Meet Pepper and Blue, the Well-Trained Rats

Posted by Stacey Venzel

Rats are smarter and more lovable than people think. 

The scaly tails of rats cause even some animal lovers to squirm uncomfortably, but these rodents should not be overlooked as pets. They make great companions, and smart ones, too.

Owner Abby Roeser said she relied on clicker training and positive reinforcement to train her rats. They work for a number of treats, from dinner leftovers, peas and dog kibbles to Cheerios, their favorite.

When their owner sneezes, Pepper and Blue know to retrieve a tissue for her, although it takes their nimble little paws a little bit longer than human hands. They might even pause to nibble on the soft paper, but they get the tissue to Mom eventually.

If she says "cage," the rats know to head to their home, just like a dog if you say "kennel up." The rats also come when called. They can even let themselves out of their cage by pulling on a rope that opens up the door.

The fun doesn't stop there! The rats are trained to follow their owner around and even dunk hoops in rat basketball--with the tiniest ping pong basketball and net you've probably ever seen.

Take a look at these incredible and adorable rat skills!

Obstacle courses, diving for treasure, "reading" commands and collecting garbage, too? These rats even trick or treat and steal money from their owner's purse! How cute was the hopping when the rats ran fast?

Pepper might be a little more advanced than Blue, since he steals the screen time. But if Pepper can do it, Blue can, too!

Rats are certainly smarter and cuddlier than they get credit for. Share this with someone who might need convincing on why rats can make great pets.

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Meet Pepper and Blue, the Well-Trained Rats