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Old 09-05-2023, 09:33 AM   #1
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Sep 2023
Posts: 2
Default Aggressive dwarf hamster?

Hello, was hoping for some advice. One of my dwarf hamsters is a bit odd in that I've had him for about 3 weeks now. I've given him a big enclosure (50 gallon aquarium, so space and cage pacing is not a problem) and plenty of time to adjust. But rather than taking time before getting curious or comfortable with a human hand, he'll just come up and bite.

I've been working on just showing the back of my hand and pulling away to hopefully teach him that he doesn't need to bite, but I've still gotten a fair number of scratches. And he'll definitely go for fingers too. If I wear gloves, he's learned that gloves give treats and has no issue sniffing around and climbing on for food. But human skin/scent? Bite first, possibly run away after.

Has anyone else dealt with aggressive hamsters like this? he's quite young and from a pet store so perhaps he's traumatized from previous handling? He has no issues taking food from my fingers and eating on the spot. And petting him while he's eating is not a problem either.
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Old 11-08-2023, 09:54 PM   #2
Newborn Pup
Join Date: Nov 2023
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Default Re: Aggressive dwarf hamster?

I am so so glad you have posted this because i am having a very eerily similar issue with my russian dwarf hamster, although i have had mine for 2.5 months now. She is also from a pet store.
I did the whole taking it slow with her and building a bond with her, which was actually great up until 3 weeks ago when she literally started biting (quite aggressively) me every time she see's bare skin.
She still wants attention and comes rushing to the side hatch to be let out for a run around in her ball or all over me, and is actively wants to interact with me but she savages my fingers and hands so much i now need to wear gloves or hide my hands in my sleeves to handle her physically. Things were honestly amazing and now it is like she hates my scent. I make sure I don't smell of strong lotions/soap/food etc, so it seems like it's literally just me.
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Old 11-15-2023, 01:47 AM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Yorkshire, UK but my heart lies in Scotland!
Posts: 28,125
Default Re: Aggressive dwarf hamster?

This is often down to cage aggression and having your hand in their territory. I would try taking them out using a mug or we use a pringles tube and taking them well away from the cage. Allow them to climb out and practice a lift and lay straight back down again. Say no to biting and be confident in the handling. Don't present a finger of anything they can grab. When we pick up the head should be under the heel end by the thumb and the tail at your fingers as they can't really grab the large thumb end. Dont try the run through the hand until they have a confident lift and lay. Return to the cage in the pringles tube. Dwarfs often nibble or feel the skin but they should not bite down.
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bite, problem, time, food, taking

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