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Old 03-14-2017, 05:02 PM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Washington State
Posts: 2
Question Non-Aggressive biting? Help!

I have a winter white hamster who has been licking/biting fingers and hands. I make sure to wash my hands very well before playing with him but for some reason he still tries to lick and bite me. And it's not all the time. I can pick him up and pet him but then he will start fixating on my fingers and start licking the a bunch and sometimes will start nibbling or biting. I try to redirect with treats but that doesn't seem to stop him.

I've had hamsters before (only Syrians) and have never had to deal with this before. Do you have any suggestions of what to do to get him to stop???
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Old 03-20-2017, 08:47 AM   #2
The Hamtologist
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Southern United States
Posts: 2,564
Default Re: Non-Aggressive biting? Help!

I had a hamster who absolutely LOVED to bite! I had to work on what I call "discourage reward" training. Essentially, you can put your hand in the cage, near your hamster, and if he sniffs, licks, or ignores your hand, reward him with a treat. However, if he nips or bites, push him away gently with your hand. Eventually, your hamster will begin to realize that biting is not acceptable, but it does take quite a bit of time and patience. Good luck

Last edited by Drago; 03-20-2017 at 12:15 PM. Reason: Typos
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Old 03-20-2017, 09:08 AM   #3
Dwarf whisperer
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Wales UK
Posts: 18,607
Default Re: Non-Aggressive biting? Help!

How long have you had him? It's quite common for young Russian hams to do this especially if they have got used to being hand fed treats. Most grow out of it with a little time & realise that fingers aren't food!
If this happens I generally stop hand feeding for a while, if they begin to nibble I just gently remove my hand or if I'm holding them put them back into the cage, still offer treats but just lay them down in front of your ham, if you do this for a few days to a week you should begin to notice a change.

Just wanted to add that if you didn't get your ham from a breeder (I know there aren't that many in the US) he will be a hybrid not a WW so you will need to take a bit more care with diet if that is the case as they can be prone to diabetes, avoid anything sweet, fruit, treats with honey or sugar etc.
Slave to Zeki, Zen. Tinw & Zylvan
Always loved, never forgotten, forever in my heart
T'ycor & Ziggy, Zephyr, Flynt, Mickle & Little Whisp.
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Old 03-20-2017, 12:55 PM   #4
snow pony
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Suffolk, UK
Posts: 98
Default Re: Non-Aggressive biting? Help!

When I had a Syrian who would nibble I would gently blow on her (gently so she didn't jump), and she wasn't too keen on me doing that so she got the message that what she was doing was wrong, and she doesn't do it anymore.
Proud Hamster Mum to Ella, Tey and Krypton

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