Taming your Roborovski

Taming Robos can be a difficult and time demanding task. It really can't be done in the first couple of weeks acquiring your hamster(s).

Note: By 'taming', I mean being able to stroke and hold your Roborovski without him running away. This still means that you have to, by all means, always hold your Roborovski over a cardboard box and never over 15 cm above their cage/aquarium floor.

Taming a Roborovski is a task that requires a great deal of patience... and sometimes some pretty quick hands when he decides to run away. Your first experience with your pet may be a little frustrating as the Roborovski's skittish personality makes them rather untrusting of such a big and noisy intruder. When you are handling your hamsters you need to make sure it's super quiet in the room as they are easily startled and will bolt. You will also need to take care not to move suddenly and startle them. I have found that wearing dark (black or navy blue) clothing will *attract* the Robo - a great way to trick them to coming on to your arm!

Your first few sessions with your hamster will probably just be you trying to get him to hang out with you, preferably on your hand, but that won't last long as he/she will try to crawl all over you looking for a way to get away. You'll want to plan these sessions in an open area where you can sit so if he runs up your arm and rolls off your shoulder he won't get hurt and you can hopefully catch the little critter before can hide under something. The point of these sessions is to get your hamster used to your smell and hopefully reduce his fear of you. You could try to offer him some kind of treat but its doubtful that your hamster would take it from you or even pick it up at this point. 

Eventually your pet should calm down enough for you to try reaching with a finger and gently stroking him. The first few tries with probably send your hamster off again, but after a while you should reach a point where your Roborovski will sit in your hand while you stroke it with a finger.

At this point you should be able to successfully offer treats. When offering treats be sure to get your hamster's attention, but not to shove the food in his face, just hold it near your hand and wait for him to decide if he wants it. You can also use treats to coax/train your hamster to hop into your hand when you want to pick it up and play with it. Offering it at bedding level with a treat inside should provide enough motivation for him to come and see what you have and so long as you keep still and don't startle the critter, it will climb on and grab the goodie. After a while he will climb it without the promise of food.