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Old 10-15-2020, 09:20 AM   #1
Tara Moss
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Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 23
Default New Syrian hamster friend is biting - only when trying to get her used to our hands

Hello Hamster experts! This forum has been so helpful. Thank you.

We've had our first hamster, Valka, for just under a month and she's doing well, seems settled, and not particularly scared. She is curious and comes over, accepts food from our fingers, etc. However...

She is biting when we try to lay a hand flat with a treat in the palm (as a precursor to getting her accustomed to being picked up). She really pierces the skin unfortunately and draws blood when she does this.

It hasn't happened when she appears 'scared'. In each case she has approached the hand while it is flat in the enclosure, with a treat in the palm, not moving. She approaches and then bites a finger instead of climbing on the hand to eat the treat. (And instead of backing away or ignoring the hand).

Any tips? We've been using a cup to transport her without incident, but hope to be able to pick her up in future if possible, when she is ready.
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Old 10-15-2020, 10:32 AM   #2
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: New Syrian hamster friend is biting - only when trying to get her used to our han

she is gorgeous. What is she like if you put your hand near her without the food on it?

I would try that if you haven't already. Let her get used to just your hand.

I often do this with a new hamster by setting up a small box with some hamster toys in it and transport them from the cage to the box with a mug/jug (what you are already doing) Let her roam around the box, but keep placing your hand in there so she has to walk over it, see how that goes? Any sign of her going towards your hand to bite it, move it out the way.

From 1:20 shows what I mean
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XnW...kNvEDm&index=4
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Old 10-15-2020, 11:32 AM   #3
NibblesTheHam
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Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Default Re: New Syrian hamster friend is biting - only when trying to get her used to our han

Congratulations on your new hamster! What I find helps is if you rub your hand in the bedding already in your hamster's cage, so that your hand smells like the hamster, and then put the treats on your hand and put it in the cage.
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Old 10-15-2020, 07:46 PM   #4
Tara Moss
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Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 23
Default Re: New Syrian hamster friend is biting - only when trying to get her used to our han

Quote:
Originally Posted by LunaTheHamster1 View Post
she is gorgeous. What is she like if you put your hand near her without the food on it?

I would try that if you haven't already. Let her get used to just your hand.

I often do this with a new hamster by setting up a small box with some hamster toys in it and transport them from the cage to the box with a mug/jug (what you are already doing) Let her roam around the box, but keep placing your hand in there so she has to walk over it, see how that goes? Any sign of her going towards your hand to bite it, move it out the way.

From 1:20 shows what I mean
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XnW...kNvEDm&index=4
Great video of Sunny. Thank you. We will try without food and see how she is. Fingers crossed x
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Old 10-15-2020, 07:47 PM   #5
Tara Moss
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Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Victoria, BC
Posts: 23
Default Re: New Syrian hamster friend is biting - only when trying to get her used to our han

Quote:
Originally Posted by NibblesTheHam View Post
Congratulations on your new hamster! What I find helps is if you rub your hand in the bedding already in your hamster's cage, so that your hand smells like the hamster, and then put the treats on your hand and put it in the cage.
Great idea. Thanks!
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hand, hamster, treat, scared, palm, flat, biting, approaches, moving, enclosure, skin, bites, syrian, friend, finger, approached, blood, happened, appears, case, climbing, draws, eat, hope, incident

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