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Old 01-19-2024, 06:09 PM   #1
Hoosierhamster
Newborn Pup
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Posts: 6
Default First-time Hamster Challenges

Hello!

Iím a first time hamster owner with a new Cambellís dwarf. While he started off being very friendly and curious at the store and during his first week at home, he now is entirely reclusive.

He used to come out of his burrow to the sound of my hand and crawl into my palm. Now, he will not come ďabove groundĒ if he senses me close by. Itís been impossible to attempt taming him after our first few sessions since he wonít leave his burrow.

He has a 560Ē bin cage, a cork round tunnel, small sand bath, saucer, plastic hut, and 10Ē of bedding. I see evidence of his activity a few times a day, usually very early in the morning and again in the evening while Iím away.

Suggestions??

Thanks in advance for any advice!
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Old 01-20-2024, 05:24 PM   #2
meganm
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Join Date: Jan 2024
Posts: 11
Default Re: First-time Hamster Challenges

I'm a first-time owner too, so I'm going to pass along some advice I got from this forum that helped me.

I reduced the amount of bedding to a few inches; mine's at about 6 inches, but you may need to make it lower. There's a pile in one corner so she can burrow but not enough to have an underground kingdom. I bought a couple more hides and branches to make sure she feels covered and safe above ground. I was worried about my hammy becoming stressed because of the lack of bedding, but she seems to be doing well and comes out more to explore. I plan on keeping the amount of bedding this low until she is more tamed, maybe a couple of months.

On a side note, I've heard that saucers can cause injuries because they can't control the speed and fly off, which is why people recommend large wheels 10-12". Also, I'd keep an eye on the plastic hut to make sure he doesn't chew on it. (My source is always Victoria Raechel on Youtube, love her)

Good luck with the taming!
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Old 01-20-2024, 07:22 PM   #3
Hoosierhamster
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Join Date: Jan 2024
Posts: 6
Default Re: First-time Hamster Challenges

Thanks for the advice! Victoria was one of my first sources.

I’ve reduced the depth of bedding today and am already amazed at the amount of activity that I missed before! He’s been active several times during the day. Still a ways to go, but this seems to be a first step.
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Old 01-21-2024, 12:37 AM   #4
lovehamsters01
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Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 119
Default Re: First-time Hamster Challenges

ok so first of all, welcome to the world of hamster owning! a few points:
saucers are okay but ONLY in addition to an upright wheel. for a Campbells, I believe the minimum height requirement is 9in but the bigger the better.
if you are US based, I highly recommend a niteangel wheel, I've tried many and in my opinion, niteangel is the best!
I have a Campbells named Dusty, and while he is super friendly (I got him that way from a breeder) he is my most inactive hamster and I can go weeks without seeing him. He does wake up during the day more than my other hamsters, usually to get some food and water and take a quick lap around the cage but he wakes up super late for the night and goes back to sleep very early. so I think Campbells in general are a less active breed.
as for taming, there are many methods, although I don't know them so well because I buy my hamsters very tame. You can search around on the forum but a very popular one I've seen people discuss is the bathtub method, where you let your hamster run around in a tub and try to get him used to you. You can also try putting in a tissue with your scent on it (put it in your sleeve for a little while first), talking to your hamster, and trying to get him to eat from your hand. after your hamster feels comfortable taking food for you, you can work on touching/holding him.
If your taming sessions are stressing him out, take a break and try again when he seems calmer, maybe a few days later. A lot of taming is just a waiting game, and letting your hamster see he is safe. But again, this is really just stuff I've seen on this forum and I'm definitely not a taming expert.
good luck!
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Old 01-27-2024, 10:31 PM   #5
Hoosierhamster
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Join Date: Jan 2024
Posts: 6
Default Re: First-time Hamster Challenges

First, thanks for all the feedback!

Quick update: I bought him a Silent Runner wheel and he appeared to use it the first night. He’s growing more trusting and will eat out of my hand. He will even sit on my hand for a minute or so after the treat is gone. While still not as curious as when I first got him, the taming is trending in the right direction.

*Initially I introduced him as a Campbell’s. He is actually a Djungarian.
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Old 01-28-2024, 08:22 PM   #6
meganm
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Default Re: First-time Hamster Challenges

So glad to hear about the success!!
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