MS These Boots are Made for Walking
In 2015, another breeder reached out to me with a special gerbil, who was extraordinary and difficult. The breeder had found a fantastic Dark Tailed White at a local petstore and had brought her home to try and breed her. That went poorly, after 8 months of trying to get this gerbil to accept a mate, the breeder gave up.
I was offered this gerbil that was really gorgeous and full colored. I named her MS These Boots are made for Walking. She was a fantastic Dark Tailed White who had dark feet, which was mostly unheard of. She did have a poorer body type with a neck dip and general "rat" body type.
It took a lot to get her to accept a male. I tried a few males, but eventually I was able to pair her with a male. Ms Warden was another Dark Tailed White that I got from Donna at ABC Gerbils.
Boots went on to have several litters, and a few champions. I never did show Boots herself, as she was far more valuable as a breeder than a show girl.
These are just some photos of some of the nicer Dark Tailed Whites I produced. In general I line bred the Dark Tailed Whites breeding several sisters and brothers to each other, as well as folding other exemplary DTW's from other breeders.
The trouble with breeding with goals like this, is that you end up with nearly identical gerbils and lots of them. I rarely adopted out my dark tailed whites, which was fine as people don't really want Pink Eyed Whites. I held most of these gerbils for 3 months before deciding who to keep and who to adopt out. Any gerbils with pigment on the tail were retained. The rest were adopted out.
I would often keep 3-4 pups of each sex together until they were about 9 months. Then I would choose the best Dark Tailed Whites for breeding. I chose gerbils based on color alone, I did not pay any mind to their build, and that meant that Boots body type did not get bred out.
A while late I had the opportunity to reclaim a gerbil from my color point line who was actually a pretty solid example of a normal dark tailed white. I named him Throwback because he had roots in my original lines.
In 2019, I imported a breeding pair of Wild Caught Gerbils from Europe. The Wild Caught gerbils came from a line that was bred by a German breeder, and are pure. Unfortunately I lost the male shortly after importing the pair. I chose the breed the female MS Padfoot to one of my best Dark Tailed Whites. I did this namely because the DTW line is fairly pure, with little chance of carrying recessives other than a and ch.
I later realized that the Wild Caught Agouti's had exceedingly dark skin on their feet. Nearly black. This could help the Dark Tailed Whites and other color point by increasing the amount of pigment on their feet.
MS Foothills of Everest
November 2019 my first litter from a Wild Caught/Dark Tailed White and a Dark Tailed white yielded three pups. Two Agouti and a single Dark Tailed White. By five weeks the DTW had a dove colored tailed and just two weeks later he had darkened significantly.
Its unusual to see dark feet or ears on one of my pups, they often don't start to gain color until about three months.
He will most likely darken up over the next few months. Dark Tailed whites take six months to a year to reach full color.