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Old 02-18-2020, 04:41 PM   #1
jbrown12
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Default Hamster sometimes bites

So I adopted my first dwarf hamster a few months ago and left him alone for a couple of weeks (bar the occasional treat...) to adjust. Then I started handling him and now he's good to be handled as long as he is scooped up in both hands, he is then happy to run across hands and only gently nibbles when he's had enough which is fine of course.

However if I lay my hand flat in the cage for him to stand on/investigate he will furiously bite really hard repeatedly until I take my hand out. He also does this when he's out of the cage - fine to be scooped up but if I put my hand down on the floor he will bite it really hard.

He's kept in a 100x50 cm cage, plenty of enrichment etc. I also make sure to wash hands with unscented soap before handling.

Any ideas why he is doing this and how/if there is anything I can do to tame him to be comfortable with my hand on the floor? Unfortunately it's too sore to just leave my hand there until he gets used to it!

Also probably worth noting that as soon as I put my hand in the cage even just to move things around he will come running over. If I hold my fingers above his head he'll just sniff and move along but if I put them right down to the floor he'll bite. So it doesn't seem like he's scared.
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Old 02-19-2020, 05:30 AM   #2
Littlephodopusmom
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Default Re: Hamster sometimes bites

My Dwarf boy is protective of his cage also and doesn't like me in there...unless I've got a treat for him of course I don't really have an answer on how to get him to like something he doesn't I just try to adapt my behavior to what makes him more comfortable. My guy bit me a few times really hard when he was young also and startled easily then. So I just always talk to him to let him know it's me and try my best to teach him to associate my hand with only good things (spoiled him a lot). I gave him positive reinforcement everytime he came to me with no biting. Now he's very hand tame and sweet, but it took some time to get his confidence in me. Maybe your guy will just take a while to be more comfortable with your hand. All I can suggest is making every experience with your hand a positive one for him.

Last edited by Littlephodopusmom; 02-19-2020 at 05:36 AM. Reason: adding a treat idea
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Old 02-19-2020, 05:36 AM   #3
Littlephodopusmom
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Default Re: Hamster sometimes bites

I meant to say...whatever he loves (for my guy was millet) give him a little everytime he comes to your hand and doesn't bite. Assuming he loves a healthy treat that is, I don't reward my guy with sweet things only very occasionally.
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Old 02-20-2020, 03:58 AM   #4
jbrown12
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Default Re: Hamster sometimes bites

I didn't think it was a protective of cage type thing because he does the same when i put my hand on the floor when he is out of the cage. It's not a big problem, I will continue to scoop him only if that's what he prefers! Was just wondering if anyone knows why he would be bothered by a hand on the floor and not a hand scooping him up - I'd have thought scooping would be scarier!
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Old 02-20-2020, 07:21 AM   #5
Littlephodopusmom
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Default Re: Hamster sometimes bites

He sounds like a spirited little guy, it's great he doesn't mind scooping! My guy is all about free will, he's not a fan of scooping but will tolerate it. So he'd agree with you, scooping is scarier! He has me trained pretty well really, lol. Erinsanimals on youtube has a good Robrovski video on handling that you might like it if you haven't seen it already. I've used a similar method in the past and it worked great. She has another showing her flat hand approach for Syrians. I really can't add more as to why your guy doesn't like a flat hand, but imagine other members will have similar experiences and tips to share
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Old 02-20-2020, 04:23 PM   #6
Ria P
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Default Re: Hamster sometimes bites

One of my dwarves is like that. Soon as he sees a flat hand he goes and bites it. He walks into a mug when ge wants out of his cage and he runs around on me without biting but a flat hand is a no go. No idea why, maybe he had bad experiences in the past (he's adopted) but i simply accept him the way he is and don't aggrevate him by showing him a flat hand.
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