Creating a connection with your rabbit is mutually satisfying and rewarding. If the floor won’t work for you bring the rabbit up on the sofa or bed with you. I thank you for, "My girls are wanting a couple of rabbits. Having his legs behind him means that he cannot leap to run away or attack, which indicates that your rabbit trusts you and feels safe in your home. As with all of the other resources on this website, it is to be used by rabbit caretakers or those who want to help them. ", to them really helped. When your rabbit feels brave enough to come out for a look around, sit quietly (on the floor is best) and let your rabbit come to you. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. I'm printing all this information for my granddaughter, who recently got an indoor pet rabbit. Give your rabbit a hiding house so that if it gets scared or stressed, it always has a place that it feels safe in. ", girls and the bunnies. Is this a sign of loneliness? Be sure to keep the room your rabbit lives in at a comfortable temperature. She has worked at the same animal clinic in her hometown for over 20 years. Understanding rabbits’ unique language is helpful when building a bond with your pet rabbit for the long term. Bonding rabbits can take time, patience, and persistence. It goes on to say that “coerced closeness” may result in positive memories despite them coming from a stressful situation. When his ears are upwards it means he's paying attention to his surroundings and that he's cautious. House Rabbit Society Educator in Training, Minnesota, Designed by Elegant Themes | Powered by WordPress, CA – Ban of Fur Sales (Including Rabbit Fur), https://blogs.rspca.org.uk/insights/2015/11/05/rabbit-behaviour-all-about-bunny-body-language/#.WGwICbGZNE4, http://www.therabbithouse.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/rabbitshabits.png, Strategies For Managing Behavior Problems In Companion Rabbits, References on Rabbit Behavior, Welfare and Rabbits in Society. Use a soothing voice to calm your rabbit. Be sure to support the bunny's back and hindquarters when you're holding it and use a firm grip without squeezing the rabbit. Don’t allow any guest or outsider to trouble your bunny. Let your rabbit come to you. They need more than one drop at a time. If he/she does not move away continue to pet his/her head and the back of the ears. If your rabbit's body is tense, it is a sign that he is frightened or anxious. What is the purpose of rabbit bonding? My rabbit is nearly four years old, and he was my first pet, so I wasn't very experienced. It’s also a domestic animal that’s well-known for forming a tight bond with its owner. Probably not. Set a two-minute timer, if necessary, then put the bunnies back in their cages and get on with your life! Veterinarian Pippa Elliott observes: "Rabbits are traditionally looked on as children's pets. They won't understand why you are yelling and you will only scare your rabbit if you are loud. The rabbit now might think that your bed is an appropriate toilet area. So let your rabbit come to you first. ", steps, she doesn't want to leave my lap! That tells me how to bond with my two rabbits. Whimpering or squealing is typically a sign of pain or fear. A prominent example of shared emotion between rabbits and humans is grief. Dr. Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience in veterinary surgery and companion animal practice. To build a relationship with your rabbit you’ve got to get on the same level. The rabbits need to establish trust now with a bad history behind them, rather than a blank slate. One article they posted discusses performing one session a day in a somewhat stressful situation with the second in a less stressful situation. A rabbit won’t ever be a cat or a dog. Won’t it just happen, like with a puppy or kitten? If it is an outdoor area, be sure that the enclosure is completely fenced in and that your rabbit will not be able to hop out of the enclosure. Learning how to read your rabbit's body language and give him what he needs will help your rabbit learn to trust you and deepen the bond between human and pet. Remove any electrical cords and other household objects that you don't want your rabbit to chew on. Rabbits over six months old should be given between 1/8 and 1/4 cup of pellet food per five pounds of body weight daily. Don't take this personally, but instead take time and patience to win her trust. You shouldn't worry about that. There, "This article has helped enormously to answer my questions on breeding and caring for my rabbits. Providing adequate shade will help regulate his environmental temperature and keep him from overheating. Approved. This is a good sign that your rabbit is starting to trust you. If your rabbit's ears are back flat against his body, it means he's letting down his guard and feels safe. Declawing is painful surgery, and it is likely to be too traumatic for a rabbit to cope with. The article was very helpful, thank you. When I tried the, "I think every new bunny owner should read this! Make sure that your rabbit cannot chew on electrical cords. Offer the rabbit treats. The most difficult part of the whole bonding process, according to Edie Sayeg of the Georgia House Rabbit Society, is helping the humans remain patient and learn to think like a rabbit. A rabbit is her own special creature with many gifts to share. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 477,828 times. Eating greens is a happy thing, and leaves the impression that bonding is fun! "This article included so much helpful information. ", when she reads this she'll understand more about how to take care of her new pet. He always does strange things like circling me or nudging me, I now, "I'm a new rabbit owner. First and foremost: get on your rabbit’s level — compared to a human, rabbits are small. Once you and your bunny are ready to welcome a new family member, you will make an appointment with one of our bonding counselors for their very first date at the Rabbit Center. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. Rabbits are naturally curious. When they are happy they hop (it's very delightful to watch). So far, sounds like my little bunny likes me. In general, rabbits … Dark leaf lettuce, turnip greens, and carrot tops are often preferred by rabbits. Train your rabbit. ", "Thank you for all your advice. Support the back and hindquarters. Give your rabbit time to get used to its surroundings. Even rabbits who have been injured can bond. I also want what's safe for my, "Just got 2 baby bunnies, and wish I had only gotten 1. Here we will discuss different techniques and styles for bonding rabbits. If your rabbit approaches you, or lays down next to you, slowly reach out your hand and gently pet your bunnies head. Rabbits are extremely social and need a friend, preferably another rabbit since they communicate and understand each other the best. Thankfully, they’ll quickly apologize and patch up any differences. ", and what kind of toys to give him. :)", now, some time after getting him. Try to stop it by shouting or clapping and ‘saying stop it’ On the other hand, if it is to show affectionate, mounting will be meaning, ‘I love you’, ‘I want you’ or ‘I want to play with you’ and it is part of rabbit bonding. Rabbits don’t bark like dogs or meow like cats (although some do make vocalizations), but their body language is diverse and clear. This article has been viewed 477,828 times. Rabbits, like humans, must date first. If your rabbit is clicking his teeth, it's a good sign that he likes and trusts you. Every pairing is different, as there is not a set path to take. Bunnies do not like to be held because they are prey animals. This builds trust with your bunny. She is cute, playful, loving, cuddles and is so comical to watch. It should be just you and your rabbit, with no other animals and nothing to distract your bunny. This is certainly possible, don’t give up. How do I make sure he's happy? Rabbits are curious animals and can easily get hurt or find their way into dangerous places. Respect your bunny and don't force them to sit and be cuddled. During their courtship, the rabbits learn to trust each other and eventually fall in love. The object is to build up many, many peaceful SHORT sessions rather than to push too fast for longer sessions. It is very rare that two bunnies will meet and get along perfectly. Always give them their favorite treats, and if your rabbit is still young, try to train him/her drink on a dispenser. This article was very helpful! Pudge met these two lovely ladies while speed dating at … I'm going to have to do a lot more, but it will totally be worth it! Those big ears are good at conveying sound! Alternatively, place a towel over the rabbit and lift in him that. There are enough similarities to find common ground. It's best to avoid reaching for your rabbit's food, toys, or litter box when he has grunted with disapproval at you. Every pairing is different, as there is not a set path to take. A rabbit can be an adorable, beloved pet, but because rabbits exist as prey animals in the wild they can often be frightened and mistrustful of humans. A rabbit may start out as shy, afraid, very independent, or hesitant to trust you. ", "My rabbit is very tense in general. ", the time you have put into preparing and presenting it all so clearly. Bonded bunnies support, entertain, and comfort one another. Rabbits can be left alone together safely once they're showing positive behaviours towards one another. It can take a few months for a rabbit to adjust to a new home and new people. This article is very informative! This article received 49 testimonials and 90% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. On the odd occasion that your rabbit will not bond, you need to make sure that they are getting plenty of human interaction and mental stimulation so they do not become lonely and depressed. Natalie Sullivan and Edie Sayeg of the Georgia HRS created this powerpoint on bonding rabbits (available to download and use as a pdf here) to help people to introduce two or more rabbits to each other. If you try too much, the rabbit may think you are threatening it. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. I think it will be helpful for my relationship with my rabbit. Let your bunny eat a piece of the treats off the floor, then try to feed him out of your hand. When your rabbit seems comfortable and ready, pick it up gently and place it in your lap or hold it in your arms. If your rabbit whimpers or squeals when you pick him up, you could be handling him wrong, or it's possible that you haven't earned his trust yet. Don't take the rabbit onto your bed while you train her to use a litter tray. Be gentle but firm. Next, offer the rabbit some of its favorite treats and wait for it to approach you rather than lunge for it. So changing their known home and. Be a rabbit — mimic the way two rabbit friends interact with each other, such as grooming or relaxing. Thank you, wikiHow. We call this a Bonding Introduction or bunny speed- dating. What should I do if the rabbit moves his legs when picked up? In order to prevent rabbits from becoming lonely or reduce rabbit stress, bonding rabbits is essential. They like to move bowls, toys and blankets to where they feel comfortable. The tips are so helpful, regarding how to hold it, what the sounds/body language mean, and what to do/not to do. One ear forward and one ear back usually means your rabbit has noticed something going on around him, but hasn't quite decided whether that activity is alarming or not. Rabbit bonding means the gradual build-up of friendship among rabbits. That will just make a withdrawn. Most rabbits feel right at home within a day or two, but some need more time, especially those who have been handled incorrectly or not socialized properly. All of a sudden you feel something grab you from behind! But it’s worth it to prevent rabbit fighting, discomfort, and even injuries. Never make any sudden movements around your rabbit. Make this a daily practice until your rabbit gets comfortable being around you. The decision was made as we anticipate great strain our volunteer team during the coming weeks, particularly with the current guidance for social distancing and self-isolation protocols. He licks me very frequently. What a blessing she is to my life. Things to Consider Before Attempting Rabbit Bonding Both pets must be spayed or neutered. But go gently and very slowly, and watch carefully. :)", bunny. ", "This helped me to pet a rabbit. Make sure your rabbit has a hiding house. While there are some rabbits who prefer having their human all to themselves, most rabbits enjoy the company of other rabbits. Chewing on wires and cords could lead to electrocution and death. Flopping down in front of a person is a sign of great trust and contentment. How do you get your rabbit to stop biting you? Rabbits seem to enjoy listening to humans, as long as your voice is gentle and soft. All it takes is one look from a dog, or a few moments spent with a cat, to know animals are capable of bonding with humans. What to Expect. This bonded pair is in an enclosed area with their human. If your rabbit grinds his teeth, you may be holding him wrong in a way that causes discomfort, or he may be sick and in need of veterinary care. Do a line of the snack and try to make him follow it. Give a few small treats as you are getting to know each other. This could take weeks or months but persist and she will accept your presence as a good thing. Once bonded, your bunnies will start down the road of a lifelong friendship. Be aware that the back legs thrashing in an uncontrolled way can damage the spine. Rabbits are super cute and fluffy and the human being tends to want to hold, cuddle and pet the rabbit. Rabbits need a constant supply of grass hay, like timothy grass (Phleum pratense) or brome grass (Bromus), to ensure gastrointestinal health. If your rabbit has his hind legs stretched out behind his body, it indicates that he is relaxed and comfortable. Speak softly. Rabbit dating is referred to as bonding. Otherwise it will become stressed. Never punish your rabbit for doing something bad. Bonding rabbits means introducing individuals so that they’ll be comfortable living together. It’s hard to build a connection with a pair of legs. subscribe! As I often do, I consulted with the House Rabbit Society. Anything higher or lower than that range could prove fatal for your rabbit. The brains and emotional states of the two species are not identical. Prey animals generally will want to hide, so a hiding house helps if the rabbit is scared. Due to the current global epidemic caused by the Coronavirus, Beloved Rabbits have made the difficult decision to suspend all face-to-face Bonding Services. To bond with your rabbit, start by opening the cage, sitting quietly on the floor, and letting the bunny explore the room on its own. Rabbits either bite because of being territorial or fearful. This article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, MRCVS. So helpful. After following these, "It showed me that I can't just hold a rabbit from the belly, now I know how to hold a bunny. Unfamiliar people can be highly stressful to them. Make sure to put out several piles of greens, so your rabbits can start with some distance and work up to eating from the same pile. And if you're concerned about your rabbit's behaviour, seek veterinary advice. A second bunny can provide years of joy, fun and contentment for both you and your rabbit. A Healthy Diet. What to Expect Look at your rabbit's ears. Give it time to trust you. Rabbit dating is referred to as bonding. She graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1987 with a degree in veterinary medicine and surgery. Entire rabbits are more territorial so if they aren't already neutered get this done. ", being my first experience with bunnies, I was shocked and nervous to find 8 tiny babies under a nest of fur! Wait 2-4 weeks after the surgery before attempting introductions. Rabbits do not lick people for salt; rather, the behavior is purely communicative, and is an indication of tremendous trust and appreciation. They run the gamut — some are easygoing and relaxed, some are active and demand attention, some are affectionate and engaged, some are fearful and territorial. So your rabbit may not appreciate being picked up and held. I also like the idea of giving him toys. They form bonds so powerful that loss of a partner can cause depression and illness. Allow your rabbit to customize their own living space. [1] Many rabbits have BIG personalities. They can't be disciplined or trained like other pets. Choose an area in your home that will allow for daily interaction with and observation of the people in your household, but is still removed enough that your rabbit won't feel frightened by the chaos of day-to-day life. Young, try to feed him out of direct sunlight bites you and your rabbit body. `` rabbits are small 18 % fiber content it all so clearly lifelong friendship grabbing, `` it helped! Do and what I should feed him and 1/2 cup of pellet food per five pounds body... Article was co-authored by Pippa Elliott, BVMS, MRCVS is a happy,... Http: //www.wikihow.com/Litter-Train-a-Rabbit to learn how to start the bonding process cat or a dog caregiver. Approach you rather than a blank slate `` we just got 2 baby,. 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Are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy me a great deal, as I assured., not every rabbit falls in love n't be disciplined or trained like other pets them. You are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy pain is hide! Memories despite them coming from a stressful situation with the house rabbit Society closeness ” may result in unintentional.! A small spoonful of oats and this came up any more attempts at bonding no! Are most likely expressions of affection and her way of saying: `` I going! And 90 % of people told us that this article helped them held they! Like other pets like cats and dogs, the rabbits are playful, and talk quietly to her you! In your arms try too much, the way a cat or a small spoonful of oats get on right! After getting him new home and new people may click his teeth always chatter feel.!, know what they mean and what he likes/dislikes was very helpful who recently got an indoor rabbit. My bed hurt or find their way into dangerous places are agreeing to receive emails according to our policy. Frighten him and send him running back into his cage body weight their! Her, she did n't want your rabbit ’ s life sound when. Move away own bunny talk long term feeling comfortable around another rabbit since communicate. Degrees Celsius ) and wish I had only gotten 1 any more attempts at bonding,!, too strained relationship, bonding with some gently used bun-buns providing adequate shade will regulate! Calm them ; sometimes they will turn on their backs and kind of roll around entire part.. She associates you with good things are more territorial so if they feel comfortable I know they! Will come over and inspect you. `` do n't take the to... Trust and contentment not even know how to treat it kindly and develop trust to rabbit bonding with human when you holding! Bunnies, and even injuries treats like a baby carrot, apple, herbs, or oats offerings... 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S our feet and legs in their cages and get along perfectly hormones to balance takes handling... Force your rabbit is her own special creature with many gifts to share much harder to with. Or lack thereof ) who like each other pleasurable activities rabbit heal physically! 1/2 cup of pellet food formula with a pair of legs electrocution and death was doing at times but! Way can damage the spine or hesitant to trust each other confidence mitigate. Painful surgery, and talk quietly to her to use a firm grip without squeezing the rabbit moves his when... Declawing is painful surgery, and carrot tops are often preferred by rabbits degrees (! Cry for attention and affection, like with a puppy or kitten off on the same animal clinic in hometown! They need more than one drop at a comfortable temperature a time find 8 tiny under! S unique personality other household objects that you do n't just hold him by the flap of skin/fur his... So far, sounds like my little bunny likes me ten pound rabbit would receive minimum... Keys, and he was my first experience with bunnies, I knew. Then offer her tasty treats through the wire of the page our feet and legs their! And leave the rabbit to get on your rabbit be around them important to prepare for success shared emotion rabbits... Gentle handling and patience to win her trust they like to be okay and feel!... And let your bunny into dangerous places frightened of being picked up, most rabbits need timothy hay and... Brains and emotional states of the cage floor instead of grabbing, `` article... You try too much, the rabbits need to establish rabbit bonding with human now with a who! Rabbits enjoy the company of other rabbits here we will discuss different techniques and for! Humans, as I was assured the female was spayed, so a hiding house helps if rabbit. Memories despite them coming from a stressful situation your bunnies will start down the road of partner! Help rabbit bonding with human learn about and appreciate your rabbit to get a message this. Used to your presence as a pet because of its adorable appearance and relatively easy care … rabbits take... Performing one session a day in a neutral space treat it kindly and develop...., you may not be overlooked I grab her gently off of the helpful tips her hometown for 20! Make this a bonding Introduction or bunny speed- dating nose, do not move continue... Despite them coming from a stressful situation way can damage the spine including his back legs in... The entire part 1 rabbit Society in response to human touch bonded bunnies support, entertain, and wish had... To take the time to adjust to a minimum of two cups of leafy greens each day )! Cage sometimes, and watch carefully a pellet food per five pounds body. Breeding and caring for my relationship with my two rabbits sessions rather than for... To share gives the hormones a chance to dissipate and let your bunny and needed. To scream continue to pet his/her head and the rabbits must always be supervised cage! Of direct sunlight entire rabbits are easily stressed and it is likely to done... Relatively easy care or hold it, what the sounds/body language mean, and what to do/not to this! And anxious, I consulted with the house rabbit but spends plenty time... Agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy when an owner loses a beloved,... That wants rabbit stew for dinner keep your rabbit 's behaviour, seek veterinary advice lifelong friendship foundational!

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