BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Fred is a difficult bond: Stress bonding.
Last Post by NikkiBun at 9/14/2012 3:03 PM (9 Replies)
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User is Offline FourTerrors
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9/08/2012 4:27 PM
I have 4 rabbits in total. Eddy and Daine are a bonded pair. I got them from a pet store before I knew better so I wanted to adopt a bunny to give it a good home. At the rescue Fred was kept in a large pen with many many other rabbits. This was the best the rescue could do with their resources and didn't want to cage them all up separately. The problem is that Fred has learned some unusual behaviour from his time there or before he was rescued.

This is Fred

 

In a bonding situation he will sit quietly with his head down and if the other bunny makes a sudden movement he will often lunge and growl at the other bunny. That has been known to cause a fight. He has been housed alongside  the pair for many months and has always put his head down to the pen wall in a demanding grooming way. The thing is that he never humps the others or even moves in a bonding session so he hasn't got all the behaviours that go with trying to be the dominant bun. It's just 'groom me' or lunge.

Now I understand trio bonding to be difficult and when I got a call to take on a friends sister's rabbit who was in a terrible situation I was apprehensive but now I am thinking I could bond her to Fred instead. I am however very scared that he will bite her and hurt her. I feel protective of her because she was attacked by a fox at her last home and I feel I owe it to her to keep her safe. But I think she and Fred are both really lonely ( Fred often spends long minutes flopped next to the pairs pen and sleeping up against the bars) and it would be great if they could be bonded.

This is Rue.

 

She behaves like a normal rabbit with humping and before she hit puberty she would groom us all the time but she has those normal impulses. I was going to try car bonding but I am worried while in such close confines he would really hurt her. In sessions I usually keep a fist planted with my knuckles along his nose so I can feel if he is going to lunge and stroke his face with one finger but I wouldn't be able to do that and the preemptive gesture might not be helpful anyway. So I want to know if I should be less fearful and let him do his thing, just breaking off fights and accept she might get a bite here or there in the beginning or should I just accept Fred to be a bit special and that he may only be single child material. Then I could just bond rue into the trio because she has fairly normal bunny instincts. I'm at such a loss. What should I do? I would give up but I see him lying next to the pens and he looks so sad and lonely that he just clearly wants a friend, he just can't communicate. He had all sorts of scars and scabs when he came from the rescue so he probably has many trust issues from being bullied.

User is Offline FourTerrors
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9/08/2012 4:29 PM
TL;DR I am mostly wondering if anyone has has a socially challenged bunny and also if anyone has had a really bad experience with car bonding ie. a bad fight in a small confined area.

User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
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9/10/2012 11:13 AM
I don't think that he sounds socially challenged, it's a natural thing for bunnies to demand groomies and then get pissed when they aren't given hah. They are all different though. When I bonded my 2 I had a bit of the same issue, where Sam my lion head (4lbs) would want groomies but when Lady flemmie would come bounding up to greet her Sam would freak out and grunt. Took a while but they are happily bonded now

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
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9/11/2012 2:18 AM
I think car bonding may help in this situation. I suggest you get someone to drive while you sit in the backseat with the 2 bunnies. They will most likely be too stressed out to do much fighting. Take along a small carrier, just in case. Then if a fight breaks out you can stick one of the bunnies in there. It's recommended that immediately after the car ride, put them back in their separate houses because they may take the stress from the ride out on each other afterwards.

Fred and Rue are super cute!
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless
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User is Offline FourTerrors
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9/12/2012 2:53 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqnW...ata_player this is a video of one of our early bonding sessions just to show you why I'm so terrified haha. I think you might be right about the car ride. I'm finding it so hard to trust him. But I think I will try the car bonding and see. How it goes.

User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
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9/12/2012 4:11 PM
Wow. More time maybe? I mean, my bond took monnnths. He seemed good though, I wonder if he can't see or hear or something, it almost seemed like he didn't even notice and then it surprised him.

User is Offline FourTerrors
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9/12/2012 6:02 PM
He's definitely not blind. He's pretty deaf but most lops are. He seems to just get really nervous when they get near his face. It's like he's just sitting there thinking 'they're gonna bite me, they're gonna bite me, they're gonna bite me' and then he just snaps and tries to get there first.

User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
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9/13/2012 3:02 AM
He might be, it'll just take time. The duo seem to not mind him, which is really good.

User is Offline FourTerrors
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9/13/2012 9:46 PM
I just really want that big pile of bunny love already haha. I'm sick of having three different pens.

User is Offline NikkiBun
Ft Collins, CO
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9/14/2012 3:03 PM
Keep at it. My girl Sooki does the same thing, head down waiting for kisses and lunges whenever Pan hops away from her or makes a sudden move. What I found that worked was spraying her with a spray bottle in the face and saying no every time she lunges. Now all I need to say is no whenever she looks like she is going to lunge and she stops herself. Another thing I do is pet her whenever Pan gives her affection and continue to pet her when he hops away. She doesn't lunge after him when I am keeping her attention for a short time afterward.
I hope all goes well for you, bonding has been a slooow process for me.

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Fred is a difficult bond: Stress bonding.

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