How to Tame Russian Dwarf Hamsters
Russian Dwarf Hamsters are great pets to have. Like their bigger relative the Syrian hamster, they make good pets for children and adults. It is important to tame your Russian dwarf hamster to become friendly around you and other people. Today you are going to learn how to tame a Russian dwarf hamster.
There is more than one type of Russian dwarf including winter whites, fancy and Campbell’s, however the good news is that they can all tamed the same way. Here are 5 steps to taming Russian Dwarf Hamsters:
- If you have never handled a hamster before, do next not worry. Russian Dwarf Hamsters are friendly and generally only bite when they feel scared or threatened. If you are going to start taming, make sure your hamster has been awake for at least 15 minutes first. When picking your Russian dwarf hamster, be very gentle, avoid sudden movements or making loud noises. An alternative way to pick up your hamster is by using the exercise ball or glass cup. Simply place it into their cage and let he/she climb in, then lift out slowly and let them climb out into your hands. Please see our Video on how to pick a Russian Dwarf Hamster up (for more info).
- Once you have your hamster in your hands let him/her adjust to its surroundings by letting it smell you, climb on you and realise that you mean no harm. This is an important step to tame Russian Dwarf Hamsters. Hold for at least 5 minutes 1-2 times a day. He/she may nibble and bite but that is normal behaviour at the beginning.
- Choose a name for your hamster and repeat (3+ times) their name whenever you handle them. This will help create a relationship between you two and also let your Russian Dwarf Hamster understand you mean no harm. Your pet will also get used to your voice this way.
- If you are experiencing biting from your hamster, this most probably means that your hamster will need a bit longer to get used to you. If you are afraid of being bitten, try wearing an oven glove and start from step one. When you feel like your hamster is becoming less scared try step 2.
- After handling your hamster and allowing them to become used to you, reward them. Great rewards are pees, cucumber or a treat from the pet store. Let them eat it on your hand and be sure to only give them small bits (just in case they want to take it back to their nest in their cheeks).
Follow these steps for at least 4-17 days and then your Russian Dwarf Hamster should become tame.
Important Note – The best time to tame Russian Dwarf Hamsters is during later periods of the day due to hammy behaviour being more active at night. This is advised because sometimes when a hamster is woken up it can act aggressively if startled or quickly rushed of it feet. This can result in biting.
Dwarf Hamsters are generally easier to tame than Syrians and can be tamed within days. Every hamster is different but if you follow the 5 steps to success and be patient, you can see great results.
Doing This Will Make Your Hamster Bite You –
A Russian Dwarf hamsters sight is very poor and they rely on smell to find their way and distinguish food from threat. Often people who do not understand this put their fingers in front of a hamster face…
Bite… Ouch! “The hamster does not like me!”
Here is a video on how to handle you hamsters and what you shouldn’t do.
Campbell’s Russian dwarf hamsters are naturally very aggressive especially over territory. They are known to become very defensive if you stick your hand in their cage because you are intruding in their space.
A human hand is almost the equivalent to a elephant (human scale) in size (compared to a dwarf hamster) and when in front of their face appears as a threat to their territory. They are not afraid to bite.
How to Tame a Biting Hamster
There are two types of biting and both are considered very different in a dwarf hamsters eyes.
Nibling, gnawing are the most common and are the natural way in which a hamster keeps its teeth in shape whilst learning its enviroment. This should not be considered as biting. If feels like a gentle pinch.
If your hamster bites hard and draws blood or hisses then you should follow the steps below.
Some hamsters continue to bite their owners after weeks of taming and this can be caused by a handful of reasons:
- Untamed or Fearful –Every hamster is unique and requires a certain amount of time. When taming a hamster if you follow the steps in the video above you will be successful. If you are experiencing biting still then you hamster is still scared. A great way to overcome this is to invite a friend round, let them run around you while you both play cards (in a secure environment), on the tablets/phones or just watch. This will let them get used to other smells and help overcome fear. (See picture)
- Boredom, or Keen to Escape – This is the most common reason for biting hamsters and can easily stopped with a bigger cage and more/better accessories. Russian dwarf hamsters are very playful creatures and need toys to burn up their energy. See our TOP 10 dwarf hamster accessories they LOVE here.
- Health Problems or Bad Upbringing – If your tame Russian Dwarf is still biting then their could be a reason behind this. Russian dwarf hamsters are prone to cancer, diabetes, tumors and obesity. Your hamster could be in pain and biting because of this. Take them to a vet to check.
Tame Russian Dwarf Hamsters are the most lovable creatures and will always bring a smile to your face.
Once your hamster is tamed it will happily climb onto your hands, show no fear towards you and also should never bite you.
Hamster do nibble and this should not be classed as biting to hurt you however to recognize you. Also once your hamster has become tamed you should be able to put your finger in front of its face.
Please be aware that these 5 steps to success, will work on young and older hamsters including ones who hide from you.
Do you have another way on how to tame a Russian dwarf hamster? Leave a comment, we want to hear it!