bit 'cute' and anthropomorphic, but there are plenty of other good ones, including the science projects, and once you have the principles, I guess you could adapt them. I like the grounding in rat intelligence, behaviour, and training principles, and there are lots of facts about rats intelligence and training in both science and showbiz. It's comprehensive, well researched and I'd definitely recommend it.
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