How to Tame a Gerbil


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People love to go for a gerbil as it makes great pets. What sets them apart is their nature. They are incredibly intelligent and sociable. The only flip side is that they are ideal for individuals who refrain from holding their pets. They are regarded as entertaining by children. To be on the safer side, ensure children remain in their company under total supervision of adults. In this article you are going to learn many fascinating facts about how to tame a gerbil.

Here, you will get to know about aspects like how much time does it take for taming a gerbil, things you shouldn’t do, and more.

What is The Time-Frame to Tame Them Accurately?

The perfect age when gerbils are all set to get tamed is approximately 6-7 weeks. After the completion of this duration, you will need around 2 weeks to make them tamed appropriately. During this time, they come into a receptive mode. On account of this, all communication from your end slowly starts registering in their brain. Of course, this is subject to the condition that you make them acclimatize with the environment. This undoubtedly warrants proper handling on a daily basis on completion of the acclimatization procedure.

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Do They Favor Regular Holding?

The gerbils are better known for their affectionate nature. They do readily reciprocate when you hold, cuddle or pet them. Exhibiting affection towards any human being is the nicest traits of gerbils. This clearly means you can hold or pet them without any major apprehension. You will be glad to know, with proper training, they shed away all fear very quickly making the journey of how to tame a gerbil a joyride for you. Picking up and playing with them, is a matter of time!

Things to Do For a Satisfactory Taming

Like any other option, even how to tame a gerbil ought to be done systematically.

To accomplish this objective, adhere to these aspects and you can reap wonderful outcomes:

  • Gaining the trust of a gerbil will not happen overnight. To win the trust, you ought to show immense patience.
  • Give sufficient time to the gerbil to get accustomed to their new climate and surroundings. Keep all your interactions, for instance, to the bare minimum level.
  • Watch your movements when you are in the immediate vicinity of them. Ensure not to talk with a higher-pitched voice.
  • Remember, your main motto is to win his trust during these initial days. Give him total peace of mind. Avoid waking them as it might annoy them.
  • Make attempts to create a bond with it. Wherever possible, spend time sitting next to the cage.
  • Everyone appreciates rewards, the gerbils are no different. Shower them with treats of pumpkin seeds, for example.
  • Opt for natural grooming process. For instance, do not scratch the back or sides of their heads hastily.
  • Always make sure to herd the gerbils back to their cage by offering them their favorite treats. Avoid grabbing or chasing them.
  • Give them their share of social time. Take them out from the cage so that they can spend quality time being cage-free!

Take Help of Toys And Accessories to Calm Them Down!

Like mentioned before, they are very playful a curious lot. Give them a lot of toys and accessories. It will keep them preoccupied and entertained all day through.

The right time to give them these toys and accessories is when they become restless. Use yardsticks and parameters to judge their restlessness. For instance, they will promptly start chewing the bars present in the cage to reflect this emotion. Giving toys is scientifically a judicious move. It provides the requisite physical and mental stimulation they need.

Proper Handling is Of Paramount Importance

Gerbils being affectionate pets appreciate when you shower love to them. This could be in the manner you pick them up as well! For instance, please do not attempt to pick them up by their tail. Being highly delicate, it might even break in certain cases. Cupping them in your palm is a prudent move. If you do not want them to get away when you decide to hold them, use the scruff of their neck sufficing the purpose. Refrain from holding the tail tightly to offer it necessary comfort.

Rely On Concept Of Positive Reinforcement

You can make your job of how to tame a gerbil less painstaking for you by relying on the concept of positive reinforcement.

Feeding them with your hand will be a wise decision. They will get associated with you in quick time. You can reward them with seeds, grains, and more.

Encourage Them To Come To You

Never pick them up forcefully. It does not augur well to attain the purpose of how to tame a gerbil. Wait and have patience until they make the first move to approach you. Hand feeding in this circumstance works brilliantly. For example, at times, these gerbils can be seen climbing out of their cage to sit on your hand! Occasions like this are the correct time to hand feed.

This is also a sure-shot indicator that your taming process is moving in the right direction.

How Can You Acquaint Them With Your Scent?

Gerbils have the ability to identify your underlying smell. They are capable of doing so as their noses are very sensitive in nature. Being a prey animal, they treat almost everyone as their predator. Of course, this notion does take a back seat once they get used to your smell.

Owing to this reason, it is recommended that you spend more time near their cage or enclosure.

In case you are not able to be present physically, keep some item such as your shirt near the enclosure.

How To Know They Are In A Happy State Of Mind?

Oftentimes, people appear perplexed to determine if the gerbil is in a happy state of mind during taming phase. The million dollar question is – how to know they are happy? Watch out for clear signs like whether it is purring or vibrating when you pet them. It is their way of acknowledging positively when you scratch or pet them.

Provide A Soothing Environment For Training

If you expect better how to tame a gerbil outcome, provide your gerbil a soothing environment.

For instance, avoid a cage with very limited area for your hand to enter. It might cause difficulty when you wish to catch it.

Instead, go for a glass tank of 10-20 gallons capacity having a screened lid.

During the acclimatizing phase, make sure the cage contains only items like the food container and a water bottle. It will prevent them from playing or hiding behind the chewing toys, for instance.

Exercise proper cleanliness when you handle them. Ideally, you ought to wash your hands prior and after handling.

Train Them With Specific Auditory Cues

Gerbils are very intelligent and are quick learners. Apart from offering them treats to lure them into climbing into your hands, you can even use specific auditory cues as well.

For example, make soft whistles symbolizing various commands. With passage of time, you can decrease the number of times you offer the treats. Slowly start skipping the idea of holding the gerbil in your hand for a longer duration. On the contrary, encourage it to make use of its hind legs to stand.

In the long run, it will become comfortable for you as well. Since it starts learning how to stand, it remains stationary at one place. You are saved from chasing it all around the room, for instance.

Get Aware Of Things You Shouldn’t Do

Every action you take during the training period will have a bearing on the future outcomes.

The following is the list of things you shouldn’t be doing:

  • Ensure you do not swoop down so that you can grab it across the back. Gerbils being prey animals presume this action as an attack on them by predators. Naturally, they will be scrambling for cover if you do so.
  • Always try to scoop it up by making use of your two hands for two distinct purposes. One hand facing him from the front while the other hand for supports the body. This action will not make it more frightened.
  • Give your gerbil their share of comfort boundaries. Avoid restraining them. Do not keep it on your arms or hands for a longer duration. They are playful. They would love if you can put them down after a while.
  • Gerbils are well known for being great chewers. Steer clear of putting plastic items in their enclosure. When they ingest some portion of the plastic they chew, it might lead to adverse health consequences.
  • Deal with a stubborn gerbil with great amount of patience. Do not make haste when you are bathing it on a bathtub. Give special emphasis to ensure there is no residual material like soap left in the bathtub.

Wrapping Up

Gerbils are wonderful animals. By taming them in the appropriate manner, it can end up being your best friend in real life! As they are very intelligent, you will not have to undergo through a tortuous ordeal to tame them.

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