The term “Russian dwarf hamster” is a common term for two species of hamster – the Campbell’s dwarf hamster or the Winter White dwarf hamster. It can also refer to a hybrid of the two. Russian dwarf hamsters are also known as Siberian hamsters or Siberian dwarf hamsters. The ones that are colorful and attractive are also labeled fancy Russian dwarf hamsters in pet shops. However, this is simply a marketing term and there is nothing different about a ‘fancy’ apart from its color.
Both Campbells’ and Winter Whites (and their hybrids) typically measure 3 to 4 inches in adulthood. Hybrids tend to be slightly bigger. Campbells’ and Winter Whites are frequently mistaken for each other due to their similarity. At one point, they were even confused for the same species by scientists. Their lifespan is between one to three years and most of them live for around 2 years.
Here’s a video of my winter white hamster, Oatmeal:
Russian dwarf hamster colors
Campbell’s dwarves and hybrids come in a wide variety of colors while winter whites have fewer colors. The table below lists each species and the colors they are available in. To see more colors, visit this page.
|Dark Gray||Merle (pattern)||Mandarin|
|Argente||Imperial White (pattern)||Moscow|
Care and feeding
As with other dwarf hamsters, you’ll require the right supplies, the correct diet, and to keep their cages clean. All these and more are covered in our dwarf hamster care page.
Taming your hamster
This is a great video on taming winter whites, but can also be applied to Campbell’s and hybrids.
- Start by giving your hamster treats so it associates you with rewards.
- When attempting to tame your hamster, have its wheel out too so it feels at home.
- Your hamster will run on the wheel a lot if when it’s nervous.
- Instead of grabbing your hamster, lift it up with both hands.
- Feed your hamster treats once it’s on your hand.
- Don’t be afraid if your hamster nibbles once in a while.
- If you can get your hamster to sit in your hand without trying to run away, you’ve successfully tamed it!
If you have any questions, comments, or tips, be sure to leave a comment. Thank you for reading!
References and further reading: