Syrian Hamsters | An Owner's Guide

Campbell’s Russian

Campbell's Russian Hamsters

The Campbell’s Russian is the most common type ofĀ dwarf hamsterĀ available.

AppearanceĀ |Ā SizeĀ |Ā Expected Life SpanĀ |Ā Care


Campbellā€™s Russian dwarf hamsters, also known as Djungarian hamsters in America, are normally a gray-brown color that becomes creamier on the sides. They also have a white belly, a dark dorsal stripe along the length of their back, and furred feet. LikeĀ Syrian hamsters, however, there are a wide variety of color variations.

They can be similar in appearance toĀ Winter White RussiansĀ and may be mislabelled in pet stores, but Campbellā€™s Russians are more common.

Campbell’s Russian Hamster


Adult Campbellā€™s Russians are round-bodied and approximately 4 inches in length. Like otherĀ dwarf hamsters, their small size, as well as their speed and agility, can make them hard toĀ handleĀ for young children.

Expected Life Span

A Campbellā€™s Russian dwarf hamster can be expected to live for between 1.5 and 2 years, the same as aĀ Winter White Russian. Both of theseĀ dwarf speciesĀ therefore have a much shorter life span than other types of hamster.


Campbellā€™s Russians are generally friendly but they are not asĀ tameĀ as theĀ Syrian hamsterĀ and have a reputation for nipping when nervous or roughly handled. They should therefore not beĀ handledĀ by small children.

Despite their small size, they are extremely active and so should be housed in as large a cage as possible to give them the space they need to prevent boredom. A solid sided cage or an aquarium would be the most suitable choice ofĀ housingĀ as they are small enough to squeeze through the bars of most wire hamster cages.

They can normally be safely housed with other Campbellā€™s Russians if kept in same-sex pairs or small groups, but if you do want to house more than one together then they will need to be introduced at a young age. Even then, it is still possible that the hamsters need to be separated after they mature. New hamsters should never be introduced to a group.

Campbell’s Russians are fairly prone to diabetes, therefore it is best to avoidĀ feedingĀ them fruit or sugary treats.