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Old 07-21-2021, 06:55 AM   #1
Imogen
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Question Oreo is proving difficult. Please help. x

I got Oreo 8th of this month, which is two weeks ago tomorrow I ended up with a Russian Dwarf. Again assuming that he is a hybrid between both Campbell and Winter White - which is probably very likely.

He's very sweet, but as stated before already on this forum that he is just so terribly shy... He's been left alone all the time since the day I got him besides yesterday afternoon.

I really am unsure where to start with him. Considering I've only owned Syrians and looked after Syrians to help tame and care for them for a few weeks for some friends of mine, I have no experience with other species or this kind of personality.

He never ever comes out when you're in the room, like, not at all! I hardly see him. I managed to get him out yesterday to check over his enclosure as he hadn't been cleaned out in 2 weeks, reason being is I wanted him to try and warm up a bit to having big weird creatures opening the door and walking through the room... but honestly, I couldn't even find any wee pfft... I cleaned out the corner his hide is in anyway. It may have been clean or not but better than not doing anything at all.

He was looking up at me and kind of interested in me when he was in his carrier for a short period of time and fell asleep around you so he seemed kind of comfortable and curious. But as soon as he's in the cage he just stays hidden like he's super shy!

Does anyone know where to start with taming a very shy hamster? Like, I feel like the tissue trick won't help. He just hides when he sees you and all that will do is give scent. I think it's more to do with the sight of you than smell at the moment. Is there a way to get him used to you?

I don't always like to sit in my room, it's quiet and very isolating up there. I'm the one to sit downstairs on my laptop around family so that it's not quiet with the doors open during this hot weather.

I could fetch and carry his enclosure down so it's sat next to me on the table and shut the cats out from our living room. Our TV is hardly on so he wouldn't be affected by that either. I just feel like this is the only way I can think of as if he wants to come out for water or food etc. he'd have no choice to if I'm sitting beside him all the time.

But I really also can't be bothered to spend the effort having me and another relative carry his enclosure down super gently. It's not that heavy, it's just a very large 134l very useful bin box but I want to avoid trying to move him.

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Last edited by Imogen; 07-21-2021 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 07-21-2021, 07:53 AM   #2
LunaTheHamster1
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Default Re: Oreo is proving difficult. Please help. x

I think just give him time. I know my hamster Twinkle is a syrian, but it took him 6 weeks to get used to me being around.
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Old 07-21-2021, 09:42 AM   #3
VOESSY
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Default Re: Oreo is proving difficult. Please help. x

I'd also suggest time.
If he was in my care I feel like I would also be a bit worried and want to check up on him. I would not move him around though, but rather try to keep a routine up, feed at the same-ish times, hide some treats in the same places everytime, talk to him and eventually he might just peek his nose out more and more.
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Old 07-21-2021, 12:49 PM   #4
Ria P
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Smile Re: Oreo is proving difficult. Please help. x

I have a timid foster dwarf at the moment and i don't think that she's been handled because she's as fast as a Robo.
I have to get her out of her cage to check that she's healthy, establish whether she bites or not and to get an idea of her personality because i need this information to be able to put her up for adoption. I do that in the evening when she's likely to be awake but hiding in the substrate.

So, i put a strong smelling treat like a couple of mealworms in a mug and listen to locate her. Hamsters have a habit of sleeping in one or two places. Then i rustle the substrate calling her name and eventually she pokes her nose out so i rustle a bit more and place the mug in front of her and she walks in to get the treat. While she does that i tip up the mug and place her in the playpen or i put her on my lap if i need to check her over. I put a towel on my lap first because its easier to get hold of a small hamster in a towel should they decide to leg it.
If a hamster screeches at me when i rustle the substrate then i'll back off and try again later because in this case they're obviously not in the mood and its no good trying to work with an angry hamster.

I use this method for taming as well because i tame outside their cages.
It's important to keep a certain treat back for this purpose and use it for that purpose only otherwise they won't be tempted.

I'd give Oreo another couple of days or so and then start with taming. Not every evening but maybe every other evening. You could use a large cardboard box as a playpen and make sure you put a wheel or saucer in it with a tube or hide or whatever you want to put in. A wheel is a good stress buster they need until they get used to humans and out of cage time.

I think that he just needs to learn that you don't bite.
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Old 07-22-2021, 01:40 AM   #5
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Oreo is proving difficult. Please help. x

Agree with all the above. Particularly with the routine for feeding. Try and do that at the same time every day - maybe 6pm ish (5 or 7 good too). And a little bit of cage noise (lifting the lid off, taking the water bottle out etc) plus chatting to him (even if you can’t see him). Once he knows to expect feeding time he might start appearing at that time when he gains in confidence. But yes it is time. My only concern would be if you want to tame and handle him you will need to get him out a couple of times a week for a taming session (and an occasional health check). Pickle (Syrian) only comes out at feeding time but will often come to the cage door to say hello as well and that’s when I get him out sometimes - let him walk into something eg and lift him out that way. Although he is bigger and tame so easy to pick up anyway.

Does his bin cage have mesh on the sides? I think it helps if they can see what’s going on outside the cage (he’s bound to come out in the middle of the night). He may also be more shy with top access. With our Robo I gave up on a tank with top access and moved him into a cage with a front door. Had a lot more interaction then. Some people actually attach and old hanster cage door to the front of a bin cage, instead of mesh. The hamster heaven is a good option for a dwarf hammy.

When you said he looked up at you made me think of that. A shy hanster is naturally more wary of anything overhead rather than on their own level.

Assume you give him a bit of veg each day. I’d suggest putting the veg at the opposite end of the cage to his house, on a separate dish or in a ceramic hide eg - or whatever you have at that end that’s suitable to put wet veg on or in. It’s the thing they look forward to each day and will have to go to the other end of the cage to get it. He may still wait until you’re gone but at least he’ll get used to using the whole cage and venturing out more.
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Old 07-22-2021, 06:22 AM   #6
shane
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Default Re: Oreo is proving difficult. Please help. x

Oreo sounds so much like my boy. He’s in a bin-style cage. Here’s a little brain dump of what I’ve found:

-He’s much braver when the light is off and we’re in the dim light from the room next door. My movements are less likely to spook him.
-The tissue trick definitely worked. After he took the tissue I found I could place my hand outside his house and he’d eventually have a sniff. Once he started poking his nose out I was able to bribe him with treats.
-I always put my hand in at an angle, I put it in at the far end of the cage and slowly move it toward him horizontally. This way he can see (and smell) me coming.
-It took a few weeks for me to start figuring out where he was peeing because it didn’t smell at first. Now I can find the dirty substrate with my nose.
-I constantly talk when I’m in the cage, he now pokes his nose out when he hears my voice (because he’s expecting treats or dinner).

It’s been almost 2 months and last night he finally let me stroke him while nibbling on a pumpkin seed. The wait and frustration was worth that moment alone
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Old 07-22-2021, 07:03 AM   #7
Imogen
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Default Re: Oreo is proving difficult. Please help. x

Thank you for such awesome and helpful reassuring tips.

Ria P
Oreo seems to be a very picky eater. Not sure what pets at home did with him but he leaves all his big chunks of food which is quite difficult, he doesn't seem to like a lot of treats either. But for one thing I sure do know he definitely seems to like fresh banana, millet sprays and that alligator chew. Unlike Remy, he's obsessed with those nutri care HealthyBites.

Serendipity
No, his bin cage doesn't have any door on the side, I'd add it but I wouldn't know where I could place it without having to not have any deep substrate. I really can't afford to purchase anymore enclosures phaha, I'd be in such deep trouble buy my family because they already know I've spent 60 on that bin box and 60 on the IKEA detolf. They'd chuck the hamsters out completely if I was to purchase another enclosure.

We have an old cage outside, but that's way too small so out of the option. As well as it's probably had all mice over it so it'd be so unsanitary.

I'm actually going to try both of them with egg later on, see how they like it. Vege is prepared before hand but sometimes I miss days because I fall asleep from being up early. Is it okay to put vege in there during the afternoon when they're asleep? Or is it best to wait until they're awake?
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Old 07-22-2021, 07:19 AM   #8
Imogen
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Default Re: Oreo is proving difficult. Please help. x

Quote:
Originally Posted by shane View Post
Oreo sounds so much like my boy. Hes in a bin-style cage. Heres a little brain dump of what Ive found:

-Hes much braver when the light is off and were in the dim light from the room next door. My movements are less likely to spook him.
-The tissue trick definitely worked. After he took the tissue I found I could place my hand outside his house and hed eventually have a sniff. Once he started poking his nose out I was able to bribe him with treats.
-I always put my hand in at an angle, I put it in at the far end of the cage and slowly move it toward him horizontally. This way he can see (and smell) me coming.
-It took a few weeks for me to start figuring out where he was peeing because it didnt smell at first. Now I can find the dirty substrate with my nose.
-I constantly talk when Im in the cage, he now pokes his nose out when he hears my voice (because hes expecting treats or dinner).

Its been almost 2 months and last night he finally let me stroke him while nibbling on a pumpkin seed. The wait and frustration was worth that moment alone
Oh, this might help too! Thank you for the tips. x
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