How to Tame Russian Dwarf Hamsters
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:
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!”
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:
- 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 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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!