Rating scales for difficulty in capturing and holding mice were devised that proved to be easy to use and highly sensitive to differences among mouse strains on the A and B priority lists of the Mouse Phenome Project. The simplicity of the scales makes it feasible to rate wildness during behavioral test sessions without adding much to testing time or distracting the technician from the principal task at hand. Overall wildness and placidity ratings obtained by combining capture and hold ratings provide a good impression of the difficulties encountered while working with lab mice in the course of complex experiments. Ratings of 21 inbred strains during the course of 15 behavioral tests in two laboratories demonstrated that the SPRET/Ei, PERA/Ei, CAST/Ei and SWR/J strains were particularly difficult to handle. The NOD/LtJ strain posed no special challenge in the Edmonton laboratory but was very difficult to handle in the Portland lab. The rating scales should be useful for judging the difficulties in working with novel targeted or induced mutations in mice as well as effects of a variety of environmental treatments or drugs.