Not only cats and dogs can be taught to carry out all kinds of commands. Rodents are also amenable to training. Rats and mice are the easiest to learn. Hamsters can also be trained in various tricks, if you make an effort to this. But how to train a hamster? What rules should be followed? What to refrain from?
How to choose a hamster
It’s no secret that it is best to start training any pet from his childhood. At an early age, the formation of conditioned reflexes occurs in animals. Hamsters are no exception. To make stunt training the most effective, it is best to buy a hamster from 3 to 15 weeks old. The older the hamster, the more difficult it will be to tame his actions and teach tricks. If the hamster is more than two years old, then training is already pointless.
You need to pay attention to the type of hamster you wish to purchase. Many owners find it easier to train and tame Syrian hamsters. On the other hand, they need more space than dwarf hamsters. The minimum cage size for the Dzungarian hamster should be 50 x 30 cm, and for the Syrian. 60 x 40 cm. The diameter of the running wheel for dwarfs should be at least 16 cm, and for Syrian hamsters – 18 cm. The cage should contain toys for hamsters, two feeders and a drinker. Syrian hamsters live a little longer, but they are not as active and agile as the Dzungarian hamsters.
Before you teach a hamster teams, you must tame it. After moving to a new house, the animal needs time to adapt. The first three days you should not pick him up or bother him again. You can talk to him in a quiet calm voice. After the animal settles in a new house, you can start dating.
First, the animal must be given a treat with hands. The hamster should get used to the smell of your body, and he will begin to associate your hands with the goodies. The animal can run up to your hands and smell them. Sometimes hamsters bite their fingers slightly. Do not blame them for this. The animal is simply exploring you and does not wish to harm you.
When the hamster ceases to be afraid of your hands, you can put a treat a little higher so that the animal has to climb completely into your palm. Repeat this procedure several times. When the hamster crawls into your hand without fear, the palm can be raised slightly above the surface. Gradually, the hamster will climb into your arms, and you can easily get it out of the cage. But be careful, because sometimes hamsters can jump with their hands. If the animal makes a jump from a meter high to the floor, it may break. Therefore, the hamster needs to be closely monitored when it is outside the cage.
Basic rules of training
Hamsters, unlike cats and dogs, perceive the punishment for misconduct as an act of aggression. In response, they try to protect themselves: they bite or run away. Therefore, you can train hamsters only with the help of encouragement. For the sake of a delicious treat, the animal will do a lot.
Before you train a hamster, you must observe the behavior of the animal. All hamsters have their own special character traits. Some animals make contact more easily and are more friendly towards humans. Other hamsters can bite and behave aggressively, hard to tame. In any case, do not force the animal to do what he does not want. The tricks you train your hamster should be based on the habits of the animal, its tendencies and learning ability.
Hamsters are nocturnal animals, therefore it is better to start training in the evening. Do not wake the animal in the afternoon, because you can bring down its daily regimen, which can cause diseases of the animal. Do not train with a hungry hamster. It is necessary to abandon the training of a sick, old animal or pregnant female.
Name for hamster
Exit from the cell
This trick is possible if your cage has a door located on the side, not the top. If the exit from the cage to the floor is too high, substitute the ladder so that the animal is not injured when it leaves. At the bottom of the stairs, put a treat. Then repeat the word "walk". When the hamster leaves the cage, he will immediately stumble on a treat. Repeat the workout several times. When the animal learns the command, you can no longer use the treat. Although it is worth encouraging him periodically so that the skill is not forgotten. Over time, after hearing a command, a trained hamster will rush to the exit even before the moment you open the door.
To teach a small pet to stand, it is necessary to take a treat with two fingers so that the hamster sees it. After that, you need to raise it so that the hamster was forced to reach for him, standing on his hind legs. In this case, you should repeat the command "at attention" or "stand." When the team is fixed, you no longer need to show the treat to the beast, you can only pronounce the command. Once the hamster completes it, then you can give a treat.
Following the hand of the owner
How to teach a hamster a trick? The hamster needs to show that you have a treat in your fingers. When the animal approaches your hand, slowly move it forward, enticing the animal behind you. After the hamster follows the hand, give him a treat. You can teach your pet to follow the hand in a straight line, after which you can draw circles or whole patterns. Do not forget to periodically encourage the animal, or he will quickly lose interest in following your hand.
A cage for a Dzungarian hamster should be equipped with different toys. When selecting the filling for the cell, it is necessary to pay attention to the safety of all objects. Thin metal staircases can cause injury to the animal. Unsafe for hamsters and fabric hammocks. Hamsters love tunnels and bridges, different mobile swings. It is better to choose wooden toys for hamsters. Plastic is less environmentally friendly. With these accessories, the hamster will learn to overcome obstacles in the cage.
Dzungarian hamsters jump high enough, so they can be taught to jump through the ring. But how to achieve this? How to train a hamster? Do not hang the ring too high, because then the hamster just runs under it. Initially, the ring may come into contact with the surface. Put a treat on one side, and plant the animal on the other. Move the ring so that the animal on the way to the treat does not have any other option but to go through the ring. When the skill is fixed, slightly raise the ring above the surface so that the hamster has to jump over it. Over time, the height can be increased.
In this way, the hamster can be taught to pass through other obstacles. You can hang a treat directly over an obstacle by a string. The hamster will have to climb onto the ledge to get it, and then get off it. If you have taught a hamster to follow a hand, you can run it over an obstacle so that the pet jumps over it.
So we looked at how to train a hamster. It must be remembered that hamsters quickly forget what they have been taught. Therefore, without constant training, the animal can quickly lose its learned skills. It is necessary to constantly communicate and work with the hamster, otherwise it may forget all the tricks and run wild for a short time.