I am a vet tech student enrolled in a Behaviour Modification class this semester. We are required to teach an animal either a specific behaviour or trick by the end of the semester for a grade. She evaluates progress throughout the semester and as long as she sees some progress, she gives us credit. We could pick between dogs, cats, and horses (our school has a major equine emphasis).
I asked her if I could use one of my rats, instead. She was rather intrigued by the idea just like I assumed. She apparently has an associate that is employed by the University of Kentucky in the research department involving rats and other rodents so she would inquire to find the most practical behaviour/trick possible.
By the end of the semester, we are required to train the animal to do two specific behaviours, one through a hand cue and and one through a verbal cue. I've been watching lots of training/agility videos on youtube lately and while they're helpful in learning what rats can be taught, they don't give a step by step or any kind of information on how they got the rat to achieve the behaviour. This is where I need help.
I'm sure someone on here has trained rats, or at least I hope so. Haha I was hoping I could find out what would be most beneficial considering I must have my rat ready to perform around late April and during progress examination throughout the semester. I feel this would help my rat, Ephram, and I bond and give him some intellectual stimulation. I have three other rats, Brighton and Bleeker, whom I can practice on to train myself to train Ephram, the subject of my project. I have not and will not start any introduction to the clicker or training until I can be confident that I will not confuse him or ruin our progress.
Thank you for any suggestions, help or training tips!