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Taming Young Gerbils is Hard!

3938 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  R4360
I have 2 young gerbils (males) named Louie and Moe. I got them a few weeks ago and they are so cute! However, I don't feel like I'm doing a great job of taming them. they don't like being handled and always try to squirm away when I hold them. Sometimes they even nip me(it doesn't hurt very much, but it's still not nice). How do I get them used to human company??
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in your spare time you should be sure to put your face up to their cage so they are used to seeing and smelling you... make sure you talk to them a lot but not in a loud or high voice, as that will scare them
find any excuse to put your hand into their cage, check their food bowl, water bottle, stir their bedding around, move their stuff...
you can also try giving them a treat; such as a very small piece of cheese, moth, mealworm, apple, cooked egg, zucchini, cucumber, plum, banana, strawberry... just hold it in your fingers and place it up to their face... if they like it, they'll take it from you and they'll learn to love human contact because they'll receive treats from your hand (don't feed them treats too often or they will get diarrhea or get fat)
just keep trying to handle them often... don't jump when they bite you because that will make them think that there is something to be frightened of
just keep handling them... even in spare times... like when you're watching TV or just listening to music or talking with a friend on the phone... they should get used to you eventually :)
hope this helped... i socialized one 2year-old female gerbil and am currently socializing a 3month-old female gerbil with some success
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Just keep your hand in there as much as possible. Move stuff around in there and let their natural curiosity work for you. Before long they will be crawling all over your hands! Sometimes when cleaning cage, my new guys will get in the way and I just scoop them up with the dustpan! It is fun time for them. Point is don't give up and be consistent with them. Put a treat in the palm and let them crawl on your hand to get it. Don't move your hand till they back off. If you are getting a little nip at times wiggle those fingers and don't back off since they think that is what will happen if they bite.
I've had and breed gerbils, their just to jumpy for my like a hampster with a tail lol
My gerbils used to be terrified of hands, but I worked with them some. They are no longer afraid of people, but still don't like being picked up.

I started out by laying my hand flat in the cage. They were too scared if I moved around, so that's what I started with. I would do so for about 20 minutes several times a day. Once they were comfortable with my hand being there and investigated and nibbled me, I moved to sitting sunflower seeds (their favorite) in my hand and letting them take seeds from me. Once they learned I am the giver of food, I moved around in their tank very slowly, and backed off if they got startled. Now they're completely used to me.
Kind of funny, but food is the greatest training helper since all creatures must eat. Each animal has it's favorite, and my Gerbils have had their favorites, but of all the Gerbils I have had, every one loved sunflower seeds most. :)
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