When you buy a new hamster from a breeder or pet shop it is important that you know what sex it is.
This is especially true if you are buying hamsters to breed from or if you intend on keeping a pair or group of dwarf hammies and don’t want any unexpected litters.
If you buy your new little friend(s) from a breeder then you can be fairly certain that they will have sexed the babies properly, but pet shops often are inadequate at doing this and we often hear from people who have bought a male hamster home only to find “he” has babies a week or so later. This is because the pet shop where the hamster was purchased from sexed a female as a male and put her in the male tank where she was mated with and became pregnant.
Syrian Hamsters – boy or girl?
It’s quite easy to determine the sex of Syrian hamsters. The males will have noticeable testicles that hang down below the rear end once they have reached 4 weeks old.
The female Syrians, if the hair is short enough, will have noticeable nipples. There are two rows that run parallel on either side of the belly.
So to ensure you get the sex you are looking for here is a simple way to check:
Dwarf Hamsters sexing
Male Dwarf hamsters have testicles as well, but they are less obvious compared to their Syrian counterpart. All male hamsters can retract their testicles up into the abdomen when they are fearful, so the easiest way to determine the sex of your male dwarf hamster is to look for a scent gland near the belly button.
Female Dwarfs have nipples as well, but they are a lot smaller and harder to see. So you can either separate them based on the existence of the scent gland visible on males or the distance between the two openings at the rear. This is the same for both, males and females, the only difference being the actual distance. At males, they are further apart while on females they are much closer together. Based on that, it would be easy to tell the sex difference between two dwarf hamsters if you’d compare them in a pet shop, for example.
It is particularly important with Syrian hamsters that you do not keep them in pairs of the opposite sex, apart from having lots of unexpected and often unwanted babies they will also display a tendency to fight with each other – therefore, early sexing is not that important. On the other hand, dwarf hamsters are being kept in single-sex groups so if you have any babies in that group, you need to check them regularly to avoid any unwanted pregnancies.