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Old 09-07-2018, 08:42 PM   #1
Dalis
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Default Introducing Dwarf Hamsters

Hello. I currently have a Hybrid Dwarf hamster (named Izzy) and was thinking about getting her a friend. She is extremely territorial towards me. She is getting better about me in her cage but will bite. Will she be like this towards another hamster? I would completely clean out her cage. I have a spare in cage they don't get along. I also have double of everything so there is no fighting. Do you think this is bad idea? or wouldn't recommend? Should I take the chance?
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Old 09-07-2018, 09:14 PM   #2
mangoandmimi
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Default Re: Introducing Dwarf Hamsters

Izzy is perfectly happy living by herself. Keeping pairs from the same litter is difficult enough so introducing them now is a recipe for disaster really. Fights can escalate to the point where one or both seriously or fatally injure the other and you may not even realise until it’s too late. You must remember hamsters don’t need friends like humans do, you simply cannot compare them.
Sometimes even if you take all necessary precautions (2 wheels etc) fights still happen so I’m afraid it’s not as simple as that. Basically - no, I absolutely do not recommend. At this point I don’t even recommend getting same litter pairs due to the high number of fallouts that are so sudden and unexpected. Introducing should never be considered a chance to be taken, hamsters live a happy life by themselves.
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Old 09-07-2018, 11:41 PM   #3
Dalis
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Default Re: Introducing Dwarf Hamsters

For sure. It’s not worth the risk
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Old 09-08-2018, 01:39 AM   #4
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Introducing Dwarf Hamsters

Some very experienced people have managed to introduce dwarf hamsters so they can live together but it really needs a lot of experience and isn’t recommended - the experience is partly in judging the hamsters personalities and more. And what is likely to happen is one hamster will dominate and bully the other. Even if you din’t see signs of bullying it shows in size often - in that one will end up bigger and one smaller as the dominant one will take all the food. They would also both be under a lot of stress and the dominant one be extremely territorial. It is likely to lead to suffering.

I can see your thinking if your dwarf hammy is aggressive but maybe there are other things that can be done. What cage is your hammy in and how is it set up. Some hamsters hate a hand coming from above or feel stressed if there is nowhere dark and private in the cage to retreat to. It is usually fear that causes aggression but sometimes it can be stress - as in cage rage. It could also be that your hammy has had bad experiences with humans or hands before coming to you. I think taming and environment are the key and having a lot of patience. Time and patience and adopting an attitude if possible. Such as not showing or feeling frustration or fear with the hamster. Not easy if you get bitten! Maybe wear gloves when you attempt handling so you don’t react with fear or nervousness. But you’ll probably need to take it slowly and avoid handling for a while. Get your hammy out of the cage in a tube or ball or something like a hide or even a large jug you can scoop them up in and then hand over the top and gently put them in a large taming bin or the dry bath tub (plug in) with a few toys - eg a tube and a hidey place and some treats to find. And do the taming from there. Wear gloves and start with something like an old toothbrush so you can occasionally stroke the back with the bristles. If she grabs and bites the toothbrush try again another time. Talk in a gentle voice and say nice things to her. They pick up on time of voice. You could even try playing soft music at the same time. I used to play nursery rhymes and bedtime lullabies ��. Hopefully she will get used to being stroked by the toothbrush (just one or two strokes each time) and then move onto a stroke with one finger - still wearing the gloves- and every time she accepts a stroke put a treat out. But in the taming area not on your hand. When she accepts being stroked by a finger move onto putting your hand in the taming area away from her, flat on the bottom palm up with a bit of cheese or cucumber - something that smells nice and strong. When she eats from your hand keep still. It could take a few weeks a couple of times a week. Then move onto cupping a hand under her while she’s in there but din’t Try and hold her, just let her walk off again. If she diesn’t accept that and tries to bite go back a step. If she does then move onto lifting the cupped hand slightly - just a centimetre or so - when it’s cupped under her but again let her walk off. Once that is accepted you should be able to hold her but not for long at first.

To start witg would suggest looking at any cage changes to make it better for your hammy and then leave her alone for 3 days. Then start talking gently to her a few tunes a day through the cage. About anything and everything. Tell her about your day and tell her she’s lovely and clever. I swear they listen! Don’t clean anything for two weeks then start with the taming but still din’t Do clean outs. Just spot clean any pee - minimal. I would wait 3 weeks to be honest. Dwarfs don’t pee that much - ie until after the taming has started. Din’t Move or change anytging in her cage (unless it’s a safety thing or broken wheel) or that will set taming back. Also scatter feed. Put the usual amount of food in her bowl and scatter some on the substrate as well. You can go with spot cleaning for a long time and when you do do a cage clean only do a partial one each time and leave the nest and hoard - unless they are open on and then try and leave a clean bit behind. Replace any removed hoard with new food on exactly the same place and put a pile of torn up strips of plain white toilet paper out for her to take to rebuild the nest - but not in her house - somewhere in the cage so she can forage for it. They are most territorial about their nest and hoard. In time they get used to you doing things with these as and when necessary but need a bond with you first.

I can
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Old 09-08-2018, 01:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: Introducing Dwarf Hamsters

That should say peed on re the nest and hoard. Sorry about typos hope it’s understandable.
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Old 09-08-2018, 11:22 AM   #6
Sasha04
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Default Re: Introducing Dwarf Hamsters

Congrats on Izzy!
Like everyone said, don’t introduce her to another dwarf. She is very happy living on her own. Hope you and Izzy all the best with taming!
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:24 AM   #7
Dalis
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Default Re: Introducing Dwarf Hamsters

Yeah. Taming outside the cage is going great. She isn't afraid to crawl all over me and scurry about my bed. She will stay on my hand to eat her treat. Inside the cage she will bite me if she has just woken up or is being a grump. If she's been up and out she will sniff my hand and nibble but won't bite to draw blood as long as I don't make sudden movements. I've even been able to lift her out. So she's improving. Her cage is 600sq inches. She has two shelves she loves to hang out under when she's up or even just nap there instead of in her hide. But yes. She doesn't see like the type to need a roomy.
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Old 09-10-2018, 04:16 PM   #8
Sasha04
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Default Re: Introducing Dwarf Hamsters

That’s great to hear hoe much she is improving! Hams are just naturally territorial. HOpefully she will really start to trust you and recognize your scent so she wont be so territorial inside the cage! Best luck to you!
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