Behaviour For Russian Dwarf Hamsters
Russian dwarf hamsters are one of the only hamsters types that can live with a companion and show sociable behaviour towards each other. What is included:
Dwarf hamsters are nocturnal thus active at night. This is because their main predators in the wild are active in the day. It takes years of observation to completely understand Russian dwarf hamster behaviour and we are going to shed some light on typical behaviour for Russian dwarfs.
For most common questions about Russian dwarf hamsters see our Fact Page by Clicking Here.
Normal Russian Dwarf Hamster Behaviour
Normal dwarf hamster behaviour is similar throughout every type of dwarf hamster including Chinese, Roborvski, Russian and hybrids. Here are 5 common concerning but normal Russian dwarf hamster behaviours.
1. Sudden bursts of energy – Within the day a hamster can suddenly become very active and this is common in dwarf hamsters. This can be caused by food that they may have eaten earlier being digested into energy. Russian dwarf hamsters are very active and will need to burn of their energy one way or another.
2. Squeaking towards a house mate or fellow dwarf hamster – Introducing two Russian dwarf hamsters together, squeaking is very common within the first few weeks. When hamsters play fight they squeak and chase each other around the cage. This is very common between male hamsters as they are territorial. However if it persist or visible wounds, blood or spraying a repulsive smell is occurring then click here.
3. More sleeping, less movement and loss of hair – This is very common with age. The life span of a Russian dwarf hamster is 1-2 years and with the right diet some live up to 2 and a half years. When hamsters get old they sleep more, are less active and loss of fur or bald patches appear. This is normal with age. Click the Amazon image to the left now.
4. Chew chew chew – Hamsters teeth never stop growing and chewing is a way to keep their teeth in shape. If your hamster is chewing the bars try getting her/him a chewable block/stick like pictured to the right.
5. Digging & creating nests – This is what dwarf hamsters do in the wild. Most live underground in burrows and tunnels until roaming at night time. They will most likely dig up and change the bedding and nesting materials within the cage to their own tastes.
6. Itching & scratching – This is a way to tell if your hamster is happy. Grooming is very common with hamsters and shows that they are relaxed, calm and comfortable in their environment.
Behaviour Problems and Solutions
Most hamsters show certain behaviour for a reason. For example, dwarf hamsters & rats grind their teeth to make a noise which sounds like a quiet tapping noise. This is a warning behaviour that your hamster is upset or will show anger which normally results with a bite.
Dwarf hamsters genuinely do this when woken up or when they feel scared. This is behaviour that should be prevented as it can lead to stress and future health problems. Wait for your hamster to wake up before handling them.
Other behaviour that can be annoying for owners is biting the bars. This is a hamsters way of trying to get out, not having enough room to play or they are bored of their accessories. If you are experiencing this then please see our How to Stop your Dwarf Hamster Biting the Bars.
Fighting – If you keep two dwarf hamsters together you should always be prepared to split them up. Even if you never have to split them up.
Young dwarf hamsters will play fight just after their eyes open, especially males. Play fighting is very common and is a way of playing. When two dwarf hamsters are brought up together they may start to fight more and become very aggressive towards each other. This is not normal and something needs to be done.
Russian dwarf hamsters can live together with a brother or sister from birth under certain conditions. Chinese, Roborvski & Syrian hamsters are known to not get on under studies. Here are 3 important points that you should look for when your hamsters are fighting:
- Biting, blood or wounds – I know it is hard to notice if there are wounds as your hamster is always running around banging into things. However if you notice marks on the ears, feet, underside or over side that strike your curiosity then you will need to split them up.
- Fighting more & not sleeping together – This means that they have chosen to take their own sides and sooner or later will fight to the death for the space and territory.
- Hogging of the food – If one is guarding the food, wheel or other toys and not sharing with the other they need separate food bowls, houses and wheels. Most the time it is far easier to just buy a new cage for one and separate them. To see what cages we recommend Click Here.
Day to Day Behaviour – What to Expect
A Russian dwarf hamsters day to day behaviour is fairly simple. They will sleep throughout the day occasionally waking up for food (every 2-3 hours).
At roughly 8-11 pm they will awake and begin to forage, create new nests or play with their tubes/toys. They will fall back to go back to their burrows, nests or houses when the morning comes.
In the wild the sleep during the day and explore at night. This is the safest routine for them. They eat plant materials, seeds, nuts and a varied diet.
A balanced diet is recommended for Russian dwarf hamsters and pellets are a better option than mixed muesli. Common behaviour for all dwarf hamsters is to eat only the fatty seeds and nuts from muesli. Pellets contain fats and goodness to help keep a balanced diet.
“Nuts & Seeds are like cheeseburgers and fast food to us”
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