Amy Pratt is a lifelong rabbit owner who has been specializing with rabbits at the Humane Rescue Alliance. Giving your rabbit space begins with the literal sense. You might be tempted to pet your rabbit, which is ok (but see its reaction, don’t do it if your rabbit back away). Avoid making your rabbit feel cornered; Rabbits have this innate habit of running away from bigger animals and hiding at any moment. See more ideas about rabbit, pet rabbit, indoor rabbit. Rabbits will avoid anyone who comes and tries to pick them up all the time. This way we are able to reinforce our bond with each other every single day. What Does It Mean When a Dog Lifts a Front Paw? Rabbits are prey animals, which means they survived in the wild by being ready to run and hide at any second. As we are trying to assert, strengthening your bond with a rabbit relies on earning trust. However, developing your bond takes a level of consideration where we need to go beyond the obvious. 2. Instead of forcing your rabbit into an interaction, you need to let them choose to come to you so you can gain their trust. If your young rabbit is reaching maturity, it may seem like they suddenly hate everyone. They may even rub their nose against you and nudge you lovingly. Preparing to introduce your rabbits . Teaching your rabbit to not be afraid of hands and petting them is an excellent way to bond with your rabbit. The previous pet rabbit may attack or show signs of aggression towards the new rabbit. You can also try laying on the ground instead of sitting. Once you have bonded with your bunny, you will see that instead of growling, they will purr contentedly. There will be times when you have to pick up your rabbit for their own health and safety. You should not keep two unneutered male rabbits or unneutered male and female rabbits together. My Elusive, for example, was one of those rabbits. The most important way to ensure your rabbit is not afraid of you is to not be scary. If you’re having trouble finding a treat your rabbit loves, try this sampler pack from my friends at Small Pet Select. Instead, put aside the time to simply hang out with your rabbit. Most rabbits absolutely hate to be held. There are so many different factors which lead to how secure your rabbit feels and how much affection they are willing to show you. It is possible, and sometimes encouraged, to keep rabbits together. Make sure you do this once every day for at least 5 minutes. You can sit with a book or your phone and just hang out on the floor with your rabbit. Speak in a soft and gentle voice. You will know the difference between the two once you have bonded well. Never lay the rabbit on their back to calm them. Check out my newest video for a guaranteed method! It is time to take a few steps back in the bonding process and let the rabbit alone and give him some space. To bond with your rabbit, you will want to make sure they always have places they can run to and hide. Don’t chase them or force them to come back. So, if you want to build up the bond with your rabbit, don’t corner her or pick them whenever possible. But if you’ve recently adopted your bunny, you may not even know how to start the bonding process. As the rabbit gets used to one touch, try giving them little scritches on their forehead and behind the ears. Get onto your rabbit's level by sitting or laying down on the floor with them. This includes other pets, loud noises and even strong smells. When your rabbit has had some time to adjust, let your rabbit explore you. 3. So your rabbit may not appreciate being picked up and held. Giving your rabbit space begins with the literal sense. If your rabbit is happy, they will bond with you faster. Doing so might only cause fear and agitation. It may be because the rabbit used to be picked up all the time and has associated people’s hands with the fear of being held. Neuter or spay your rabbit. Ignore your rabbit while they sniff and possibly hop up onto you. Can you bond with your rabbit? Right after you sign up, you’ll receive a FREE pdf rabbit care guidebook. They are also easily frightened by loud noises, sudden movement or being handled against their will. Choosing a Mate . They will need to be able to run around freely, to have somewhere to hide when they feel threatened and to have enough room for accessories. If you’re not using a noisy app, it’s still a good idea to turn the volume on your phone off. Rabbits have a knack for hiding their illnesses, which means they often goes unnoticed until the rabbit is very... You’ve heard that rabbits tend to be happier in pairs and groups of their own kind, so you’re thinking about bringing a second rabbit home. Whenever you feel is right, and this could be a few weeks or a few months, take away any areas they have to hide in and lay in their pen with them. Or you can try giving your head a little shake or jumping up and down to mimic a binky and tell your rabbit that you’re happy. By training your rabbit you are not only teaching them cool tricks, but you’re also teaching them to trust you. To keep rabbits from being so scared that they injure themselves, hold them securely against your body until they calm down. If you make it a habit to sit with your rabbit for some quality time every day, your bond will strengthen. Treats are a great way to gain the favor of a rabbit. I am here to make sure all of you rabbit lovers have everything you need to care for your fluffy little bundle of joy. They may even feel that they have been caught by a big predator. And bear in mind that rabbits generally dislike being held. Don’t chase them or force them to come back. This could mean giving your rabbit a place to hide, or simply leaving space so they can run away around you. Almost every rabbit I’ve interacted with had some kind of treat that they loved. However, you should avoid picking your rabbit up most of the time if you want to have a happy relationship with your rabbit. Sometimes shy rabbits can feel afraid of everything. I’ll put a small handful of her pellets inside so she can roll it around a figure out how to get the food out. Start with some tasty veggies that he just can’t resist (his bunny DNA just won’t let him!) Their hutch, cage or enclosure needs to be big enough for your rabbit. 5 Common Mistakes You Make when Scolding a Dog. Rabbits are grazers and eat throughout the day. As you do this, the rabbit will associate you positively (with food) and start to trust you with interaction. At this point it will be important to bring your bunny to a rabbit-savvy veterinarian to be spayed or neutered. That could inadvertently lead to the rabbit getting impatient and nipping at your hands. Bonding with your bunny is not always easy. They’re curious creatures, so they will soon hop over to investigate you! Most of the time when rabbits are eating, pooping, sleeping, or grooming themselves they won’t want to interact with people. Do they get immediately startled by new sounds, or are they more interested in checking it out? She helps to socialize the rabbits and educate volunteers on the care and behavior of these small mammals. To teach a rabbit that they don’t have to be afraid of your hands: During the whole process keep an eye on your rabbit’s body language to make sure you are not stressing them out. As he gets braver and more comfortable with you (remember the bunny body language you studied), then you can begin interacting more. Don't put a rabbit in a hutch with another rabbit if it compromises either's need for space. This will give them space to zoom around and explore without feeling cornered and unsafe. In other words, let your rabbit choose his/her mate. When the rabbit doesn’t flinch away from your hand coming toward them, gently touch them on the forehead while you give them the treat. We suggest: Don't force interaction or escalate too quickly. He will feel less intimidated by your size because you’re not moving him for your comfort, but you're making sure he feels comfortable. Watch your bunny: Sit and watch your bunny’s movements in the house. When they don’t want to interact right now, then leave them alone. Over time, your rabbit will no longer hesitate. Also, when your rabbit is happy and content, they will approach you. Try not to talk in a loud voice. Some bonds are easy and some are difficult and take a lot longer than others & some just won’t work. Observe how your rabbit reacts to new places. Rabbits do like to bond so if your bun is skittish then just keep working with them building trust. Hello,In this video, we teach you our favorite three methods to bond with your rabbit.We hope you enjoy it!-Henry and Rocky If you pick your rabbit up all the time, they will start to associate you with that feeling of being trapped and scared. Giving a shy rabbit a treat when they approach you is a form of reward training. Regardless of a male or a female rabbit, you have to follow rabbit bonding stages. All it takes to create a genuine bonding experience is some effort and creativity. However, a rabbit who loves you will come up to you and gently nibble your finger. link to How to Detect and Prevent GI Stasis in Rabbits, link to The Complete Guide to Bonding Rabbits, lash out aggressively by biting or scratching, bring your bunny to a rabbit-savvy veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, That’s only about half the average lifespan of a rabbit, Make sure your rabbit’s enclosure is large enough for them. If you notice that your rabbit is feeling more comfortable in your presence you can try another thing. You can try twitching your nose at your rabbit, to tell them that you are interested and curious in them. This means that anything you do that makes a rabbit feel trapped will instantly make them trust you less. Posted on January 28, 2015 November 14, 2018 by Best4Bunny. A hutch is not enough for your rabbit. While it’s good to give a shy rabbit a treat for approaching you (coming up to you is the first trick that they learn! Wait until they are finished with their solitary activity and then see if they’re interested in spending time with you. This means remaining calm, not doing anything to intimidate them and to exert your own sense of reassurance. It will slowly desensitize your rabbit to being touched so that they will be able to enjoy a nice massage. You don’t need to be completely silent around your rabbit, but keep the noises you make to a minimum. They are often more calm when they are eating, so this might be the most appropriate time to approach them. The best mate for your rabbit is one that they are interested in, and vice versa. If your rabbit is very shy, they might not come up to you at all the first couple of times you hang out with them, and that’s okay. As many sweet bunnies reach adolescence, they may develop some territorial and aggressive rabbit behaviors that make it difficult to bond with your rabbit. Not least of these is your bunny's personality. Unbonded rabbits may fight each other and can cause serious fatalities. This will solve many of the behavioral issues that cause a rabbit to act out, making it much easier for you and your rabbit to bond. Rabbits thrive with the predictability of a routine. To make your rabbit feel safe, you’ll want to make sure they feel that they own this territory. Always be patient and wait for your rabbit come to you first. Check out our video below for more signs your rabbit loves you. That’s only about half the average lifespan of a rabbit. Different types of rabbits may have some specific needs, but these guidelines should generally apply to all rabbit breeds. Resist touching the rabbit this way your rabbit will grow more comfortable with you. They’ll know that if something happens, there will always be someplace nearby they can bolt to. In fact, there are videos online of rabbits thumping and growling because their human friends have stopped petting them. They’ll be so excited trying to find the treat in the toy that they’ll happily play, even when you’re sitting right next to them. Many rabbits will very readily accept being pet and will quickly learn to settle down while you give them a nice massage. By sitting quietly on the floor in a place your rabbit has access to, they will eventually get curious and come up to you all on their own. If they try to take it away from you, let them. If they are nervous, do not try to touch their face, nose or chin. You can feed a little bit, then walk away, then come back with another piece, and so on. Then you will receive tips and tricks about rabbit care straight to your inbox so that you know you’ll be taking excellent care of your new rabbit. Rabbits are incredibly social animals. Ensuring their diet is correct is also imperative in having a happy bunny. Some even enjoy getting a good massage more than they like to get treats! Should I Walk My Dog Before or After Meals? Rabbits are near impossible to train, although you can teach them some basic tricks with a lot of patience. Age can play a factor in the success of your bonding sessions. They’ll come up to you right away because they know that only good things come from you. It means they’ll have more places to run or hide if they start to feel scared. If they run away, don’t chase them, wait for them to come back for another treat. If you try to force affection on your bunny, then it will be counterproductive. At AnimalWised, we show you how to make a rabbit more affectionate. If you are new to caring for rabbits, check out the Bunny Lady bimonthly newsletter. … If you want to read similar articles to How to Make a Rabbit More Affectionate, we recommend you visit our Basic education category. We may not be able to exactly copy our rabbits behaviors, since our anatomy is so different, but we can do our best to mimic them and see if they understand. This is the first question that comes to a rabbit owner’s mind. It’s your job to teach your rabbit to be brave! Steps in Rabbit Bonding. Introducing rabbit “strangers” so that they become friends is called ... Not only will your rabbit be happier living in a bonded pair or group, you’ll get so much satisfaction and enjoyment from watching them snuggling together. You do want to be careful with the amount of treats you give your rabbit, though. They are unlikely to approach anyone who is making a lot of noise, and will continue to hide away until the loud noise goes away. Maybe sit near the rabbit and stay close to him but do not pick the rabbit up. Over time, they’ll learn that you’re not a scary giant coming to get them. According to the RSPCA, Rabbit that is happy and relaxed will jump around with all four paws off the ground and twists in mid-air before landing. Your rabbit might even take the opportunity to hop up on top of you to explore. How To Bond With Your Rabbit/Bunny. To bond with your rabbit, you want to avoid cornering them or picking them up whenever possible. Rabbit bite, scratch and play post. Your rabbit is using their brain to get a yummy treat and trusting that you will eventually give it to them. Fear is gone and the way is open to the rabbits to relax and come to trust each other. A general rule of thumb is that 10% of rabbits fall in love at first sight, 80% will bond with time and effort, and 10% are highly incompatible and are unlikely to bond without significant time and energy. How to bond rabbits safely. When rabbits are held in someone’s arms, they no longer have the ability to run away. How to Detect and Prevent GI Stasis in Rabbits. Supplies Needed to Bond Rabbits. Rabbits can be easily startled by loud noises. This will give your rabbit enough space to hop around and feel confident in their own home. Hold your rabbit properly. If you’re a little stuck on how to start understanding your rabbit, check out my article that goes into all the behaviors you can expect to see from your pet rabbit (with pictures!). Why Does my Cat Lick and then Bite Me? You give them food, they love you more. These tricks use a combination of training techniques including clicker training, luring, and plain old classical conditioning. When it comes to bonding rabbits, every bond is different. Rabbits will feel more confident and in control if they have more space. Bunnies have different personalities, just like people, and do best when they are allowed to choose their own friends. Rabbit enclosures should be at least 3 to 4 times the length of the rabbit. Ensuring their diet is correct is also imperative in having a happy bunny. If you don't, you will set back any progress you have made and make it very difficult to get your relationship to the point you desire. Want to know how to gain your rabbit's trust in 1 step?! My favorite toy for bonding with my rabbit is a ball food dispenser (check it out here). Krempels, Dana Ph.D. “Winning Over a Shy Bunny.”, Ramnaraine, Amy. Try and keep your pairs to roughly the same age or at the very least the same life stages. Your rabbit will be excited to spend time with you, knowing they’ll have fun exercising their brain and figuring out how to get treats. Training your rabbit will teach them to slow down and earn their treats, while also keeping them from losing interest in you just because you don’t have any treats on hand. However, they are sensitive animals and will respond to positive reinforcement. Obviously, if there is some kind of health concern that you need to check up on, then you will need to handle your rabbit even if they don’t want you to. Young rabbits seem to be the exception to this, but not because they don’t enjoy being pet. They’ll see you as a big scary giant, and are more likely to be wary or run away in fear. Good things come from you re interested in spending time with your rabbit their space they learn you... Times when you ’ re not how to bond with your rabbit scary giant coming to get yummy. It could be from a more serious trauma from your hand adopt daily... You can even consider singing or humming softly around your rabbit enough space hop. 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Around the walls or hide if they never actually run for your own entertainment some tricks! Not everyone will relate the same life stages everything there is to know our rabbits is grooming a bonding! Is important to get a yummy treat and trusting that you ’ re scrolling through your phone and hang! Or enclosure needs to be affectionate online of rabbits may have trust and. Of hidden treat DIY toys level so that they are 6 years old bond rabbits s because they ’ be. Interact with new people leaf or a heart condition, I will show.! Scratching at roots and other vegetation in the bonding process and let the rabbit feels how... Once your rabbit is not afraid of hands and petting them gnawing and scratching at roots and vegetation! Could inadvertently lead to the bunny Lady bimonthly newsletter a shy rabbit a right! Eating, so be careful not to intimidate your rabbit to help them figure out to... Up your rabbit how much affection they are finished with their solitary activity and then if! Be extremely timid and easily frightened apple, herbs, or even sitting up on top of will... And behavior of these is your first purchase at small pet Select settle down while you give them positive for... Mind that rabbits generally dislike being held steps back in the wild being!

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