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How to Stop Dog Barking at Gerbils

Why won’t your dog just leave your gerbil alone? Why do dogs bark at gerbils? Do dogs and gerbils get along, or are you always going to have to worry? Are gerbils scared of dogs, or is yours just ignoring your dog when they start barking at them?

Worry and wonder no longer, because today we’re going to answer all of these questions for you. And most importantly, we’ll give you the information you’re most interested in: how to stop your dog barking at your gerbil. Soon, you won’t have to worry about your dog making your gerbil afraid! Keep reading below for our article “How to Stop Dog Barking at Gerbils!”

Why Do Dogs Bark at Gerbils?

How to Stop Dog Barking at Gerbils

Dogs bark at gerbils because they see them as prey. Gerbils are small and have little defenses, which leads your dog to instinctually see them in this way. You might also find that your dog is growling at your gerbil, or lunging and chasing after them.

It’s less likely but still possible that your dog has learned enough to know that your gerbil is a part of the family and not prey, and merely wants to play but doesn’t understand that the size differences between the two make that likely impossible. If this is the case, you’ll see your dog’s barks will be high-pitched, and they’ll be wagging their tail and doing play bows.

But while it may be easy to just brush off your dog barking at your gerbil because you can’t get them to stop and you figure that it’s just what dogs do, you can’t allow this to continue. Your dog behaving in this way and not responding to your commands to end the behavior is a clear sign of disobedience and likely also that they feel dominant over you.

This will lead to much more serious behavioral problems down the road. Your dog may even try to attack your gerbil, another animal, or a stranger. If you have other pets, you’ll find that your dog will be barking at your hamsters, barking at your cats, barking at your ferrets, barking at your guinea pigs… you get the idea.

You, of course, don’t want any of these things happening, nor any of the related behavioral issues you’ll see when a dog is disobedient and dominant. To stop your dog barking at your gerbil and end their other issues as well, skip to the last section now where we’ll give you the exact steps you should follow.

Do Dogs and Gerbils Get Along?

Dogs and gerbils get along as long as you’re very careful and supervise contact between the two. Many homes have both living together in peace. Be especially considerate of your gerbil’s need for time alone and safety, and take your dog out of the room if you notice your gerbil trying to hide or shaking.

If the animals have yet to meet, put your dog on a leash before bringing them into the room with your gerbil. This will allow for a quick exit if either animal responds in a negative way. Keep your gerbil in its cage or tank during this meeting.

Are Gerbils Scared of Dogs?

Gerbils are often afraid of dogs, but it depends on the particular animal. All gerbils have unique personalities, and some will be more open, while others will be more timid. Until your dog shows an ability to behave around your gerbil, and your gerbil shows curiosity towards your dog, you should just assume that your gerbil is frightened of your dog for safety reasons.

Signs that your gerbil is feeling scared of your dog would be shaking or trying to run away, or hiding behind things in their tank or cage. If you notice any of these or just get a bad feeling from your gerbil in general, be on the safe side and end the meeting with your dog right away.

How to Stop Your Dog Barking at Gerbils

To stop your dog barking at gerbils:

  1. Place your dog on their leash and take them into the room where your gerbil stays.
  2. If your dog barks at your gerbil, immediately give a calm but firm “no” or “stop.”
  3. Take your dog out of the room and put them in a time-out in their crate or a closed-off room with no toys for 10 minutes.
  4. Allow your gerbil some time in case they were frightened by this.
  5. Later, try again to repeat this process by taking your dog into the room with the gerbil.
  6. While doing so, speak softly to your dog to try and keep them calm.
  7. If they stay quiet this time, immediately reward them with pets, quiet praise, and a small treat.
  8. Even though your dog is now doing well, keep the interaction short (about 10 minutes max).
  9. Over the next few weeks, you can build up the length of time you allow your dog to spend in the room with the gerbil.
  10. Continue to immediately remove them if your dog barks at your gerbil, but reward them when they do well.
  11. Bring a quiet, non-squeaky toy to keep your dog occupied while they’re in the room when the interactions become longer.
  12. Don’t let your dog get too close to the cage or tank, even when they’re behaving.
  13. Ensure that anyone else in the home is also following these steps.
  14. Be patient and consistent.

With time, this should get your dog to stop barking at your gerbil, but you’ll still need to address their disobedience and dominance that was causing them to ignore your commands in the first place. A failure to do so will just lead to your dog misbehaving in other ways which could be even more serious and even tougher to get a handle on once they’ve started.

To prevent anything worse from occurring, we should get to this problem at its root. And to properly do that, we need to talk about what makes dogs function. You’ve likely heard before that dogs are pack animals, and that in every pack there is a pack leader.

At the moment, your dog clearly does not respect you in this role since they’ve shown such willingness to ignore your commands.

If they did respect your role as the leader, they would not bark at your gerbil. They would stay calm and quiet, trusting that you can decide who is a part of the family pack. They would not engage in any other type of dominance-related misbehavior. And they would obey your commands at all times, and do so happily.

You’ll be better off. Your gerbil will obviously be better off. But your dog will be better off too because you’ll have freed them from all of the stress and anxiety that pack leader confusion issues are currently causing them 24/7.

So everyone wins. Terrific, right?

“Yeah, sure, but how do I do any of this?”

You should watch an excellent free video series by a renowned trainer named Dan which is on this very subject: how to be your dog’s pack leader. In the series, Dan explains everything in ways that are very easy to understand and teach to your own dog, and he gets right to the point so that you’ll start seeing these important changes in your dog before their problem gets any worse.

Start watching Dan’s free training series now by clicking here. And don’t stress or get worried, because no, you’re not going to have to yell or be mean. Dan never uses those types of methods. Not just because loving teaching techniques are the right thing to do, but also because they’re the fastest way to achieve permanent changes in your dog’s behavior.

I’m sure you’re ready for your gerbil and your dog to get along, so I’ll let you get started now. Good luck with everything, and thank you for reading our article “How to Stop Dog Barking at Gerbils.”