How to tame a gerbil and Reading their Body language – Patience is the keyword of the taming of your gerbil. Beyond this essential trait, you have to use a methodology. Several steps must be respected. We give you the keys to a taming without a hitch and with the reward of a beautiful agreement on arrival.
Understanding your gerbil
It is a diurnal rodent . As such, you will not have to disturb her during a good part of the day, where she likes to rest. To annoy her in her cage at the wrong hours would lead to a deterioration of your relationship. Thus, you will attach to watch the day and try to tame early in the morning and especially in the evening.
Other times of the day are not conducive to annoying her, especially when she scratches, cleans herself or when she eats.
In general, your gerbil is curious, harmless, social, very intelligent. She prefers life in community rather than being alone in a cage.
Your gerbil will dig a lot inside his cage. It is a natural behavior. In addition, she can also stand on her feet and stand up. She’s just on the lookout. She can stand in this position to also claim a treat.
The stages of taming on How to tame a gerbil?
When adopted, your gerbil discovers a new environment , a hitherto unknown atmosphere . She must take the time to do it, to discover every nook and cranny of her cage, to look outside.
In fact, when you drop your gerbil for the first time inside its habitat, leave it alone for a few days. She will take her habits, begin to dig, to walk in the pipes, to make a few turns of the wheel and of course, to eat and sleep.
- The approach
After 48 to 72 hours, you can sit in the early evening next to his cage. You talk to him calmly, call him by his name. She will get used to your presence at her side and the sound of your voice.
- The hand in the cage
Dip your hand in the litter and leave it stretched in the cage. You can add a few seeds in the hollow. Your gerbil will come to sniff it, will take in its smell. It may inadvertently bite you. There is no malice. Repeat this gesture for several days.
By force, you gain his confidence. She may put a paw to grab a seed, then 2, and then settle entirely. At this moment, you can try to gently pull her out of her cage.
Important : If she is backing up, you must let her go. Do not force her to stay in your hand. She is not ready yet.
- Take her out of her cage
Confidence has settled. Every time you put your hand in his cage, your gerbil comes nestle comfortably. To remove it from its habitat, do it with delicacy. Do not try to put it on your shoulder, where it could get scared and fall from above. Bring it gently to a surface where you can sit and leave it at your side. A sofa for example. It will evolve on and come on your clothes, in your hand, as it pleases.
If taming did not work?
It only takes a broken confidence to start all over again, with more difficulty than at the beginning. In reality, you must question how you approach your gerbil. You may be clumsy, brutal. Once again, the key word is patience.
Taming your gerbil is normally a formality. It is a very kind rodent, curious, attentive, lively and intelligent. He appreciates above all the company of his congeners and yours once confidence is established.
You must be patient, organized, careful and delicate. These 4 words will prevent you from missing the timing and having to start all over again.
The Body Language of the Gerbil
A very small rodent, your gerbil is fond of good communication. Throughout her life, she will not stop trying to get in touch with you, or with her peers. Because, yes, the gerbil is above all an animal that lives in a group. So, when things go wrong, when things go, when she does not feel well, she does not hesitate to let him know. It’s up to you to be able to decrypt it. We explain how.
Your gerbil is curious, social, of incomparable kindness, mostly sweet. Some are perhaps more bitter, more virulent than others, more aggressive. Others, on the other hand, are more fearful. Each gerbil is different, but all enjoy communicating through their body … and some noises.
Daily, your gerbil can let you know his mood and mental state in a few signals. You must know how to detect them. Here they are :
- She performs rounds. Your gerbil protects his territory and ensures that no one enters without his permission.
- She is afraid that her food will be stolen. You will notice it by giving him food. She nibbles her food like we’re going to steal it from her. Besides, if you try to take her from her mouth, she will cling to it like the apple of her eyes.
- She digs. Do not worry, it’s natural behavior. Your gerbil spends his time digging. Thus, it needs enough substrate to satisfy this desire.
- She’s eating away at her bars. It can manifest its boredom, and it will be necessary to occupy it more. She can also let you know that her cage is too small. You will have to think about enlarging it.
- She licks the windows of the terrarium. This is a fairly classic behavior in a young gerbil, who seeks to drink drops of water dripping along the glass. In an adult, it will be necessary to check if his bottle contains enough water, or if it can hydrate easily.
A gerbil that bites
There are several explanations for this. A gerbil does not bite without reason. So, in the case of a bite, it may be solely your fault. For example, to annoy her, to caress her when she wishes to remain quiet, to have badly manipulated her and thus to have hurt her. His bite is then a legitimate reaction to an ill-being. Another malaise is that of an underlying disease. Your gerbil may try to make you understand that she is not doing well. In this case, we also find other behaviors such as a lethargy, a gerbil that remains prostrate in its corner, not really moving. Do not hesitate to take him to a veterinarian quickly.
Body language between gerbils
- A nose-to-nose . This is how gerbils present themselves to each other. They try to see if they belong to the same group.
- Gerbils do not hesitate to clean the bodies of other gerbils in their group.
- The squeak is the traditional language of gerbils them. This is how they communicate and understand each other. You just have to react if that squeak turns into a scream.
Aggression in the gerbil
It happens very often that gerbils fight each other. Struggles that can turn into bloodshed and drama without your intervention. You will have to recognize them and, if possible, anticipate them.
- The boxing is still only the phase of fun . We must not intervene yet, but keep a close eye on developments. At this point, 2 gerbils clash, standing on their hind legs, and try to impress the opponent. As long as there is no scream, there is no reason to be alarmed.
- When you see blood on the tail of a gerbil , when they sleep on their own, or when you hear little shrieks of a gerbil when another passes by , you can legitimately begin to worry. This can quickly escalate. The best and separate them, maybe permanently. Otherwise, you risk fighting until you die .
- Your gerbil can show frightened or timid . In this case, she will kick her foot . She can also run fast. Finally, she can manifest this feeling by a raised tail .
In all cases of a trace of aggression or fighting between gerbils, you must imperatively bring you gloves to approach them. Their claws can hurt a lot and severely cut you. Better to take all precautions before intervening in the middle of a cage.
Your gerbil will show you his mood according to some of his behaviors. As a gregarious animal, she will also have a way of communicating with her fellow creatures in a particular way. You will have to watch all this closely, because a fight is often started quickly, and can end up in a bloodbath that should be avoided.