Dwarf Campbells Russian Hamster Behaviour
In the Wild
In the wild the Dwarf Campbells Russian Hamster lives in pairs or small groups, developing strong relationships with others in the pair or group. However, once mature they resent intruders and will attack any other hamsters that wander into their territory.
Dwarf Campbells Russian Hamsters live in burrows within the sandy steppes and sleep during the day, waking only for short periods. They are nocturnal and awake at dusk, being active at night. Their sight is poor but their sense of smell and hearing are very acute and they rely heavily on these senses to recognise each other and their environment. Both males and females use scent marks for their home territories.
They often share burrows with other animals such as Pikas (members of the Rabbit family).
In captivity the Dwarf Campbells Russian Hamster is a sociable pet and will live with another of its own kind if they are introduced when young. However, an older hamster will resent the addition of another hamster which it will perceive to invade its territory and a fierce fight is likely to occur.
Dwarf Campbells Russian Hamsters establish an order of hierarchy and so one hamster will be dominant over another. This establishment and reinforcement of dominance is often seen in "squabbling" although there is usually little physical contact. The dominant hamster will chase and corner the submissive hamster, who will then usually stand upright in a submissive gesture. The dominant hamster often licks the belly of the submissive hamster. Even a pair of hamsters taken from a group to live together will re-establish dominance between them in their new home.