The first thing you should know about gerbils is that they can be easily tamed. They don’t bite like hamsters. If you decide to buy a gerbil for your home you should buy them in pairs so that it is easier for you to help them adapt to human surroundings. Do not buy them unless they are at least 5 weeks old, but try to buy them when they are as young as possible.
Gerbils soon get used to an environment full of humans if you keep them in areas where there is average activity going on through the day. However, too much commotion and excitement can be intimidating for them.
Leave them alone to get used to the activity in the house initially. Don’t immediately start teaching them how to behave. You can make a fist out of your hand and place it inside the cage for them to sniff and lick. If they try to bite you, you should not startle them by pulling it away immediately. Take out your hand gradually, without making any sudden movements.
Feed them the occasional treat
You should feed them sunflower seeds along with pine nuts. At first, they might be a little too frightened to eat out of your hand. Feed them often by hand and wait for them to take it from you. Change the water and clean the cage whenever you have time so that the gerbils get used to you.
Don’t suddenly disturb them when they are sleeping. You should also be open to their harmless bites on your hand. They recognize other living creatures by the way they taste. Once they get used to your presence you will find them climbing into your hand. You should support them from the back by placing your other hand behind them. However, at first, they might be scared by this action and run off. Therefore, keep repeating this action with them until they are comfortable with it.
Gerbils should always be trained in pairs or groups. Otherwise, they take more time to get used to humans and their behaviour. They should be allowed to move around in your surroundings while you are doing daily chores like cooking or cleaning up the room.
You should feed them sunflower seeds from time to time as a treat, but don’t overdo it. The more you interact with them using a quiet voice, the more they will learn the ways of communication of human beings.