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Old 12-06-2018, 03:26 PM   #1
Hamster Pup
Sazzle's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 125
Default Still not making much progress.

Hello everyone.

Itís been a while since I posted. A quick recap is that I had my ham Bernie at the end of August and he is now about 5 months old. He was incredibly nervous and Iím really sad to say that he still is.

The situation at the moment is that he doesnít get up at all until he thinks Iíve gone and the lights are out. Almost as soon as I do, he gets up and starts playing/eating/going on his wheel. I know this because if I go back into the room - even only a minute later - heís up! When he sees me, he either freezes, or bolts back to bed.

He eats everything I leave for him, explores the cage to find everything I hide for him overnight, and drinks normally. He seems in good health and has grown well.

Th trouble is Iím still not anywhere near able to tame him. Iíve tried all the advice Iíve been given on here to no avail. I now have a routine with him where he goes into the playpen when I clean him out and probably only one other time during each week. Once in the pen, he will take treats from my hand but is still so skittish. Iíve just had him in the pen and when I lay my arms in there for him to run on he reared up and made a squeal so I put him back in his cage. I donít want to stress him out and I have done everything I can to make him happy.

I think he only seems happy when I leave him alone and he can do his own thing without me in the room.

I feel ever so sad about it as Iíve had hamsters before and theyíve been out every day!

Is it okay that Bernie only leaves his cage twice a week, and only if i wake him up or lift his bed off him? Otherwise I would literally never see him. Do you think I should just give up and leave him to enjoy his life as he chooses?

Sorry for the long post. I know people are so experienced on here and so very helpful.

Thank you. X
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Old 12-07-2018, 03:06 PM   #2
Little Miss Tinytoes
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: UK
Posts: 6,538
Default Re: Still not making much progress.

Not really sure what else to suggest, seems like you've tried everything.
Some hamsters just never really end up tame, others can take months on end so I wouldn't worry too much about it if you can help it.
Does he like time out of the cage? I generally don't get hamsters out for playtime unless they want to come out. So with my robo I only get her out once every few weeks really. If he doesn't look to be enjoying it or it just seems to stress him out then there isn't a lot of point in it. If the cage itself is ok and enriching enough then he'll be fine not coming out much.
I know that wasn't much help but I suppose it's up to you whether or not you want to persevere and hope he becomes more comfortable around you, or to just let him be. I do think it's important to get hamsters tame enough so that they can at least handle a vet visit or something though, otherwise they can be a bit disastrous.
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Old 12-08-2018, 02:23 AM   #3
Dwarf whisperer
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Wales UK
Posts: 22,428
Default Re: Still not making much progress.

I agree that it does sound as though you've tried everything & there isn't much else to suggest, I think if they're bored in the cage & don't have enough to do then they are much more likely to come asking for attention, time out etc but some are really quite content to just stay at home most of the time, it does make taming difficult I know, I would continue to get him out a couple of times a week as you are & do what you can during that time to get him more comfortable with you around him & a little handling but otherwise I think you may just have to accept that's how he is.
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:05 AM   #4
Hamster Pup
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: UK
Posts: 125
Default Re: Still not making much progress.

Thank you both for your replies.

I think he must be content in there. He has a skyline marrakesh tank and I added lots of things to it after advice on here. He has a big wheel, lots of things to climb on and hiding places so I guess he just prefers his own company.

It’s just a shame because I really tried hard to tame him and get him to trust me, but he just avoids letting me see him at all costs!

I’m going to spot clean later and need to lift up his wooden ledge over his bed to do fhat so I’ll try to encourage him into the pen for a bit.

I just wanted to check that it was okay if he only leaves the cage once or twice a week. It seems a shame to me but I don’t want to have to force him as I think it’ll make him worse.

Thanks anyway. I’ll see how it goes. X
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Old 12-09-2018, 05:18 AM   #5
Senior Hamster
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Cornwall, UK
Posts: 506
Default Re: Still not making much progress.

You can use red lights to watch him without him seeing you! Hamster eyes can’t process red light so it looks dark to them still!
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