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Old 07-15-2017, 08:17 AM   #11
Burakki
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Default Re: Are dwarf hamsters best kept alone?

As far as I know, whereas they do tend to live in groups in the wild, it's not always a guarantee that they will be happy in a group in a cage. As AP said, it depends on whether they'll get along and accept each other or not. In the wild, if they have a fallout, one of them can just go away and build himself a new home, but in the cage they don't have such possibility. Since they're also nocturnal, you may just not notice their fights if they fight while you're sleeping. It's best for everyone to just keep them alone.
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:45 AM   #12
Drago
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Default Re: Are dwarf hamsters best kept alone?

I personally never recommend keeping them together if you have the option. They really receive no benefits from it, and rather, can become stressed and sickly. I personally think it is a bit selfish to force to animals together, and then have one of them killed. It's a horrific sight- one I wouldn't wish upon anyone. I personally have never owned groups of dwarf hamsters, but throughout my childhood, many of my friends had. I also volunteer at groups that have pairs, and Id say about 75% of the time, it ended very badly. It's a shame because it really is such a preventable tragedy. If you ask almost any owner of pairs, they can tell you it really isn't such a great thing. Most owners end up worrying every night, whether or not one of their hams will still be there in the morning. It's just a preventable tragedy, and honestly, it isn't all that pricey to go out and buy a seperate cage Or just split a detolf! There are so many other options out there, so there really isn't a need for pairs aside from breeders

Now to get to the more scientific side of things...

Hamsters in the wild do not live in groups/pairs. They're actually mainly solitary creatures, only coming together, and staying together for breeding purposes. You're not likely to find a group of dwarf hamsters in the wild, simply because they aren't social, and tend to stick to themselves. However, they also will not usually immediately kill another hamster in their territories. Hence is why people have perpetuated the myth that they're social creatures, which simply is not true! There is little good literature on pairs, but the only scholarly articles I've found, would indicate that there are very few cases where hamsters will live in groups aside from breeding. There have been a few studies completed that assessed them living together. What they found was that it can be accomplished, but it was nearly impossible to provide the correct environment in captivity. What the study found was that they needed huge cages for this to succeed, plenty of cover, and places to hide if things got hairy. Overall, it's difficult to provide in captivity, and just not recommended.


To summarize my thoughts and opinions on this,
I don't believe hamsters should be kept together if you have the power. However, there is little evidence supporting either side of the argument. I think it's fair to make a claim either way as there are no conclusive studies (which is a real shame!). I would never ever hate or attack anyone for keeping pairs, and I don't think anybody should. It's their hamsters, and their choice. I simply advise against it. I think too many people claim "it's horrible and damaging, and you're torturing your hamsters" but I also think too many people claim "it's perfectly fine, they're social". I fall somewhere in the middle I suppose. I think that if something can be avoided, why wouldn't you avoid it? Just my thoughts on it
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Old 07-15-2017, 10:31 AM   #13
princedevitt
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Default Re: Are dwarf hamsters best kept alone?

personally i wish i hadn't kept my robos together in the first place, the times they slept together in the beginning wasn't worth the injuries one of my boys sustained. or at least, if you're going to try keep them in pairs/groups, have an incredibly big home for them both and really follow along the guidelines of having two of everything. having too small a cage, levels, or one of each item (one bowl, bottle, sand bath etc) will end up in territorial behaviour.
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Old 07-15-2017, 12:00 PM   #14
Crystalroborovski
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Default Re: Are dwarf hamsters best kept alone?

Personally, I wouldn't recommend anyone to keep a pair of dwarves in the same cage (I sound like a hypocrite because I did it myself but after my experience with that whole situation my views on keeping pairs has made a complete 180). It is just extremely stressful- the fact that you could wake up to one of your hamsters killing the other (or one of them being extremely injured or already dead because its cagemate killed it) is very nerve wracking.

Whenever my pair of robos began falling out I was so stressed and didn't want to fall asleep because of the reason I just explained. And it didn't help that my family was pressuring me to keep them together "because they're fine" or "because they're not killing each other." I noticed Key Lime was always more dominant over his brother, Tangerine, but in the week leading up to their separation Key Lime started seriously bullying his cagemate. He would attack Tangerine out of the blue and their squabbling turned into serious fighting. Tangerine was just not himself whenever Key Lime was bullying him. He was very skittish, afraid to walk by his brother, constantly hiding, inactive and he seemed very depressed. About a week into their falling out I woke up at 3:00 in the morning to hear very loud squealing coming from the boys' cage. Key Lime was viscously attacking his brother- it was an awful sight to see and one I wouldn't wish on anybody. I took Tangerine out of the cage and the next day I built him a bin cage. Now he is more confident and playful and Key Lime seems sweeter- not so aggressive.

So in the end I wouldn't recommend keeping pairs mainly because it is so stressful, for both the owner and the hamsters. I had my reasons for getting two hamsters instead of one, but I was too stubborn to listen to the people on this forum who were advising me to not get a pair.
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:53 AM   #15
Gerbil
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Default Re: Are dwarf hamsters best kept alone?

All great answers, thank you.

I agree with you about keeping them apart; it seems like a huge risk, and I was just wondering if there were any benefits since so many people seem to do it, but it appears not!

I actually don't have any plans for more hamsters (my parents would kill me!) but I must admit I would love a Campbell's or WW

Maybe in the future!
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Old 07-18-2017, 12:07 AM   #16
karlh
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Default

Interesting debate. As for studies of hamsters in the wild, actual true wilderness is hard to come by, as there are so few hamsters actually living in accessible wilderness...
Of almost my 20 dwarves, 2 RWW and the rest Campbells, I have not had a single fall out. Only with a group of 5, which was a mistake in the first place,as he was the last boy, the albino irritated all the others; so he was separated. They very often huddled together, in sleep or play; eat together. Even in their balls they would congregate in their favourite places. My boys always came from the same litter and from a reputable breeder around London. I found that they 'enjoy' each other's company and look for each other. They also groom each other. A group becomes bit of a problem when one of them dies. But, as they allegedly have short memories, this is not a big problem.

This link will explain how they live in the wild:
Welcome to the British Hamster Association Web Site

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Old 07-20-2017, 07:37 PM   #17
LauraLee
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Default Re: Are dwarf hamsters best kept alone?

The Syrian Hamster should be kept alone because he will fight.
My first and 2nd Syran hamster I kept in separate cages. The cages were close to each other. When they both got old(about 3 years old) Beau used to peel sunflower seeds and feed his brother Milo through the cage bars when he
was no longer able to peel the seeds. I think this was most unusual behavior.
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Old 07-21-2017, 01:38 PM   #18
Gerbil
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Default Re: Are dwarf hamsters best kept alone?

That sounds very unusual Laura!

I was actually just enquiring about dwarf hammies, there's no debate when it comes to housing Syrians together!
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