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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > post purchase depression
Last Post by BB at 7/30/2006 8:59 PM (17 Replies)
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User is Offline ea hurse
108 posts Send Private Message
7/02/2006 11:35 AM
i got my lop yesterday, just before england failed miserable at the penalty stage. i think this has affected Lollo more than i imagined - he's rejecting me! joking aside, i was told to keep 10 week old Lollo in his hutch the first week + just talk to him, look at him + stroke him to get him used to me. Problem - he seems to HATE being touched. its not like he's scared of it, he just shrugs it off and moves out the way. he does seem to like me chatting away (in the back yard, i hope my neighbours don't think i'm too mad!). he's so active in the hutch, i decided to let him out in the yard this afternoon despite the advice - i felt kinda sorry for him. i also opened the door to the kitchen to give him the option of the house too (under strict supervision). he seemed to LOVE bucking and bolting around the yard + did do some foot sniffing and got really close to me but again shied awat from stroking. i dont want to force myself on him but is there any hope of him ever letting me touch him? and if not of him not disliking being picked up? i could do with some really sound advice on how to get him to love me! (i know it's a REALLY new relationship but it's kind of like having a baby, and i hope that someone will have experienced and resolved this!

User is Offline HoppyBunny
Western U.S.
36 posts Send Private Message
7/02/2006 4:53 PM
It sounds to me like you've got a good start with spending time with your new bunny. My advice woudl be to spend more time with your bunny on the ground or floor. Let them sniff and be curious about you, this way they get used to you. You may want to also keep some treats like a couple raisins handy to give as a treat when your bunny is up close. This way they also get used to you. Try and pet them a few times each time so they know you will not hurt them. It takes time for a bunny to grow used to you.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8669 posts Send Private Message
7/02/2006 8:44 PM

Welcome loopy-lop! Yes, quite a devastating loss to Portugal eh? I can see how that could ruffle up a bunny tail!  

Don't despair, at least not about your bunny, he just needs time to get used to things. The fact that he is coming up to you even though he runs away is a good sign.  Rabbits who are getting to know each other, but DO NOT hate each other, ignore each other.  It's their way of saying, I may want to be friends, and so by ignoring you, I am letting you know I am not threatening you."  Ignoring is actually a "friendly" sign as ironic as that seems.   But if you give him too much freedom right away, he may become distant and even unruly.   Like a teenager who has been given a car with no curfew. 

 And I do understand how cute and irresistible they are when they are babies.    It's almost impossible to follow the rules! : )  My very first bunny I got as a baby, and I was also told to give him some time in his cage  And I can't deny it, I too broke the rules.   But, now knowing what I know, I would have probably made his outings shorter.  

Rabbits, as prey animals, are creatures of habit, and when things change it stresses them out, and makes them extremely cautious.  A lot has happened to your new little guy.  He recently was taken away from his mother and siblings, and then either put in a pet store or you adopted him directly.  Either way, it's pretty scary for him, and if he wasn't handled early on, he may not know what in the world to think of humans. 

Do you know if he was handled before you got him? 

He is now on his own and it's just in his prey nature to be a bit cautious.   I think HoppyBunny gave some great advice about hanging out with him, and offering him treats.  Be careful about giving him too many because he's so young, but you can offer him his regular pellets too.  I know that one member found a healthy alternative to treats for bunnies under 12 weeks: Hay cakes.  And your bunny is young enough to have alfalfa, so an alfalfa hay cake might be yummy for him.

Offering him his food via your hand will help  him understand good things come from there.  You can also just lay your hand down and let him get used to it.   He may never enjoy being picked up as most bunnies don't.  But you may be able to at least get him to tolerate it which is good when you need to trim nails.

I usually do not advocate picking up a bunny just to cuddle, but I usually deal with people who have adopted adult bunnies. But because your bunny is so young, I feel it is a good idea to get him used to handling to make easier and less stressful for him when you do nail trims, transport etc.    This may at least get him to tolerate it, but like most bunnies, he may never enjoy it.

But I don't suggest picking him up now.   I suggest picking him up later when he's gotten used to you and his new surroundings.   Also note: bunnies who hate being picked up can kick their back legs or leap out of your arms, both of which can break their back.   So stay low to the ground and make sure his back legs are secure.  

But again, because he's so freaked out right now, don't attempt this for a week or so.  Otherwise you could make it worse.  He won't trust you at all.

Oh, I know you said your keeping your bunny out in a hutch.   Have you ever considered having a bunny inside of the house?   aka: A house rabbit? 

And again, Welcome and keep us updated!


User is Offline ea hurse
108 posts Send Private Message
7/03/2006 6:42 AM
wow. thanks for the quick responses! sounds like good advice and i will persist. Lollo was bought from a pet shop but they do everything from the breeding to the selling of their rabbits. they eveb offer bunny-respite for their extended family in case of parental emergency! he was with his mother until he was 7/8 weeks old i think then 'next door' for the next 2/3 weeks with his brothers. it sounds like he was handled, i phoned them today just to check he wasn't like this when they had him, and the girl who 'helped raise' him said he would run up to her when she went in in the morning and suggested i try bribing him with spinach as this is his favourite food. so ive been to the grocer and bought the finest baby spinach (won't be buying THAT make again!) and have just given him a few leaves. he enjoyed them and tolerated a little touching but i didnt push him. i'm happy for him not to be a cuddly bunny, but am hoping by following the good advice he won't be scared every time i touch him/pick him up for his own good. and the house rabbit thing - well. that was my initial intention. however at the minute i need some decoration doing and living room door replacing etc before i can leave him in the room without constant supervision. will it be ok to try to introduce him indoors at a later stage? he'll still have to sleep in the hutch outside as i don't have enough space to provide an indoor hutch to sleep in. but it's very nice, has an upstairs and is kind of like a dutch bungalow! i am in the process of downloading a few piccies i snapped on his outing yesterday so i will show you what a cutie he is soon!

User is Offline Anita Stark
Ontario, Canada
200 posts Send Private Message
7/03/2006 1:34 PM
Hi!
I got my bunny, Sable, from a pet store too.  Luckily the lady working there has a house bunny of her own and was very helpful.  She recommended handling him at least once a day, not a problem since he's sooo cute.  Fortunately, he seemed to take to me right away and he's only 'made strange' a couple of times.  All of the advice I've found here has been a great help too.  For instance, we let him run in the living room the first day .. what a poop factory!  Then I found this site and we quickly built a pen for him.  We have kept him confined to the pen though I do take him out once or twice a day to let him play on the couch.  Since the third day he hasn't even pooped on the couch, he seems to understand that it's my territory.

I'm the one who is using the hay cubes as treats.  Sable wouldn't consider the same pellets he could easily get from his dish if they were given by hand, but wave a piece of one of those hay cakes under his nose and he's good as gold.  He's quite permissive while chomping down on it.  I think you might want to consider trying these for your bun since I've read that too much spinach can be a definite problem especially for babies.  Sable just reached the 12 week mark and I'm only now looking into trying some greens with him.  Binkybunny posted a link for diet info in a reply to my "Treats for babies" thread.  I just printed out their list of suggested veggies so that I can make sure to get the right things for him.  Thanks Binky!

I hope you enjoy your bunny as much as we have our little bundle of energy/joy!!

Sable's Mom

User is Offline ea hurse
108 posts Send Private Message
7/06/2006 6:33 AM
well, just a quick update - i've cut out the spinach as suggested but Lollo does seem to enjoy the pellets as a treat which is good- i did find some wheaty treats but he seems to enjoy the normal food just as much- he's a cheap date! i think we have done some bonding and i also think i understand why he was objecting to me stroking him - he is happy to let me stroke his back and sides but still ducks away when i touch his head. he must think i'll mess up his hair-do or something. i let him out into the yard for the second time this afternoon and made a mess of myself by sitting / lying down on the ground; he is coming up to me and checking me out- he also appears to enjoy licking my back when he thinks i'm not looking! oh, and i think i've taught him something - if i tell him to go upstairs (in his hutch) he does! he's VERY clever! now to teach him the word toilet.......talking of which can anyone advise on quantity of droppings (of the pellet variety) one should expect - i really don't understand how THAT much can be produced by one baby rabbit!

User is Offline Anita Stark
Ontario, Canada
200 posts Send Private Message
7/06/2006 12:59 PM
Glad to hear things are working out!  It's amazing how quickly they learn things isn't it?

I know what you mean about the poop.  I can't believe the piles that come out of such a little creature.  I think I read somewhere that an average size rabbit can produce about 150 pellets a day.  Then there's the size of those pellets, it almost looks like little Sable is hiding a much bigger friend somewhere

I'm sure things will just continue to get better and better.
Sable's Mom

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8669 posts Send Private Message
7/07/2006 6:29 PM

His hairdo!  Of course! Why didn't I think of that.    

And congrats on things progressing well.  And like Anistark said, it will get better and better.

It is amazing the dropping quantity isn't it?  Especially baby bunnies.  They are the messiest of all.   They usually take longer to littertrain, and they just poo everywhere, which really makes it seem like a huge amount.  But lots of those round poops is a good sign that his digestive system is working well.  A very important thing especially in rabbits!.

He does sound like a clever one.   What a smartypants he is!  Bunnies are much smarter than people have given them credit for (at least in the past).  They can be clicker trained too. 

My bunny, Bailey, knows the word litterbox.  If I even think she's going to go in the wrong place, I say "litterbox"  a few times and off she goes and jumps in the box.

I  don't doubt that with your gentle "messy" patient approach, you will have your bunny bonded to you in no time.   Keep us updated on your progress. 


User is Offline Sarah Jones
London, UK
99 posts Send Private Message
7/13/2006 11:18 PM
i've had my bun a good few weeks now, but i have to pick him up twice a day to give him antibiotics. hardly fun for him, and i wonder now if this is hindering bonding! he's never liked being approached. he doesn't mind coming for a sniff when i lie down, but i can't wait for the antibiotics to stop so i can just be a nice mummy rather than a mean mummy giving him smelly tasting liquids!

good news for me though was that he has only ever pooed in his cage! he poos everywhere in the cage and it's a bugger to clean, but it is so nice to not have to worry about finding poo elsewhere. he's only a baby and i'm assuming that is why, when i clean all his poos into his litter tray, he looks at me with a smug look and then hops up to where i just cleaned them from and just does some more, about a foot away from the litter tray.

devil!

User is Offline ea hurse
108 posts Send Private Message
7/15/2006 11:50 AM
sazemoo- i think our bunnies are psychically linked! Lollo's behaviour is just as you described for the dougster. also Lollo has a favourite corner to toilet in, just like i was told he would - its whichever corner that i DONT put the litter tray in. i just cleaned his hutch this afternoon; he waited until i was finished cleaning - he also only toilets in the hutch - and the moment i opened the door he ran into the corner and peed on the nice clean non-litter trayed floor. then smirked in my general direction and ran back to demolish my lovingly nurtured lavender plant that he has taken a liking to. Devil no.2?.....keep me updated with anything that works for you!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8669 posts Send Private Message
7/15/2006 3:58 PM
Sazemoo -  I know being the meanie mum isn't any fun for both of you, and I actually have to do that right now with Rucy as she is fighting an infection. 

 It doesn't help bonding but as long as you spend other quality time and offer a treats right after his meds then that can at least make it more pleasant.  If he's too young for a treat, then maybe pellet?

The fact that he's only pooing in his cage is a good sign that he's understanding that he has his own territory, and that's WONDERFUL because babies can sometimes take a longer time to "get it"  

It is normal for young bunnies and unaltered  bunnies to leave poos everywhere in what they consider their territory, and he will probably continue to do it until after he's altered.     If you aren't planning on altering him, then he may improve, but you may always have territorial poos to deal with - though it may lessen if he decides he made his point and everyone understand it's his territory - but that all really depends on the bunny.

Sometimes it helps to leave HIS territory alone.  Meaning, can he get out and in on his own?  Or when putting him back can you put him just right in front of his area, cage whatever, and let him go in.

This may make him feel more secure and not feel the need to reiterate that this is HIS place (aka: territorial poos)



User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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7/15/2006 4:15 PM
Loopy-lop -

Isn't that just like a bunny!  You get everything prepared and do everything "right"  and they just snub their nose at us and laugh.

Sometimes it works to get a few litterboxes and slowly remove them once a bunny gets the hang of it.   Also, you can entice him to get into the box with a treat.   If you're bunny is younger than 12 weeks you can put some pellets in there.

Oh, and just in case you don't do this already, try and put pee in poop in all of the litterboxes. 

Also, the moment you catch him lifting up his tail to go get him to his litterbox right at that moment.  Afterwards is too late.
You may have already done that, but just in case, I wanted to add that.

It does take persistence and catching him the act most of the time to train him.   It can take weeks, and when they are young it can take much longer.


User is Offline ea hurse
108 posts Send Private Message
7/18/2006 10:45 AM
hi! Lollo only uses his bed to wee in. he also tends to do his bigger poos in the bedding. since the bedding is in the bit of the hutch that doesnt have wire on the door (privacy!) and he specifically goes in there to do it i dont tend to have the opportunity to catch him in the act. the other thing is that he wont let me touch him so i'd struggle to pick him up to put him in the litter-tray regardless..its only when the door is open for me to clean that i see and he waits till i'm out the way. he is protective of his 'bedroom' - which is why i think he peed in it when i'd cleaned. he always gets under my hands when i have them in that bit of the hutch, even if he hears me open that door he's straight over to check out what business i have there! he's very comfortable being around me now but he still snubs the touching unless its him doing it- if he senses my hand moving to stroke him he suddenly finds something at the far side of the yard he's interested in.... the other thing i'm concerned about is that he just will not 'play' with anything. he enjoys running round the yard and eating my plants and he has started to go back in the hutch as soon as i put his supper in there so i'm not having to bribe him back in anymore. but when he's in there he just isnt interested in the chewing blocks or cardboard box/ rolls or plastic lid-toy things i made. or the ball. or the giant-carrot shaped wood thing. i feel terrible for him, like i'm inflicting boredom on him by not knowing what to do to relieve it! (hence i thought a bunny buddy would help when the time is right.)

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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7/18/2006 9:47 PM

Ah, I'm sorry he's still shying away from you.  I think you have more of a challenge because it sounds like he's either in his territory, a more confined place he feels like you're invading, or he has lots of freedom away from you and becomes anti-social. (though that one thing about him finding interest in another area of the hutch while you are in there, may be his way to show he doesn't want to fight.   Bunnies sometimes do this when they don't want to be threatened, when they just want to maintain peace, when they're just trying to read your body language.   So he may "act" like he doesn't care, but he is watching you.  (of course, if he's running out in the yard and exploring - then he's  just exploring.) 

Also, it must be harder to litter train him in a smaller area - while he is already defending his territory. And he is reaching that age where his hormones are beginning to surge - like an ornery teenager and being territorial, even growling & lunging, is not uncommon. (Most of the time neutering helps temper this) 

You were right on when you said he may pee on his things because he's protective, so unfortunately reaching in and putting him into this litterbox may have adverse effects in such close quarters - because you can't really direct him or scoot him, because my guess is, by doing so means you'd be invading his "protectived" areas.

   Do you have access to a dog pen type of fencing - like an x-pen? 

I think this can help in a number of ways.

1st: You can sit in there with him (out in the yard  or wherever) and spend time where you are not invading his space, where you are both lounging, but he can't be so distant that he becomes anti-social.  You can also continue litter training in the pen.  Just bring the litterbox into the x-pen. and put a treat in there to just encourage usage.  

2nd:  You can put him in the x-pen while you need to reach in and clean, feed, etc.his hutch.  That way he won't be there and feel invaded.   By the way, keep a few beddings that you can rotate out quickly, and put all those piles of poo, and take a paper towel and try and soak up any urine from the bedding and put that in his litterbox.  (you have a box? or do you just let it fall through the wire grid in the hutch?)  It is a real pain, but keeping every place BUT his litterbox clean will also help him.  It does take time, and it's a lot of cleaning. But in time, this will help him get it.

Also, if there is ANY way you can rig it so he can get out and enter on his own without you reaching in to pick him up?  That may help too, so he doesn't see your hands as something negative.  EVEN if it means he will get freedom, some bunnies hate being picked up from the beginning, and they don't associate "being caught" with freedom.

Another suggestion - When you try to pet him, do you try to pet his back or his head?  Some bunnies view petting their head with grooming, while petting their back with being threatened to be humped - dominated.   Most will get over that, but if he's shy, he may want to only be petted a certain way first.

Keep us updated.   Bunnies are all so different and there are so many way to approach different problems.  So hang in there, and keep trying and hopefully soon we'll find something that works.


User is Offline ea hurse
108 posts Send Private Message
7/19/2006 6:17 AM
Lollo won't let me touch his head at all. i get a few sneaky strokes on his back if his mouth is full -and (typical man) can only either chew OR run -on a very odd occasion. also he can see my hand going toward his head very easily! like i say though, if i'm sitting on the floor in the yard he comes up to me and puts his paws on my legs and nuzzles me etc but ducks away from the hand. i don't need to put my hands in his hutch at all other than for food / cleaning as there are 2 doors to the downstairs part which i just have to open and he can come out/ go back in. i leave the door open for him to hop in and out also when i let him out in the yard so if he feels vulnerable he can run inside (eg if he hears a strange noise).

my yard is not huge, 4 metres by 5 metres maybe (i'm not very good at guessing the size!) but there are a table and chairs in there which he loves to jump over the crossbars on the legs and a raised 'flower' bed he can jump into and hop along the low wall and plant pot table he likes to run around. when i'm in the yard with him i'm never particularly far away - in fact it's probably not far off the size of some of the dog-pens i saw over in the USA!

i have spent some time in the living room with him just lying on the floor but again he is just not interested other than for a few seconds to have a sniff- he just wants to be hopping round the room. trying to bribe him to me with treats doesnt work either because he just snubs them in favour of more exploring (unless he's already in his hutch then he likes to be given treats!) oh, and re the poos- the hutch is all wood other than the upstairs door and one downstairs door which have the wire on them. his dropping/ wee dont go anywhere, just stay in his bed. until i change the bedding (which is every other day!)

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
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8669 posts Send Private Message
7/20/2006 6:19 PM

I had to laugh at "typical man".  Isn't that the truth!  My husband is so guilty of that too -  only focus on one thing at a time. 

Though your yard is smaller (but normal for the city I live in),  I'm still thinking of even a smaller area for you two to be confined in.  The pens I'm thinking of are about 1.5 meters x 1.5 meters (give or take a few feet) 

But first, what about letting him run around a bit to get that out of his system and then sitting with him in a pen in your living room.   That way he can't hide under a piece of furniture.   If you don't really have access or want to purchase a x-pen, then maybe you can think of another way to confine you both into a smaller section .  It will have to be comfortable for you, so bring pillows or whatever, so that sitting on the floor doesn't become so uncomfortable and make you want to get out too soon. 

Watch TV, read a book, write, work,or whatever while you are in there.  (I use to do all the things I usually avoided - like taxes, shopping lists, etc)   Plus, this "ignoring" can cue him into that you are not threatening.  And let him just find interest in you until he flops down to rest.  Then pet him.  Don't hover your hand over him, or go to slow, as he may take that as "stalking" like predator to prey. He may pop up, but don't worry, it'll take time and patience.  Oh, and be sure to put a small litterbox in there with you, so when you're spending time, he'll have a place to go, plus it can help reinforce litterbox habits. 

It may take a couple of weeks, so don't get discouraged if nothing changes over a few days.

Let us know if you do try that, how you end up doing it and keep us updated on Lollo's progress.


User is Offline ea hurse
108 posts Send Private Message
7/29/2006 10:50 AM
right, now ive ranted about how much trouble Lollo has caused today on the link about habits, i'll get to the positive stuff... he now deems to allow me to give him some loving. only when he wants it, but some all the same- i'm allowed to tickle behind his ears and stroke his head when he's in full bunny flop mode, which he has once or twice done at my feet which i think may actually be an invitation rather than me going over to where he has flopped..... and i'm LOVING it! he really does seem to be bonding to me in his own way. he's never going to be placid and i just can't pick him up, he's too clued in to the signs. but he was rearranging my yard earlier; the candle holders were not to his liking and i had inconveniently placed the brush and pan and a cardboard box- once this had been rectified he proceeded with doing mad circuits of the yard like it was an assault-course!!! oh, and i had to buy him his own brush to love.......(i felt it was an inappropriate relationship with my cleaning brush) i'm looking forward to more laughing at him!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8669 posts Send Private Message
7/30/2006 8:59 PM

Loopy-lop,

Your posts crack me up!  

And Yahoooo! Congrats on the ongoing bonding. 

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