The Russian Dwarf hamster, often simply named, the “russian” is actually split into two different breeds. The name “russian” is used as the over-all term for the two breeds, which are the russian dwarf campbells, and the russian dwarf winter whites. The two are very similar and often are mistaken as one breed. Many petshops don’t know these facts, and are simply labeled as “russians”, regardless to whether they are Campbells or Winter Whites.
These breed names and terms can be a little confusing if you’re not familiar to the breeds, but once you learn the facts, you’ll feel just like any other hamster expert! Why don’t we take a look at the individual breeds?
Russian Dwarf Campbell:
- The Russian dwarf campbell, sometimes called the Djungaria hamster, originates from parts of Mongolia, particularly Djungaria. (Hence the alternative name!)
- The Campbell is usually dark grey in colour with a black stripe running down along the spine. They’re very striking hamsters, with small beady eyes and white belly. They can also come in an albino colour, which, as the name suggests, gives them a completely white coat.
- If you’ve bought a russian dwarf hamster in a petshop, it will almost definitely be a Campbell. They’re the most common of the Russian breeds.
- They can live in pairs, groups or on their own.
Suitability and Campbells as pets:
- Campbells are, as any dwarf breed, best as pets for teens and adults. Much like the roborovski, they are quick moving and timid. This is not to say that, with a little handling, a Campbell can become a wonderful and loving pet.
- It takes time to tame a Campbell hammy and to gain their trust.Infact, this is the case for all dwarf breeds, so please take this into consideration when choosing the best pet for you.
- Out of all hammies, Campbells are the most likely to bite. This doesn’t mean that they will all bight anytime you come near them, but simply that biting in Russians are more common than any other hamster. Having said that, it always depends on the personality of the animal!
- Campbells are timid and fast. They’re hilarious to watch and love to climb and and borough. They’re happiest in a big cage, where they can play! One of the pros of getting a Campbell, or even a Winter White, is that they work well in pairs, and are very playful!
The Winter White is very similar in temperament and and looks to the Campbell. Despite it’s name, they’re a grey colour aswell, and also with a stripe down their spine. Like they’re cousin, the Campbell they come in many different coats, including an albino coat. Many Russian hamster owners don’t even know which breed they have, so don’t be embarrassed if you don’t either!
The Winter White has also got the same traits as the Campbell. If you want a Winter White as a pet, you might have to go to a breeder, as they are rarely sold in petshops.
Both types of russian hamster make great pets and are beautiful to look at. They’re agile, delicate and elegant, yet provide entertainment for the whole family, as they climb, borough, hide and play! Anyone considering buying a Dwarf hamster should seriously consider these guys as a great candidate!