Taming Your Gerbil

To tame an animal, you must observe it and respect it. You’ll have to consider that each gerbil have its own temperament. Taming an animal can take a while to achieve. You must be patient because it may take up to some weeks before your gerbil climb on your hand on its own. But it may also take a few second!!

The best method in my opinion is with positive rewards. In the case of the gerbil it will be sunflower seeds! If its food already have sunflower in it, think about taking them out and keep them for the training.



The first thing to do is to put your hand in the habitat. Let the gerbil comes to you don’t chase it! Let it smell you. It might want to « taste » you a little. Usually they won’t bit so hard. If it becomes too insistent about tasting, blow in its face. The cause may be that your hand smell food. Just wash your hands before you play with your gerbils. I heard that you can try to squeak like a gerbil to let it know that it hurts… but… who is able to do that?!?


Once it sees that the thing entering the cage is not a menace and that it won’t chase it, it will come to see you by itself.  As soon as it’s done, go to the next step.



Place some sunflower seed in your hands and wait until it comes to get them. It may grab one and run to a corner of its aquarium to eat it.  In a while (hours or days) it may stay near of you to eat it. Each time, try to elevate your hand so that it has to climb on your hand if it wants it! Some times, just don’t put any seeds to see if it will climb on your hand. 





Once it eats the seeds in your hand you can take your hand out and see its reaction. If the steps have been followed with patience, it won’t panic too much.

After a while, you can scoop it with both hands to take it out of the tank and give it sunflower seed while it is out. Usually everything goes fine but it is possible that you have a very shy gerbil that wont even want to come to see your hand. This problem occurs often in petshop gerbils. Always try to find a breeder, this way, you can be sure that the gerbils you’ll buy will already be used to human handling.  The taming process will be much easier!

Good luck, be patiant. All this is not done in one day!



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