Prairie Clan Gerbils beginnings

updated April 18, 2018

Regina locationWe are a mother and adult daughter team of pet lovers living in Regina, the provincial capital of Saskatchewan, a province in the western half of Canada.

We have had quite a variety of critters over the years. It's like a small zoo. At the moment we have 7 dogs, 3 rats, 3 cockatiels, 4 snakes, and 4 rabbits. But gerbils rule.

Mom (Johanne) started with a pair of golden agouti gerbils while growing up in the 1970's. Daughter (Shayna) inherited mom's love of animals, but on a bigger scale. Shayna started her pet hobby with gerbils; we have had gerbils continuously since 1996.

Sandy, gerbil pilot, with Shayna
Sandy, gerbil pilot, with Shayna

Shayna's first gerbil was an argente golden named Sandy. Sandy loved to crawl all over our dog Shadow. Here she is piloting a cardboard plane, with Shayna's help.

For her partner, we found a black male we named Blacky. They were our first breeding pair, their offspring expanding our collection. But what fun it was!

The pups were all either golden agouti or black. Sometimes the only way to tell them apart was by temperament, but Shayna always knew who was who. They were a healthy bunch, living 4 - 6 years on average.

Young Sass in August 2007 In 2007 we started breeding more seriously, seeking new colours. We began with a trip to Saskatoon to pick up a pair of black girls, carriers of recessive e and p genes. We selected Crystal Water Clan Sass, to be our foundation dam.

Farley, pied argente cream For her first partner, we found a mottled lilac. He had the most wonderful, calm temperament. Perfect. Sass and Jorden proved to be ideal parents, the beginning of our current line. Soon enough we needed to add to the breeding population. We found Farley, a lovely pied argente cream with the great temperament we look for. Our efforts to find gerbils with new colour genes were unfruitful.

That's when we met Laurence Perron, a breeder/importer in Quebec who was preparing to import some gerbils and other animals from Europe. This was our chance to get new colour genes.

3 of the gerbils from Europe As it turned out, the importing project proved more challenging than expected. Air freight costs had recently sky-rocketed, among other changes. Not to be discouraged, Laurence flew personally to Europe, touring ten countries tracking down exactly what we wanted. It ended up being a few months before our gerbils finally arrived. Fortunately, she was absolutely wonderful to work with.

The European gerbils combined with ours produced beautiful gerbils in a variety of colours including siamese, burmese, dark-eyed honey, honey cream, grey agouti, schimmel, light colourpoint agouti, slate, red-eyed honey (yellow fox), champagne, argente golden, dove, silver nutmeg, CP nutmeg, and many more. In addition to solid colours, we had spotted, pied and mottled varieties.

Blake, mottled black steel Later dilute (blue) gerbils started turning up in pet stores in western Canada and we were able to obtain some of those from other breeders who spotted them in Saskatchewan and BC. As well, Danielle Cromer of Shooting Star Gerbils identified certain gerbils she spotted in pet stores as having a distinct gene called steel. Turned out we had some too and didn't even know it. Steel has proved useful for producing very pretty mottled gerbils.

Next we joined forces with Trina Ng of Singapore Gerbil Clan for a gerbil exchange with Singapore! She had the rare underwhite gene for cream gerbils for us but lacked colourpoint, dilute and the regular underwhite/gray gene we had. It's very difficult to import or export animals from Singapore so it took several years to put the plan together. Trina travelled a difficult route in 2013 in order to fly with her gerbils to visit us, which was featured in newspapers around the world and on CBC television: "Quest for a new gerbil takes breeder to Regina."Quest for a new gerbil takes breeder to Regina

Trina is a great promoter of gerbils in Singapore and bred many gorgeous gerbils. We lost a year of breeding as we had to have our basement renovated due to a flood. We were left with limited breeding gerbils. Trina very generously shipped another group of gerbils to us in 2017. Johanne met this group in Toronto to help them complete the trip around the world through Europe and on to Regina.

Email us at if you would like to chat about gerbils.