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Post by Mousetropolis on Tue 06 Mar 2018, 7:33 pm

This is my girl Hollow:

Ouch. Hollow11

She's kind-of been a pain in the rump since I got her. I'll admit, she was kind-of an impulse buy. I found her in a small petshop I don't normally go to. She was the first longhaired mouse I'd seen in the area, and the very first brindle mouse I've ever seen. The clerk at the store told me that she was "a little timid", but I wasn't really expecting this. She's been by and far my hardest mouse to tame(and here I thought Bogie was a shrew!). During her two weeks in quarantine, she wanted pretty much nothing to do with me. She bolted for her hide if I reached in the bin and she screeched at me if I ever touched her. By the time I started introducing her to the other girls, she definitely wasn't fond of me, but she let me pick her up without screaming. The first time she met the girls(at that point it was Muenster, Tweak, Bogart, and Pumpkin), she left three pinpoint bite marks on Tweak's tail. The second time, she ripped a spot of fur out of Muenster's bum, and being top mouse Muenster was having none of that. She chased Hollow all around the bathtub, mounting her and nipping her whenever she caught her. I kind-of let this happen, Muenster has always been a very gentle queen and I trusted her not to hurt the Hollow while she put the rowdy youngster in her place. Meeting number three went a little more smoothly. Instead of acting aggressively, she'd squeak loudly and pop into a submissive position when the other girls came near. Needless to say, things went very slowly with her.
After she officially joined the colony, she began to barber the other girls. I have absolutely no idea what to do about it, but for the most part the other girls seem to keep her at bay if she tries to pull their fur. Fidget and Pumpkin don't really like to fight back, though, and this worries me.
I also have a habit of resting my hand/arm in their tank for a few minutes every now and then, just to let them investigate and to reassure them. Hollow's gotten more bold with me over the past few months, and I've learned recently that she tests everything with her teeth. She's nipped my fingers, my knuckles, my wrists(I have bony wrists), pretty much anything that isn't flat. Last night, she barbered my arm hair. What. Bogie had a bit of a barbering problem that pretty much solved itself when I gave them tons of stuff to do. But she never, ever tried it on me.
Does anyone have any experience with this? How can I stop her? Is it possible she's being territorial? If so, is there anything I can do about that?
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Post by CallaLily on Wed 07 Mar 2018, 8:33 am

Try working with her more outside of their home in a safe play area, like the bath tub or a bin. I find taming goes better this way than in their cage/tank.

When I first got Daryl he would try to nibble my fingertips. When he did this I would gently curl my fingers away and say “no bites”. It only took him two days to catch on. He wasn’t as aggressive about it as your girl sounds and he was seriously into hanging out with me, so that may be why it went so smoothly. But I would still give it a try. If it doesn’t work, I’ve seen others suggest blowing gently on their back when they bite/nibble as a way of saying “no”, but I don’t have any experience with this method.

Also, my Hazel was a big time scaredy mouse when I first got her. She was so terrified she would scream and leap into nothing to try to get away (all my other mice have had a healthy respect of edges).  She took more time to build trust with and I had to be extra careful when moving her over to and from the play bin (in a closed tube or box) but she did eventually come around. Time and patience are key. Not all mice seem to enjoy our company but most do eventually come around to tolerate and trust us. Some just take longer than others. It sounds like she’s already made a lot of progress. Good luck. Smile

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Post by Mousetropolis on Thu 08 Mar 2018, 5:33 pm

@CallaLily Thanks for the advice! She does tend to do better somewhere outside the tank, so I'll just try to work with her a little more. She's definitely come really far with the other girls. As I'm typing this, she's grooming Fidget(she wanted to say hello when I got home and I just put her back in the tank, so the others had to investigate) and it seems like she's being pretty gentle. I suppose it was just a shock to be barbered by her! Up until this point, I hadn't really been considering her to be aggressive. She's had several opportunities to draw blood if she'd wanted to, but she never has. I suppose I'll just have to keep working with her. Introductions to the other mice took a while with her, so I suppose it's only natural that she'd take some extra time to bond to me as well.
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Post by CallaLily on Fri 09 Mar 2018, 7:37 am

Aggressive may have been a poor word choice on my part. I just meant to say it sounds like she’s more determined to nibble/groom than Daryl was, so I’m not sure if the same method would work as well. But I do feel it’s worth trying first, before the puff of air method I’ve seen others use. Kind of like trying to redirect a toddler before resorting to time out or some other form of punishment.

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Post by Mousetropolis on Sun 11 Mar 2018, 12:09 am

Hollow and I had a great little bonding session today! I usually top their salads with a small breed puppy kibble, which Hollow really loves. While I had her out today, I offered her one of my hands to sniff, and if she came up to me to investigate, I gave her a piece of kibble. She doesn't often take treats right from my hand, but she snatched these from me. When I offered her the fourth piece, she snatched it, threw it on the ground, and leaped up onto my hand before I could pull it away. She climbed right up to my shoulder, fiddled with my hair for a second, and then proceeded to crawl all over my arms and lap. She didn't bite me once. She's so bold. I really love her for that though.
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