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Old 06-23-2020, 09:54 AM   #1
Woweth
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Default Hamster bites at everything

Almost two weeks ago I got my new Russian dwarf hamster, whoís around twelve weeks old. Itís my first Russian dwarf, as I had a Syrian before, who very sadly passed away. With my first hamster, it took us months to bond, he was very shy and skittish, but he never was much of a biter, he only bit me once in his life which was my fault. My new hamster though, bites at absolutely everything. Iím only just starting to introduce myself to him, but itís much harder than my last experience since all he wants to do is bite. Iíve tried handling him with gloves but he just bites at them until heís almost nicking my fingers underneath. I sometimes take him out in a small hamster proof room, and heíll just sit and bite the carpet, or the wall, or furniture. I have to armour myself with thick socks, long sleeved sweater and thick pants, or else heíll bite me. Heís not shy, he doesnít run away from me or hide, heíll climb up on to me, but only to try and bite me. He started biting at my sock and wouldnít let go, then climbed under my thigh and was just about to chomp before I pulled away. By all means he should be a happy hamster, he has a 1,200 square feet enclosure, plenty of toys, a wheel, the right food, but yet heís still very bitey. When I first got him, the woman selling him told me he was very aggressive and had to be separated early from his siblings as he kept trying to hurt them, so maybe that should have been my first warning. Is there any hope to get him to stop biting? I know itíll probably take time, but Iím a wuss and itís difficult to sit with him and attempt to bond when all he wants to do is bite me. Does anyone know how to get him to stop, have you ever experienced a hamster like this before? Iíve never known one to just bite for the sake of it, heís very outgoing and definitely not shy, I make a habit to never smell of food when Iím with him, so I donít know what could be causing it.
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:10 AM   #2
NutMega870
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Default Re: Hamster bites at everything

Wow. You are doing a lot for him. You could try getting some fresh veggies/treats/fruits and feed them to him on a spoon. It might make him a bit more comfortable. I don't know how well it will work with your guy, but it wouldn't hurt to try. If he gets more comfortable, then you could start giving him the food with your fingers. Another thing that you could do is while he is out in a playpen or something, you could rub your hands in his bedding to get your scent there so he's more familiar with it.
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Old 06-30-2020, 12:13 PM   #3
Ria P
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Default Re: Hamster bites at everything

Yes, i had a bitey dwarf who i adopted when he was around five months old. He was very aggressive at first, acting quite mad really but i quickly found out that he was ill and suffering from diabetes and i suspect that he had mental health issues. I also wondered if he had traumatic experiences with humans but yours is young which helps in a way.
I tried taming my dwarf in the bath tub once which freaked him out so i stopped that rightaway. He would bite my fingers or my hand when i tried to offer him food so i offered him the longest mealworm i could find which he snatched quickly. I used to gently stroke his back with a soft pastry brush to get him used to touch and i was eventually able to stroke him when he was busy eating. He never stopped biting completely but he calmed down a lot over time and became a much happier hamster. He used to walk into his mug and liked to go in his playpen bin cage which i eventually connected to his cage. He gained a little bit of trust in me but it took time. He run around on me while i sat on the futon and i was able to stroke him without getting bitten and that's as far as we got. It was fine with me because all i wanted was to give him a better life. I accepted and loved him for the hamster he was and still miss him every day.

I would suggest to take it very slow with your hamster and give him time to settle in and find his way around in his world. I'd watch him and talk to him for a while without trying to interact with him physically. Some hamsters can have genetic defects that lead to mental health or behaviour problems which doesn't mean that that's the case with your hamster.
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Old 07-01-2020, 03:35 AM   #4
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Default Re: Hamster bites at everything

It may be that you sadly have a hammy with a neurological issue causing the aggression, and it may be that he will never want to do anything but eat you, I agree with trying the spoon thing, it seems like the breeder knew of the potential issues. I hope you can find a way to enjoy his company.
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Old 07-01-2020, 04:41 AM   #5
cypher
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Default Re: Hamster bites at everything

Hamsters aren't aggressive by nature, biting is generally a sign of fear or just their way of exploring everything, falling out with siblings isn't unusual but isn't a sign of aggression as we normally think of it.
2 weeks is still early days & you may well find you ham will grow out of biting, some remain a little bit nibbly but most biting does tend to stop as they get a bit older.
When you take him out does he have toys a wheel, chews & other things to explore or is he just running around the room? I would try using a ham safe playpen, you could try putting something like an old sheet or duvet cover over the carpet underneath & give him plenty of things to explore in there.
I don't think gloves are that helpful, I have tried them as a bit of an experiment with hams that didn't bite normally & they all bit the gloves & had a good chew!
I would just go slow, try letting him on your hand then slowly move your hand away if he bites & keep doing that for a while & see how it goes.

What chews does he have? If you haven't already try giving him a whimzee dog chew, that should keep him out of trouble for a while!
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Old 07-01-2020, 05:19 PM   #6
Woweth
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Default Re: Hamster bites at everything

Quote:
Originally Posted by cypher View Post
Hamsters aren't aggressive by nature, biting is generally a sign of fear or just their way of exploring everything, falling out with siblings isn't unusual but isn't a sign of aggression as we normally think of it.
2 weeks is still early days & you may well find you ham will grow out of biting, some remain a little bit nibbly but most biting does tend to stop as they get a bit older.
When you take him out does he have toys a wheel, chews & other things to explore or is he just running around the room? I would try using a ham safe playpen, you could try putting something like an old sheet or duvet cover over the carpet underneath & give him plenty of things to explore in there.
I don't think gloves are that helpful, I have tried them as a bit of an experiment with hams that didn't bite normally & they all bit the gloves & had a good chew!
I would just go slow, try letting him on your hand then slowly move your hand away if he bites & keep doing that for a while & see how it goes.


What chews does he have? If you haven't already try giving him a whimzee dog chew, that should keep him out of trouble for a while!
Hello, thanks for your reply. He does have a wheel and several toys when he comes out to play, but heís not too interested in them when heís outside of his enclosure. With my late hamster we bonded by me just sitting by him while he free roamed, letting him come to me if he wanted. He would start to climb up onto my shoulder and head, and we really bonded that way, he loved being around me and he was a great little guy. For the first few months he was very shy and timid so it wasnít an easy process, but he never seemed intent on biting at everything. My new dwarf (Noot) just wants to bite. I canít do the same thing as I did before, just sitting by him, as heíll attack me. I have tried holding out my bare hand which was thoroughly washed free of scents, but I knew to pull my hand away fast enough as he was just about to chomp down. I havenít given him the opportunity to bite me yet, since I usually manage to pull back in time, but he definitely wants to. I try feeding him treats but he wonít take them from me, so that doesnít work. I might just have to accept the fact heís not going to be as loving, or loving at all for that matter like my last hamster, and so when he is taken out to play, Iím just going to have to supervise him without being in direct contact with him.
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