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Do you know how to train your hamster? Training is very important if you want to spend a lot of time picking your hamster up and interacting with them without the risk of bites!
Training your hamster doesn’t mean that you have to teach them to sit and stay like a dog. It simply means that you teach your little friend to trust you, so that you can pick them up and spend time together.
Training also makes it easier to handle your hamster during cage cleaning or when making a trip to the vet.
Although training is very important, you should always give a new hamster time to settle in before you start. Once you have introduced your pet to its new home then give it a few days to just explore and play.
After a few days, it will be relaxed and well settled in. At this point, you and your hamster can start getting to know each other!
Remember though, your hamster will sleep and rest during the day. This means that the daytime is usually not a good time to disturb them. Always wait until your hamster is awake and running around before starting to train them.
Ready to find out how to train your hamster? Let’s get started…
How to train your hamster
Start with your voice
The first thing that your hamster needs to get used to is your voice. It’s a good idea to locate your hamster’s cage close enough for it to get used to the voices of people around, but not so close that the noise prevents it from being able to relax.
Once your hamster has had a couple of days to get used to its new home you can start to get close to the cage and talk to your pet.
You may wonder what you should say. Well, it doesn’t really matter! It’s not as though you will be holding a conversation with your hamster, you are just trying to get them used to the sound of your voice!
Handing out the treats
After a couple of days you can start to give your hamster treats from your hand. At first, just put your hand close to the entrance of the cage while holding a treat, such as a sunflower seed. Then wait for your pet to come to you.
Your hamster will eventually come over to investigate the food and will hopefully take the treat from your hand.
Eventually your hamster will feel comfortable enough to climb on to your hand to eat the treat. Obviously, don’t overdo this – you don’t want to give your hamster too many treats and end up making them fat.
Eventually, your pet will feel safe enough to come and sit on your hand when you put it in the cage, even if you are not bringing treats. At this point you can start to actually handle your hamster more regularly.
Remember that you need to be careful and gentle. You should cup one hand under your little friend and place the other hand gently on top of them to stop them from falling.
It’s best to keep your hands low and close to a surface when you handle your hamster. That way, there is always a safe surface for your pet to land on should it wriggle and fall from your grasp.
Let play time commence
When you first start to hold your hamster you should make sure that you only hold them for a minute or two each day. Eventually your pet will get excited at the prospect of playtime and you can start holding them for longer.
Much like humans, hamsters all have different personalities, so some hamsters will quite happily curl up and watch TV while being held on your lap, while others will want to go and explore after a few minutes. Always make sure that the area is safe for your hamster to run around and explore before you take it out of the cage. There should be no dangerous obstacles or escape routes, and no other pets in the room.
It’s important to note that you may need a lot of patience when training your hamster. Some learn a lot faster than others.
Bringing your pet into your home at the optimum age of 4-6 weeks will make things easier, but you may still have to work hard to train them.
The whole process can take several weeks, but it’s well worth the effort. It should mean that you have a hamster that is friendly and tame, rather than one that launches itself to bite you if you put your hand in its cage!
Have we missed anything? What did you do to train your hamster? Add a comment below to let us know!