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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Is this going allright?
Last Post by Elrohwen at 8/02/2012 3:55 AM (3 Replies)
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User is Offline Konijn
1 posts Send Private Message
7/24/2012 1:32 AM

Hi everyone,

I am new to this forum. I have got 2 dwarf rabbits, Polly (neutered male) and Molly (neutered female). Polly's partner died 4 months ago, and we adopted Molly a few days ago. I have very little experience with bonding - Polly was in love with his previous partner straight away and she (although somewhat reluctantly at first!) accepted him after just one or two days.

 

So basically, I have no idea whether the current bonding session is going well or not.

 

When we introduced Polly and Molly to eachother (in the bathroom, as we figured this would be neutral territory), they first ignored eachother. Then, Polly kept trying to mount Molly and they started fighting (claws out, jumping, grunting etc). We separated them and it has been going better since. In a typical bonding session, they will first ignore each other for about ten minutes, and then either one of them will approach the other. They seem very curious about the other rabbit and always seem to keep an eye on what they are doing. Sometimes they just sniff and then leave again, but usually after doing this for 2 or 3 times Molly will offer her head to be washed (she appears to be the dominant rabbit). However, Polly is reluctant to do this, and offers his head instead. After they sit like this for a few seconds, either Polly or Molly will grunt and attempt to "hit" the other rabbit (I have tried putting banana on Molly's head as I read that this sometimes helps, but she always washes it off straight away). At this point I always spray water on them to make them stop. They always stop straight away, and go back to eating, washing themselves or exploring the room almost immediatly. They have eaten hay together, they often wash themselves quite near one another and Molly sometimes very briefly licks Polly's head when she passes him.

Does this sound like it is going well? I am a bit worried about the fighting. Is there anything I could do to speed up the process?


User is Offline peppypoo
Texas
Forum Leader
1953 posts Send Private Message
7/24/2012 4:15 AM
After that first bit, do they fight anymore when you put them together? Also, how are they housed typically outside of the bonding sessions?
Tammo (RIP), Milo (RIP), Peppy, Remi

User is Offline sll
1 posts Send Private Message
8/01/2012 11:51 AM
Hi, I created a new account because I couldn't log into the old one anymore and the system won't send me my password.

It has now been ten days since I introduced the bunnies to each other.

Peppypoo, they are living in separate cages in the same room at the moment, so that they can smell and see each other. They usually nip at each other and try to scratch a few times in each 25-30 min session: they always ignore each other for a while, then one will ask to be groomed, then usually the other bun will get angry and nip.


It's not always like this though - sometimes the bunny wanting to be groomed will just give up and go away, and sometimes they will just sit and watch each other. We found that going for walks with them in a travel box has a really good effect: afterwards, they always sit next to each other during their bonding session and there is no fighting at all. One time Polly even started grooming Molly!

However, I don't feel that they're making much progress. The effect of the walks always seems to wear off after one day, and then they go back to nipping at each other. Today I wanted to try a different environment so I put them on the couch, but they started a full-blown fight and I had to separate them.

It's crazy that Polly thinks he can be the dominant rabbit, he was very submissive in his previous relationship and he is so very shy! Molly, on the other hand, is very confident and not easily scared.

This picture was taken during a bonding session - they often sit near each other, but they seem quite tense. Any advice would be much appreciated!

Polly & Molly
 

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
Forum Leader
7301 posts Send Private Message
8/02/2012 3:55 AM
I think it's going very well! From your description, the fight sounds more like a scuffle than anything. A real fight will involve rabbits tightly rolling around in a ball and trying to draw blood. Boxing at each other and grunting is more of a scuffle and it sounds like they haven't had any scuffles since the initial one - is that correct?

Some humping and demanding to be groomed is inevitable, so just keep doing what you're doing and they'll gradually get comfortable with each other. It can be a slow process, but you're really on the right track. One thing that helped me was to use a clock or set a timer for each session. It helped me see progress to know that I had gone from 10min sessions to 1hr sessions, even though things between them mostly stayed the same. It's less of a breakthrough thing than a gradual comfort level that will develop between them.
- Elrohwen
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