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Post by Adamaris on Mon 21 Jan 2019, 6:43 pm

So long before I ever owned rats I use to have mice. I actually started with mice over hamsters because I've always thought mice were more adorable with their clownishly large ears. Once I got rats however I ended up giving up on mice because often times my rats tried to get into the mouse cage to attack them and it stressed my mice out too much. So for the past 10 years or so I have been a rat owner and honestly loving every second of it.

Unfortunately the last 2 years I started to notice I had become allergic to my beloved rats and finally this year my allergies became so serious I can't even clean the cage. I waited for my last rat to pass away before starting to look into what I would keep instead of rats. I thought about ferrets but the smell is too much for my small house. I thought about chinchilla's but they aren't that friendly in all honesty. I thought about sugar gliders but they are more work than I can deal with at current. Especially when my main focus in my house are reptiles. I can't have another high maintenance animal like them. I finally thought about hamsters and even joined a hamster forum to learn more about them but the more I learn the more I realize hamsters are not good pets like I thought they might be. In fact from the way people make it sound my antisocial reptiles are more okay with being handled. xD So wanting to have a pet I can handle and bond with hamsters are a poor choice.

I finally decided I think I'll come back to mice. They aren't as big as a Syrian hamster since I wanted something bigger I could let run around free roaming in my old rat room and play with on the floor but I'd rather pick an animal I can handle and bond with over a larger one. I recall all my mice bonded with me about as well as my rats have over the year. Particularly my heart mouse Ophelia who was virtually a rat in a mouse's body. So here I am back to the mouse world. More than likely I am looking at getting a single male since I want a buddy who can hang with me most of the day when I am home and help me edit video's. I want someone I can make elaborate and well decorated setups for and watch them enjoy them. I use to only ever keep female colonies back in the day so having the boy stink will be a new one for me.

I'm pretty excited to find a new mouse to love on again. I won't be getting it this year I don't think so I have a wait. Mostly because this year all my money is going into startup for my animal education youtube channel revolving around reptiles and also getting a dedicated reptile room set up. I do however have a 40 gallon setup that I used to grow out my classic Indonesian Blue Tongue Skink until I got his custom terrarium so I'll likely end up using that for my mouse. Sadly all my old mouse stuff I gave away to friends with dwarf hamsters and all my rat stuff other than the glass water bottles are way too big for a mouse. I know I have a wait to get my mouser but I am already planning out cage setups and ways to make a male a giant play land to entertain him. Also will probably train him since all my old mice were trained.
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Post by MouseLover on Tue 22 Jan 2019, 11:38 am

Hi there Smile Sorry to hear about your allergies! That well and truly sucks. I am also a previous mouse owner who has taken a break from mice. I'm hoping to get a mouse maybe in a couple of months (just moved house so wanna wait a bit). I always used to keep groups of girls, but am gonna go for a lone buck this time.

I totally agree with you about hamsters by the way... I owned a hamster and he was lovely, very happy being held and stroked etc. But mice are infinitely better pets in my opinion. I don't even mean to sound so negative about hamsters, as I think they're sweet. But hamsters are often the go-to pocket pet and the first pet children tend to have, and I'm not entirely sure why when mice are more sociable, more intelligent and more entertaining to watch. My hamster hardly interacted with any of his toys, whereas my mice played with and appreciated every little thing I gave them Very Happy

I wish you luck in your search for your new mouse. You sound so excited I'm questioning if you'll be able to resist getting one for a whole year Razz Out of curiosity, what did you manage to train your previous mice to do? I've seen some awesome youtube vids of trained mice, but never attempted to train them myself.

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Post by Adamaris on Tue 22 Jan 2019, 9:41 pm

Yeah, I wanted to try out hamster but in the end I want an animal that will look forward to interacting with me and an animal who is fun to watch and that pretty much sums up what a mouse is. I'm so looking forward to getting myself a little buck and yeah, I honestly am afraid I won't be able to wait a whole year myself. In a few months that 40 gallon setup will be empty and then the temptation will be harder and harder but I really want to get my animal room situated and organized first and then chunk out a block for mouse turf or maybe even pocket pets. After all I already have a reptile wall, a fish wall, might as well set up the pocket pet wall while I'm at it. xD

As for tricks my girls knew a whole list of things, a lot of the same tricks my rats actually learned. They could spin, beg, get up on a target, get off a target, go to a spot I directed and sit there without moving, kiss on command (Ophelia was best at that, she's the mouse in my profile pic), fetch, roll over (yes they could roll over like dogs), they could even run obstacle courses I set up for them. My mice, especally Ophelia were mousey models which meant they were trained to be in photoshoots and hit a mark and remain there for pictures. Ophelia was my top start and even did a short film she was hired to do for a film student.
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Post by MouseLover on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 4:34 am

That sounds amazing Shocked did you ever make any videos of your mice or rats and their tricks? If not, 100% you should when you get your new mouse. Maybe you could even do a training mice tutorial? I would love to watch that!

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Post by Peachy on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 9:39 am

Welcome! Mouse Wave

Were you also a member of The Fun Mouse forum? Your mention of Ophelia sparked a memory of someone there!
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Post by Adamaris on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 6:14 pm

Mouslover, unfortunately no I didn't though I might have had a video of my rats once on facebook doing stuff. Since I am starting a youtube channel for animal care however my new mouse will certainly be featured on it along with mouse care video's once I get my mouser. I'd love to post some mouse training video's. The same training for mice can also be applied to rats and currently once my blue tongue skink is tamed I'm going to try and apply it to him because they can be trained as well.

Also hey Peachy, yes I was on Fun Mouse long ago and sort of faded out once I got my rats because my rats made a point of trying to eat my mice so I had to stop keeping them. That and after Ophelia died it was hard to get more mice.
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Post by Peachy on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 8:07 pm

Would love to see training videos with your future mouse! Did you use a marker sound to shape behaviors from your mice? I saw other rodents that were trained that way. My dog is clicker trained and it’s super tempting to see how quickly the mice catch on. Laughing

I was so certain it was you! Your old username came back to me in two parts, hours apart, and I was excited to remember. lol It’s good to hear from you!
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Post by Adamaris on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 9:16 pm

I used a kissing sound over a clicker just because I worried a clicker would hurt there ears.But yes I trained them with a marker sound to let them know they did the right thing. It was immediate to make them aware the treat was coming. I also followed it with the word 'yes'. I also marker train them first before I train anything else. I stick clay, white tape, or playdoh onto the end of a short wooden dowel and train them to 'touch'. This way you have the first guideline to teach everything else by coming to 'touch' your marker. I also trained them with white stamps on the floor and teach them to 'touch' the spots. Those are the two easiest to train but it takes a while. You have to wait for them to touch it with their nose first with just curiosity rather than make them touch it or they won't understand what you want from them.

Also yeah, I was probably LadyVictorian on there.
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Post by Adamaris on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 9:21 pm

Talking about training makes me want girls again so I can have a collection of mice and learn who is more willing to work and who wants nothing to do with it. I would hate to get a male who is lazy and doesn't want to do anything but then again it seems because males bond better they are sometimes easier to train because they have higher trust of you.
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Post by Peachy on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 11:17 pm

Thanks for the info! My puppy is just at the beginning of targeting/touch cues, so interesting that you teach mice to target also! What do you use as rewards? (My dog is such a stressball, the only reward he accepts while in classes is a stick from outside. Razz)

I think many males would be endless fun to teach once you got them tamed up and having fun with you. Wish I'd thought of it as few years ago with my super special Yoshi boy.
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Post by Adamaris on Wed 23 Jan 2019, 11:36 pm

My training treat is millet, the stuff you get for birds. It's easy to let them take 1 bite from it and it's small enough they eat it fast.

My other treat was oats, as in the none flavored oatmeal oats though depending on how long you train and how often they put on weight fast. xD They really work hard for oats however.  I've also used little slices of cooked spaghetti noodles. I NEVER use a treat as a guide for any treat though. They can't see the treat until they complete the task. I would avoid all seeds they have to take the shells off too as they might take too long eating and lose focus or try to hide it. High reward treats are best.

I also know the feeling, Ophelia was my heart mouse. Training her was so rewarding and amazing and she was so perfect in every way. I'm sure you recall all my gushing over her though, and probably my traumatic heartache when she passed. It took a lot of time to recover from her. Luckily my crazy rat Filistata helped that along.

I used these same methods for my rats and am trying to use it for cats, not going too hot with the cats. xD
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Post by MouseLover on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 4:49 am

This conversation is so exciting to me lol Laughing I never even considered trying to train a mouse, but now I'm tempted to give it a try.

I absolutely love training dogs. I'm stuck at home on my own a lot (chronic health issues) so my spaniel has really become the center of my life haha. She's pretty smart, but her enthusiasm makes her the perfect student. She can sit, lie down, paw, roll over, play dead (lie on her side), spin round, sit pretty, stand up (on her hind legs), jump over your arm (whilst you kneel, with your arm held out to the side), and jump up into your arms from the ground with you standing. And my absolute favourite is "get the light", which is turning on/off my big floor-standing lamp. Next I might teach her to close the door. She's only just two, so plenty more time to teach her things Very Happy

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Post by Adamaris on Thu 24 Jan 2019, 7:58 am

I love training animals which is why my skink is next in line for training. Never trained a reptile before so this will be incredibly new to me. Training mice can be super rewarding too. They are so smart and seem to learn very quickly though I would say they are much slower than rats. My rats almost learned new tricks within a few minutes.
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