Hamsters make great pets for people of all ages and can be very rewarding to form a strong bond with one another. Training your hamster to do tricks is a good way to form a friendship and a better level of trust.
But be prepared, it takes a little patience and each hamster has its own personality. Some will respond and learn faster than others, but with a young hamster and a little patience, you are sure to get results.
Make friends with your hamster
It’s not as crazy as it sounds, there are a lot of positives to seeing a child befriend their hamster. It helps them understand their pet better and care for them with more compassion, as well as giving both of them a friend to play with. If you take good care of your hamster, you will become friends over time.
Try to find a hamster that is 4-6 weeks old and is looking for a good home. Getting a young hamster and forming a friendship with him is much easier, older hamsters have already developed bad habits and are not easy to retrain.
Get your hamster used to your voice
Your hamster needs to get used to your voice if you are building trust. Always use a calm tone when talking to your hamster, never shout and avoid loud noises of all kinds.
Once your voice is familiar to your hamster, it will know when you are around and will be comfortable hearing you.
Use sunflower seeds as prizes
Hamsters’ favorite rewards are sunflower seeds, so using them as rewards can work to train your hamster. Make sure the seeds are safe for animals, I recommend purchasing them from hamster food suppliers specially formulated for rodents. Sunflower seeds bought in supermarkets often contain chemicals that are not suitable for small animals.
Also, keep in mind that sunflower seeds contain a lot of oils and this can start your hamster on the road to being overweight if you give them too many. The health of your hamster should be first, and the most important thing to keep in mind, then use the awards in moderation.
The purpose of rewarding your hamster is that you are associated with the rewards, and after the hamster performs certain actions, it will start expecting rewards.
Start by teaching your hamster some simple tricks
As with any training, you will need to start with something simple. The easiest trick to teach a hamster is to train it to stand up on command. To teach it this you have to hold a sunflower seed on the hamster’s head and in a calm but firm voice say “get up “. Get ready to repeat it again and again, you will see that it works.
Never give your hamster sunflower seed unless it stands up as instructed. Over time the hamster will see this as a game and will realize that he receives rewards for standing when asked. If your hamster is being stubborn, and you’re starting to doubt this is possible, there are plenty of videos online showing hamster tricks.
If you want to teach your hamster to roll you need to put the sunflower seed on its rear. It doesn’t get much more complicated than that, just keep trying and reward it with a seed if it completes a roll.
Hamsters are able to learn a few words through repetition. Always try to use the same tone and words when talking to your hamster and he will react accordingly. Use a latch “ no ” if the hamster is doing something you don’t want, but use it sparingly. Likewise, using encouraging words in a soft, happy tone will help support the hamster.
Teach your hamster to jump
This is another simple trick, you simply need to keep the treat out of your hamster’s reach so that it has to jump a bit to get there. Hamsters don’t jump far at their best, so be reasonable with distance.
Keep interest alive
It is not recommended to always do the same makeup for days on end. Think about how you would feel if you did the same thing every day. Even if you think your hamster hasn’t learned a certain trick yet, change its routine and try a different trick sometimes. You will notice that you make overall gains faster by keeping interest alive.
Don’t neglect exercise either, spending time doing tricks is no substitute for exercise. Putting your hamster in an exercise ball for 30 minutes or so and letting it run around and explore is a lot of fun for it after spending some time on tricks.
More prizes for your hamster
It can get a bit boring and even demotivating if you only give your hamster sunflower seeds as a treat.
Try some strawberry slices, hamsters love them and will perform tricks to get their hands on a few slices. There are also a couple of types of cereals that work well, Cheerios are the most popular as they are tasty and low in sugar.
Too much sugar is extremely bad for hamsters, as they are prone to developing diabetes and heart disease if they are given poor nutrition.
Don’t overexert your hamster
If your hamster is not interested or has stopped taking part in what you are trying to teach it, stop and come back the next day.
You cannot overexert your hamster, remember that it is a pet, not a circus animal. You are doing this training to bond and have fun, not just to have it exhibited on demand.