Dwarf Campbell's Russian Hamsters

Campbells Dwarf Hamster running in bogie wheel
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Phodopus campbelli

Other Names:

Sometimes also called the Djungarian hamster, mostly in America (in Russia, the name Djungarian is more often applied to the Winter White Russian hamster).

Expected Life Span:

1.5 - 2 years.


A small round bodied hamster that reaches an adult size of about 4 inches (10 cm). This means they are small enough to squeeze through the bars on many hamster cages so an aquarium is a safer choice for housing.

Behavior and Temperament:

Dwarf Russian Campbell's hamsters are nocturnal but may be active for short times during the day too. They make good pets, but they have a bit of a reputation for nipping if feeling threatened. Because they are small and quick, they can be a challenge to handle, especially for kids.

Social Characteristics:

Unlike Syrian hamsters, dwarf Russian Campbell's hamsters are social with their own species and can be kept in same-sex pairs or groupings, but usually only if they are introduced at a young age. It is not a good idea to introduce adults or new hamsters to a group. Occasionally hamsters that were raised together may even have to be separated.


Dwarf Russian Campbell's hamsters normally have grey-brown fur on their backs with a darker dorsal strip along the center of the back. The fur changes to a creamy color on the sides and whiter on the belly. However, selective breeding techniques have produced Campbell's hamsters in a wide variety of coat colors and patterns.

Campbell's hamsters are also noted for having furred feet.

Notes about Care:

Basic care is like that of other hamsters. As mentioned above, a wire hamster cage may not be escape proof so an aquarium or other solid sided cage with a ventilated but secure top is preferable. Avoid cedar or pine wood shavings, and keep cages well cleaned though to prevent ammonia build-up from accumulated urine as ventilation is diminished with solid sided housing.

Feed a good quality hamster food supplemented with small amounts of fresh foods. See Hamster Care for more detail.