All large hamsters sold in pet stores are Syrians with different names according to markings.
Typically a Black Bear is a black Syrian, a Panda Bear is a Black and White Syrian, a Fancy Hamster is a short haired hamster, a Teddy Bear is a long haired hamster, etc.
These are all Syrian hamsters with different names to signify their coat type or color.
A Dwarf hamster can be one of several breeds sold in pet stores.
See our list below for some basic info on the different types of hamsters.
Syrian Hamster (Mesocricetus auratus): Aka: The Golden hamster, the Black Bear hamster, The Teddy Bear hamster, and the Fancy hamster. It can have several different color and coat types. This is the most common pet hamster. It reaches lengths of 6-7 inches. Also has expandable cheek pouches which can carry up to half its weight in food and/or bedding. This hamster is solitary, and will fight or even kill another hamster in its territory. Its average life span is 2½ – 4 years. They tend to make the best pet hamsters for children because of their docile nature, and easiness to tame.
Chinese Hamster (Cricetus Griseus): The mouse-like hamster from Northern China and Mongolia. Their size is 10-12cm in length. They can be flighty, but have friendly temperments. Greyish- brown fur with a dark stripe down its back, they also have longer tails than other hamsters. Their life span is 2-3 years, and they live comfortably in social colonies.
Campbell’s Russain Dwarf Hamster (Phodopus campbelli): Aka: Siberian and Russian hamster. This hamster is origionally from the deserts of Asia, Mongolia, and northeastern China. Dwarf hamster with a dorsal stripe. Approx 8-10cm in length. They typically live 1½ – 2 years, and do well in social groups. This dwarf is the most common dwarf sold in pet stores.
Winter White or Siberian Dwarf Hamster (Phodopus sungorus): Aka: Siberian and Russian hamster. Originally from Siberia and Kazakhstan. Their size is typically 8-10 cm in length. Very similar to the Campbell’s Russian Hamster in size and appearance and the two are often confused. In colder weather they can moult their coat into a white color. They live 1½ – 2 years, or longer, and they do well in social groups.
Roborovski Dwarf Hamster (Phodopus roborovskii): Originally from Mongolia and Northern China. Their size is 4-5 cm in length which makes them the smallest of the common pet hamsters. Their small size and jumpy nature can make them hard to handle, but they tend to be very sweet. Characterised by their distinctive white ‘eyebrows.’ Roborovskis can live 3 – 3½ years and has a longer life span than most hamsters. They also live well in same sex social groups.