I did this video while thinking about a rat who has been nipping his human somewhat too hard. Not with vicious intention, but sometimes barely breaking the skin. The rat isn't well socialized in terms of accepting human touch and holding. My thinking is to help the rat learn more about human skin, so that he becomes positively invested in not wanting to either intentionally or accidentally nip too hard.
My rat Tugger volunteered for this video somewhat reluctantly, because he was afraid of the camera. I had turned the camera on and off and on and off and it made zzzzz and grinding noises, as cameras do. Tugger was thus a good demonstration of a somewhat frightened rat who didn't want to hang out and be scritched (his norm).
These are quick shots of different touches one can do with a rat, but there are hundreds of examples the human can do with a rat all throughout a play session. Constant brief touches with little scritches, coupled with giving treats, will help the rat not only become used to constant touch, but enjoy the good scritching feelings we can provide our rats.
How to do this, how much and how long you touch, all depend on the rat's reactions. If you can already touch your rat the way you see in this video, then extend the time by a few more seconds. If he objects, keep in mind that fierce or medium objection = you've gone to far. Brief wiggles with tolerating you = just right. Much of this activity requires that you read the body language of your rat and never ask for more than he can give. Little by little over time, when done correctly, the rat will tolerate more and more of your touching.
Along with other trust training activities this kind of activity can contribute to a more well-socialized pet rat, and especially one who gets better and better at not accidentally biting his human too hard.
(For all the great teeth activity that pet rats are capable of, please visit:
(For more on Snug Holds, visit:
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