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Old 01-02-2017, 03:30 PM   #1
Crayolalaura
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Default Biter/ nipper

Info- hybrid Russian dwarf, 5 months old, barely had her a week, half tamed

My dwarf is a bit of a biter. Not hard at all mind! But I can feel her teeth and it's like a very slight nip.
She les me stroke her whilst she's eating, she will take treats from my palm, she will put her paws on my hand to reach food.
When I put my clean hand to her (not right in front of her, I let her know it's there and let her come to it) she will smell then lick then start using a bit of teeth so I'm wondering it's just the natural human salt on my hands? They're always clean when I'm attempting to tame her treat-free. She's rather tame anyway but I mean in terms of handling. she was handled and put into my hands no problem when being adopted so it is possible to handle her
I'd like to be able to hold her but not very possible if she keeps biting/nipping
She might just be a biter though!

Could it just be that it's all new? Is there a way to reduce the chance of biting?
Also are dwarf hamster bites- proper bites- very painful like a Syrian or more like just a bit of a nip like what I'm experiencing? I think a proper bite from a dwarf would hurt a bit more even with their smaller teeth.

I feel shes doing it genuinely out of curiosity or she believes I'm food!
I do normally have food in my hands for her though LOL perhaps if I stop that so often it might help?

Any advice appreciated
I know it's still early days but i don't want this to be a habit
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Old 01-02-2017, 05:51 PM   #2
chesca_27
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Default Re: Biter/ nipper

It is very early days so she made need more time to settle. She is just nipping you. Most new hamsters do that when they are young. I had that problem with Jasper when I got back from holiday, but he's grown out of that habit now so she may do too. Nipping is just them testing if you are food or not. A real bite will hurt and possibly bleed. I have been both nipped and bitten by Jasper so you really can tell the difference. I've never been bitten by a Syrian so I don't know the difference.

She's certainly not a biter if she's this tame already. Take it slow with handling. I think it would be better if she was tamed in something like a play bin or play pen.

To stop it being a habit, I would just continue holding Jasper as normal for a couple minutes longer then putting him back in his cage so he wouldn't learn that nipping = going back to his cage as some hams will find that as a reward, others a punishment.
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Old 01-02-2017, 11:45 PM   #3
cypher
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Default Re: Biter/ nipper

It is early days & it sounds like exploratory nibbling to me, they often do that when they are young & aren't too sure what's food & what's not especially if she's used to finding food on your hand, she will probably just grow out of it with a little time & as she begins to get used to being handled without treats.
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Old 01-03-2017, 12:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: Biter/ nipper

Hamsters are extremely curious,even when they're otherwise quite tame.My Syrian was mostly tame even from the first few days I brought her home,but she still tried to nibble and get a taste of people for a few months.It isn't aggressive and it won't hurt,unless you've never been bitten by anything larger or stronger and in such a case hamster bites can definitely seem awful though they're nothing to be afraid of
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:37 AM   #5
Crayolalaura
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Default Re: Biter/ nipper

Yeah I thought it was more out of curiousity but wanted to make sure as I've not had a dwarf hammy before
Just wanted to make sure she wasn't try to warn me to leave her alone LOL
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:23 AM   #6
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Default Re: Biter/ nipper

A week isn't long enough & taming her in a play pen or plastic bin using lots of treats to associate your hand with good things.

I could hold Chloe at the pet store but you don't know what you are getting until you bring them home. Chloe would and continues to latch on to my fingers any chance she gets, so I don't give her the opportunity. I come close to see if she might want more hands on in her elderly years but nope, she'd rather bite and it does hurt.

I don't know what a bite from a Syrian feels like other than gently testing bites, not hard.
Hope for the best, that she will tame soon enough
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