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Old 08-18-2017, 01:21 AM   #1
Euan
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Default New Russian Dwarf Owner, Settling In and Taming Tips

Hi all,

We've previously owned a Winter White before that we rescued from a student household that unfortunately treated him as a living ornament and never interacted with him or took particularly good care/tamed him. We ended up just providing a comfortable home, stimulation and as much interaction as he was comfortable with. We never managed to tame him to the point of full handling.

We've now gone and got another Dwarf (Russian), a young one from a pet store, and provided a nice large cage, plenty of substrates to dig about and bed into, plenty of hidey holes and toys.

In regards to settling him into his new home and taming, what are your guys' top tips and could you share some wisdom on this?

Thanks,

Euan
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Old 08-18-2017, 08:18 AM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: New Russian Dwarf Owner, Settling In and Taming Tips

Congrats on your new Russian!
How long have you had him/her?
I would give him/her a few days to settle in but I never leave them completely alone during that time, if your ham seems inquisitive & ready to interact then just talking quietly & offering a few treats either through the bars or on your hand, laid flat in the cage but not moving is usually a good way to start.
Some can be territorial but I find most are happy to interact in the cage to begin with then when they're ready move on to a play bin/cage or playpen with lots to explore, toys, maybe some hidden treats & you can interact more with them there.
I personally don't recommend the bath tub method used with syrians with dwarfs as it can be a bit overwhelming for them.
Just go at your hams pace, slow but steady & consistent.
They're all individuals so it's hard to give much in the way of general tips but if you have any questions just ask.
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Old 08-19-2017, 01:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: New Russian Dwarf Owner, Settling In and Taming Tips

Hi Cypher, thanks for the advice. We've had him for three days today and we've consistently been speaking to him when he's been out getting food or exploring. Through when approached he gets nervous and freezes and runs back to his nest, so should we just keep speaking to him? Or should we just put our hand in with a treat anyway? As he's still new I expect that's normal
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Old 08-19-2017, 02:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: New Russian Dwarf Owner, Settling In and Taming Tips

It is quite normal for some to behave like that after such a short time, keep talking to him, I would try putting your hand in the cage with a treat, just keep your hand very still so as not to scare him & wait a short while to see if he'll come out for a look, it may take several attempts for him to get brave enough so if he stays in his house I would leave the treat there then walk away for a while so he can come out to find it & he will begin to associate hands with good things.
Have you done the tissue trick? Putting some plain white toilet tissue up your sleeve for a few hours then shredding it & putting it in the cage. You can do that each day for a while & it helps them get used to your scent.
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Old 08-19-2017, 02:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: New Russian Dwarf Owner, Settling In and Taming Tips

Though saying that I got him to take a meal worm from but it slipped out my fingers whilst he was nibbling and Inthink I moved a bit fast for him and he screamed.
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Old 08-19-2017, 02:33 AM   #6
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Default Re: New Russian Dwarf Owner, Settling In and Taming Tips

Aw bless him. I have just adopted a russian dwarf hamster so am watching this thread with interest.

A white russian called Popcorn
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Old 08-19-2017, 02:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: New Russian Dwarf Owner, Settling In and Taming Tips

Congratulations on getting a new hamster. In time he/she should settle and get used to you.
You can put toilet paper up your sleeve for a while. The tear it into strips and put them in the cage. This gets the hamster used to your scent and helps with taming. Talking to the hamster is good, so keep doing that. A millet spray is liked by dwarf hamsters and you can hold it while your hamster eats.
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Old 08-19-2017, 02:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: New Russian Dwarf Owner, Settling In and Taming Tips

Yeah my wife and I will try the tissue paper today and scatter that about and just keep a distance for today if we see him. We'll just keep speaking to him.
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Old 08-19-2017, 04:35 AM   #9
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Default Re: New Russian Dwarf Owner, Settling In and Taming Tips

Well done for getting him to take a mealworm even if he did scream! That's a good start & mealworms are often the way to their hearts I wouldn't worry too much about the screaming, just keep going slow & steady & he should get over it soon enough.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:23 AM   #10
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Default Re: New Russian Dwarf Owner, Settling In and Taming Tips

Well progress is slow but getting there. Nugget is now happy to potter about with us in the room and next to the cage as long as no one makes any sudden movements or looms over the cage otherwise he runs for cover.
He will very slowly approach and nibble at food presented and sniff hands. Is there anything else we can be doing to make him feel more at ease? As I don't want to keep scaring and spooking him which will stress him out, or is it just a case of time?
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