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Another taming question!

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Post by Bandit Cat Mon 04 Jul 2016, 11:06 am

Ok, so I'm sorry that I have to keep asking so much about this but, Cotton is one stubborn mouse! I have had him for 2 months now and have come nowhere in the taming process. I tried the calm method of letting him do it at his own pace for the first month, and the second month I did it the "aggressive" way, where I would try to get him to sniff my hand. It worked the first 3 days, and then he just went back to not coming out when I'm in the room. I know all mice have their own personality, so is his "I hate people, and I always will?" What can I try now?

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Post by CinnamonPearl Mon 04 Jul 2016, 11:57 am

Have you been doing bathtub sessions? Start doing tub sessions every day for half an hour, even twice a day if you can. Or, sit down in a chair and let him crawl around on you. Just keep it up; he should come around eventually. Who knows what he's been through before he came to you? If you have patience, you'll certainly be rewarded. Best of luck.

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Post by peas Mon 04 Jul 2016, 12:49 pm


Does he get treats after you interact with him? Does he get treats sometimes before you interact with him?

When i get up, my mice get up as soon as they hear me. They know something fun is going to happen soon most likely. If he's being stubborn, associating yourself with fun is a good thing.

Try calling him out for a simple treat (not the best ones you got) and dropping it down for him. After he eats it wait until he is on his wheel or on something else you can scoop up and transfer him to a play area. After you play or let him play for a few minutes, bring him back and plop him in his tank with a really tasty treat waiting.
Do this enough times and you will be associated with treats and play.

Are you sure he's a boy? Are you sure he hasn't come around already and your expectations of a tame mouse are too high?

What do you mean by not coming out when you are in the room? My mice are pretty bloody tame and they love to wait until i turn the lights out before they come out and play. Occasionally they still get spooked if i come in the room after having showered or been out for too long. Or if they fall asleep and i wake them without a warning.
Despite the fact they get up when i get up, they love the dark and they love their hides.

What does he do when he's on you? Does he groom and/or eat. Those are good signs that he's comfortable on you.

2 months isn't that long. And as i think i have mentioned, they can just suddenly be super friendly overnight. My last mouse was a biting machine and then one day, he was just a massage craving looney who wouldn't dream of biting me. Like literally the day before he bit me, the next day he was bruxing as i massaged his neck.


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Post by MouseLover Mon 04 Jul 2016, 12:55 pm

Have you tried inviting him inside your sleeve? lol. Some of mine seem to feel more hidden (and therefore more confident) inside my sleeves and they have a lot of fun in there, so it's a good way for them to get used to your skin and your smell whilst having a fun exploring time. I've had a couple of mice who have just never liked being picked up - and yet they'd happily climb onto me if I offered them my sleeve hehe. They like tunneling up the sleeve, onto my shoulders, down the other sleeve, then onto my hand, onto the next hand and back up the sleeve. Those big pockets on the front of hoodies are fun too. And hoods.

Just don't wear your best clothes cuz you could get peed/pooped on. I usually designate a "mouse hoodie" - pick something old that I don't care about and wear that for sleeve time. I've bonded with lots of mice through sleeve time Razz

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Post by CinnamonPearl Mon 04 Jul 2016, 1:03 pm

Just remember to not be hand feeding him. Definitely drop treats for him after and during playtime, but don't give it to him directly from your fingers.

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Post by Bandit Cat Wed 06 Jul 2016, 11:19 pm

He isn't food motivated at all. I'm sure he's a boy, and I usually don't wear long sleeves. I'm kind of reluctant to let him run around anywhere, as I've always been cautious after my gerbil escaped once. Not to mention that Cotton has escaped before too. He just hides in his tunnels when I enter, and refuses to come out.

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Post by CallaLily Thu 07 Jul 2016, 7:56 am

Time and patience. Just keep at it. Be sure to get him out of his tank for taming sessions, even if you have to use a tube or box to transfer him over. If you're worried about escapes, no need for table top play. You can use a storage bin or the bath tub as safe play areas. Fill it with toys and keep gently introducing your hand. Don't grab at him. Get him out for play time at least once a day. Hide treats around his tank for him to find after these play times.  With time and patience, he'll come around.  Some mice learn to trust you very quickly, others take much more time. Go at his pace. Don't expect too much from him too soon or try to force the issue.

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Post by CinnamonPearl Thu 07 Jul 2016, 8:37 am

Also, you can sit down in a chair and let him crawl on your lap, so your body is the only surface he has available. I used to do it with Mabel quite a bit. Bathtub sessions are more effective, but it helps.

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Post by Rodents rock! Thu 07 Jul 2016, 1:28 pm

Thank you for all of the training info you are providing as I'm still working with Mickey. Mickey is very outgoing and doesn't hide at all - in fact anytime I'm anywhere near his tank, which is in my living room, he is right there standing on his hind legs. I talk to him all the time. If he is sitting and eating, I can pet him. But when I put my hand out, he still nibbles. I know I just need to get him out of the tank and work that way and see what happens then. Thanks again, you are all very helpful!! Thumbs Up

Wishing you luck with your training Bandit Cat!!
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Post by MouseLover Thu 07 Jul 2016, 2:37 pm

That sounds like great progress with Mickey. If he lets you stroke him then he's definitely not scared or threatened. I love when mice stand up on their back legs - so inquisitive Love Nibbling is usually curiosity really, he's probably not entirely sure what to make of you, so he's testing you with his teeth. But I have a mouse who just always likes to nibble fingernails Rolling Eyes

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Post by River Thu 07 Jul 2016, 3:34 pm

My mice nibble fingernails as well - and I only ever hand-fed once, since I didn't know it was bad. Other than that, grooming occasionally feels like a little nibble if they do it too roughly. Is it possible that he's grooming you? It's a good sign, if so.

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Post by Rodents rock! Thu 07 Jul 2016, 9:37 pm

Hi MouseLover and ThePetekeyPrep, thanks. I have a problem holding my hand there when he nibbles because I'm nervous he is going to bite. I just need to get brave! But it's just a natural response to pull my hand away, hard for me not to. I will try again tomorrow Smile
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