• Mice are very intelligent creatures. Although rats are more often trained than mice (simply because they are easier to train and can perform a wider variety of tasks), a well trained mouse can be very impressive. Anyone who has seen movies like The Green Mile can attest to the kinds of tricks these little fellows can learn. The basic principle for training all animals apply to mice, but here are some specific ideas you can use.

• Before you can teach him or her anything, you need to get your mouse accustomed to you and win his or her trust. The best way to do this is with food. Find out what kind of treat your mouse likes best and use this to entice him to do what you want. A simple trick you probably will want to teach your mouse is to crawl into your hand when you call him. You can accomplish this by filling your hand with your mouse’s favorite treat and setting it in his cage. If this is the first time you’ve done this you may want to bring a magazine or watch TV, because it might be awhile before until your little guy is comfortable enough to crawl into your hand. Once he learns that you are not a danger, but rather a source of snacks, he will warm up to you quickly. After you are at this stage, start making a distinctive noise every time you give your mouse a treat (a simply succession of clicks or whistles works great). Soon your mouse will learn to associate this noise with being fed a treat and will readily climb into your hand upon hearing it. This is a long process and will take many attempts and hours before its complete, but it will be worth it in the end.

• There are other more complicated tricks you can teach your mouse. Some they are naturals at, like navigating an obstacle course, or climbing something in their cage. But for other tricks you will need a more involved approach. Though the basic premise of rewarding behavior with treats is the same, the process is a little more complex. For ideas on what tricks to teach your mouse, or specific methods on how to do so, check out the books Training Your Pet Rat. Though it is geared towards rats, mice are capable of learning almost all the same tricks and the training methods are virtually the same for both species. Many other books about all aspects of mice can be found at the Amazon.com - Pet Mice Collection. You can ever read parts of them online for free.

• Training and/or socializing your mouse will enrich it’s life and make it easier, and less stressful, to play with your mouse. It can take a good amount of time, but the interaction you will receive from the mice is more than worth it.

• Continue to the next section: Mouse myths...