The Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster is the least common of the two species of Dwarf Russian Hamster kept as pets and is therefore rarely seen in pet shops. The Dwarf Winter White Russian is sometimes also known as the Siberian Hamster.
Both the Dwarf Campbells Russian Hamster and the Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster are sometimes labelled as Djungarian Hamsters. The Russians themselves refer to the Dwarf Winter White as the Djungarian but American Scientists refer the Campbells as the Djungarian. It is however a very misleading name as neither species of Russian Hamster actually inhabit the area of Djungaria.
The Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster is more compact in shape than the Dwarf Campbells Russian Hamster and has more prominent eyes, a roman nose and a curved spine towards the rear giving it a bullet shaped body. Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamsters are approximately 8-10cm in length when full grown with males being larger than females. They have expandable cheek pouches. Russian Hamsters have furry feet and are sometimes referred to as the Furry or Hairy Footed Hamster.
The Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster is so called because of its tendency to turn white in the winter. This is due to the shorter daylight hours and the hamster’s coat may become lighter or have white patches or become almost completely white. Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamsters do not normally breed when in their winter white coat.
The Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster is sociable and will live with others of its own kind in single or mixed sex groups provided that hamsters are introduced at a young age. The Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster is nocturnal but can be quite active for short periods during the day. It makes a good pet although because of its small size it can be difficult for small children to handle. The Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster can also be less tolerant of clumsy handling than the bigger Syrian Hamster but is generally nice natured. They are able to squeeze through the bars of some hamster cages and so cages designed for mice, glass or plastic aquariums make more suitable cages. The average lifespan of the Dwarf Winter White Russian Hamster is 1½-2 years although they can live longer.
Due to the similar appearance of the Dwarf Campbells Russian Hamster and the Winter White Russian Hamster and their ability to interbreed it may be difficult to distinguish which species a particular hamster is, or indeed if it is a hybrid of the two species of Russian Hamster.