Tame Russian Dwarf Hamsters – 5 Steps to Success

How to Tame Russian Dwarf Hamsters

Tame Russian Dwarf Hamster

A great way to entice a Russian Dwarf on to your hand is with dried fruit, muesli or fresh fruit.

Russian Dwarf Hamsters are entertaining 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 hamsters, this will ensure they’ll become friendly around you and other people. Today you are going to learn how to tame a Russian dwarf hamster.

There are a few types of Russian dwarfs including winter whites, fancy and Campbell’s, however, the good news is that they can all tamed the same way. We have been taming dwarf hamsters for over 8 years now, Here are winning 5 steps to taming Russian Dwarf Hamsters:

  1. If you have never handled a hamster before it may be a little frightening at first. Russian Dwarf Hamsters are generally friendly and only bite when feel scared or threatened. If you are going to start taming your dwarf, 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 their exercise ball or glass cup. Simply place it into their cage and let he/she climb in, then lift out slowly and then climb out into your hands. Please see our Video on how to pick a Russian Dwarf Hamster up (for more info).
  2. Once you have your hamster in your hands let him/her adjust to its surroundings by letting it smell you, climb on you and realize that you mean no harm. This is an important step for taming Russian Dwarf Hamsters. Hold for at least 5 minutes 1-2 times a day. He/she may nibble and bite but that is normal behavior at the beginning.
  3. Choose a name for your hamster and repeat (3+ times) whenever you handle them. This will help create a relationship between you two and also let your pet understand you mean no harm. Your hamster will also get used to your voice this way.
  4. If you are experiencing biting or nibbling, this 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.
  5. After handling your hamster and allowing them to become used to you, reward them. Great rewards are pees, cucumber or a treat or something like this. Let them eat or chew 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 tamed.

How to Tame a Dwarf Hamster

We Now Do Hamster Cage Reviews Too (See Top Bar)

Important Note – The best time to tame Russian Dwarf Hamsters is during later periods of the day due to hammy behavior being more active at night. This is advised because sometimes when a hamster is woken up it may act aggressively when startled or quickly felt threatened. This can result in biting.

Tip – Another very important note, be very careful breathing or accidentally blowing (with your mouth) on your hamsters, they absolutely hate this because it signals threat.

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 will get 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 a threat. Often people who do not understand this especially children, putting their fingers in front of a hamster face…

Bite… Ouch! “The hamster does not like me!”

This is a common behavior and because of their sight. Imagine if you have blurred vision and a huge hand appeared in front of your face. You would be scared too…

Here is a video on how to handle your 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 when you stick your hand in their cage because this signals that you are intruding in their space.

A human hand is almost the equivalent to an elephant (human scale) in size (compared to a dwarf hamster) and when in front of their face appears as a threat to their territory. This is why you should take those 5 steps above very seriously for taming dwarf hamsters.

How to Tame a Biting Hamster

There are two types of what seems like biting and both are considered very different in a dwarf hamsters mind.

Nibling, gnawing is the most common and are the natural way in which a hamster keeps its teeth in shape whilst trying/learning its environment. This should not be considered as biting. It 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:

  1. Untamed or Fearful – Training Hamsters the biteEvery hamster is unique and requires a certain amount of time. When taming a hamster if you follow the steps in the video above you should be successful. If you are experiencing biting still then you hamster is still scared or could be in pain. A great way to overcome this is to invite a friend round, let them run around (in a secure environment) you while you both play cards/game or just watch. This will let them get used to other smells around them including yours and help overcome fear. (See picture)
  2. 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 if you’re experiencing this.
  3. Health Problems or Bad Upbringing – If your Russian Dwarf hamster keeps biting then there could be another 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.
  4. Hamster Biting Cage at Night – This dwarf hamster behavior has nothing to do with whether or not your pet is tame, however, is a common problem that may be noisy at night. I recommend a read of How to stop your hamster biting the bars – 3 Guaranteed Steps to Success.


Stop Hamster Biting

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.

Hamsters do nibble and this should not be classed as biting as this is just your pet nibbling as it does naturally and not hurt you more to recognize you. Also once your hamster has become tamed you should be able to put your finger in front of its face, but this is not recommended.

These 5 steps to success should Tame a dwarf hamsters within 17 days and work on all ages.

Do you have another way on how to tame a Russian dwarf hamster? Leave a comment, we want to hear it!


Tame Russian Dwarf Hamsters – 5 Steps to Success — 13 Comments

  1. I found this really helpful and wanted to be the first person to post a comment to say thanks. This website is now my place to come for my winter white hamster and I hope more people find out about this helpful site.

    Noemi xxx

  2. These hamsters are so cute and sweet. I am thinking of getting my girls a hamster this summer for a cuddly friend. Hopefully these taming techniques will allow them to play with these adorable animals.

  3. Pingback: Are Russian Dwarf Hamsters Nocturnal? Yes

  4. Got few very interesting tips from here as we’re picking up our baby russian dwarf hamster tomorrow…i’m frantically searching online for cages that can be bought in store tomorrow, although still not sure what size and what accessories would be best for our new friend. Apparently he’ll be 3weeks old tomorrow…if anybody can share any tips I would appreciate. Thanks.

  5. I am getting my new Russian Dwarf Hamster in a couple of weeks and these tips have been great. I was also wondering how much play time that I should give my hamster each day.

  6. Our Russian Dwarf is most of the time so wonderful, she makes us all laugh, but lately she is acting very strange. She climbs on her cage and while standing on her platform she stands as tall as she can then bends backward. Then runs down her tube and climbs up the cage again and drops and flips. She almost looks like she is having a seizure. We love her very much and would like you to give us your thoughts.
    Sincere Thanks

  7. I found this really helpful. I picked up my russian dwarf hamsters 4 days ago, i’ve let them settle in and i’ve notest one is a lot more active than the other but is a lot more aggressive. I have wanted to start taming them but im worried they’ll bite me and it will stop me and stop from building a bond between my hamsters and i. Any tips on how to start taming? It would be much appreciated.

    • Hi Rebecca,

      Don’t be afraid, they will love you if you give them the time 🙂

      Practise picking them up first with a cup (or using the other means of picking them up in the video). Once in your hand, give them a treat.

      Be sure to hold them for a short time first few weeks, but more frequently. Then build up the sessions to build that bond.

      Remember to talk to your hamster quietly saying there name. You’ll be great Rebecca!

      Kind regards,

  8. Yesterday I got a Russian Dwarf hamster, he’s 7 weeks old and is called Olaf. He settled in really well and was playing, eating, scratching, and drinking, (even sleeping). But he always licks hands, I don’t know if this is normal, but he just loves to lick hands. Just needed reassurance that it’s just a little habit or a normal thing, thanks 🙂

  9. I just got 2 miniature hamsters today their both male , i only have them a few hours. They seem to be playing at first one squeaks a little but it seems to escalate , ive been reading some articles but i’m still not sure , maybe i’m just paranoid. They seem to get along the rest of the time and there’s no other signs of them being dominant. I just don’t want a casualty and i’m not sure what to do. Can anyone help?!

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