So I've had my gerbils for ALMOST a year!!!! So, S'more is REAAALLLYY friendly. Doodle, wellll not so much. (I think she's too smart) I have been able to pick up S'more a few times and she is wiggly but she NEVER goes crazy trying to get out of my hand. Maybe I just need to hold her more for her to get used to it? I have never held Doodle BUT she crawls into my hands to get her pumpkin seeds. ( I have recently been putting their treats in my cupped hands so they will get used to being in them)
So S'more is the submissive gerbil, and not as active as her sister but I think she likes out of tank time ( I think…) She's always curious and active when I take her out. Doodle hides the whole time though… So now I have a bit of a problem. If Doodle doesn't like out of tank time then I just shouldn't take her out right? BUTTT S'more likes it ( I THINK) and it doesn't seem fair that she won't get any time out of her tank. ESPECIALLY because they are only in a 20 gal right now. UPGRADE coming in the next week or so
Will holding S'more and taking just her out cause a Declan? I am DEFINITELY NOT trying to show favoritism!!!! I love my babies equally but Doodle HATES being out and I don't want to make her do it..
Post by LilyandDaisy on Mar 1, 2022 8:00:56 GMT -8
Handling Doodle very regularly may help her get used to it but there is innate temperament as well (some gerbils just being naturally more friendly with humans than others). Some gerbils can be perfectly tame and unafraid of humans, just not that interested in them.
It's fine to handle one gerbil on their own and let them out for a own on their own. When you put S'more back after some time outside the tank, Doodle will want to check she isn't an imposter (this basically means very minor chasing and sniffing her bottom) and you should make sure this doesn't get too intense or escalate into serious chasing. Usually it will be fine. I wouldn't feel bad about not taking Doodle out if she doesn't seem to like it. You could make up for it with things she does like, whether it be cardboard, food etc.
P.s Everyone seems to be against having favourite gerbils but I absolutely have favourites! Lily was my favourite gerbil. Sometimes one gerbil is just special
I'll try to watch out for aggression even though they usually go back underground after playtime. I held S'more this morning and even though she didn't love it I don't think she hated it either. Im just wondering if handling her more will make her more tame or if it will make her scared of my hands?
Post by LilyandDaisy on Mar 1, 2022 14:17:13 GMT -8
Normal, careful handling won't make her scared of your hands. That would only happen if handling is a unpleasant experience for her, for example if you chase her round the tank or squeeze her, or hold her for a very long time, but I know you wouldn't do anything like that! Regular handling helps gerbils be more at ease with handling and humans in general.
When I'm taming gerbils I will often just scoop them up, hold them for a couple of seconds, and then let them go, so that they learn that being held is no big deal. When I'm holding them I also let them go as soon as they start squirming or trying to get away, so that they don't feel like it's a horrible experience where they're trapped and out of control.
Good to know thanks! When I hold her she does move around but I figured that's normal since gerbils don't like to sit still. I can't tell if maybe it's because she wants to get down or if she's just curious? I only hold her for a few seconds anyway then reward with a treat!