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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Need some help calming new bunnies down
Last Post by tanlover14 at 11/15/2012 5:56 AM (13 Replies)
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User is Offline Toady
NSW, Australia
186 posts Send Private Message
11/06/2012 12:19 PM

It's roughly 10 days since I brought my two girls; Athena (Thee) and Persephone (Seph) home and I've noticed from day 1 how skittish they are (well compared to how Ash was when I brought her home). I get them out and give them cuddles every day but they still hop away when I put my hands anywhere near them, Thee will come and investigate me when I sit next to their crate with the door open but when I try to pat her she bolts, Seph is the quieter of the two and prefers to hide whenever I come near the crate.

Can any of you more experience bunny owners give me any suggestions or tips on how to calm these two down and bond with me, other than forcing cuddles? And has anyone who's had a sibling pair from day one noticed they prefer each other over humans?


User is Offline LoveChaCha
Rabbit Warren
6569 posts Send Private Message
11/06/2012 12:53 PM
Hmm, are they baby bunnies?
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User is Offline Toady
NSW, Australia
186 posts Send Private Message
11/06/2012 1:01 PM
Oops, yeah I should've mentioned they're 10 weeks old

User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
10457 posts Send Private Message
11/06/2012 1:02 PM
My Monkey hates being touched. It may just take time with your 2, so just be patient. It's still brand new to them. Forcing cuddles may not be the best option. The floor-ignore thing may work better. Let them explore you on their own, and over time they may relax into letting you pet them.

User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
14644 posts Send Private Message
11/06/2012 2:25 PM
I agree. Try just having them out for play and "play dead". Let them come to you. I'd avoid attempting to touch them while in their crate.

It's probably just early days. They'll become more confident. I think routine is important to. So with just their general care get a routine going if you havent already. So they know what to expect. I think the sense if security they get from that goes a lot toward building their confidence in general.

User is Offline tanlover14
3388 posts Send Private Message
11/06/2012 2:42 PM
My girl was EXTREMELY skittish for about 2-3 months after we got her. She was skittish of everything. We eventually got closer and closer, but very slowly. Give them time and lots of love. If you stop trying to touch them, there's probably a bigger chance they'll be more interested in you. With that "threat" gone, they may feel more comfortable coming up to you and checking you out (as Thee sounds like she's started already doing).

And LOTS of Yummies! The best way to a buns heart is through their little tummies. Another trick other people have used is laying on the floor and doing something else, playing on laptop, reading, ect. and completely ignoring them but beforehand making a trail of yummy treats that end with you! If they come really close to you, hand them a treat! Make coming up to you enticing and I'm sure your girls will begin to warm up to you!
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User is Offline peppypoo
Texas
Forum Leader
1953 posts Send Private Message
11/06/2012 3:46 PM
Everyone has great tips so far! It's great that you're just letting the bunnies investigate you - keep at it and be patient. When we first brought Remi home, he would bolt whenever someone so much as reached a hand toward him. Now, two years later, he enjoys the occasional pet and is a lot more comfortable around people. He'll never be a snuggle bun like my Peppy, but they do become more comfortable with people over time .
Tammo (RIP), Milo (RIP), Peppy, Remi

User is Offline buttercup86
59 posts Send Private Message
11/06/2012 4:09 PM

My bunny is about 2 years old...I adopted him two weeks ago. All I ever do is sit on the floor with him...he is very very slowly getting more used to me touching him. I spend a lot of time just sitting and watching him and in just two weeks he has made huge progress. Routine is key with him. If I open his cage even an hour earlier then I usually do he won't come out...he hides and gets very stressed. So like others have said and from what I have learned routine can be very important for some bunnies. Keep in mind just being around them when they are doing something fun will pair you with something enjoyable. This may make them more comfortable with you. So even just sitting beside them while they eat dinner may make them less skittish around you.


User is Offline Luve, Priscilla
Internet
24 posts Send Private Message
11/06/2012 4:43 PM
When I first brought Yuki home, he was super skittish too (which was weird to me because he came from a family that played with him). I learned that leaving him be made him more interested in getting to know me. So ignore him I did. Now that he's gotten used to me, he's the biggest sweat-heart ever!
It also seems that after being fixed, females tend to calm down more and show more interest in their humans. So fixing them at the appropriate age should be on your list of things to do with your bun :]

User is Offline LoveChaCha
Rabbit Warren
6569 posts Send Private Message
11/06/2012 7:18 PM
Baby rabbits are extremely skiddish. I got Chacha bun when she was a 8 week old and she has come out of her shell a lot since she was spayed at 6 months of age. It takes a lot of patience for them to open up to their slave Some bunnies may like to be touched, or touched on their own time, whereas there are rabbits that do not want to be touched at all.
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User is Offline Toady
NSW, Australia
186 posts Send Private Message
11/06/2012 7:33 PM
The girls will be getting spayed when they're 17 weeks old, thankfully the vets they're going to have lots of bunny experience so can do the operation at a younger age than most other vets in my area. I bought a cheap carpet offcut today and from the one piece was able to cut it into 3 and they fit perfectly into the crate (as I still have the mesh from Ash in there) and I'll have another 2 so I can swap them out when the girls dirty them.

Thee came up and sniffed at me when I was putting things back. On Friday I'll lie on the floor and let them come sniff me. I'm also going to try and make some bunny bikkies with but not sure what I should make them with (pumpkin or something else)

User is Offline Toady
NSW, Australia
186 posts Send Private Message
11/12/2012 7:16 PM
It's a week later and I think we're slowly getting there, I've had to sew some shade cloth around the bottom rung of the crate to keep them from getting out between the bars and while I've been doing this the girls come up to investigate me, Thee more so than Seph. Still won't let me pat them and run away from this big hand coming down from the sky but I think it'll be like Loki, slow going and don't expect miracles too soon.

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
Forum Leader
7322 posts Send Private Message
11/14/2012 7:26 AM
Sounds like you're on the right track - just be patient! They might prefer each other more than people if they remain together, but they will absolutely get more comfortable with you over time. It took Otto 8 months to let me pet him, and now he's back to not enjoying it, but he's comfortable with me approaching and giving him a quick pat. They just do these things on their own time :-)
- Elrohwen

User is Offline tanlover14
3388 posts Send Private Message
11/15/2012 5:56 AM
Yay! Just let them go slowly and on there own accord. I swear, I was so sad for like 4 months because my girl would get so nervous and stressed every time we even went anywhere near her but now she climbs and jumps all over us and I've been trying to give her kisses constantly but she's always ran away -- well yesterday, for the first time she came up and nudged me in the face with her nose and I got to kiss her little face!!! I've had her since May and it was easily the best moment I've had with her so far! Took forever but she has come so far with lots of love and work! AND PATIENCE!
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Need some help calming new bunnies down

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