The Podel's Rat training website!
As part of our Bsc (hons) Applied animal behaviour and training degree my friend Sally and I had to train an animal of our choice to complete four tasks from one cue. Originally we were going to train the lemurs at college but they were already in use for a major project. By this point many of the other species had been taken. So that's when the idea of training a rat came to mind as both of us were fans of the species and knew they were potentially very intelligent. Once the decision was made I had a rushed few days trying to find some suitable subjects and was lucky enough to be given Fizz and Bramble by Serendipity stud. After much testing Bramble was chosen from the pair to be trained (see Sessions page for what to look for when choosing a rat). I am so pleased that we decided to train a rat as it has proved to me just how clever they are!
Bramble was finally trained to ring a bell, go through a tunnel, through a hoop and into a box where she waited to be rewarded and taken out. The below video is actually one of three that we submitted as our final assessment and is just an example of what rats can be trained to do.
This website is divided into six sections which follow on from each other. This the Introduction to set the scene. Sessions a look into the choice of the rat you use for training, the format of training sessions, food to use etc. Click! treat which is a basic over view of clicker training the method we used to train Bramble. Basics an overview of your first training session and ideas on how to structure it. Training ideas, covers ideas on how to further your training based on the tasks we carried out with Bramble and finally Hints and tips which includes some links to useful websites. Through out all these pages I have tried to include some useful photos and videos of Bramble and her training. (A quick note about the videos on this site...they may initially appear slow, it will depend on your connection and you may wish to let them load once and then watch it again. At the moment this is the only way I have found to put them up on my site, I'm sorry if you have trouble watching them).