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Old 06-15-2008, 11:56 PM   #1
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Default Does anyone breed for temperament?

I understand the rationale of breeding for quality and type and furthering a particular strain or breed, but doesn't anyone breed purely for temperament?

I've been breeding pet guinea pigs for years now and that has to be my primary concern as most of the people who get babies from me are children and it's imperative I produce tame friendly and likable pets.

I'm thinking I would rather have a superbly friendly healthy hamster than a show stopper - am I heading in the wrong direction with this??
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Does anyone breed for temperament?

I breed for temperment. I wouldn't breed from a very nervous or viscious hamster, they have to be tame and friendly and people orientated.
I have bought a few hamsters from breeders and they have all had very nice temperments. The only hamster I have had which bit me consistently for over a year came from [email protected], other than that I have had one nip from a baby hamster the second day I had him which I felt was excusable.
Also, with hamsters, getting them used to being handled from an early age does make a difference. It takes longer to tame a 6 week old hamster that has never been handled than a 14 day one.
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Does anyone breed for temperament?

I believe Custard hams breed purely for temprament - Pophammy and Souffle.

Personally i've never come across a show ham that didn't have excellent temprament. All mine certainly do. For me, it wouldn't matter which of my hams i bred because they are all wonderful!
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Old 06-16-2008, 12:47 AM   #4
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Default Re: Does anyone breed for temperament?

Temperament has to be a huge factor when choosing which hamsters to keep for showing never mind breeding. A hamster which bites the judge, however pretty it is, is likely to be disqualified!!
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Old 06-16-2008, 03:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: Does anyone breed for temperament?

Our principle aim is temperament and we would never consider an animal with anything that might suggest it is not of good temperament. Few of our babies (we do not have many) go as show hamsters. The vast majority are pets which go to children and sometimes disabled people. We do have our breeding animals from other breeders though but would not breed them if there was any suspicion of biting tendancies. A lot of temperament is in the nurturing though and babies raised being handled from a young age and experiencing being handled by old and young, nervous and confident people can really help them. That is why we let the local kiddies play with them!
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: Does anyone breed for temperament?

I don't breed purely for temperament, however I would put it up there with any other consideration as regards any other area to be concentrated on. I could have the most wonderful looking ham in the world and if it was slightly vicious I wouldn't even consider breeding from it.

All our hams have lovely temperaments - I don't have any that are not tame, happy and confident and so its not something I have to worry about. But some have taken longer to train than others, and I find handling at a very early stage is a great help in allowing the hams to really enjoy human contact.
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Old 06-16-2008, 10:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Does anyone breed for temperament?

its a very important factor in breeding hamsters!
the important part with chinese hamsters is that it also helps breeding if you breed the right hamsters. Rob (WE55EX HAMS) sent me a lab breeding journal, in it, it stated that females with lower aggression levels and better temperament produced offspring with less aggression and a better temperament than other Chinese hamsters, so obviously the gene can be hereditary.

this theory is all well and good if you can find a in-aggressive female to start with, Rofl

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