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Old 05-18-2016, 05:52 PM   #1
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Unhappy Taming a pair of Dwarf Russians

hey guys,
I've had a pair of female dwarf hamsters for just about a month now, I've been trying to tame them the same way I tamed my Syrian (she's amazingly tame now) but it just doesn't seem to work. They take treats from my fingers without a problem, but it doesn't seem to progress from there.
They wont get onto my hand to take treats and if they do, one them will bite me.
If I place my hand in their cage they will chase after my hand and seem to try and bite me, I cant see any extreme sign of aggression, and they don't run away and hide so clearly they cant be scared right?
I have tried placing tissue in their cage with my scent on, I've tried the garden glove, they just chewed right through it.
Does anyone have any other ways of taming? I know its only been a month do I have to just keep doing the first step?
This is also my first time owning Dwarfs, I have only owned Syrians in the past!
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: Taming a pair of Dwarf Russians

How big is the cage that they're in? from my experience with my own hamsters if the cage is too small they can some times develop territorial issues. Make sure you wash your hands before trying to touch them because they could be able to smell food on your hands.
When they bite do they draw blood or just nibble? I've never owned a pair of hamsters so taming might be harder. There is a lot of amazing videos on YouTube about taming hamsters. Good luck!
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Taming a pair of Dwarf Russians

Dwarf hammies will walk into a cup to transport to a taming bin. I use a plastic storage bin, but a play pen or a cardboard box would work too. I don't recommend bath tub taming this early. I don't put my dwarves in the bathtub. I suppose you could but would need to be careful not to use towels as their nails could get tangled. I think a fleece blanket wouldn't get their nails tangled?

Don't chase your hamster to try to pick it up. Always let them come to you. let them take the treats from you on their own accord.

I have 6 dwarves including two Russians & one WW. The Russians don't bite & one of then let's me hold him for about 30 seconds & neither one of them are comfortable with me petting them while they eat.

But Chloe, my WW hybrid is almost 2 yrs & I haven't been able to tame her. She will bite & latch on & I never gave up on her but let her eat the seeds, even sitting on my hand but I have to pull it away real fast after the food is gone

Today she let me pick her up, let her walk onto my hand then I lift her up above her cage with cupped hands. I think she may jump so I always make sure she's over her cage & not lifted too high.

Anyways, I held her tonight & was able to successfully put her down but she still tried to bite just out of instinct. She knows I won't hurt her so I have no idea why she does this?

Try to be very patient & don't give up! Don't let them bite you, but just mostly use treats to win them over. They should see you as safe & stop biting. But if one or both keep biting don't take it personally. Hope for the best with you & your hammies
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Old 05-19-2016, 04:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: Taming a pair of Dwarf Russians

They are in the zoozone2 so it's pretty huge! I have been using a plastic tub to tame them in recently and it's just the same, biting, no matter what I do! I will keep taming, they are only young so I guess they will eventually come around,
Here's hoping anyway!
Thank you guys
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Old 05-20-2016, 12:00 AM   #5
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Default Re: Taming a pair of Dwarf Russians

It does sound as though they're being a bit cage territorial, I have to admit I've never had a pair so I'm not quite sure how you deal with it if both are trying to bite!
I've found none of my russians seemed to like being in a plastic bin & found a play pen with lots of toys, a wheel (or two with a pair!) some substrate from the cage to make it familiar works better & they soon get to enjoy that, it makes it easier to interact with them too as you don't have to approach from above.
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Old 05-20-2016, 01:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Taming a pair of Dwarf Russians

Sorry to hear you're hitting a road block with taming. Best advice is to not take it personally and to be patient because even something as simple as them taking treats from you, believe it or not is progress. I agree with cypher, plastic bins have never worked with my russians. With Thea, my first russian since taking a break from owning hammies to go to uni, I literally just laid my hand out in the play pen and after a few nibbles, she kind of just accepted my hand as not being a threat and I was lucky that the rest of the taming seemed to happen overnight. With Oreo, we're still one step forward and two back lol and she's coming on two years old now - ive just learned to roll with her punches hehe. I've never owned a pair though so maybe that's part of the issue, one is feeding off the others' anxiousness maybe? I do think though, with past experience, you sort of hit a a stage in taming where you either reach your goal or you reach your hammies goal if that makes sense? (Brain is slowing down on me now so apologies if that doesn't make a lick of sense lol!). With my Syrians and Thea (sadly no longer with me) they are (were) happy to come out and be handled but with Oreo she likes me one minute and is declaring war the next
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Old 05-27-2016, 11:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Taming a pair of Dwarf Russians

Hi Davidjan!

I just bought my first Russian Dwarf 2 weeks ago, and for the first 3 days I had the same issues as you. I tried the scented tissues (Not sure if it actually worked but she did drag it into her little hideout bed and she sleeps so soundly now) as well as the gloves. I found what worked was using the ceramic bath that I give her sand baths in, holding it close to the open cage door, allowing her to crawl in and then putting a cupped palm up to it and allowing her to come to me. I think this way she felt less threatened by me and now we have worked a routine and I get to handle her every day without her biting me

See the link for a picture reference to the ceramic item:

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Old 09-11-2016, 08:16 AM   #8
Aisling and hamster
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Default Re: Taming a pair of Dwarf Russians

I know it seems terribly hard, for a while i just couldn't tame my syrian hamster it took three monthes so i suggest you keep trying try find a treat the go nuts over and spend lots of time with them, hope this helped good luck.
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