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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > bonding bunnies--Simon and Olive BONDED
Last Post by piperknitsRN at 11/11/2011 11:25 AM (85 Replies)
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User is Offline piperknitsRN
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10/28/2011 4:33 PM

Well, I took Olive down to the local shelter today and she met a nice New Zealand bunny (male, neutered).  They seemed to be getting on alright (no fighting, no lunging) so I took the plunge and brought him home with us.  Now I think I've made a big mistake--they fought during their bonding session and fur flew (the NZ bunny, who's name I've got to change, growled) but nobody was hurt.  Meanwhile, I separated them and put one bunny in a smaller cage and the other in the X pen.  They can see each other, but they can't get to one another when both are caged.  I went out to eat, then came home and switched it so the NZ bunny was in the X pen and Olive was free range (I'm not sure yet about the NZ's litterbox habits, so he has to stay in the X pen until I'm confident he's ok to be let free range.  Olive is keeping a wary eye on her new "friend" and will often come up to the cage bars and try to nip at him (I stop this before it happens), but so far nothing else has happened in the way of fighting. 

What do I do now?  Obviousy, I need to get them to bond on neutral territory (the bathroom is probably the only place I can think of at the moment that would would be somewhere Olive hasn't really been), but I'm afraid of putting them together again.  When's a good time to try meeting up again in the same physical space?

 


User is Online Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
10463 posts Send Private Message
10/28/2011 4:55 PM
That is a common reaction when starting a bond. Keep doing it, every day.

User is Offline piperknitsRN
312 posts Send Private Message
10/28/2011 5:00 PM

I can't believe I wrote "bonding bunnie"--I meant "bonding bunnies.

Do you mean I should try them again together in the same room (bathroom this time--definitely not in Olive's territory)?  I'm afraid they'll fight again.

 

 


User is Online Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
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10/28/2011 5:09 PM
Little tiffs are normal. As long as they aren't going for blood it's fine. If they start to fight, just separate them for a few moments, then put them back together again. They need to learn that you're in charge, and that fighting won't get them what they want, which is to be put back by themselves instead of with the interloping rabbit thing

User is Offline piperknitsRN
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10/28/2011 6:24 PM

This one seemed pretty serious, although no blood was drawn.  We put them in the bath tub together later on in the evening; no fighting.  a little skirmish could've started when I was going to put them in the litter pan (in the bathtub) but we scrubbed that idea since it was exciting them.  This last time, they stood near each other, but basically ignored each other.  Sound about reasonable for two goofy bunnies who don't know they're supposed to be friends, yet? ;-)


User is Offline piperknitsRN
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10/29/2011 3:49 AM

Well, I put the bunnies back in the tub this morning and the NZ rabbit started to growl and honk at Olive, so I separated them.

Unfortunately, I have a problem as well--my boyfriend doesn't see this pair as matching and is getting stressed out about it.  I'm trying to make him see that bunnies take awhile to get used to each other, normally, and all of this is part and parcel of getting bunnies to bond, but I'm having very little luck.


User is Offline piperknitsRN
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10/29/2011 5:44 AM

I've tried a couple more times with putting the bunies in the bathrub.  results were mixed--they'd be fine until one of them moved, then the white rabbit would lunge and grunt.  I kept the spray gun at the ready and used it to ward off any true fighting, and this last time, I took them both off out of the bathtub and set them on the bathroom floor and they tolerated each other's presence.  olive climbed over the NZ'ers back, and he lunged slightly once, but otherwise didn't challenge the term.


User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
2006 posts Send Private Message
10/29/2011 6:04 AM
IMO, you need to slow waaaaay down. Give your NZ a couple weeks to get used to his surroundings and settle down. Double fence it or put blankets over most of the sides or something to give him some relax space without another bunny looking in on him. If hes from a shelter he also should probably have a vet check him over before you do any introductions. And he is neutered correct?

As for your boyfriend, tell him to chill out and that it takes time. This will never be a 2 day process, or even a 1 week process.

Do a little more reading on bonding, or I'm sure people here could give you more advice too. Patience is your friend.

User is Offline piperknitsRN
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10/29/2011 7:31 AM

He is neutered, that is correct.  After yesterday, I'm beginning to think I made a mistake.  Olive was very happy as a single bun, and I seem to have upset the apple cart by introducing a new bunny.  On the other hand, they are learning to tolerate each other's presence, this is just going to be a slow bond, I think.


User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
2006 posts Send Private Message
10/29/2011 7:46 AM

It is upsetting to a bun to get another one, they are a creature of routine. Imagine if you were an only child and then your parents adopted another child out of the blue. Or if your boyfriend brought home a new girlfriend or roommate and expected you to accept it 100% immediately. It takes time to adjust, and it takes work to bond them. You've literally only been at it for a day, and you're ready to give up, so what you need to decide is if you want to put the effort in or if you want to just go back to a one bun house. There is also the chance that they will never bond, and you'll have to keep them separate for their lifetime. I've read stories of instant bonds, but I'm pretty sure thats the extreme minority, most bonds take a couple months, and some even can take a year.

I can't "officially" start Lady and Samsons bond until Lady is fixed, which will be another 4 months. In the mean time, I've placed their individual pens next to each other, and I've started giving each some pen time in each others pen. They've had supervised sniffs through the bars. You might want to look into getting another pen, its probably causing tension that your NZ is your other buns territory.

 

ETA, sometimes what helps me remember why I wanted a second, I just look at pics of bonded bunnies


User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
Forum Leader
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10/29/2011 8:58 AM
The first few days aren't going to be great. With my pair, we went from death rolls and fur flying to snuggling happily in 3 weeks. This is normal. I would ask you to give it "the old college try" for a full month before contemplating returning him. It will sometimes take that long before you see a lot of progress.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline piperknitsRN
312 posts Send Private Message
10/29/2011 9:12 AM

Well, part of it was that my boyfriend was leery of being in possession of two rabbits who don't like each other--we live together, so I have to make everybody happy, so to speak.  Kinda stressful when it was your idea to bring the second rabbit home.  I just called the shelter and they recommended backing off on the bonding attempts for a few days, keeping them separated and seeing how it goes for a few weeks.  I would like to make it work, obviously, because I think in the long run, it will be good to have bonded bunnies.


User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
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10/29/2011 9:14 AM
Yes, start slow. It takes rabbits time to trust. Don't give up this quickly. I would start with very short sessions each day - they are sizing each other up right now and your new bunny is in a new place and he doesn't even know you yet. The aggressive behavior is fear not aggression.

User is Offline piperknitsRN
312 posts Send Private Message
10/29/2011 9:20 AM

Beka:  Thank you for chiming in!  The fur did fly on that first fight, and was a bit scary to watch.  The NZ rabbit (who I really have to name; I wasn't crazy about the name "Junior" given by his former owner/the shelter/whoever) is "noisy" and honked/grunted--startling me even further. 

If you don't mind giving me details, how did you accomplish what seems now like the impossible?  Olive is free range bunny during the day when I'm home and I've given her the cage instead of her x pen so the NZ could stretch out, but he's kinda lazy so far, choosing to stay in the jumbo-sized cat litterbox I have in the X pen and not moving much. 

I called the shelter to see what their recommendation would be and they said to wait a few days to try to do some play time sessions (bonding) and for now just keep them within view of each other but housed separately (obviously!).  They said to call in a couple weeks if I hadn't made any progress.

 

 

 


User is Offline piperknitsRN
312 posts Send Private Message
10/29/2011 9:23 AM

Sarita:  The NZ bunny is actually very sweet and docile (though he does like to make noise on occasion--he's just a vocal bunny, and I'm tickled pink about this because I've never had a vocal bunny before).  I see Olive as being the instigator initially--I think it's a matter of bunny turf wars.  Do you think it would be wise to wait a day or two before attempting to do short bonding sessions?  


User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
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10/29/2011 9:26 AM
I do think you should take a few days break at this point. Give Olive time to digest the new bun.

He sounds like a sweetie. I have a very vocal Dutch and it's funny to hear him grumble about.

User is Offline piperknitsRN
312 posts Send Private Message
10/29/2011 9:35 AM

Thanks, Sarita.  I'm wondering what his personality will be like.  He seemed so inquisitive when I first met him; now he's just hanging out in his litter box.  Oh well, laid back is ok by me.  Olive is more of an explorer, not constantly on the go, but she does like to hop around, and (bonus) she doesn't appear to be horribly destructive of my possessions (electrical cords are all bunny proofed).  He seems very good natured, though.  I feel sorry for what he's gone through already; first dumped off at the shelter, then transferred to yet another shelter, and then home to a house of horrors!  LOL!


User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
2006 posts Send Private Message
10/29/2011 10:18 AM
Have you read this?
http://www.binkybunny.com/BUNNYINFO...fault.aspx
It has a lot of good info

User is Offline piperknitsRN
312 posts Send Private Message
10/29/2011 10:34 AM

Yes, I have.  Thank you!


User is Online Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
10463 posts Send Private Message
10/29/2011 1:05 PM
My girls were a little weird to bond. They were great if I had a litter box with them. Both would happily sit in the litter box munching hay, as if they were the best friends in the world. But as soon as Smudge would hop out, Monkey would freak out. I would just plop them both back in the litter box and she would relax again It just took time. Find that one little thing that works for yours. Could be a litter box, could be they need a smaller space so no one can do any lunging, like a little cube made of NIC grids.
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > bonding bunnies--Simon and Olive BONDED

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