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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Superiority Complex
Last Post by BB at 7/27/2006 11:11 PM (9 Replies)
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User is Offline Robin Sink
Willow Grove, Pa
12 posts Send Private Message
7/17/2006 4:26 AM

I am a proud mother of a new mini lop and I also have 2 kids.  A 4 and a 6 year old.  We are all enamoured by our new family member and the 4 year old must be watched constantly to make sure he doesnt try to get the bunny out of her cage.  My question is, if I set her cage up on a table or a stand rather than on the floor, will she develop a superiority complex over the children because she will be taller than them?  I ask this because I had a bird that did this and I was never able to let any kids hold her because she would sink her beak into their skin. 

Also, I want to litter box train her but I have already been letting her explore and run about for most of the day.  How can I go about training her with out her resenting me for restricting her freedom?

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8644 posts Send Private Message
7/17/2006 9:01 PM

A bunny being on top or bottom will have nothing to do with a superiority complex. But I think one way to offer her freedom, and also help protect her from a curious 4 year is to get an x-pen and put her in there or attach it to her cage.

I am glad you are keeping an eye on your little guy.  I know it must be excruciating for a young kid to not get his hands on that cute bundle of fluff.  So I commend you for keeping watch because rabbits actually have fragile spines and can break their back if mishandled.

When it comes to rabbits, it's not so much of superiority complex as it is an instinct to protect their territory.  That will happen regardless of cage height.  Some rabbit can become aggressive with hands if they feel frightened with poking petting hands when they are not prepared - especially if they are reaching into their territory  - their cage.  Some will fight, some will cower, but either way, if you see those signs now or in the future, you'll need to take a different approach.   That territorial urge to defend becomes stronger depending on age and if they are spayed or not.

So for now, I just have a few questions to ask so I can provide you with appropriate solutions.

How old is she?  Is she spayed?  Are you planning on spaying her?  What size is she now?  What size is the cage?  Can she get in and out on her own, or do you have to get her?

How long have you had her? How is she reacting the kids right now?

 


User is Offline Robin Sink
Willow Grove, Pa
12 posts Send Private Message
7/18/2006 1:54 AM
When we picked her up last week the pet store told us she was 12 weeks. She is only about the size of a cantelope. the cage is the standard sized starter cage, but we are already looking into a larger cage. She can easily get out of her cage if I open it for her. her fav thing to do is hop out and scurry under the bed and play hide and seek with me. She is okay with the kids and my kids know that they will DIE if they hurt a single hair on my bunny babbit!!! I do plan on getting her fixed as well as litter box trained. I want wait until she is around 6 mo old to get her fixed but it definatly will happen. When is a good age for her? Also I was thinking of getting a second bun for her to play with and I will probably get a girl. My fonzie was looking at one when we bought kupo and it was a littler rabbit. I would like to be able to take her with me to the pet store and let her pick out her cage mate.
I will begin her litter box training asap but I dont know how moving is going to affect her, yet.

This is a good way to introduce a baby rabbit to yourself and get her used to you: When we first brought her home my fiance took one of his t shirts that he had worked in that day because it has his scent on it and wrapped her in it and now she is addicted to having him hold her. It is like she thinks he is her daddy now. It is adorable!!! She has such a sweet personality.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
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7/18/2006 8:08 PM

What a good tip.  I like the idea of getting her used to your scent.  So cute how she is now bonded in to your fianc√©.  I would sleep with a toy rabbit for a few days, and put that in my bunny's cage.  Same sort of idea, but my bunny began grooming the toy bunny.  

Regarding when to get her spayed, it really depends on your vet.  Some are comfortable with spaying females when they reach sexual maturity, while others prefer to wait unit 6 months.

Just a note on same sex bunnies getting along.  It can happen, but it can be challenging.  Their is a hierarchy within the bunny world.  One among the group, and then another within the same sexes.  Males fight for territory of mating rights, females fight for territory for safer birthing areas - it's in their instincts so though spaying can temper this, they can still be a challenge to bond.

If you go to a pet store, my guess would be that the rabbits would be young?  Unaltered?   So even if she finds a "passive" male ore female, when that baby bunny reaches sexual maturity, a whole new personality can emerge.  You may not know if that baby bunny is going to be a dominant rabbit or not, it'll all be in the hormones, and those don't happen until around 3- 4 months.  

Have you ever thought of going to a rescue group or shelter/humane society?   Many are experienced in bonding, and can help you through bunny dating.  I know that when I worked and volunteered at shelters, people would bring in their bunny, and I would bring out a bunny and see how their bunny reacted. I could read the body language and tell if their bunny would be okay with a dominant bunny or had to have a passive bunny. I could then go and find a better choice - one that would more likely succeed though a bonding process.

If you do decide to go the a pet store and pick-out a baby,  you will just  have to be very careful when you get home, and make sure to go through a bonding process, and then be prepared when the baby reaches 3 months old to watch very carefully for aggression, and if it's a male, you'll have to separate them before that, as females can get pregnant as early as 3 months (one good thing about most shelters, at least in the US, is that many times the rabbits are already altered.)

Either way, I do think having two rabbits is a great idea.   You just have to go through a bonding process to prevent fighting (they can seriously hurt each other)

Most really do crave companionship, and it's wonderful to see to bonded rabbits playing, sleeping and grooming each other.   And I know some people think that their rabbit will ignore them. I don't have that problem at all, if anything, when I pet one rabbit, the others come to join in, and we all cuddle!

Regarding when you move.   Moving can definitely start a whole new routine of marking - leaving poops everywhere, but it if you start to litter train now, it can only help cement in good habits.   Waiting doesn't help, and if anything, bad habits can start to cement in.

Well, lots of choices!  Congratulations on your new cutie pie!   You sound like you are dedicated to making her happy, and care very much for her.   Keep us updated on litterbox training, bonding etc.  and we're here if you need any advice or just want to share your experiences.


User is Offline Robin Sink
Willow Grove, Pa
12 posts Send Private Message
7/20/2006 9:52 AM
How awesome! I went out yestarday and purchased a litter box and some litter especially for bunnies. I cleaned her cage and installed her box where I found the most poo. I used a few of her droppings that were already in her cage and put them in her box. Then I put Kupo in the box and she took to it like a pro. she has used it almost everytime she had to go. She had a few accidents right outside of her box and over where she eats but I am sure she will learn. It was almost like she wanted her own special place to go potty. I give her a few nibbles of this pet grass with lots of protien in it when she goes potty in her box.

I gave her a bath the other day because she was still really smelly from the pet store. She hated it and I should have researched it before I did it. The only reason why I thought it was okay was because there was a whole section of crap at the pet store for cleaning bunnies and other small animals. After her bath I wrapped her up in a towel and pet her until she was dry and I tried to comfort her as much as possible. she seemed okay but a few days later, I was carrying her and when I stepped into the bathroom she started to freak out. I felt so bad. Fortunatley she isnt holding a grudge against me. Although she does prefer my Fonzie more than me (Fonzie is my fiance') but Im not jealous (* sniff sniff *). lol Not really, I love watching her and him play together.

She is such an awesome addition to our family. I doubt the move will bother her too much, she adapted to moving in with us well enough. The only thing i dont like is that when I am at work there is no one there to let her out to play so she has lots of time to spend in her cage. I want to get here pen but I dont have the room ini the place I live at now.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8644 posts Send Private Message
7/20/2006 7:34 PM
Yeah!  That's great!  I'm so glad she has quickly taken to the box. 

You are right about the pet stores giving out "a whole section of crap".    Though I am sure there are some responsible knowledgable places,  I find that many pet stores really don't have the full scoop and many times give out bogus info.

Some rabbit can actually go into shock during a bath so it really needs to be done carefully.   I am so glad it turned out okay though for Kupo, even though she wasn't fond of returning to the bathroom.

Good news though, now that she's clean, you probably won't have to bath her again unless she gets into something really stinky and can't clean herself. 

One thing about her being alone during the day.  Don't feel bad about that.  Most bunnies naturally sleep and relax during the afternoon. As they are most active early in the am, and dusk/evening.
 And even if your schedule changed, they are great at adapting.

User is Offline Robin Sink
Willow Grove, Pa
12 posts Send Private Message
7/23/2006 9:16 AM
Okay, not only does the rabbit poo and pee in her box she also spends most of her time lieing in the box. what's up with that?
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8644 posts Send Private Message
7/25/2006 8:40 PM
It's not abnormal.  Some bunnies really enjoy it.   They feel all snuggly and safe there.  

Does your bunny have a little covered area anywhere or a snuggly bedding area?   If not, you could get a box and put something soft in there and maybe your bunny will end up making that her snuggle zone.

User is Offline Robin Sink
Willow Grove, Pa
12 posts Send Private Message
7/26/2006 7:21 AM
She has one of those plastic bunny things in her cage and she sleeps in it as well.  I do have a problem. Before we got her a litter box she had an accident on my bed which is right next to her cage.  She has discovered that she can jump on my bed now and when my back is turned she pees and poos all over my bed.  How can I get her to stop that behavior?  I always allow her free access to her cage in case she does have to go potty.  When she is in her cage she mostly potties in the box but I've noticed she also does it near her food too. 
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8644 posts Send Private Message
7/27/2006 11:11 PM

Oye!  Yes some bunnies (usually unaltered) will urinate on the places that have your scent more heavily then others - like beds and couches. She could be doing this for a couple of reasons. One, bunnies mark territories to claim them.  And since you have "marked" it (just because you lay there and your scent is stronger there) then she figures it is a high valued place that must be marked.  

The other things she could be doing is marking OVER your scent to claim it as her own. 

Either way, for now, there are a few things you can do, block her from your bedroom or somehow from your bed,  or put some plastic over it, like a plastic table cloth over your bed. (may not be the fanciest new duvet, but it's better than urine)  Also, anytime you see her up there, shoo her off.

For another tip here is an article from the House Rabbit Society regarding this problem

"Urinating on furniture:

Another behavior related to this attempt to dominate companion (human)s is the most unwelcome one of urinating on the piece of  furniture where you often sit, or on your bed. This is the equivalent of one rabbit urinating in another rabbit's cage.   The victim may accept the insult, agreeing to the dominance of the aggressor, or he may decide to fight it out. Neither of these is appropriate for a human. You can close the door to your bedroom, controlling his access to the bed (you're dominant). But it may not be so simple to close off a chair or  couch in the family room you share with your companions. The most effective means I have found to declare the dominance of the companion (human) over the companion (rabbit) in this situation is to set "Snappy Trainers" (safe, mouse-trap like contraptions that can be found in "pet stores," each with a plastic fan blade that causes it to fly into the air when bumped) along the edge of the seat. The rabbit jumps onto the seat, the Snappy Trainers fly into the air, and a startled rabbit never tries to go on that piece of furniture again. The  companion (human) has control of her chair."

Note: I personally tried those snappy trainers (when my one bunny used to like to get up to chew the cushions!) and those snappy trainers almost gave me a heart attack.  They are so loud and scary!  But it obviously works for some people without killing them from shock.

My persistence of shooing my bunny off as soon as he got on there eventually deterred him permanently.   Of course, in the beginning, while we were still battling out dominance of the couch, I could not leave him alone unsupervised. 

Let us know how it goes!

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