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Taming questions

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Taming questions

Post by CanadianExport on Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:55 pm

I am want to start working on taming the three girls and have a questions for you guys. First off though I do understand that with the size of cage I have it will make taming more difficult, I am also not expecting my mice to absolutely love me and want me to hold them, I more would just like them to not completely panic anytime I need to get them out of the cage.

So now to my question, when you have a not tame mouse, how do you make it easier to catch them when you want to take your mouse/mice out for a taming session? Do you have your cage set up fairly basic to make catching them easier? I am thinking of trying making the cage more basic because with all of the stuff in the cage I feel like the only way to get them out for taming is if I completely disassemble their cage which I would prefer not to do.

Also do you do daily sessions, every other day sessions, or once a week sessions during cage cleaning?

I will also be going back through the stickies on taming but I wanted to specifically ask the first question as that is the biggest issue I am running into. Thanks a bunch guys! I am enjoying being back on the forum again.
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Re: Taming questions

Post by Rodents rock! on Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:40 pm

Hi, one suggestion I have is, do you think if you put a cardboard or plastic tube in when you want to get them out they would climb into it? That may be a good way to get them out till they are tame. Hope that helps.
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Re: Taming questions

Post by Blessed on Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:28 pm

Hmm.... Well, @CanadianExport, good question!
First let me say, to make it easier to get them, maybe only for the first so-many days, only give them minimal things in their cage, like you'd mentioned... Like a water bottle, obviously, and possibly hidey-hut and food bowl. Maybe even a small wood chew toy. . And then you don't have to work around as many objects to get them, as you will probably just have to chase them around at first. And if you don't like that idea, then I'd stick with @Rodents rock!'s advice with the toilet paper tube.

And for your last question, if you still mean the taming sessions, I'd opt for the daily taming session, as that'll get them used to you faster, probably. Get them all out at once, or one at a time; totally up to you.

Friendly Word of Advice: After a couple of days, they should start taking food from your hand, if they're not doing that already, and once they start eating from your hand, make them reach to get the treats in your hand, until they have to climb into your hand to get it, then you can get them easier.

And one last thing: Don't get discouraged! Most mice are all going to be super hard to catch at first, but the older they get, typically the slower they get, too, which in turn makes it a little easier to grab them if you don't/can't wait for them to get on your hand or something, for any reason.

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Re: Taming questions

Post by CallaLily on Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:06 pm

I always use a tube or box to move new, untamed mice over to a neutral play area for taming. I never grab any of my mice, not even when tame. I offer my hand and if they don't want to get on, I offer a tube or box. They almost always cooperate, especially once they've gotten to know me and the drill. You just have to be patient. Curiousity usually gets most mice climbing on your hand or in a tube/box. And if not, the more timid ones will look to hide in the tube/box and then you just move them over. Eventually they realize these things mean play time. If you must pick up your mouse rather than wait for them to climb on, gently scoop with both hands from either side of the mouse. Don't come from above or grab.

I do usually have more simplified setups with new mice. Nothing too bare but still easy enough to find them without moving too much around.

Do go for daily sessions if you can, but if not just try to get into a routine. Most mice will come to expect and even look forward to these play sessions.

I personally don't recommend hand feeding treats until your mice are tame. It can lead to nipping/biting behaviors in my experience. Instead I recommend hiding treats around their cage for them to find when the session is over. Really most of my mice have had little interest in food or treats outside of their home anyway. But they're always super excited to find what goodies I've stashed for them upon their return.

There's more on taming here: Handling and Taming. Good luck. Smile

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Re: Taming questions

Post by CanadianExport on Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:33 pm

Thanks for all the tips everyone!!! I think the next set up I will do a more simple floor layout as you guys suggested as that will allow me to try the resting the hand in the cage suggestion from the taming page and to allow me the space to put in the box to get them out. They have no interest in taking treats from my hand so I really haven't bothered with that but I do always try to leave treats behind when I do have to go in their cage to clean the wheel and add more food to their bowl.

After almost a year without mice I am realizing there is definitely some stuff I have forgotten and have had to go back and do a bunch of reading Laugh

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Re: Taming questions

Post by CanadianExport on Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:14 pm

I am just gonna keep updating here as I work with the girls. I had a break through today with the girls and getting them used to me. I decided to clean their cage a little different this time and left them in the cage while I completely emptied it of toys and then get them out using a little pouch I made for them. They were really quite calm as I emptied the cage and didn't panic once, I did what CallaLily said and didn't try to gram them with my hands and just waited for them to climb into the little pouch. They were much calmer and seemed way less stressed about cage cleaning and me.

The new layout is much simpler with plenty of space to rest my hand in the cage and to get them out for taming. I was also finally able to find an 8 inch mesh wheel and they are LOVING it. They seem much more comfortable running full tilt and with each other this wheel and I am no longer worried that they will get flung off it.

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Re: Taming questions

Post by Rodents rock! on Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:05 pm

Great to hear! Very Happy
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Re: Taming questions

Post by CallaLily on Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:48 pm

Glad to hear things are going better! Cheer

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Re: Taming questions

Post by CanadianExport on Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:05 am

Here is a video of Pigeon out for taming. They are not nearly as freaked out by my hand and the first bit is me trying to keep her on the towel after starting filming with my phone. The crocheted pouch is only used to get them in and out of their cage as they absolutely love it and will climb in immediately. They are never left with it unattended and do not have a chance to chew on it.

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Re: Taming questions

Post by CanadianExport on Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:56 pm

And now Lydia's turn. They are all up at different times of the day and I like to get them out separately so it is easier to wrangle them on my desk. Lydia is by far the boldest of the bunch.

https://youtu.be/OUYomBviI00
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Re: Taming questions

Post by Blessed on Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:33 pm

@CanadianExport, I have a mouse named Lydia, too, and she, at one point, was the bravest (and is probably the 'boldest' right now currently, too) in my trio. So it sounds like our Lydias sound similar, lol. Let's just hope yours doesn't develop the same problems at a later time like my Lydia has. :/
What color is yours, by the way?
Here's a picture of Lydia, though it's not the greatest picture. She's trying to bite my sister's Retriever's nose, lol!


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Re: Taming questions

Post by CanadianExport on Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:18 pm

Lydia is agoutti, Pigeon is somewhere between a dove and a champagne, Darcy is black. Darcy is the most timid so I do not have video of her taming sessions as the phone scares her.
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Re: Taming questions

Post by Rodents rock! on Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:30 pm

@CanadianExport wrote:Here is a video of Pigeon out for taming. They are not nearly as freaked out by my hand and the first bit is me trying to keep her on the towel after starting filming with my phone. The crocheted pouch is only used to get them in and out of their cage as they absolutely love it and will climb in immediately. They are never left with it unattended and do not have a chance to chew on it.


What a sweet video, thanks for sharing. That purple pouch is really cute. Pigeon is beautiful. Very Happy
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Re: Taming questions

Post by Rodents rock! on Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:36 pm

@CanadianExport wrote:And now Lydia's turn. They are all up at different times of the day and I like to get them out separately so it is easier to wrangle them on my desk. Lydia is by far the boldest of the bunch.

https://youtu.be/OUYomBviI00

Another cute video and beautiful mouse. Good work on the training. Have you tried having them all out together for training? I'm wondering if they are all out together, maybe they would be braver? Worth a try. Very Happy They seem to be doing really well though.
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Re: Taming questions

Post by CanadianExport on Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:41 pm

I have once but it was a little difficult to keep everyone together on my computer desk and they are not usually all up at the same time, plus by the time I can finally catch all three the ones that have already been caught are ready to go back in the cage Haha
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