BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Help!! Aggressive rabbit, I need advice!
Last Post by lolasnewmommy at 10/03/2012 3:36 PM (37 Replies)
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User is Offline LolaBear'sMama
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10/01/2012 3:55 PM
Okay I rehomed Lola to a home I thought would be good but about 3 weeks after they had her, they messaged me saying it wasn't working out and that she had lounged and tried biting her kids a few times. My Lola has NEVER even remotely acted aggressive when I had her. 
Well they found her a GREAT home with a woman in my town, I have her on facebook and talk to her almost everyday as well as get pics. Well Lola has bit her hubby twice leaving blood, and she just tagged me in a pic of her hand, Lola took a chunk out of that! 

What I didn't know is that the first people that had her apparently had another family living with them, so extra kids, so about 5-6 total, and the other people had an inside dog.. 
Now Lola's new mom just found a newer scar on her side that had a little bald patch around it, we're thinking maybe something happened with the dog. 

Anyway, what would you suggest we do about the biting?! We don't know what to do!

I researched these people and asked a million questions, and things still turned out bad.


User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
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10/01/2012 4:28 PM
Oh I must've missed it, what happened? Why did you have to rehome her?

I wonder what the new owners are doing to make her bite, maybe she's in a small cage or they are picking her up/ doing things bunnies don't like in general?

User is Offline bullrider76543
Joplin MO
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10/01/2012 4:32 PM
could she be scared and missing you? that is an awful big change in environment
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User is Offline LolaBear'sMama
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10/01/2012 4:34 PM
She never had free out of cage time anymore because of my schedule and I knew it was not fair for her. I didn't wanna give her up, I just thought it'd be better for her..now I wish I would have kept her. Family A (first people with millions of kids) are the first ones to notice any aggressiveness..they got her a bigger cage, but she's still not happy, now family B (the good people) have her, and are trying everything possible to break this behavior. They have two other rabbits so they know what they're doing.

User is Offline lolasnewmommy
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10/01/2012 4:35 PM

Hello I am Lola's new mommy... and also have 2 other rabbits, Rocco and Momma... Lola is in a big cage, I think that it is to high off the ground, but she is very territorial, when I tried trading cages with her, and Momma, she wasn't at all happy so I put her back, and during the day I let her roam my bathroom. Due to her being a bit wild, and running away when It's bed time so forth. I do have a 2 year old and with her speratic behaviour I keep them away from one another.

 

I spend alone time with her, I love on her everytime I go into the bathroom, and also go in there just to see her and play... 

 

I was only petting her when she chomped my hand today... Any help would be appreciated!


User is Offline LolaBear'sMama
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10/01/2012 4:36 PM
If it's her missing me that will just break my heart. We're planning a visit for me to see her, but family B wants to get her used to the new place and less aggressive first.

User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
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10/01/2012 4:38 PM
She probably just needs time. She's been tossed around quite a bit, and the last place sounded like a nightmare. Is she spayed? Hormones could be playing a huge part. Flemmies also need a LOT of space, mine is out all day with an xpen at night.


User is Offline bullrider76543
Joplin MO
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10/01/2012 4:42 PM
wow That is very strange to have such a sudden change in personality. She is spayed right? perhaps she is just feeling the need to establish her own territory? that is confusing.
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User is Offline peppypoo
Texas
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10/01/2012 4:44 PM
I can't recall whether or not Lola is spayed, but right now that would be my #1 suspicion regarding her behavior. Especially with all those hormones, being dropped off in a new place where there are already two other rabbits could be making her more territorial/defensive as well.
Tammo (RIP), Milo (RIP), Peppy, Remi

User is Offline LolaBear'sMama
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10/01/2012 4:44 PM
Not spayed yet, that is in the works though

User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
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10/01/2012 4:46 PM
I would say that's the culprit then. Get her spayed

User is Offline LolaBear'sMama
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10/01/2012 4:47 PM
But that would cause such a drastic change in her?? I just didn't think her personality would change like this, so fast too.

User is Offline bullrider76543
Joplin MO
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10/01/2012 4:48 PM
I will have to agree with Peppypoo also, hormones could be a major issue here, and its worse with females
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User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
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10/01/2012 4:54 PM

Short answer, yes. But it's also been about a month since you've had her, and the stress of the moves along with putting her in a home with other bunnies could heighten any hormonal behavior. 


User is Offline lolasnewmommy
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10/01/2012 4:55 PM

Miss Lola will be getting spayed in the next couple of weeks, There is a male here, and another female with 5 babies. Once those babies are done nursing, both ladies will be spayed, just trying to make one trip to our vet rather than 2...

 

I sure hope she gets better... My poor hand hurts!!! I just love her to pieces and she is so beautiful!  


User is Offline bullrider76543
Joplin MO
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10/01/2012 4:57 PM
I will have to second that, Especially if she can smell the babies!!
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User is Offline lolasnewmommy
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10/01/2012 5:10 PM
So you think the babies may be doing it??? Hmm, they are all close together in separate cages at night... I will move the babies into another room, and see how that goes... The babies are only 2 weeks, so they will be here at least another 3 weeks!

User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
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10/01/2012 5:19 PM
It's not just the babies, it's the entire lot of 7 other bunnies shell need about a month after her spay to see an improvement, and depending on her living arrangement, it may or may not get better. Can I ask what you have her in now? And your other buns?

User is Offline bullrider76543
Joplin MO
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10/01/2012 5:32 PM
Yup sam and ladys human is right, her hormones are raging and it will just take some time to adjust.
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User is Offline lolasnewmommy
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10/01/2012 5:34 PM

Sure SHe is in a hutch type cage, I do not like it, its to high off of the ground, and has a wire bottom:-( But the CLUELESS folks I got her from, family "A" made this for her, and said that she liked it. I don not believe that for one second, I have tried contacting them for her old cage that her original mommy had for her, they just ignore us both! So i have the extra large "Super Pet" cage, I tried putting her in there, but she did everything she could to get out... She was going crazy! So i put her back in the Hutch style cage. She only sleeps in her cage, WHen I'm up, she's out. I tried leaving her in the bathroom, with less space to run because she wasn't allowing me to catch her, and wouldn't come to me either. The bathroom is where she took the chunk out of my hand, and when she bit my husband, she was in her cage, and his hand was inside so I understand that a bit more... ANY suggestions would be great!

 


User is Offline bullrider76543
Joplin MO
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10/01/2012 5:34 PM
Yup sam and ladys human is right, her hormones are raging and it will just take some time to adjust. By the way I just thought of it those ones you were talking about might be silver marlins, they are known for the otter coloring and a mid length fur
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User is Offline lolasnewmommy
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10/01/2012 5:36 PM
bullrider, is there anything you could suggest that may ease this? I don't want her to be unhappy/uncomfortable.

User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
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10/01/2012 5:42 PM
Oh yikes, a hutch or super pet is waaay too small for her. She needs at least 4X4 sqft, realistically 4'x8' since she such a large breed. If you've been putting her in the bathroom, then thats likely been claimed as her space just as much as inside the hutch would be. Hows her diet? You should be able to bribe her to go where you want when you want it with food, pellets or her greens.

User is Offline bullrider76543
Joplin MO
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10/01/2012 5:54 PM
Hmm I will have to think on that one a bit, the only agression I have seen in my buns was at eachother. But it took a lot of patience to bond with all of them. I read alot so I use to sit on the floor and read and ignore them untill they asked for my attention. I would prob try bribing her with treats. And like sam and ladys human said she has probobly decided that that bathroom is hers so she wants to defend it like her own territory.
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User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
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10/02/2012 2:53 AM
This sounds like perfectly normal, hormonal female behavior. It is shocking how quickly they can "turn". My female was an angel until about 6 months and she became a holy terror overnight. Spaying calmed her down immensely and the change was immediate.

To the new mom:
Can you take her (Lola) in to be spayed ASAP? I know you only want to do one visit, but it would be much less stressful on you to get her squared away first. This way you can focus on the babies and getting them healthy and weaned/rehomed at 8 weeks old.

I assume that the male rabbit is the father of the babies? Has he been neutered? If not, this should also be done ASAP. His intact smell will only make behavioral issues worse with the females and there is the ever-present risk of impregnation.

What are your housing plans for Lola? If I remember right, she's a New Zealand or another large breed rabbit. She needs a minimum of a 4x4 foot xpen or NIC condo.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline bullrider76543
Joplin MO
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10/02/2012 4:16 AM
I agree with Beka, she knows what she is talking bout and has great advice! and Lola is a flemmie right? so be prepared for her to get big fast!! and females are usually larger then the males, and Blue is 16 lbs, she could be tipping up to a whopping 22!!
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User is Offline Bumble Fly
Cincinnati, Ohio
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10/02/2012 6:21 AM

Here's a link to an article from the House Rabbit Society on aggression. It can help you while you're waiting on the hormones to calm down. I practice sweet talk with Ollie and it has worked wonders. Now she's just "affectionately aggressive" she will forcefully place her head under my hand for lovies now.

http://www.rabbit.org/faq/sections/...ssion.html

 

Here's an excerpt : 



Then turn on the charm. One of the key lessons that House Rabbit Society members have learned is that affection works wonders on psycho bunnies. Try acting like he's the greatest thing that ever happened in your life, despite the bandages on your hand and the boots on your feet. Give him a big hello when you see him. Greet his every act of aggression with good humor too. When he charges your arm, say "why hello, you little pumpkin!" while calmly removing your arm from his reach. If he growls and thumps, say, "yes, you're a BIG rabbit --I love that about you!" If he streaks across the room with murder in his eyes, simply say, "hey buddy, are you coming to see me?"

You can ruffle his fur, sing a little song, say a little prayer, whatever it takes to greet his bad temper with joy, affection, and calmness. It takes courage, but if you have gloves and shoes on, you're safe. If he looks like he's going to bite, put your hand on his head, but continue to be cheerful. You can try saying EEK too--but be careful with this. Some nervous rabbits are provoked by a high-pitched squeal.

Rabbits think in patterns; your job is to change the pattern, so he realizes that his approach provokes affection from you, not harm. Eventually he'll associate you with kind words, nice pats, and enthusiasm for his particular personality.

Your bunny probably won't change overnight. It can take weeks for a rabbit to learn to trust. But that's what's so rewarding, and so moving, about helping aggressive rabbits. Your not just changing his behavior; your changing his perception of the world. As you do so, you'll alleviate a lot of his suffering.


That's the bit that really helped me with my bun. Through reading this article it's really helped me to see the best of my aggressive bunny and learn aggressive rabbits can really be great if they learn to channel their aggression right.

 

I believe that this is all hormonal and situational with Lola though. Give her some time and I'm sure you'll see a whole other bunny. 

This article will just help you in the transitional period.

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User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
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10/02/2012 8:43 AM
I agree, spaying should help and will be better for her health in the long run.

Now Lola's new mom just found a newer scar on her side that had a little bald patch around it, we're thinking maybe something happened with the dog.


That's worrisome. How does she react when you touch the area? I think this is worth getting checked out.
Also, getting checked for parasites as some cases can cause changed behaviour.

I would not be surprised if she had some fear aggression and its now a learnt behaviour. In that case you'll have to work with her, gaining trust.

User is Offline lolasnewmommy
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10/02/2012 5:43 PM
Alot to catch up on, but here it goes...

I realize they need bigger cages, but again, they only sleep in their cages... From about 1AM until 6AM... only 5 or so hours that they are in the cages. My two bins who are easy to handle and do not bite, run my dining room, living room and son's bedroom all day. Lola miss aggressive, goes in the bathroom during the day for her exercise and roam. Until she bit me, I did have her roaming free also, just at separate times during the day. I have rescued all 3 of my buns, Rocco my male was behind my Apartment building in the 103degree weather, covered in ticks, and severely dehydrated. Then my brother, who lives with my dad, had now my female, outside in a cage, with no ventilation. So my dad let me take her since my brother wasn't giving her proper care... Then Miss Lola. At the time I didn't realize she was a rescue, until I got her...And I've had to learn things about her on my own. Not for one second do I believe her first Momma harmed her or anything else. I do however believe she sat in her cage with at least 6 kids running by her all day along with at least 1 dog... I believe her scar is from the dog. I didn't originally attend to get Lola, I had simply seen her post and said they shouldn't have a problem rehoming her, she is beautiful. and my husband doesn't allow me to "buy" any new animals. Immediatly they were giving her to me and wanted my address to deliver her. I should have known then, that something was wrong!!!

When Lola got to me she had/has a bad "grunting" problem... she would have nothing to do with me no matter how long I sat in the floor and ignored her. When I let her out to roam, she won't let me catch her. Even with treat or other food in hand. SO that is when she got stuck with the bathroom rather than my whole house. We were making great progress I think for 4-5 days, I would just go sit in the bathroom and she would come to me and all. Then nothing was abnormal. I went to pet her and she chomped!!!

Last night I switched her and my momma rabbit/babies. So Lola is now in The X-Large Super pet cage. She is calm, eating drinking and using the bathroom. even in her litter box!!! I do know larger cages are better, BUT Lola had a much smaller cage while with Momma #1. I think she finds comfort in the smaller area, cause that is what she is use to.

On to the spaying and nuetering. Yes it will happen, as soon as possible. My husband just started a new job, and by no means are we rich. Until his first check on the 12th, we are just trying to get by. My male and female get along just fine, even since lola is here there is no change with them, Lola is just use to being the only bunny I believe. Hopefully in due time, all will go smoothly around here

User is Offline lolasnewmommy
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10/02/2012 5:59 PM
Oh and none of them have any bugs! :-)

User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
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10/02/2012 6:36 PM
It sounds like you have good instincts about how to help her. It's fortunate she's with you.

While room is important, you make a good point. The smaller space for her at the moment is helping her feel secure and safe. It's those confident buns that will bang on the habitat doors demanding out. Lol. She might reach that point down the track when she feels more at home.

I'm sorry if you were feeling pressured about spaying. We do understand its not always something one can get to right away.

In the meantime it will just mean living with Lola and her hormones.
I wonder if she's experiencing a false pregnancy that's put her into protective mode? It will pass if so.

If she has grown wary of hands, try consistently spending time with her but avoid using your hands. It's tricky because you just want to pat them! I have a lop who came to me already wary of hands. He allows pets sometimes when he's really chilled and were both lying on the floor, but for the most part he still avoids my hands. I can however, reach my foot out at anytime and pet him with my socks. Lol. So he likes to be touched but I think it's hard-wired in his brain that hands approaching = being picked up.

User is Offline lolasnewmommy
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10/02/2012 6:56 PM
Ah, That was encouraging... I was beginning to feel like a bad bunny mom:-( I have honestly put alot of time in Miss Lola, she's only been here 2 weeks this Thursday though so I believe she needs time, A false pregnancy could be possible? Not sure, I do know, there is no way she could have gotten pregnant at my house tho!! Family "A" did not inform me of them having another bun so I would assume, she cannot be truly pregnant.

I have had to reassure Lola's original mommy that I am not giving up on her, as I will assure you all too;-) I know there is a sweet Lola Bear deep down there somewhere! it is just DEEP down in there as of now...

Another question, why wouldn't she want to be picked up? My 2 other buns don't mind at all...one will even let my 2 year old pick him up &carry him wherever. ???

User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
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10/02/2012 7:39 PM
Most rabbits hate being picked up. They are prey animals, so prefer their feet on the ground. I wouldn't let your 2 year old pick up the rabbits either, they are far far far too delicate for small children

User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
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10/02/2012 7:47 PM
Some handle it well, some don't. I dare say with six kids at the last home, they would have been tempted to pick her up a lot. It's even hard for me dampen that impulse sometimes so you can imagine with children...they'd just do it. If she was picked up incorrectly or at times she wasn't willing or unprepared, she would grow wary if it. It's possible she initially bit to be put down or to warn someone away. If that worked for her (ie she was released) then she would use biting again.

You may have to take baby steps with her. Once she's more settled and trusts you, she may allow being picked up. Definitely something worth working on as there are those times we need to pick them up.

My lop I referred to before I've had for 3 years. He was 2 when I got him. He is still hand wary and its hard to pick him up. I have let that be though. When I do need to handle him, I get him to jump into the litter box then carry him in that to a countertop. From there I can pick him up and transfer him directly to my chest, all four feet touching so he feels secure. He's much more tolerant this way.

User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
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10/02/2012 7:55 PM
Just a thought: when Lola is spayed perhaps you could ask your vet to check over her spine and limbs while she is under? To help rule out any physical causes for her aggression.

User is Offline lolasnewmommy
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10/03/2012 1:32 AM
Rocco often goes to my son to be picked up... and loved. I do not forsee that being an issue. If he didn't want to be held, he would run. Rocco often believes he is a cat, or even dog. He enjoys riding in the car with us also... I guess he's just "different" even though he was abandoned outside, because someone was burnt out or whatever the case may be, Rocco has been very forgiving, and loves us as his humans.

A family friend who is an "exotic vet" has looked over each rabbit. Checking for mites and any other issues, there were none. He did that for me for free, unfortunatly, he cannot spay and neuter them for free. It will be discounted, and only cost what it costs him to do it, he won't charge for labor, but still the funds are tight at the moment.

Now for Lola, I do pick her up, but I pick her up properly, where she feels safe, all feet touching me. I have always had rabbits, so it isn't my first rodeo all the way around. Just my first with a psycho bunny!! I imagine she may have been carried by the children in the other home, but I don't just carry her for fun, she's more than a sack of taters lol. I will try the corraling idea, rather than picking her up. When she bit me, I was not picking her up, only petting on top of her head. When she bit my husband, he wasn't even messing with her, she just lunged! My wound is much worse than his, his being more of a nic on the bed of his nail, with minimal bleeding. Mine is in the palm of my hand, and seems every move breaks it open, and the bleeding starts all over again :/

She's gonna be a tough cookie, but she'll make me or break me.

User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
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10/03/2012 2:26 AM
Sounds like you want the best for her,we would love for you to stick around and most importantly, share pics!!

As for the grunting, it's not always a bad noise ( although I don't doubt it was when you heard it!) My Samson is extremely vocal, she grunts and growls and honks and purrs and makes all sorts of noises, and they aren't consistantly with their meaning

I just read in another thread about the benefits of clicker training, and that might be a solution to your trust issues with Lola. Flemmies are certainly smart enough. Most important right now is patience, just give her time. Have you tried getting her where you want with her daily pellet ration or greens? That's how I get my girls in at night.

User is Offline lolasnewmommy
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10/03/2012 3:36 PM
Yes that is how I have been doing it the past few days. I either make a trail or just put it in her cage and she has gone right in. Hopefully all will be better in time

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Help!! Aggressive rabbit, I need advice!

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