How to Train Hamsters in a Maze

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Hamsters are small, adorable rodents that are nocturnal. If you are awake during the morning or up late, a hamster would work well as a pet because it will be awake from the evening to the early morning. Teaching hamsters tricks is not the same as teaching a cat or dog. However, you can build your hamster a maze and watch him find his food at the end. Your hamster will also be increasingly faster going through the maze as his memory of the maze improves.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard that has not been dyed
  • Hamster treats
  • Glue
  • Hamster food
  • Build your hamster's maze with cardboard that has not been dyed. You can find some at an arts and crafts store. Cut one large piece for the bottom of the hamster maze. Start with a small, simple maze with just a few turns. Cut pieces for the walls of the maze. These should be higher than 2 inches so your hamster does not just walk over them. Glue the walls to the floor of the maze, ensuring your hamster will have enough space to walk in between the walls. As an alternative, use old paper towel or toilet paper rolls to create a tunnel maze.

  • Sprinkle a trail of hamster food along the floor of the maze. Keep it in a straight line toward the end. The food will motivate your hamster to keep moving through the maze.

  • Introduce your hamster to his maze. Gently pick up your hamster during the hours he would be awake (from evening to early morning) so he will not be irritated from being woken up. Carefully place him at the entrance of the maze. He should see or smell the food and start to pick it up. Once he has finished his adventure you should put him back in his cage so he can put the food in his cheeks from the maze in his "pantry" (where he likes to store food).

  • Lose the food trail. Hamsters are excellent burrowers, which is why they like these mazes. It simulates the burrowing behavior. The next time you get the maze ready for your hamster, use just a treat at the end instead of a food trail throughout. He should be able to remember the turns well enough to get to that treat.

  • Create a more complex maze to challenge your hamster. Build one with more turns and a larger floor area. Begin with the food trail again and then just a treat at the end. See if your hamster can make it through.

Tips & Warnings

  • Try different types of hamster treats to see if your hamster reacts better to one kind.

References

  • Photo Credit Hamster image by Annekathrin Kohout from Fotolia.com hamster eating image by cat from Fotolia.com pet in hands image by aprilira from Fotolia.com Cute little hamster having lunch image by Andrr from Fotolia.com find yourself image by drx from Fotolia.com
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