Dwarf hamsters are smaller hamster friends that are native to Mongolia, China, and Russia. There are 3 types of the Dwarf hamster – Campbells Russian Dwarf, Siberian Winter White Dwarf, and the Roborovski Dwarf Hamster. Chinese hamsters are considered a “mouse or a rat” like a hamster. Dwarf Hamsters can live together in small groups, and they are more active than the Syrian hamsters. Dwarf hamsters have short periods of activity throughout the day.
Syrian Hamsters vs Dwarf Hamsters
Dwarf hamsters are much smaller than the Syrian hamster and as such need to have special consideration when choosing a hamster cage for them to live. They are capable of squeezing through some bar widths, especially the Roborovski dwarf hamster which is minuscule and very fast.
Most species of Dwarf are social animals and do best when living with a cage mate or in some circumstances small colonies. Fighting can occur if they become territorial or become cramped in poor conditions with other hamsters, so it’s important to give animals plenty of space.
1) Campbells Russian Dwarf or commonly called “Campbells” is the most common dwarf hamster to find in a pet shop. The Campbells are closely related to the Winter White and as such, can reproduce together to create hybrids. This is not recommended due to genetic defects and poor quality litters. Campbells have a reputation for biting compared to other Dwarfs such as the Winter Whites, however, with proper training and good upbringing, this should not be a problem for owners. Campbell’s dwarf hamsters typically have narrow dorsal stripes compared to the Djungarian (Winter White) hamster and gray fur on the stomach.
2) Winter White Dwarf (Djungarian) most commonly called “winter whites” They resemble the Campbells hamster only they have 3 stripes that run down their backs and they can change to a white coloring in the winter but in captivity they don’t always get this winter coat. They are also harder to find in pet shops than the Campbells dwarf hamster. There are three types of Winter White hamster –
3) Roborovski Dwarf Hamster or called “Robo Dwarf Hamsters” are the smallest of the dwarf varieties, and they are also hard to find in a pet shop. Robo hamsters have not been domesticated as long as the other dwarf species. Roborovskis are very fast at running and tiny making them unsuitable for pets for small children. They are more of a ‘look at’ pet.
4) Chinese hamsters are often lumped in with the Dwarf species even though technically they are not Dwarf Hamsters. They look like Mouse-Hamsters. There is a lot of confusion online with regards to their nature as solitary or communal animals. It is accepted they are difficult to live together and fighting is frequent.
Facts about Russian Dwarf Hamsters
- The typical Dwarf Hamsters life span is up to 3 years
- Dwarf Hamsters are herbivorous and can eat animal and vegetable matter
- Campbells and Winter White hamsters can pro-create and give birth to hybrid baby dwarf hamsters