Post by dreamlovewolf on Jul 4, 2019 11:33:41 GMT -8
So I've been following some info on a Facebook group dedicated to doops, and someone else seems to have the same issue but not many people on there seem to want to provide actual advice, just criticism...so here I am asking for some info!
I've had my male duprasi for around 2 months now, so he is around 3 months old at this point, and I'm having a hard time with taming.
So far, I have allowed him to settle, refrained from waking him up/picking him up with my hands, and have tried to bribe him with treats to get used to my hands being in the tank. It has gotten to the point where I can't pick him up at all without something covering my hand, because he latches on to my skin with his teeth, and has now started lunging at me if I try to pick him up outside of his tank.
I'm going to be vigilant and try to handle him or have him around me everyday from now as I feel I have left him to his own devices for too long. I was waiting for him to get used to me being in the room when he's awake, but the handling has now become an issue and I'm at a loss as to what I should do should I fail to tame him via something like the playpen or bathtub method.
Anyone else had any seemingly 'aggressive' doops, or have I come across an anomaly in the world of doops?!
No dreamlovewolf, there really are doops like this dotted around. You are not alone.
I am working on a few myself along with some other people and we are trying a variety of things ranging from the slow approach to bribery and even mirrors.
My approach is the 'assume that they are scared in some way and approach it like I would want to be approached if I were that doop - giving me massive room for error'. Basically it is never the doops fault for biting me, always mine.
So, this means that I am taking it super slow - even from the start. So before I start trying to make contact physically, I have built up a constant low level 'being there'. So every day when I can, I open the enclosure and touch or move a few inconsequential things but stay there talking and scuffling the bedding around for at least half and hour each time. The doop knows I am there, but I become a back ground noise. Even if - like one of my females - they come rushing out to seek out the hand for a bite, you can still be just 'around' and they can sense you, but don't make contact.
Gradually over the weeks, start to touch them on the back of the neck (where they can't bite you) and stroke them, and always - afterwards - drop in something super tasty or super fun (like a toilet roll or some new bedding) but don't let them see it is from your hands. You want them to associated the disturbance with a wow thing, not your hand with a wow thing (otherwise they will be even more likely to come out in a rush everytime and go for your hand won't they?).
You can still catch them in a cup or something and move them to a run or whatever the whole time, but it can't initially be a part of your training/bonding as this will confuse them. If you want them to have a run let it be just that - you never touch them or try to stroke them - they aren't ready and it could set you back each time. Like when people are trying to teach their dog to walk to heel, but then they take them to the most exciting park ever and expect them to not get excited. How confused must those poor little dogs be?
Anyway, over the days and weeks, they gradually become less and less fussed by your presence, and only then is it safe to up the ante. However, as a rule always wash your hands in soapy water and THEN wash your hands in their bedding too. Avoid trying to handle them after you have done something that might smell funny, so avoid after eating, after using cleaning chemicals or rubber gloves, after stroking other animals or playing with new toys and defo not after playing sports or getting sweaty - sweaty salty hands are one of the best tastes a rodent can experience.
So this means that if you get sweaty hands as you nervously start to stroke them for the first few times - stop. Go wash your hands again and come back. Better slow than sweaty.
As time progresses, imagine every time you are with them is ticking up one more step - and if they seem a bit stressed, take yourself back a step or two and give them time to catch up again before you move forward. Just like when you yourself are learning a new skill, if the teacher doesn't go at YOUR pace, they will overtake you and leave you behind making you frustrated. No good for anyone.
Think of each step with your doop like this. In general an animal can't learn to 'trust' you if it isn't reinforced with patience and reward. If an animal is asked to 'respect' a human too fast it usually reverts to fear and defence. And it works for them doesn't it - they bite you and you leave them alone - perfect. So why would they swap? You have to give them a good enough reason to.
It won't be easy or quick - but we have found that it IS possible. You just have to want it enough to work together.
So far though we haven't had enough feedback to say whether this will work every time or whether there are some doops that just don't want to be disturbed. One of my females literally races around the enclosure to 'get you' if you approach too close, but as I don't need to handle her, I have moved her to an enclosure out of the way so she is less disturbed but I get to still watch her antics. Not suitable for everyone I know, but it suits her and I just have to play with my other doops instead.