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Old 03-12-2020, 07:37 PM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 9
Unhappy Untamable hamster

Hi guys I've hit a big hurdle with my robo hamster.

I have been trying to tame him almost every day for the past two months and I can't get past him eating on my hand. I am unable to lift him or really touch him while he eats. He runs away and moves when I touch him.

I tried "bathtub taming" in a box because we don't have a tub and he did not like it one bit and he got so stressed I just put him back.

I knew robos were hard to tame but I'm very frustrated because I don't know what else to do with him.

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Old 03-12-2020, 09:38 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: London
Posts: 286
Default Re: Untamable hamster

Sorry to hear you're having this trouble. As you know, Robos are a very timid species and are notoriously hard to tame. They are also a species that very much likes everything to be on their terms, so they may walk onto your hand for a treat, but they won't necessarily want to be lifted up. Trust is very important with taming Robos, and is easily broken - so it's important not to push him. If he's not comfortable with being lifted I would not push him anymore at the moment. Wait a month or so, and just keep putting your hand in with a treat as you have been doing, and maybe after that time you can try again. If he still isn't comfortable, wait another month.

There may also come a point when you can make no more progress, and you may have to stop actively trying to tame him, and just appreciate the progress you have made. I also have a untame Robo, and when I got to this point I found I could finally enjoy her as the hamster she is, rather than trying to turn her into a friendly and cuddly hamster she will never be. I feel that with Robos, even a tiny bit of progress with taming is a success, and even if you never make any progress, if you gave the hamster a good and happy life, that is also a success. Don't ever feel like you or him failed if he is never completely at ease with you, because this is really quite rare with Robos, and even to get him eating on your hand is quite a success. Many Robos never even get to that point.
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Old 03-13-2020, 01:36 AM   #3
Ria P
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Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Wiltshire, UK
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Default Re: Untamable hamster

I also have a Robo and it took him four months to trust me enough to sit on my hand to eat some linseeds. I stroked him a couple of times briefly in the early morning while he was sitting on a log and was probably tired so more relaxed.
I am delighted that i even got that far with him but that is it now. I do not push or scare him in any way because i appreciate him for the hamster he is and want him to have a happy hamster life. In the end its about what he wants and not me. Robos are very shy and timid hamsters by nature so don't feel frustrated.
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Old 03-13-2020, 04:09 AM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: Romania
Posts: 233
Default Re: Untamable hamster

My robo only eats form my hand as well. I'm happy with this result. I don't think i can take it further.
Hamsters are addictive
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Old 03-14-2020, 03:31 PM   #5
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 9
Default Re: Untamable hamster

Okay thank you I will keep trying, I definitely don't mind just watching him run around and burrow, I just thought he would warm up to me enough to hang out.

regardless, I do love him very much and am continuously trying to keep him happy and busy. It's for sure a test for my patience but I am learning a lot from him.
Thank you!
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Old 03-14-2020, 03:33 PM   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2020
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Default Re: Untamable hamster

Thank you for your response I was really frustrated I wasn't making any more progress but you have for sure assured me.

I'll keep trying but I don't want to push him too much.

Thank you!
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Old 03-14-2020, 06:09 PM   #7
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Location: North of England
Posts: 20,075
Default Re: Untamable hamster

It's all been said I think every day is too much. With taming any hamster -every 2 or 3 days might be better. They need some space sometimes . I never did tame our robo - mainly because I had an awful lot on shortly after we first got him and it takes a lot of effort. If I had put more time and effort in I'd have got a bit further - it was lovely when I did pick him up and stroke him (in a playpen). And he didn't try and wriggle free but I do wonder if it is "playing dead" out of fear initially rather than being tame! The closest I got was that and having him run up my trouser leg while in the playpen. At least it was contact! However he would sit and have little chats. Him in the cage, me with the cage door open. He would sit and listen for ages while I talked to him. So there was quite a bit of interaction and he knew me and would communicate - showing me his wheel was stuck, showing me his ladder wasn't right - going over and kind of nodding his head and saying look at this! And looking at me and back again. So you do have a kind of bond and relationship.

But I could never put my hand in his cage without him running to hide.

This article is very helpful regarding taming robos - it helped me as partly I was a bit nervous of trying to pick him up in the playpen. They can be tamed - but like all hamsters they have individual personalities and some are more skittish than others. Some are more maverick and some more shy.

It's written by a hamstery who breeds robos. I can completely relate to the bit where it says food isn't the way to do it as robos are less interested in being tempted by food.

The Roborovski's Dwarf Hamster

Hope it helps! They are known more for being watching pets rather than handling - but they can b very entertaining and funny and also come out more often than syrians - during the day sometimes.

I found the easiest way was a playpen - with me in it as well. He'd run over me and I could pick him up and hold him while he walked past. The hard bit was getting him out of the cage in the first place. I would have to dismantle everything as he'd run behind the wheel and flatten himself between the wheel and cage bars even when everything else was removed from the cage. If you can get him out of the cage easily you're doing well.
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Old 03-16-2020, 03:10 PM   #8
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Feb 2020
Posts: 9
Default Re: Untamable hamster

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to me I will definitely look into getting a play pen and trying it out!
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