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Breed Profiles
Small Animal Breeds

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Select the small animal breed you are interested in from the list below.

Hamster - Dwarf Winter White Russian

You can find the contact details for specific breed societies local to you by going to the Your Territory area.

You may want to post any specific questions that you have about this breed in our Pet Talk area to ask people with first hand experience.

Hamster - Dwarf Winter White Russian

General
Other Names Djungarian Hamster and Siberian Hamster.
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 Winter White Russian hamster exists in different colours.
Size On average the Dwarf Winter White Russian hamster is 8-10cms long and the male is larger than the female.
Feeding 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.
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Cage & Bedding 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.
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Characteristics
Suitability For Children
Character & Temperament
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.
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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.
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Grooming
Types of Coat These hamsters are short haired.
Colour The Dwarf Russian hamster comes in a variety of colours. The most common colour being dark grey on top and almost black underneath. The other colours are sapphire, imperial and pearl.
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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 Kazakhstan and South West Siberia.

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