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Hamster - Dwarf Campbells Russian Breed Profile

General
Other Names
 
Lifespan
On average the Dwarf Russian hamster can live 1.5 to 2 years, there are exceptions to this with some living longer and others shorter lives. 
Breeding
The ideal age for the female Dwarf Russian hamster to start breeding is between 3 and 4 months of age. The male stays with the female during the pregnancy and after the young have been born. The male is involved in the upbringing of the young.  
Average Litter Size
The Dwarf Russian hamster can produce, on average, 4-6 young. Litters of up to 10 or more have been recorded. 
Gestation Period
The gestation period is between 18-21 days. 
General Physical Description
The Campbells Russian hamster exists in different colours, from self-colours to patterns, and in different hair types. 
Size
On average the Dwarf Campbells Russian hamster is 10-12cms long and the male is larger than the female. 
A well-balanced dry hamster mix will contain all the necessary nutritional requirements that a hamster needs. They do enjoy the occasional treat in the form of fruit and vegetables. Do make sure these are limited as too much can cause diarrhoea. Avoid giving too much lettuce as this can lead to liver problems. An earthenware bowl is the best type of feeding dish to use, as they are harder to knock over than the plastic ones, also they not chewable. A water bottle fixed to the outside of the cage, with the water tube going into the cage, ensures a fresh water supply is available. 
A glass or plastic aquarium also make suitable cages for this hamster. Some of the more expensive hamster homes can consist of multi level cages with inter-connecting tubes and compartments. These are great for these Dwarf hamsters as they easily fit through the connecting tubes. A basic standard hamster cage is not ideal for the Dwarf Russian as the bars are usually too far apart and they can squeeze through easily, a cage designed for housing mice is better. Wood shavings should be used for the floor of the cage. Fine sawdust can cause eye irritations and cedar shavings can cause allergic reactions and irritations to the hamster due to the oil it contains. Bedding material should be provided and the best thing to use is shredded paper or hay. Do not use straw as it can cause eye injuries. Other bedding that is not suitable is any man made fibres and materials that can, and will, become stuck in the cheek pouches and cause stomach blockages. The hamster can also get its limbs stuck in the bedding. The cage should be cleaned out weekly and any old food removed. If it is necessary to wash the cage then only use a cleaner specifically designed for cleaning small rodents cages. An earthenware food bowl and a drinking bottle will also be required to feed and water the hamster. 
Characteristics
Suitability For Children
The Dwarf Russian hamster is suitable for both children and adults. They are probably not the best size of hamster for small children as they can be easily squashed, and will nip quite readily if annoyed.< 
Character & Temperament
The Dwarf Campbells Russian hamster is quite a sociable individual by nature, living in pairs or groups. They must be socialised at a young age, before they have been on their own for a time, and before they are 3 months old. They do establish a hierarchy and are known to fight if there is any upset within this. These arguments usually sound a lot worse than they actually are. If they continue to fight and injuries are being caused then they will need to be separated. 
Sleeping Habits
The Dwarf Russian hamster is nocturnal, but can be active for short periods during the day. They are more active at night, so this is the ideal time for them to be fed. 
Toys & Exercise
The cage itself could be furnished with items, such as a wheel, to provide exercise for the hamster. Some hamsters do not like wheels or the hamster balls that they can run around the house in. The ball is better suited to the larger hamsters, like the Syrian, the Dwarf hamsters have some trouble trying to push the ball around. As hamsters love to burrow a box filled three quarters full with shavings is ideal so they can burrow and tunnel as much as they like. They also like to climb. It is possible to provide plenty to entertain this hamster with using household items, such as toilet roll tubes and boxes. 
Grooming
Types of Coat
The coat comes in two types and textures. These are satin, which makes the hamster look wet and greasy, and wavy. The wavy coat is only noticeable in young hamsters, once they moult the coat grows in without the wave. They will, however, still have the curly whiskers they had before the moulting took place. 
Colour
The Dwarf Russian hamster comes in a variety of colours. The most common colour being brown/grey on top with cream underneath. The other colours are albino, argente (bright orange on top with a blue/grey underneath), opal and black-eyed white. The hamster coat also comes in patterns, which are combinations of the above colours and are known as mottled and platinum. 
Other
Intelligence
Hamsters can become accustomed to the sound of your voice, and will show various degrees of response. It may even be possible, using treats as rewards, to train the hamster to carry out some of its natural activities. 
Show Characteristics
 
Country of Origin
Central Asia, Northern Russia and North China. 

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