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Old 02-20-2012, 06:01 AM   #1
Boofle
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Default Why are there so many Russian dwarfs on Gumtree?

I've been on the lookout for a Syrian hamster so I've been checking the small furries section of Gumtree daily as a starting point. What I've noticed is that there are so many people selling two Russian dwarfs together, usually with the cage. Maybe it's just my local area, but does anyone else find that this is the case with their local Gumtree?

It makes me pretty sad for the poor dwarfs they are lovely pets and I think people and their children just get bored of them and then consider them disposable. This is usually reflected in the wording of the advert (i.e. extremely brief, a focus on how they are having to sell for less than they paid and you are lucky to be getting this price rather than that they want a loving home). I did however see a wonderful advert recently for a dwarf (not sure if I'm allowed to link to it here but if anyone's interested they can PM me). It was so detailed, explained all about the hamster and even included a YouTube video!

So my question is, do you think there are more adverts for dwarfs on Gumtree than any other type of hamster, and if so, why do you think this is?
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:05 AM   #2
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Default Re: Why are there so many Russian dwarfs on Gumtree?

I think people expect dwarfs to be more cuddly and handleable than they actually are. When they get them home and find the character is quite different from a Syrian and often they cannot tame, catch or handle them they decide to 'dump' them. It is very sad and people should research a lot more the character and behaviour of their proposed pet before jumping in and buying them
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: Why are there so many Russian dwarfs on Gumtree?

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Originally Posted by souffle View Post
I think people expect dwarfs to be more cuddly and handleable than they actually are. When they get them home and find the character is quite different from a Syrian and often they cannot tame, catch or handle them they decide to 'dump' them. It is very sad and people should research a lot more the character and behaviour of their proposed pet before jumping in and buying them
I think you must be right. After all, I ended up taking over the care of my younger brother's dwarf after my mum bought it for him and the hamster turned out to be too quick for him and not suitable for him at all. I just wish like you that people would consider things like this more before buying them.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:25 AM   #4
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Default Re: Why are there so many Russian dwarfs on Gumtree?

I agree 100%. As I said in another thread, hamsters are not disposable when you get fed up. They are living breathing animals and as such should command care and love.
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Old 02-20-2012, 06:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: Why are there so many Russian dwarfs on Gumtree?

It is horrible, i remember having dwarf's as a child and everyone of mine were tame and lovely, But still no idea how i manage it. Where as now problems with my Robo's but we'll get there evnetually. I understand people having to give them up for circumstances out of their control, but people really need to realise that animals have different behaviour types and such. At P@H the amount of adoptions i see which have the reason for being put up for adoption as them being ill is quite ridiculous, i don't think i've actually seen another reason in the last 5months...
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:14 AM   #6
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Default Re: Why are there so many Russian dwarfs on Gumtree?

I think if people were better advised by pet shops it would be less common. Dwarfs look very cute but aren't really suitable for children at all. I think parents are naive. Kids lose interest very quickly in their other 'toys' so why would pets be any different? I accepted when my daughter asked for a hamster that I would really be doing all the caring as at 6 it's unrealistic to expect otherwise (although, oddly, she loves cleaning out!).
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Old 02-20-2012, 08:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Why are there so many Russian dwarfs on Gumtree?

I think people often find them harder to tame than Syrian's and give up on them.
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Why are there so many Russian dwarfs on Gumtree?

- a lot of parents buy them for their children thinking they'll be all loving and cuddly from day 1, and when they realise it doesn't work like that, they can't be bothered with them so they get dumped
- because they're smaller than syrians they get the impression that they're going to be easier to handle for the kids, when the exact opposite is true
- parents ending up having to take care of them instead of their kids, and they're not prepared to do that
- kids get bored with them because they sleep all day and only come out when it's bed time for them
- a child gets bitten by one because it was being man-handled, parent panics and tries to get rid of them as quickly as possible
- hamsters are seen as children's toys rather than real animals and are considered disposable when the child gets bored of them
- hamster keeps the family awake at night because it's chewing in the bars of its cage due to boredom - but rather than spending a couple of pounds on chew toys the parents decide to dump it instead
- hamsters are so easy to obtain and are so cheap that they're often an impulse-buy, or a birthday/Christmas present
- the pair of hamsters start fighting and rather than buying another cage they decide to get rid of both of them
-the hamster gets sick and the owner doesn't see it fit to pay for treatment for a little 'worthless' rodent that only lives a couple of years anyway.

Personally I think hamsters are the least suitable pets for children...If I was a breeder/owned a pet shop I'd refuse to sell them to anyone under the age of 16 and I wouldn't sell them to any adults who were considering them as a present for their kid. Also just make them more expensive for the sake of making people consider it twice before buying. If a hamster cost let's say 50 rather than 7-10, people would think more before buying. When you buy a dog from a breeder, you have to answer a lot of question and they may even inspect your home...it's nothing like that with a hamster or any rodent for that matter, that are mainly sold by pet shops. Buying a hamster from a pet shop is like buying a chocolate bar in a corner shop. It shouldn't be like that in my opinion. That's why there are so many unwanted hamsters...also pet rodents are prone to being mistreated a lot more than dogs or cats, as many people view rodents as emotionless, stupid vermin...which is very sad.
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Old 02-21-2012, 01:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Why are there so many Russian dwarfs on Gumtree?

I agree that it likely is mainly impulse buys gone wrong - hamsters aren't great for young children. When I was 7-12yrs old I had hamsters, but I was obsessed with them and was more than happy to clean them out and care for them. I don't think dwarves would have been suitable though. My sister on the other hand, had rats when she was younger, as they suited her personality much more. Not all parents do think about what pet would suit their child best, unfortunately - or think about if their child can handle the responsibility of their very own pet.
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Old 02-22-2012, 01:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: Why are there so many Russian dwarfs on Gumtree?

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Originally Posted by p_anda View Post
When you buy a dog from a breeder, you have to answer a lot of question and they may even inspect your home...it's nothing like that with a hamster or any rodent for that matter, that are mainly sold by pet shops. Buying a hamster from a pet shop is like buying a chocolate bar in a corner shop. It shouldn't be like that in my opinion.
I had to answer a few questions when I picked Nimh up from P@H adoption, but when I asked, "Is there anything else I need for her except the cage and substrate?", I didn't get much - gnaws, chin sand, wheels and nesting materials, none were mentioned.

Conversely, most hedgehog breeders either have to know you (namely see you are active on a forum), and in some cases, will make you do a questionnaire. I remember asking Bodhi's breeder when I'd get my questionnaire...she laughed at me, and said I knew more than her about a lot of things (other than breeding, of course!) - but I know she gives them out to others - basically asks what cage, what food, what toys are safe, what temperatures and how to keep the hog at those temps, and so forth.

It is a shame they don't do that with the small rodents. I know me and my partner eventually want to re-home rats or mice (well, both! But we're staggering to avoid being over-run!), and having looked at rescue centres around here, a fair few want either details of cage, photos of cage, or a home visit, and that is for hamsters/mice/rats/etc. Which is good to see - but then, this is rescues, so they are more responsible than pet shops.

But yes, although I don't use gumtree, Preloved (which I do look at occasionally) has the same ads for a range of species (although I haven't noticed a trend for russians, I did see more dwarfs than syrians when I lasted looked) - just depressing
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