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Old 02-03-2018, 08:42 AM   #1
princessmononoke
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Default new dwarf hamster behaviour

hi everyone!

last week I brought home two dwarf hamsters. I got an Ikea Detolf as a cage to ensure they have enough space to roam, and I've been careful to leave them alone but I'm still concerned:

- I sometimes hear them squeaking when they are nesting in their hideout - even when I'm in the next room and nowhere near their cage

- one of them barely comes out of the hideout, when she does she takes treats, sits on my hand, is happy to be handled and petted, but she rarely comes out

- the other one was super skittish at first but now is super active exploring the cage in the evenings. whenever I put my hand in the cage to change water/food/bedding she follows my hand. she nips/nibbles on my hand too. she hasn't bitten hard to draw blood yet, and I take my hand away very slowly after she nips.

should I be worried about this behaviour?
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Old 02-03-2018, 12:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: new dwarf hamster behaviour

I would be concerned about the squeaking. They could be fighting. Look and listen for signs of bullying/fighting. You may need to separate them at some point. They will be fine living separately.
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Old 02-04-2018, 12:16 AM   #3
cypher
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Default Re: new dwarf hamster behaviour

Some squeaking is normal but you do need to keep a close eye on them to make sure it doesn't escalate in fighting, if it does then you would need to separate them.
If one is a lot more reluctant to come out it can be a sign of bullying so keep a check on that ones well being, size in particular as often as a result of bullying one will not be getting enough food.
A little nipping or nibbling at first is quite normal, they usually grow out of it unless it becomes a territorial behaviour in which case they usually only do it in the cage & not during out of cage time.
It's very early days so they will still be settling in but pairs can be quite challenging to keep together without them falling out as they mature so you do need to be watchful with them.
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Old 02-04-2018, 02:34 AM   #4
princessmononoke
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Default Re: new dwarf hamster behaviour

thank you for the replies! I'm keeping a close eye on them - they are sleeping, eating, and grooming together and occasionally run after each other around the cage but haven't seen any fighting. I do have another cage just in case it does come to that.
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Old 02-12-2018, 06:49 AM   #5
princessmononoke
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Default Re: new dwarf hamster behaviour

bitey hamster (teto) is getting much more bitey! and she's biting HARD! I've not even tried to pick her up with my hands but she's still chasing my hand in the cage to bite whenever I'm changing food/water or tidying. I've tried putting some food in the palm of my hand and she either ignores the food and just bites my hand, or she'll stuff all the food in her cheeks as fast as she can and then bite my hand. I've also tried scooping her out with a mug and putting her in the empty tub with me and some toys, she kept biting my feet and any other parts she could get her teeth around! not really sure what I should do, should I just leave her be?

the other hamster (princess mononoke) is the TOTAL opposite! just so sweet and gentle and she's not shy or hiding anymore. but I am getting concerned that she might be being bullied, I've seen toto try to take food from her while she's eating, even though there's plenty elsewhere in the cage. is it best that I separate them straight away?
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Old 02-12-2018, 08:18 AM   #6
cypher
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Default Re: new dwarf hamster behaviour

It can be difficult when they bite like that but it's worth persevering, I would avoid hands in the cage as much as possible, at least for now, maybe do food & water when she's sleeping & just stick to handling out of the cage. Have you tried a playpen rather than the tub, with a bit more room to explore & with more toys she might be less intent on biting all the time.
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