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Old 04-19-2016, 04:33 AM   #1
Robo JoJo
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Default Nipping Robo

Our robo has developed a new behavior in the paste couple of weeks. He's taken to nipping when when I put a finger in his box. I usually get 1-2 nips before he settles down & snuggles up to my fingers. Within the past two days, he's tended to nip whenever a finger it placed in front of him. I can still move the finger behind him and contact his body or pet him, but if the finger is moved forward, he'll try to nip.
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Old 04-22-2016, 10:51 PM   #2
freyashamsters
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Default Re: Nipping Robo

Do you wash your hands before handling/petting your hamster? If not, then that could be an explanation - they probably think you are food because you smell like it!
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Old 04-22-2016, 11:55 PM   #3
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Nipping Robo

I think sometimes they test anything that is near their nose/mouth to see if it is edible! As freyashamsters says, if you haven't washed your hands first, you could smell like food Especially if you've just eaten a packet of crisps for example. Even if you do wash your hands first, some soaps can smell quite tasty too - some are floral scented or have honey in so some kind of plain unscented or medicated type soap is probably best for hammy hand-washing.

Or it could just be a sign that he is saying "you're invading my space". Our hamster doesn't nip but he will give me a very gentle half nip if I am holding him awkwardly to say he wants to get down. He doesn't like a hand in his cage (unless it has food on it!) and even now I get him out in a tube. He walks into the tube and you lift the tube out with your hands over either end so they can't run out and fall. If he doesn't walk into the tube, a bit of cheese or cucumber or a treat at the far end should tempt him in. Once out of the cage they are less territorial, although I expect with a robo you would need a playpen for out of cage time as free roaming could be too difficult with them being so small.
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Old 04-24-2016, 01:37 AM   #4
xbuttons94
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Default Re: Nipping Robo

One of my Robo boys nips my fingers sometimes. He doesn't hurt me when he does it but I think he testing my hand to see if it is food.
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Old 04-24-2016, 11:47 PM   #5
oddlyoblivious
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Default Re: Nipping Robo

Quote:
Originally Posted by Serendipity7000 View Post
I think sometimes they test anything that is near their nose/mouth to see if it is edible! As freyashamsters says, if you haven't washed your hands first, you could smell like food Especially if you've just eaten a packet of crisps for example. Even if you do wash your hands first, some soaps can smell quite tasty too - some are floral scented or have honey in so some kind of plain unscented or medicated type soap is probably best for hammy hand-washing.

Or it could just be a sign that he is saying "you're invading my space". Our hamster doesn't nip but he will give me a very gentle half nip if I am holding him awkwardly to say he wants to get down. He doesn't like a hand in his cage (unless it has food on it!) and even now I get him out in a tube. He walks into the tube and you lift the tube out with your hands over either end so they can't run out and fall. If he doesn't walk into the tube, a bit of cheese or cucumber or a treat at the far end should tempt him in. Once out of the cage they are less territorial, although I expect with a robo you would need a playpen for out of cage time as free roaming could be too difficult with them being so small.
My Dwarf is the same way, especially if the hand is coming from upwards. I usually use a cup to get him out of the cage and let him walk out over my hands and he's fine that way. How long have you had him?
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Old 05-04-2016, 07:27 PM   #6
RCalabraro
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Default Re: Nipping Robo

I've had several "nippy" hamsters. If they seem curious, as opposed to aggressive, chances are they're just "tasting" you. Try to be brave and not pull away when they do this. If it's a curiosity nip, they won't hurt you. It's just counterintuitive to not reflexively pull away.

Phoenix did this to me all the time. She was very calm and affectionate, and would always come out to see me when she heard the lid come off her cage. I had to train myself not to pull away when she did this.

Keep in mind that hamsters have very bad eyesight, which means they rely more on their other senses. I think Phoenix would taste my sweat or something as a way of identification. I'm confident she never meant any harm. I'm sure if she really was being aggressive, she could put the hurt on me.

I talk softly to my hammies when I reach for them. I want them to realize it's me before I'm close enough to touch them. They might not see my hand until it's right in their faces. I've found that once they realize who is in their space, they get a lot calmer.
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finger, robo, nipping, nip, forward, front, days, tended, hell, body, pet, contact, moved, move, weeks, couple, put, box, paste, behavior, developed, fingers, snuggles, settles, 1-2

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