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White Dwarf Hamsters

My Dwarf is white. Does that mean he is a Russian Winter White?

By Luna Bug
No, not necessarily. Russian Campbell’s Dwarfs come in a variety of colors that are often confused as being Winter Whites. Winter Whites only come in the normal (agouti), Pearl, and Sapphire Blue. The biggest difference between the two is that Winter Whites will actually change their coat from normal (agouti), Pearl, or Sapphire Blue, to solid white with black ticking and black dorsal stripe. This happens about once a year. Russian Campbell’s will not change into a yearly white coat.

Often it is hard to tell an agouti (normal brown) Campbell’s from a Winter White (darker brown with some black ticking). Some of the differences are the black, or darker brown colors on the dorsal stripe and side arches.

Normal (agouti) Russian Winter White Dwarf
Notice the dark black dorsal stripe and dark side arches.

Notice the white under the black side arches on the Winter White.

Normal (agouti) Russian Campbell's Dwarf
Notice the lighter brown color dorsal stripe and less obvious brown side arches.

Some of the colors that Campbell’s come in, that are easily and commonly mistaken for a Winter White (in its white coat) are Albinos, Champagnes, Lilacs, and several various shades of Platinum.

This is an Opal Platinum Russian Campbell's Dwarf.
Notice he does not have black side arches nor does he have a black dorsal stripe.

This is a Winter White in his winter white coat.

Notice the black dorsal stripe and black ticking.

The Dwarf Campbells Russian, Winter White Russian and Chinese Hamster were all introduced to the pet market in the UK in the 1970s. The Roborovski Hamster came from the Netherlands into the UK in 1990.
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