Animal handling describes how people respond to and interact with animals within their environment¹. Using proper animal handling techniques can reduce pain and distress (refinement) and therefore, increase animal welfare. Appropriate animal handling methods require training, skill, and behavioral knowledge of the species you are working with. Below are resources on animal handling that include training videos, guidelines, peer-reviewed publications, etc.
Rat Tickling

Rat tickling is a technique that mimics how rats playfully socialize with each other. Rat tickling reduces fearful reactions to humans and creates beneficial effects when rats are handled. 

Newcastle University. Assessing the Health and Welfare of Laboratory Animals.

Features videos, images and text of veterinary staff demonstrating proper procedures for handling small mammals.

Temple Grandin. Colorado State University. 

Reducing stress during livestock handling improves productivity and prevents physiological changes that could confound research results. 

National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research.

This NC3Rs page on the Handling and Restraint of laboratory animals has the latest guidance on handling and restraint.

NIH. Office of Animal Care and Use (OACU).

The training tools and multimedia resources provided on this website are intended to assist investigators in learning proper handling techniques and technical procedure methodology. 

Current Research -- Rat Tickling

Ishiyama, S., Kaufmann, L. V., & Brecht, M. (2019). Behavioral and Cortical Correlates of Self-Suppression, Anticipation, and Ambivalence in Rat Tickling. Current Biology, 29(19), 3153-3164.e3. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.07.085 
LaFollette, M.R., Cloutier, S., Brady, C., Gaskill, B. N., & O’Haire, M. E. (2019). Laboratory animal welfare and human attitudes: A cross-sectional survey on heterospecific play or “rat tickling.” PLoS ONE, 14(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0220580 
LaFollette, Megan R., O’Haire, M. E., Cloutier, S., Blankenberger, W. B., & Gaskill, B. N. (2017). Rat tickling: A systematic review of applications, outcomes, and moderators. PloS One, 12(4), e0175320. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0175320 
Cloutier, S., LaFollette, M. R., Gaskill, B. N., Panksepp, J., & Newberry, R. C. (2018). Tickling, a technique for inducing positive affect when handling rats. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 2018(135). https://doi.org/10.3791/57190 
Cloutier, S., Wahl, K. L., Panksepp, J., & Newberry, R. C. (2015). Playful handling of laboratory rats is more beneficial when applied before than after routine injections. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 164, 81–90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applanim.2014.12.012 

Current Research -- Mouse Handling

Gouveia, K., & Hurst, J. L. (2019). Improving the practicality of using non-aversive handling methods to reduce background stress and anxiety in laboratory mice. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 20305. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-56860-7 
Doerning, C. M., Thurston, S. E., Villano, J. S., Kaska, C. L., Vozheiko, T. D., Soleimanpour, S. A., & Lofgren, J. L. (2018). Assessment of mouse handling techniques during cage changing. Journal of the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science, 58(6), 767–773. https://doi.org/10.30802/AALAS-JAALAS-19-000015 
Nakamura, Y., & Suzuki, K. (2018). Tunnel use facilitates handling of ICR mice and decreases experimental variation. The Journal of Veterinary Medical Science, 80(6), 886–892. https://doi.org/10.1292/jvms.18-0044 
Gouveia, K., & Hurst, J. L. (2017). Optimising reliability of mouse performance in behavioural testing: The major role of non-aversive handling. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 44999. https://doi.org/10.1038/srep44999 
Leidinger, C., Herrmann, F., Thöne-Reineke, C., Baumgart, N., & Baumgart, J. (2017). Introducing clicker training as a cognitive enrichment for laboratory mice. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 2017(121). https://doi.org/10.3791/55415