behaviour/temprement in relation to coat/variety..discussion

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ScattieMcRattie
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behaviour/temprement in relation to coat/variety..discussion

Post by ScattieMcRattie » Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:03 am

i'm hoping to start a discussion on the relationship between coat colour/variety to behaviour. this may sound silly but i've often heard people things like "Agouti's are mental" "silver fawn are neurotic" "roans are ditzy" etc. the other week i was reeding behavioural study on domestication that selectively bred rats only choosing the most human affectionate rats in one line and in another line the most human aggressive. they ran this experiment over a number of years and bred hundreds of rats. at the end of the experiment the human affectionate rats were in the majority all black and the aggressive line was so human aggressive they had to be handled with gloves and tools. these rats were majoritively all agouti.

talkin to a rat keeping colleague today with a aggressive rat i found myself sayin "minks are aggressive" and it got me thinkin again....

does anyone else have any thoughts on this? do you think any particular variety can be genetically predisposed to a particular behaviour/temprement? or not?
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Re: behaviour/temprement in relation to coat/variety..discussion

Post by ScattieMcRattie » Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:13 am

i just wanted to add i think this may be suited to the rat chit chat or breeding and varieties section....i leave it to the powers that be to decide weather to move it.

ps does any one oppose the idea of the link and believe that a rat Is a rat Is a rat regardless of colour. *nature verses nurture* so to speak
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Re: behaviour/temprement in relation to coat/variety..discussion

Post by wildthing » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:19 pm

I am not really qualified to answer, but found the question very interesting. Before I got my most recent 3 boys (1 black, 1 agouti, 1 BBA), I had several knowledgeable people tell me that agoutis were 'nutty' 'mental' 'a handful' and the like and to be fair the first time I had my agouti out he leapt a good 3 foot from my shoulder to scale the Christmas tree :roll:

I would say he has always been the most adventurous and active of the three, but is also the one that craves human company the most and I think he is deeply intuitive, when my dog died last year, he was contantly asking for out in a way he never had before or has since and would just sit curled in my neck and brux, he brought me amazing comfort.

My black rat is the squishyist squish imaginable, he never really asks to come out and isn't at all demanding, but is always happy to be handled and will sit with my young children for hours and allow them to hold him like a baby, pass him between them etc (supervised obv.) he is just a blob :lol:

My BBA was pretty shy, I have sadly just lost him, but am very chuffed to be getting a new black baby (hopefully), I am very converted to blacks. However one day in the future I would like to have another agouti.

Sorry that was a bit of a ramble :oops: I love my rats......
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Re: behaviour/temprement in relation to coat/variety..discussion

Post by spoiled_rat » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:01 pm

It is far more line-dependant, and affected by the individual rat's temperament, than variety.
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Re: behaviour/temprement in relation to coat/variety..discussion

Post by lilladysez » Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:35 pm

My agoutis aren't mental, my mink is the soppiest rat on the planet and my roans are no more or less ditzy than any other rat. They are all however very typical for their line :lol: . Colour does not affect a rats temperament in my experience, life experience, line traits, age and hormones can though!
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Re: behaviour/temprement in relation to coat/variety..discussion

Post by aimlessdesire » Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:08 pm

spoiled_rat wrote:It is far more line-dependant, and affected by the individual rat's temperament, than variety.
Definately this.
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Re: behaviour/temprement in relation to coat/variety..discussion

Post by a_wee_one » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:11 pm

Well i have an agouti boy who is more cat like than a rat and will happily snuggle (he's only 4 months old too), i have agouti girls and they're very inquisitive. I have a roan girl who is into everything. She isn't licky and doesn't like to be picked up but will happily come to you and run around on your shoulders. I have siamese which i had read (i believe on here) are supposed to be difficult. While my boy siamese can be so and so's sometimes. My babies are a delight. I put this down to me having had them from day one though. I haven't noticed any pattern with temperament and colour. Sure some people who breed might have a better idea though.
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Re: behaviour/temprement in relation to coat/variety..discussion

Post by elisa » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:30 pm

I asked a similar question yonks ago about whether dumbo eared rats had a predisposition to be heavier/overweight and although the general msg was no and positioning of ears makes no difference, I'm still not convinced :wink: . As for behaviour due to coat, my soppiest rats have all been roans...but my craziest rat is a siamese she seriously has problems 'up top' :lol: . The most robust and independent of all my ratties have been hoodies (of any colour) :D
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Re: behaviour/temprement in relation to coat/variety..discussion

Post by ScattieMcRattie » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:23 pm

wow i'm so glad this got some responses, and a little variation in opinion too makes for an interesting discussion :D
aimlessdesire wrote:
spoiled_rat wrote:It is far more line-dependant, and affected by the individual rat's temperament, than variety.
Definately this.
normally i would agree with the above. Nurture over Nature so to speak... its the way the line is selected and bred for temprement that ultimately has the final say, as well as how they are brought up and handled etc.
but by the same token i totaly agree with the below..... :roll:
elisa wrote:.....As for behaviour due to coat, my soppiest rats have all been roans...but my craziest rat is a siamese she seriously has problems 'up top' :lol: . The most robust and independent of all my ratties have been hoodies (of any colour) :D
particularly the remark about hoodies. but i want to come back to this point later*

i'd class selective breeding as "Nurture" and being human interference....so if there was no interference regarding selecting for temprement and it was left to "nature" would agouti lines become totally mental and unhandleable or would othe lines such as roans remain still ditzy and calm.?? i defo think their is something their....after all where do all these stereotypes come from??? there must have been an awful lot of crazy Agoutis to earn them that reputation? how did all the other varieties earn their reputations?? if its all complete rubbish why do we still repeat these things and pass the missinformation along......

that said i also believe genetically there is something in it....for as much as the genes that affect coat colour markings etc....can have an effect on health such as rats with the blazes predisposed to megacolon is it not possible that the gene can also have a link to behaviour/temprement.?? i was reading another study that mentions genetics relating to coat colour and it mentioned the use of Silver Fawn rats in studies on mental health as the silver fawns were predisposed to nuerosis, and if given the oportunity can become Alcoholic :o the same study also suggsted that scienist choose rats specifically (i forget weather its Het or Hom) but basicaly without the agouti gene as they are easier to handle.

*going back to the hoodies befor ei forget..... i agree all the hoodies i have ever encountered/kept as pets (except one) they were the most healthiest, hardiest well adjusted and good tempered rats i have been around.....and all my hoodies to date have been pet store rats where it is safe to say there is no human interference regarding selecting for temprement was involved :roll: but that said i may be shooting myself in the foot as of all the rats i have had in my life i'd say at least 70% of them have been hoodies of one colour or another so there was far more of them to ases temprement....so its hard to compare that with agoutis of whicch i may have met only 2%...

i just believe that there is something there....any more thoughts?
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Re: behaviour/temprement in relation to coat/variety..discussion

Post by beckie2040 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:34 pm

Ultimately, I know it's down to breeding and then handling, but my agouti hoodies are ludicrously confident, even though they came to me from someone who no longer wanted them shortly after buying them from a petshop :o

My old boy, another pet shop agouti hoody was very loving and affectionate, and made it to the grand
Old age of 3, with his only health problem being HLD in the last 6 months.

I've not really owned a wide variety of colours to be able to make a very well informed opinion on colours and behaviour, other than my agouti hoodies!!

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Re: behaviour/temprement in relation to coat/variety..discussion

Post by elisa » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:44 pm

i agree all the hoodies i have ever encountered/kept as pets (except one) they were the most healthiest, hardiest well adjusted and good tempered rats i have been around.....and all my hoodies to date have been pet store rats where it is safe to say there is no human interference regarding selecting for temprement was involved
This has been the case with mine also. I have had them at varying ages, all rescue, from varying backgrounds (none specifically bred to my knowledge and at least 2 were to be snake food and kept in appalling conditions for at least 8mths) and they have been fantastically tempered and all have lived the longest and been the healthiest overall, the majority of which were black & white :D .

All of the troublemakers/aggressive ones I have had, have all been one colour, predominately darker ones ie: berkies.
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Re: behaviour/temprement in relation to coat/variety..discussion

Post by ScattieMcRattie » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:59 pm

elisa wrote:.

All of the troublemakers/aggressive ones I have had, have all been one colour, predominately darker ones ie: berkies.
another excellent point Elisa....the afore mentioned study in my first post, noted the Berkshire marking among the agouti rats to be among the most aggressive....they made a link to rats displaying more "white marking" as being the most aggressive (ie a dark rat with white patches instead of a white rat with dark patches) and selfs without any white marking being the most docile....i am trying to find the study so i can quote directly for you guys....bear with me for a while......i've read so much lately i cnt remember whats in what book lol
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Re: behaviour/temprement in relation to coat/variety..discussion

Post by toyah » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:26 pm

ScattieMcRattie wrote:
elisa wrote:.

All of the troublemakers/aggressive ones I have had, have all been one colour, predominately darker ones ie: berkies.
another excellent point Elisa....the afore mentioned study in my first post, noted the Berkshire marking among the agouti rats to be among the most aggressive....they made a link to rats displaying more "white marking" as being the most aggressive (ie a dark rat with white patches instead of a white rat with dark patches) and selfs without any white marking being the most docile....i am trying to find the study so i can quote directly for you guys....bear with me for a while......i've read so much lately i cnt remember whats in what book lol
While this point may be true when you're talking about animals not far removed from the wild (though I believe the study that linked agouti to more wild behaviour is not universally accepted), these differences are just completely inconsequential when you're talking about our fancy rats which are maybe hundreds of generations from the wild.
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Re: behaviour/temprement in relation to coat/variety..discussion

Post by sati18 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:45 pm

the only (totally unscientific) things i can add to this discussion are that all of my siamese (ive had 3 of 12 rats) were by far greedier than the others, and that my roan is totally dippy, but that's due to multiple ear infections rather than his natural self i think. my agouti is very curious and nosy about everything but also totally fearless with people, and all of my black hoodies have been trouble makers :roll:
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Re: behaviour/temprement in relation to coat/variety..discussion

Post by worthysmum » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:12 pm

I have found my siamese to be unpredictable in their temperaments. I have only been bitten badly a handful of times and all by siamese. I dont think its their breeding as such more that they have poor eyesight. I put it down to the fact that as they cant see too well if they are not sure or startled bite first and then see if its friend or foe. I have to agree that all my hoodies, in particular the black hoodies have been far more healthier, longer lived and more robust than other colours. I have found health wise my roans have had more health problems than others. I think that dumbos differ from top ears in a lot of ways, personality more than anything else. I know people on here totally disagree with this, but i have noticed the differences.
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