vegansaurus!

12/09/2013

Mouse decorates Christmas tree, is a genius.  »

Can’t see the video? Watch it on Vegansaurus.com!

This is so cute! There are some better tricks but I’m feeling seasonal. I had no idea mice could do tricks like this! And this mouse is totally adorbs.

This little mouse is one of the first agility mice. Their trainer Marina keeps them as pets and teaches them little tricks ONLY through positive reinforcement. I for one think that’s great, animal companions should have plenty of mental stimulation! (btw, have you seen these puzzles for dogs? My Figgy is a fan!)

Marina is pretty much a mouse genius. She wants to show the world mice are smart! Maybe if people will listen, they won’t let them be used in scientific research constantly (sort of kind of eventually worked for chimpanzees)? I love this interview Marina did. Listen to her advice:

I find it important to note that mouse training is not as easy as it may seem in my videos. Unfortunately, some people spontaneously buy a mouse after seeing my videos and then are disappointed. Mice are highly sensitive, so you don’t just need background knowledge about positive animal training, but also much empathy for the feelings of the mice.

Only balanced and happy mice are trainable, and a mouse that has to spend its life alone in a 10 gallon tank will be chronically stressed. So the prerequisite for mouse training is species-appropriate keeping. Mice are highly social and must live in groups and in proper sized cages with enough enrichment. Their sensitivity and their nocturnal nature makes them unsuitable for children. They are demanding pets, not least because of their intelligence.

She also says she never fasts them (“can YOU concentrate better when you’re hungry?!”). Yup, all positive reinforcement.

I’m a little scared of mice—I don’t WANT to be! I just am! But I’m working on it. When you see these little guys, they are so cute, maybe it’ll make me less scared. Do any of you have pet mice? Do they know tricks?!

Note: It freaks me out that she says she feeds mice to her reptiles…I thought they were her friends?! Maybe it’s only after they’ve died? I don’t know.

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