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Which breed of dwarfs do best housed together?


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#1 Jeremiah

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 05:57 AM

Going to PetSmart in about an hour to pick my new hamsters, so I need a quick answer to this...

The associate on the phone says they only recommend having Robos (which I do not prefer due to their aversion to being handled) and Chinese hamsters in pairs. I don't buy this and was under the impression that any dwarfs will do well in pairs, as long as they have grown up together.

Can someone confirm or deny this? What breed of dwarf does best together?




#2 nef

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 06:09 AM

First of all it depends on the individual personality of the hamsters and of the size of your enclosure, the bigger the enclosure the better chance of them not fighting (the minimum its 360 square inches for ONE hamster, if you're getting 2 it should be bigger).

So, generally speaking robos are the easiest to pair up, but you're not interested in them so i guess after them its the russian campbells. I've seen some ppl say that winther whites have a tendency to fight aswell. I never had any personal experience with chinese but i've seen a lot of people say they dont usually get along.

So i'd say robos > RC > WW > chinese

Syrians should never be paired up after reaching maturity (probably sooner)

Edit: Fighting it's always a risk with hamsters, so if you dont have the possibility of having a 360 sq inches or bigger enclosure and don't want to have to split them into 2 cages the best option it's to get a single hamster. They can be verry happy alone if you give them an enclosure with enough space and stuff to keep them mentally stimulated

Edited by nef, 06 June 2012 - 06:12 AM.


#3 Jeremiah

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 06:14 AM

I've got a 590 sq inch bin cage, so there's plenty of space. If there's any serious fighting then, of course, I will separate them.

#4 nef

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 07:46 AM

Dont forget to get two of each food bowl (or a large one where they both can fit), wheel, water bottle and hideout

#5 MilkyFactory

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 02:45 PM

I agree with nef.
In the wild, robos live in colonies and campbells sometimes live in groups of a few member (although some solitaries are observed).
Winter Whites usually live alone but can be observed living as couples their whole life (male + female so in captivity it's more risky since it's same gender pairs).
Chinese hamsters are solitary in the wild exept for mating season, like syrians.
In my opinion this should be respected and they should be kept alone, but them being less agressive than syrians some owners manage to keep them in pairs.

Personally the only ones I'd recommend in pair are the robos.
Campbells could do as long as you find them in your area.
For the other two the chances you might have to separate them are very high.

#6 Lillias

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 03:46 PM

Since you aren't interested in robos, I would try a pair of Campbells from the same litter. My winter white pair got along pretty well, but in general Campbells have a better chance of getting along. With any species, fighting is a possibility, so keep a good eye on them and get two wheels and two hideouts.

#7 Robolover13

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 06:47 PM

I agree. Robos are the best together, then Campbells, then WWs, then Chinese (which I really don't recommend housing together!). Best bet is getting Campbells since you don't want Robos.

#8 bobthealien

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 10:39 PM

My winter white brothers lasted about a week before Tweek had a chunk of his cheek removed by his own brother Posted Image . Don't chance with them. Get 1, or 2 with another cage (hopefully matching bins?). Don't do 2 Syrians, unless you have a second (MATCHING?((sorry. I just like it when things match =D))) bin. Chinese probably won't work. WW's probably won't work. Robos and Campbells may or may not. Be prepared to separate. 2 of everything!!! (that's where I went wrong... 1 wheel and 1 water bottle and one food dish...)

#9 mdkristen43

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 08:30 AM

Chinese should be at the top of the list. They're first instinct is family, hence, they get long very well with other hammies in the same litter all throughout their lifespan. Placing them with another Chinese hamster that is not in their family, well thats a different story. But if you are getting two hamsters, get two chinese dwarfs from the same litter and you'll have no problem. The people at Petsmart/PetCo can tell you more about that, they are some of the ones who informed me about this as well. Have fun!

#10 Christmas_hamster

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 09:32 AM

Chinese should be at the top of the list. They're first instinct is family, hence, they get long very well with other hammies in the same litter all throughout their lifespan. Placing them with another Chinese hamster that is not in their family, well thats a different story. But if you are getting two hamsters, get two chinese dwarfs from the same litter and you'll have no problem. The people at Petsmart/PetCo can tell you more about that, they are some of the ones who informed me about this as well. Have fun!


Not necessarily true. Most people have problem keeping Chinese hams housed together more so than dwarf hamsters. It isn't a guarantee just because they are related. However when I asked around on a bunch of forums about keeping chinese hamsters together, it seemed that habitat played a huge role in their success.

I wouldn't say that any hamster's first instinct is family. Their social needs are not as strong as other animals such as rats, who will starve themselves if it means that their bonded cage mate will be harmed. Dwarfs hamsters as well as Chinese hamsters are not that social. Their instinct for hoarding is stronger than their need for a social group. If having dwarfs in pairs/groups was that important to their well being than it would be almost cruel to keep them alone.