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Old 07-02-2017, 11:11 AM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Scotland, UK
Posts: 36
Default Taming help?

I've been thinking of starting the taming process in a couple of days as my hamster still gets frights at small things but is very comfortable when I'm beside the cage. She still gets scared when my hand comes into the cage due to it opening from above so I was wondering if anyone had tips and step-by-step methods they could give me on taming an easily scared hamster?
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Old 07-02-2017, 03:03 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Southern United States
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Default Re: Taming help?

The way I've always boosted the confidence of skittish hams is really just by hanging out by their cages. I'll put my hand in and lie it flat for several minutes, this allows them to explore your scent and get used to human arms and hands hanging out in their cages. Just keep doing this nightly until she becomes used to you messing around in her cage. Remember too though that some hams just are skittish and there's nothing you can do about it. Good luck with taming
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Old 07-02-2017, 03:30 PM   #3
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Location: UK
Posts: 154
Default Re: Taming help?

Hi. I usually talk to mine everyday and start hand feeding treats to gain trust. Once he's comfortable with your hand around him you can start trying to stroke him gently with no sharp movements. Whilst doing these steps you could do the tissue trick where you shove some tissue up your clothes and then give it to them as bedding so they know your scent. You could also sit in a bathtub with him and let him explore like that. This really worked with my hamsters. Once you gained his trust with your hands, you can start the handling properly by letting him walk on your hand for a treat and just get them used to that. If he's territorial like most syrians are you may want to do this outside of the cage. But these are the few steps to take to tame a hamster so they're ready for handling.

**forgot that your hamster is a girl; ignore the "him" or "his"
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Old 07-02-2017, 10:43 PM   #4
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Location: Wales UK
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Default Re: Taming help?

If you're really having problems with the door being on top of the cage you could just try putting a tube, ball or box, anything she will happily climb into, wait for her to climb in then gently lift her out & carry her to a playpen, bath or other safe place, even a large plastic storage box (with a few toys to explore) & try interacting there.
Top doors are a bit of a pain as it's only natural for them to be scared by hands coming from above, as she seems comfortable with you around the cage you might do better trying this way.
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:08 AM   #5
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: London
Posts: 2,327
Default Re: Taming help?

I've just copied and pasted the advice I always give below, because I have yet to meet a hamster that this method does not work for:

Just wanted to share my experience which has been gained from taming 8 hamsters (though I appreciate that won't seem like a lot compared to many members here!). By taking the following steps, most hamsters will be very tame within a week, usually less. For a more tricky hamster, I'd imagine it may take a number of weeks, however it should still work. It does require patience and persistence, but if you want a tame hamster then your efforts will pay off.

First, you will need a medium sized box with no lid. In a large playpen or bath, most hamsters will be much more difficult to catch and more likely to run from you. I'm not saying you shouldn't offer a playpen for exercise, but taming sessions tend to be more successful in a smaller container. The plastic box I use is 56cm X 40cm X 30cm.

Now, what you want to do is put your hamster into this taming box for about 15 minutes at a time. Put your hands in and stroke them - they will skitter away or bend their back downwards at first, but keep going as eventually this behaviour will stop as they realises that stroking won't hurt them. Herd the hamster into a corner and cup your hands around them. Scoop them into your cupped hands, without letting them leave the floor as they WILL jump. At this stage, do not grab them and try to pick them up all the way off the floor. What you what to do, is to force them to come into contact with your hand, ideally to run over it. At first, they will probably jump over your hand to "freedom" as best they can, but don't be disheartened. Eventually, they will get used to your hands being in there and will walk off them, rather than jumping. Be warned: this may take quite a few sessions.

The next stage is that they will slow down so you will be able to hold the hamster in your hands a few cenimeters from the floor of the taming box and have them walk from one to the other. With time, they will be so used to you that they will be following your hands around the box, trying to climb your arms to freedom!

If you are having difficulty getting your hamster to walk over your hands, lay a cup on its side in the box. When they climbs inside it, pick the cup a few cm off the floor and make a bridge down with your hand, so they have to climb over your hand to get down. Then, repeat repeat repeat. The main aim here is to get the hamster used to being ON your hand, even if only for a second. Once they learns that it is not a scary thing, and you won't hurt them, you will be able to get him to walk on your hands, or even sit in them.

I use the taming box twice a day for 15-20 minutes at a time. Once in the morning, once in the evening (though I appreciate you may not want to get up that early just to be around when your hamster is, so once a day is fine too). It will not seem like you are making any progress at first, but within a few days they should start to calm down and you will see a big change. I tend to find that for a few days there are no changes, but suddenly one day you will see a big difference all at once.

You can transport your hamster to and from the taming box in a cup or a hamster ball, if you have one.

As for her running from your hand, this is normal at first, particularly with a door opening in the top. It will be easier to get to her if you lift the entire top of the cage off, so that you are not having to twist your arm at an odd angle. Also, instead if trying to pick her up from her cage in your hands at first, you should tempt her to walk into some kind if container, such as a cup or a hamster ball (perhaps by putting a few treats inside). If she will still not go into it, you can herd her gently into a corner and move it towards her so that she has to walk inside. You can then transport her in the container to the taming box.
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