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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Bonding Question that I haven't found.
Last Post by tanlover14 at 11/10/2012 6:59 PM (6 Replies)
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User is Offline Shmoo
11 posts Send Private Message
10/24/2012 7:29 AM

Hey everyone! I'm new here, and I've probably read threads here many times in my search for random questions. Usually I'm able to find an answer, but not this time. 

I have 2 bunnies, Stitch and Mr.Mumbles. They were both born around February. They are both males and neutered. Stitch has been neutered for about 2 months and Mumbles for about a month(little more). I got them separately, but they were introduced previously(Stitch was given to me by a friend because she was allergic and I bought Mumbles from her mother a couple months later when she was moving).

I live in an apartment. Stitch would have the living room to roam/play(he doesn't pee everywhere) and I bought one of those fence things to attach to Mumble's cage and let his area be the kitchen because it's easy cleanup for me. They were able to touch each other through the fence. Now I've gotten to the point where I can let them out together. They've never really fought, but of course this question is about dominance. 

They seem to both have "different styles" of dominance if that makes sense? lol. Stitch will bow his head under Mumbles(I read that this can be a sign of him trying to tell Mumbles to groom him?) Mumbles of course is all about humping, which basically results in a lot of face humping. Everything I've read says no to face humping, so I try to stop it whenever I can. Sometimes Mumbles will just run away when Stitch starts shoving his face under him, which Stitch then runs after him with his ears back. That makes me worried, but it's never gotten violent. A few times I've looked over and Stitch is just laying there letting Mumbles hump his face(of course I stop it). When Mumbles tries to hump him the "traditional way", Stitch will usually try to hump back and make more an effort. That has caused me to separate them because they can get a little rowdy and a tad bit more aggressive.

Of course I've had them out for about an hour this morning, and I haven't seen any humping, just the bowing of Stitch's head. I usually have them out at night together, but today's my day off. Wonder if that has anything to do with it.

Is this normal? lol. I assume it is, but I haven't found anything specific to this situation. I'm rambly and there's probably way more info than needs to be in here. lol. Thanks for reading!!


User is Offline tanlover14
3437 posts Send Private Message
10/24/2012 7:52 AM
Welcome to BB, Schmoo! I have a bonded trio so I thought I'd pop in and comment on your situation.

The number one thing about bonding is you HAVE to let them go through their dominance battles. If you break it up all the time, it will take longer and become harder for them to figure out their "hierarchy" and bond correctly. Everything you're going through is PERFECTLY normal so no cause for concern! My boy was constantly humping my girls head and we kept having to drag him off since it can be dangerous. As for the other humping, what do you mean by them getting rowdy and a tad aggressive? They need to establish the "top bun" in a sense so as long as they are not biting or pulling out fur, I'd let it go and see what happens. It's easier if you keep a spray bottle on hand just in case it does get out of hand since that will usually shock them for long enough to get them apart without you injuring yourself JUST as a safety suggestion in case something does go very wrong. For the most part, after this happened -- my buns just let it go and moved on and now there's a sense of who the "big bad bunny" is and who is the submissive one! LOL. With a trio though, it's always changing between the three and that could be possible in your two as well.

Considering how well they seem to be getting along besides the humping, I'd say your bonding is going great and just give them time!
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User is Offline Shmoo
11 posts Send Private Message
10/24/2012 9:42 AM
Thank you for the response!
I let them battle it out when it's not involving the face because of what I've read. I know they need to determine that. When I say rowdy and aggressive, I mean it looks like there is biting going on/some fur comes out because they're both trying to hump each other and neither wants to give in. I have a water bottle, but it doesn't work all that well. lol. I'm going to the store today, so I might buy a better one. I try clapping/making a loud noise, and it works with Stitch, but for some reason Mumbles doesn't react to loud noises. I think his previous home was pretty noisy, so he doesn't notice?
I think Mumbles is slightly blind too. He does the swaying thing, has red eyes, and he reacts to things at odd times if that makes sense. It's not a problem, just something I thought I'd bring up. lol.

This morning they went for about an hour or so without any humping. Then Mumbles started having accidents on my carpet, so I confined him again for now. Somehow Stitch ended up with pee on his head. :/ I've been looking at litter box ideas, so I think I'm going to try a little harder on that front for Mumbles. Stitch is great and doesn't have accidents except for the occasional poop, which is easy to clean up. Mumble's urine and droppings just smell so bad.

I'm kind of all over the place with my thoughts. haha. sorry.

User is Offline Stitchntwinks
207 posts Send Private Message
10/25/2012 12:10 AM
Number one..... I have a bunny called stitch too... Cute name teehee
Number two.... My buns went through major dominance battle when they were bonding, and the humping played a major part in why it took so long for the to be bonded, but in the end you really have to just let it play out, I spent a lot of time watching them, and would no the signs of when stitch was about to start a humping frenzy so when I thought it was going to happen I'd try and take his mind off it, for eg I would bring in a toy they hadn't played with for a while, or just put some more water in there bowl, anything to just make them forget what they were going to do, hope this helps! Xx

User is Offline tanlover14
3437 posts Send Private Message
10/25/2012 6:40 AM
^ Great idea, I have never even thought of that Stitchntwinks! She has a very great point in taking their minds off what they are getting ready to do.

He peed on his head... I can't stop laughing! LOLOLOLOL. Another minor detail, you should ALWAYS end bonding on a good note between the two. So for example, if one is peeing all over the place... when he's done being naughty and such, bring them together -- on each side of you if they can't get along together -- and feed them a treat or two. Or if they touch noses without biting, give them a treat and end the session. Just so everything is positive. It'll help keeping them in good thoughts every time they come into contact with each other.

Another trick you can try is getting two stuffed animals or towels and putting them in their separate cages. Then after a day or two (long enough to get the other buns scent on it) you can switch the towels or stuffed animals into the other cages. This can give them somewhere to take their aggression and humping out on an object that isn't the other bun. Sometimes this works and sometimes they'll still try humping each other but even if it just slightly decreases the amount of humping they do to actual each other then it's a slight success!
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User is Offline Shmoo
11 posts Send Private Message
11/10/2012 6:28 PM
Sorry it took a while to get back to you! I'm kind of reading your suggestions a bit late, and fortunately I no longer need them! lol. they all sound like great ideas though!

After a couple days, they stopped humping each other and I haven't seen it since! Stitch still bows his head all the time, which is kind of cute now that Mumble's doesn't see it as an opportunity to hump like crazy.Like right now as I'm typing this Stitch is shoving his face under Mumble's butt and Mums is just sitting there like what the hell are you doing? Sometimes he'll clean his ears for him, but usually he'll ignore him. lol.

Anyway, they love each other and I couldn't be happier! 

The best thing though...They're both officially litter trained! I bought a litter box the day I made this post and threw some hay in it and put it in a corner of my living room. I wasn't sure if they were completely litter trained until the last time I vacuumed. They haven't relieved themselves anywhere but in the litter box or their cages since I vacuumed. I'm just so happy! It makes my life a lot less stressful knowing I can let them out to run around and not have to worry. 

and I'll attach a random picture of their cages after I cleaned them today(plus my hamster's cage)

I'm just a happy bun mommy right now.

I wish they were cuddly bunnies. lol. crappy iphone picture.


User is Offline tanlover14
3437 posts Send Private Message
11/10/2012 6:59 PM
Yay -- Congrats on having bonded bun buns!!! And litter training!
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