Taming the gerbil
When taming a gerbil you can exploit its natural curiosity. When something unusual happens, it will run for cover, but after a while a plucky hero will reappear. Hold your hand in the cage with something tasty on it and, sooner or later, the gerbil will approach it. But don’t try to catch the animal at once, because you’ll destroy the newly won trust. Let the gerbil get used to the scent of your hand and wait for your gerbil to sit on it. After a few attempts, you can carefully lift your hand a little. The gerbil will get more and more comfortable with it. Never chase after your animal, I will only get frightened.
Hungry animals are easier to train with something tasty than an animal that’s just eaten, so always do your taming exercises before you feed your gerbil. Taming a gerbil can sometimes require patience, so don’t give up too fast if you don’t get immediate results.
In principle, most rodents are house-training by nature. They don’t like to foul their own nest and will always do their business in the same corner of their home. This can be practical because sometimes it won’t be necessary to clean out the whole cage, but just to scrape out the “toilet corner”.
Cuddling a gerbil
When keeping gerbils as pets, it is important that they are tame (as far as possible). This not only helps when you clean out their cage, or when they need to be (medically) examined, but it is fun too. You can even play with them. Tame gerbils enjoy being picked up once in a while, but these little animals are not suitable to be cuddled for hours at a time; they don’t like it and can get frightened and stressed. If you are looking for a cuddly animal, go to a toyshop.