Each day of the 2nd week they would begin with a face off.
Bailey leans into groom – a dominant behavior. Rucy is not obliging.
Which makes Bailey push more.
They are leaning in, but slight body posture differences reveal whose the more dominant.
Bailey’s Posture: Dominant – leaning in, body is flat
RUCY: more passive – Rucy’s rump is up, feet are pushed up, ready to push off and escape if Bailey shows aggression.
Bailey pushes in and FINALLY Rucy relents and begins grooming Bailey.
Then the face off begins again and they are a bit tense. I have seen Bailey nip during this process, so I pet them (with a glove!) to help comfort them.
No grooming, but no nipping either. Good.
They continue these face offs for long periods of time. In the meantime, I watch paint dry and grass grow.
Throughout the week Rucy continues to groom Bailey.
Things seem to be going well until….
NIP!!!! (but not a real bite) What I observed here was Bailey got startled by Rucy when she shook the dust off her feet before she began to clean herself. Bailey is always on edge and quick to react to many types of movements.
Rucy decides it’s time to leave this “crazy bunny” alone.
It’s time for Bailey to be alone.
But she’s not fond of being alone, so “fido” comes to the rescue.
NOTE: After much observation, I think Bailey either can’t see well or hear well or both, or just isn’t understanding that there ARE non-threatening moves. She easily feels threatened and startled which causes her to react negatively. Her reaction then makes Rucy freak out and avoid her and nothing positive happens.
My goal for week 3 is to try and help Bailey feel safe with all non-threatening body language. In turn, as Bailey relaxes with Rucy’s moves, I am hoping Rucy will stop avoiding Bailey.