Author: Joanne Rosser
Last Updated: July 4, 2020
Hand taming your dwarf hamster is a necessary process – unless you want to get bitten!
If your pet hamster is already hand tamed at the time of purchase, you can avoid having to go through the whole process. Just make sure to double check by interacting with the hamster before you purchase it.
Another reason not to hand tame is if you bought one from a breeder, because most of the pups were handled at a very early age so they are used to the human’s touch and won’t be afraid.
But even if your dwarf hamster is already hand tamed, you still have to regularly interact with it!
If you don’t, your dwarf hamster will eventually become wild again and lose its tameness. To keep your dwarf hamster from becoming wild, you must handle them at least once every two weeks.
Here are 5 tips and tricks to correctly hand tame your dwarf hamster.
Give Your Dwarf Hamster Some Space Before Handling
When bringing your new dwarf hamster home, don’t try and hand tame it right away. It will be a very anxious situation for your new pet so give it a couple of days to rest and become used to the new home and environment.
This is the most important step as giving your dwarf hamster time to adjust and settle will greatly improve your chances of successfully hand taming them. If you find you can’t just leave the hamster alone, you can let the hamster get used to your scent. Do this by putting your hand against the cage letting the hamster smell it and become familiar with your scent.
Use Gloves When Starting To Handle Your Dwarf Hamster
After a few days one the new hamster is settled, you can start the handling process. I strongly recommend using gloves, just in case the hamster decides to bite. Using dishwasher gloves and putting winter gloves over them tends to work nicely.
Once you have your gloves on, don’t just reach in and snatch your dwarf hamster up. The trick is to establish trust and by moving too quickly this, you can freak the hamster out even more!
Give Your Dwarf Hamster Treats
Slowly introduce your gloved hand by placing it in the cage, giving the dwarf hamster a chance to sniff it and run over it a couple of times. Next, place a treat or a sunflower seed right in the middle of your palm and allow the hamster to come up and eat it. Once the dwarf hamster takes the treat, remove your hand from the cage and let it walk from one palm to the other.
While you are doing this, talk and communicate with your hamster so it becomes used to the sound of your voice. Ideally this step should be practiced every day for about a week so your dwarf hamster becomes familiar with you.
Tip: Make sure you are sitting down and your hands are low to the floor just in case the hamster runs off. It is recommended that you do this over an empty box or container so that the dwarf hamster will not run away and escape!
Handle Your Dwarf Hamster Regularly
The next week, you can now attempt to pick the hamster up from the cage but make sure to still use gloves. This time you can put your hand in, let the hamster sniff and recognize your scent then slowly and gently try to pick the hamster up.
Once you pick your hamster up, let it walk on your hand to the next over and over again. You can gently cup your hand over it as well. This should be done every day for another week.
Now You Can Put The Gloves Away
During this time, you can build trust with your hamster by giving it a treat such as a baby carrot directly from your fingers. Hopefully by now your dwarf hamster should recognize your hand as something that gives it food and will not harm it.
You can now put away the gloves and place your hand directly into the cage, repeating steps 3 and 4. Make sure that you wash your hands clean though if you’ve been handling food. You definitely don’t want your hands to have a food scent that will cause the dwarf hamster to take a big bite!
Give it time and your dwarf hamster will trust you, allowing you to pick them up and handle them with ease. If your hamster runs away from you at any time, give them space. A hamster that runs away clearly does not want to be handled.
Remember that hand taming a dwarf hamster doesn’t happen overnight. Be patient and the end results will be rewarding – consistency is the key!