Saturday, November 17, 2012

Can Hamsters be Trained?

So, can you train your pet hamster? The answer is yes. From the time you bring hammie home to the day you've entered your pet in an agility contest, your hamster has learned a lot.

Humphrey Bit Me!!

I remember when I got Peanut and brought her home. I set up her cage all nice, then I opened up her chewed carry-home box. There she was, sleeping in the corner of her little box, when I probably scared her half to death by opening it up. She refused to go in the cage at all. I had to scoop her up, despite her wiggling and shrieking, and place her in the cage. Every hamster-owner remembers this time too, and they've probably gotten to know the hamster better since then. There is a certain way to introduce your pet to you and your family, and it takes at least a month.

Day 1:

Leave hamster alone.  Allow her to explore the cage but don't let her out of it.

3 days later:

Slowly feed the hamster a few treats. Drop them near the hamster, but don't shove them in her face.

In a week: 

Put some treats in your hand and put your hand in the cage. Lay out your palm close to the hamster.(Tip: If your hammie seems scared of your hand, rub the bedding from the sleeping area all over your hands. They will not smell your scent very strongly, that way, he may come to sniff you.)

In about 2 weeks:

Your hamster should be starting to show interest and coming into your hand. Do this everyday, and be sure to do it in the cage(because if the hamster feels the need to run, he won't fall far).

In a month:

By now, your hamster will be staying in your cupped palm. He'll feel less timid, and he will be eating the treats you offer him. Try stroking your hamster while he is in your hand. If he shrieks or tries to bite your finger, stop. Put him back in the cage gently. This shows him that biting is not allowed.

In around 1/2 a year:

Great! You've achieved your goal! Now you can train your hamster to do the following things!!!

  • Spin in a circle
  • Go through a maze you make
  • Stand on two legs
  • EVEN MORE!!!

Gradually train your hamster these tricks. If you do it all at once, he'll get confused and most likely walk off.
Train once a day for 10 minutes a day. Animals like hamsters love a challenge especially when it involves treats, so challenge your hamster but at the same time, let him have fun!


  1. I taught Peanut to run on her wheel in the direction I tell her to. I can't believe she can understand it!

  2. When training how quickly do you reward the hamster?

    1. With special treats. Pieces of cheese, pretzel, meat crumbles, dabs of yogurt and cottage cheese are acceptable.

  3. I didn't realize you could train a Hamster. When I had my hamster all he did was eat,sleep during the day and run on his squeaky wheel at night.


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