Southern Hamster Club

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Home Showing your Hamster

A Guide to Showing your Hamster

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Your subscription to a hamster club is for one year, and as a club member you will be sent schedules for all the shows being held by that club. (If you wish to receive show schedules for another club then you should contact the Secretary of the club holding the show). You do not have to be a member to enter the shows.



Regular shows are held throughout Britain by the various hamster clubs. At hamster shows there will be classes for Syrian & Dwarf hamsters, as well as classes for pet hamsters.


Pet Classes

Pet classes are open to any exhibitor (adult or junior) and any species of pet hamster.
The hamsters entered in the pet classes do not need to “pedigree” type hamsters (meaning that they do not need to conform to specific colours as they do in the “main” classes), they can just be family pets.

The pets entered in the pet class are judged on their tameness & condition. They can be entered in their own cage or a suitable secure travelling box.
Your hamster doesn’t need any training to be shown, but they do need to be easy to handle.  
Hamsters entered in the pet class cannot be entered in the “main” show.
The entry fee for the pet class is usually 50p/75p per hamster, and you can come along and enter “on the day” (the “main” classes have to be entered in advance).

Its best to arrive about half an hour before pet judging starts to allow your self time to book your hamster in to the show.  The prizes are awarded as soon as judging is completed.

While your pet is being judged this is a good time for you to have a look around the show, or ask advice from the experienced breeders present.


“Pedigree” classes

I use the term “pedigree” very loosely, as hamsters do not need to be pedigree registered like pedigree dogs need to be for exhibiting.
These classes are normally called “main” or “straight” classes. The hamsters entered in the “main” classes, although not pedigree registered, they do need to conform to a specific species, colour etc.

The hamster shows are split into two sections, one solely for Syrians and the other for the other 3 species of hamster that can be exhibited in the UK (Russian Campbells, Russian Winter Whites & Chinese). This section is usually referred to as the Dwarf section.

In both the Dwarf and Syrian section you have to enter a “main” class before you can enter a “duplicate” class.

The “main” classes are usually split in to classes for different colours & coat types in the Syrian section, and classes for different species in the Dwarf section.
To enter the “main” classes you will need to know what species your hamster is, you will also need to know its colour, coat type (i.e. Long Hair or Satin coated),and what sex it is. When entering a hamster with a textured coat (Rex or Satin), the coat texture takes precedence over the coat colour.

Once you have entered your hamster in its correct “main” class you can now enter the duplicate classes. There are usually duplicate classes for juniors, novice exhibitors, breeders, etc.


Show pens

All hamsters entered in the main show must be entered in official show pens. New members can hire these for £1 per pen, per show.
Short haired Syrians & Dwarf hamsters should be shown on sawdust or wood shavings, and long haired Syrians should be exhibited on wood based pelleted cat litter.

A small piece of fruit or vegetable should be placed in the show pen to give your hamster some moisture during the day. A small dog biscuit is also allowed, but no other food should be placed in the show pen. No bedding is allowed in the show pen.

Only one Syrian hamster is allowed per show pen, and no more than two dwarfs can be entered in the same show pen.



Hamsters entered in the main show are judged and awarded points out of 100.

Dwarf Judging
Syrian Judging

The hamsters are judged on their shape, colour & markings, size, as well as their condition.


The hamster gaining the most points in each class is deemed the class winner, and the hamster amassing the most points in the show is deemed to be the “Best in Show” winner. At some shows there are also awards for “Reserve Best in Show”, this is given to the “runner up”, and an award for “Best Opposite Sex”, which is given to the hamster with the most points which is the opposite sex to that of the winner.
i.e., if the Best in Show winner is a male hamster, then the Best Opposite Sex is the highest placing female hamster.