Important Points About Introducing Russian Dwarf Hamsters – See This First!
Russian dwarf hamsters are known for their social behavior towards each other and are one of the only hamster species that can be kept together in pairs or groups.
If you are considering introducing two Russian dwarf hamsters together then there are some very important things you should know first. Read On…
Although Russian Dwarf hamsters are friendly towards each other they also are very aggressive and the wrong move when you introduce two Russian dwarfs together could be fatal.
Here are some important points about putting two Russians together:
1. Females are more likely to live side by side (in the same cage) than males
2. Males are extremely territorial and can change from best friends to hated enemies within seconds.
3. Not all Russian dwarf hamsters prefer to live in pairs or groups. Many prefer to live on their own and this is normal.
4. Each hamster should have their own bed, food bowl, wheel and space. (Space is very important and they require more that you may think)
5. You should introduce two dwarf hamsters together at a younger age. Preferably 3-12 weeks of age and if they are in the same litter (same parent) or come from shared living quarters they generally are less likely to fight in the future.
6. If you introduce a male to a female expect babies within 2-3 weeks. It is not recommended to breed Russian dwarfs.
7. Space, toys and accessories should be bought for the cage to prevent fighting occurring.
8. After two dwarf hamsters start to live together you should always be prepared to split them up. Even if you never have too. Get a recommended cheap cage here.
Now that you understand these points, we can begin to look at how to introduce two Russian dwarf hamsters together.
How to Introduce Two Russian Dwarfs Together – Step By Step
So you have a dwarf hamster and you want to introduce a new friend to live with your hamster?
If this is the case then do not just place your new hamster into your old hamsters’ cage. Why? Because Russian dwarfs are very territorial and they will most probably start fighting to the death as soon as they see each other. Remember the earlier you introduce two hamsters the better.
Important Note: Never wake a hamster up before planning to initiate a new relationship. Wait till both hamsters are awake before introducing together.
Here are 5 steps to success:
Step one – Choose a big cage to home your two Russian dwarfs. If you are not using an aquarium then a good recommended cage would be the Ferplast Duna Cage as it provides 3 floors of space and has room for extra food bowls and wheels. However you should consider adding the spare cage to the Duna cage for more room and saves being left to waste. Combine the Ferplast Duna and the Ferplast Laura cage for best results.
Step two – Never put two hamsters together in an already marked territory (cage). Put both hamsters into separate exercise balls or temporary cage first, and then thoroughly clean out the cage they are going to live together in. See our video called How to clean a dwarf hamster cage by clicking here.
Step three – Once the cage has been cleaned completely and reassembled. Place an extra food bowl, bed and plenty of toys/accessories for them to play with in the new cage. Toilet tubes go down well too.
Step four – Put the new hamster in the cage first and then the old one in 1 minute after and observe their behavior towards each other. If you notice squeaking then keep watching however if they both become a rolling ball of fur biting each other SPLIT THEM UP. (This is rare however if this happens then try again in an hours time.)
Step five – Once they are introduced together it is advised that you want them to make sure they are happy together. Many Russian dwarf hamsters will immediately get on living together without a problem especially if they came from living with other hamsters. Observe them for a week until you feel certain they are happy together.
How to Know When they will Not Get Along – This Could Save Ones Life
Understanding Russian dwarf hamster behavior takes years of observation.
When introducing two Russian dwarfs together in a “Non-marked” clean cage or box you should always be prepared to split them up.
Dwarf hamsters who live on their own for weeks on end will find it harder to accept a friend to live with. This is because they are used to being alone and marking their own territory. They may even think that another hamster is there to take what they have and that is why you should always introduce two Russian dwarfs in a clean new environment.
Here are 3 things to look for when putting two hamsters together for the first time:
- Rising onto their back feet: Dwarf hamsters do similar characteristics to bears when fighting. They stand on their two back feet to become bigger and more authoritative. If you notice both of your new introduced hamsters doing this to one another you should be prepared to separate them. They may just become a rolling ball of fur (together biting each other) and you must split them up immediately.
- Biting of the ears: The ears are a sensitive spot along with their feet that hamsters target. If you notice one biting the ears of the other this is a warning sign that their new relationship is not going well. Separate them and introduce them at a better time.
- See pictured – If you see slow movements without squeaks where one Russian dwarf hamster is on top of another. This can turn into a fight to the death within seconds. This can easily distinguish who is the bully between the two. They may not be the best partners for each other as one will rather live on its own and in the near future will most probably seriously injure or attempt to kill the other.
Normal Behavior Within the First Week
Normally at a younger age you can introduce two Russian dwarf hamsters together with great success. Within the first week you can expect the odd squeak here and there.
It can take a while for two hamsters to get to know one another. You should always keep observation for the first 3 weeks. Normal behavior is generally sleeping next to each other, squeaking and play fighting (if fighting without squeaking is happening and visible wounds are present from before you will need to separate them quick).
Other normal behavior between two newly introduced hamsters is chasing each other and more squeaking. Watch them and make sure they have enough space to avoid future conflicts.
How to Keep Your Two New Relationships Happy
If there home is big then you should have no problem as even if they fall out they will be able to have their own space. A recommended option for space is an aquarium (without water).
See which aquarium we recommend from Amazon by clicking here.
Make sure to have 2 food bowls, 2 hamster houses and 2 wheels with lots of other toys, toilet tubes and accessories to play with. See our TOP 10 accessories by clicking here.
Please leave a comment if you need any more help?