Last Updated on: 27th September 2023, 08:52 pm
You can teach a hamster its name with consistent daily training. Hamsters can learn to react to sounds, even if they don’t understand English words.
Allow the hamster to settle into your home and earn its trust before commencing name training. Talk to the hamster regularly in a light tone so it feels safe, regularly using its name.
Once the hamster has settled in, start calling its name while offering a snack-based reward. The hamster will probably come over to claim its treat, associating food rewards with responding to its name.
Pair the name with another sound to create an unmistakable connection in the hamster’s mind. If we associate the name with a reward sound, the hamster is more likely to respond to it.
If a hamster learns to react to its name, it’ll be easier to teach tricks, establish a routine, comfort when stressed, and tempt it from hiding if it escapes.
Can You Teach a Hamster its Name?
Brain, Behavior, and Evolution explain how rodents have varying levels of intelligence.
Hamsters aren’t as intelligent as pet rats and mice but can learn tricks. This can include coaching a hamster to respond to certain sounds, including its new name.
A hamster can’t process human words and identify them as a name.
As far as the hamster is concerned, you’re just making a series of noises. However, with persistence, hamsters understand you’re trying to attract their attention.
How to Teach a Hamster Its Name
Teaching a hamster its name can be arduous, and there are no guarantees that the training will be successful. To stand the best chance, be consistent and offer rewards.
Follow these steps to teach a pet hamster its moniker:
Name That’s Easy To Learn
Naming a hamster affords opportunities for fun, but consider what moniker would be appropriate if you want to teach it to be most responsive. Choose a name with at least 2 or 3 syllables.
Hamsters don’t recognize the words you use when calling their name but will comprehend a sound sequence. Ensure these noises don’t sound like a command. If necessary, use a nickname.
If you call a hamster “Moe,” use “Moe-Moe,” “Mr. Moe,” or another other way to elongate the word.
With a longer name, you can create a unique and melodic sound when calling a hamster. The more syllables included in the name, the more variation you can use in pitch.
You must earn a pet hamster’s trust before commencing name training. Don’t commence training until the hamster settles into your home, which could take a few days or weeks.
Hamsters are stressed by change and are hardwired to fear humans. This means you must prove to the hamster that you aren’t a predator and don’t threaten its survival.
Give the hamster time, avoiding unnecessary handling.
Establish a reliable routine for food, light, and sleep. In addition, regularly talk around the hamster so that it recognizes the sound of your voice.
Can Hamsters Recognize Your Voice?
Hamsters are short-sighted and can’t see owners until they’re nearby. To this end, hamsters rely on their senses of smell and hearing to learn when humans are in proximity.
While a hamster adapts to new surroundings and hides away from human contact, it’ll pay attention to everything around it. The more you speak, the more a hamster will recognize your voice.
After a few days, the hamster will know the sound of your voice, especially when paired with your unique scent. As you’re no longer a stranger, it’ll be more receptive to approaching you.
Tone of Voice
Speaking to a hamster is insufficient for building a bond and earning trust. You must also use the right tone of voice in its presence, as hamsters are easily spooked.
Use a sing-song tone to keep your voice as low and soft as possible. Hamsters are likelier to be frightened by gruff, bass-heavy voices, although they can learn to trust somebody with this timbre.
One thing you should never do around a hamster is raise your voice or shout. Hamsters have sensitive hearing, and loud vocalizations will deter them from approaching.
Use the Name Often
The more you use a hamster’s name, the likelier it is to remember it.
Greet the hamster by name each time you walk into a room, whether it’s active or not. Also, always address the hamster directly by name during interactions.
Pair the Name with Other Sounds
We’ve discussed how hamsters don’t understand human language, so consider pairing its name with another sound. This can create a Pavlovian response.
As with raised voices, loud noises distress hamsters, so keep this additional sound low. Some examples to consider include the following:
- Rap a teaspoon on a food dish or cage bars.
- Softly clap your hands 3 times.
- Whistling a tune.
- Snap your fingers.
- Tap a windchime.
Eventually, the association will become second nature to a pet hamster.
The most important part of teaching a hamster its name is creating a positive association. Food frequently motivates hamsters, so this will always be an effective way to attract their attention.
Naturally, keep this up, and the hamster will associate the use of its name with a reward.
Keep repeating this step until the hamster responds to its name. This could take several weeks or months, and you must train consistently. Complete the task at the same time.
Using a hamster’s name daily makes it much likelier to continue responding.
You can likely get away with skipping a day or two of training. Don’t go without training your hamster for several days because this will cause it to regress.
A hamster will only respond to its name for as long as it is considered beneficial.
How Good is A Hamster’s Memory?
Hamsters recall people or animals that significantly impact their lives and survival.
According to the Journal of Comparative Psychology, hamsters have an excellent memory of unique scents. They’ll recall the aroma of another hamster for some time.
This suggests that hamsters can remember owners by smell. However, changing your cologne or deodorant may overpower your natural pheromones and confuse a hamster.
You must ensure a hamster doesn’t forget your voice. If you communicate with a hamster daily, using its name, it’ll continue to make positive associations.
Do Hamsters Respond to Their Name?
We’ve established that the answer to “Can hamsters recognize their names?” is yes, to an extent. Perhaps the bigger question is, will the hamster care that you’re calling for it?
This depends on the bond with a hamster and the associations with its name. It’ll likely approach when you call if it trusts you and you previously provided rewards while using its name.
Why Should I Teach A Hamster its Name?
There are reasons why teaching a hamster to recognize its name is beneficial, including the following:
- The use of its name calms a stressed hamster.
- Pairing its name with a basic command can help with teaching a hamster tricks.
- It builds a reliable feeding and grooming schedule.
If you’ve coached a hamster to respond to its name, you may be able to coax them out of its secret hiding place if it escapes the cage.
Hamsters will never respond to humans calling their names like dogs. However, a hamster may consider the use of its name a prelude to pleasure, which will further develop your bond.