Wednesday, 23 November 2011

How to tame a Gerbil?

Gerbils may be one of the most difficult of pet animals to tame and this should be stamped on your mind when you decide to buy a Gerbil at your nearest pet shop.

The first thing is to ensure that you have brought the Gerbil from a good feeder. Also a gerbil should not be purchased before it has reached six weeks. This time period is necessary for the Gerbil to learn from its mother.

The key for training a pet Gerbil should be of keeping a lot of patience. A Gerbil can be very hard to tame, but once they trust you, they can be the tamest rodents.

When you bring it to the house, let it feel comfortable in the new environment in your house. Do not disturb it as it tries to find a way to make himself comfortable. After a while you may see the Gerbil sleeping in a spot which he has chosen for himself. After waking up is the time to introduce yourself.

Place your hand inside the cage and let the Gerbil sniff and feel the hand with its nose. Then he may crawl up, feeling a little at ease. It may, at times, nibble at the fingers. Let it play for a while. Do this trick for a few days as the Gerbil gets comfortable with the hand. After that try to lift your hand a bit.

The next step is to put some food on your hand and let the Gerbil sit next to the food on the hand. He may sniff and then eat the food slowly. This technique can further bring about trust in the Gerbil and he feels that the hand is a ‘good thing’ that gives him food.

It is now the time for the Gerbil to be brought out of the cage. Let it roam over your shoulders and arms. Do not make any jerky movements and let it feel comfortable. When the Gerbil is tamed then give it a play area to roam and discover new things. The play area may well be a bathtub or a play pen. Let them enjoy the area by putting up some toys and some bedding.

Some important points when taming a Gerbil:
  • Observe the Gerbil’s body behavior and try to identify its habits and movements. Learn his signs, may it be biting attempts or defensive posture.
  • Handling your Gerbil daily is a good technique. Bright it out of the cage and let it play with your hand. Stroke it to make it comfortable and to feel your love and affection for him.
  • Gerbil is a small rodent and as such when speaking to them, try to be calm and speak in a low tone. Do not yell at them even when they have done something nasty as it may produce negative results.
  • Give them a special feast from time to time like sunflower seeds or almonds to gain their confidence.
  • Patience should be your attribute if you want to tame a Gerbil. It will take time for it to scamper down your shoulders and arms.
The Should-not-do’s while handling a Gerbil
  • The first thing here is never to lift a Gerbil by the tail. It is the most delicate part of the Gerbil and may ‘skin’ off. The Gerbil’s tail has a tendency to slide off its skin and fur if handled and your may end up with a tailless Gerbil.
  • When a Gerbil burrows into your hands or arms, its time to set it go free and one should respect his choice and let it go. Never pressurize him into playing with you.
  • Do not scoop up the Gerbil with your hand as it may feel threatened and scramble for over. Let it come to your hand on its own.
  • Do not retaliate against the Gerbil’s action at it may bring about its anxiety, fear and feelings of insecurity.
  • Last of all; do not get frustrated if you are not making any progress in taming the Gerbil. It takes time and effort to really tame a Gerbil.
Some plays for your Gerbil:
  • Sit in the bathtub after drying it and let the Gerbil run and play with you inside the bath tub. Gerbil enjoys this kind of play.
  • Wear a full-length tough material shirt, preferably a denim, and let the Gerbil run over the sleeves.
  • The common play is to place your hand in the cage and offer some ‘goodies’ for the Gerbil who will associate with your hand and play.
  • Always monitor the treats you give to your Gerbil as over eating may result in complexities.
  • Always try to buy a pair of Gerbils instead of only one so as not to make it lonely and uncomfortable. Let it socialize.
So the next time you buy a Gerbil, take the above instructions and you and your pet can enjoy being with each other.


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