Sunday, October 23, 2011

Five Most Common Hamster Breeds

The Syrian Hamster:

The Syrian hamster (also known as the golden hamster) is the most popular hamster to keep as a pet. They are also the biggest hamster growing up to seven inches long. 

Syrian hamster are fiercely territorial with other hamsters so they need to be kept by themselves. However, these hamsters are generally fairly friendly and easy to handle with humans. They generally have a lower energy level than dwarf hamsters.

Syrian hamsters come in a variety of coat types, patterns, and colors. They can have short fur, long fur, rex fur (curly), and satin fur (shiny). Their are too many colors to even name, the most popular being golden, and some other common colors being cream, cinnamon, black, white, and grey. There are many patterns of colors including banded, spotted, calico, roan, and more.

The Campbell's or Russian Dwarf Hamster

The Campbell's or Russian hamster is also called the Djungarian hamster. However since that is not the easiest to pronounce it is usually just called the Campbell hamster or the russian hamster. 

The russian hamster is the most popular dwarf hamster, if handled frequently they can be very friendly and outgoing. 

The russian hamster comes in many different colors. The above coloring and pattern is the natural or "wild" coloring with a dark brownish grey strip on its back, grey-brown fur, and white to cream undersides. Other colors are mostly just variations of this with the fur being lighter or darker grey. They also come in cream, black, and white. The coat pattern usually remains pretty much the same, although the coat type can be regular short hair or satin. 

My hamster, Pipsqueak, is a russian dwarf. Her coat coloring is one of my favorites. Her coloration is called "black silver". 

The Chinese Dwarf Hamster

The Chinese Dwarf Hamsters is, in my opinion, the most unique out of the dwarf hamsters, as it doesn't really look like most dwarf hamsters. The chinese dwarf has a long thin body with a pink tail that is longer than most hamsters, making it look like a mouse.

Like Syrians, chinese dwarfs are generally very territorial and should not be housed with other hamsters. Females are generally more aggressive than males.

The coloring of chinese dwarfs doesn't vary too much. They have a brownish-grey stripe down their back and the rest of their fur is usually a grey-beige color.

The Winter White Dwarf Hamster

You might be thinking right now that the above picture looks an awfully lot like the russian hamster. That is because the Winter White hamster's coloring is basically exactly the same as the natural, or wild coloring of the russian hamster. At one time these two hamsters were thought to be the same breed.

However there is one big difference. As its name suggests, the winter white turns white in the winter! 

They are much like the russian hamster in other respects such as temperament and size.

The winter white does not have many different coat colors. They are usually all the same, however you can find a few dark grey or black ones. And in the winter you can find white ones.

The Roborovski Dwarf Hamster

Roborovskis or robos for short, are the smallest of all hamsters. They are generally just under two inches long, and may even be smaller!

Robos are the newest pet hamster out there. They are very gentle and docile however it is best not to handle them because they are FAST! Think of them as little blurs. They never stop moving so they are hard to pick up and catch.  They are more of pet that you just watch, and they are very entertaining to watch since when they are awake they are constantly moving and doing crazy things!

Robos have only one coat type, one patter, and one coloring that I know of which is: short hair, with fur that is a cream color with white undersides and feet. Robos also have unique white "eyebrows", which are super cute!


  1. What is the life expectancy of the hamsters? And what is their natural habitat? Have some of them developed as a result of humans breeding them for certain characteristics or are these 'natural' types?
    -Animal Gram

  2. I`m planing to get a syrian soon.