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BUNNY 911 – If your rabbit hasn’t eaten or pooped in 12-24 hours, call a vet immediately!  Don’t have a vet? Check out VET RESOURCES 

The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet.  It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.

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Forum BEHAVIOR Am I doing everything wrong?!? 1st time owner

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    • Sarah
      Participant
      6 posts Send Private Message

      Hi all, I hoping someone can shed a positive light for me.

      I am a 1st time owner of a 9 wk old lop bunny Poe. I feel like I have set up his house/enclosure and given him lots of space. I have provided him with pellets and hay galore and have made all sorts of toys to keep him curious and occupied. I am trying to litter train him and i clean his cage daily because he is still urinating outside the box. But I am wondering if being in his cage is causing him to distrust me or fear me?

      He is still scared to death of me! He lets me pet him sometimes usually when  he’s eating or just lazing about but most of the time just runs away from me, into a corner or his cage. I have only had him for 2 weeks so please let me know if I am asking too much of this little fella but I feel totally like I am doing everything wrong and he will never like me!

      Like now he was happily playing outside  his enclosure with a new hidey house I built but when i sat down on the floor he tried to go for the door to the enclosure at the same time and freaked out and now he’s under the futon  stuff like this keeps happening! 

      any advice would be gratefully appreciated…thanks!!


    • Sir Ollie
      Participant
      61 posts Send Private Message

      I think he just needs time to warm up to you. Spend lots of time on the floor with him and you can sit outside of his enclosure to let him get used to you being there. I know it’s tempting to try to pet him when you get the chance, but it’s better for your relationship if you let him come to you. You could also try feeding him some pellets or treats from your hand. This link has some good info about bonding with your bunny https://rabbit.org/bonding-with-your-rabbit/

      Also when I brought home my baby bunny, I thought he would never like spending time with me because he’d always hop away after a few seconds of petting. I think it had less to do with me and more about him being a baby in a new space with lots of energy to burn and things to explore. Now he is six months old and will sit upwards of half an hour for pets if my hand doesn’t get tired first ?


    • Asriel and Bombur
      Participant
      1071 posts Send Private Message

      Like Ollie said, time is the biggest thing. He’s new and getting used to you and his new environment. Some bunnies can take 6 months to a year or more to fully open up. It’s nothing to do with you, it’s just the bunny’s personality and their level of trust. All you can do is give him the best love and care, and partially ignore him. Eventually his curiosity will take over. Some bunnies will always be no touch bunnies though, and that’s just something you have to accept. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you.


    • FlemishDad
      Participant
      114 posts Send Private Message

      9 weeks is too young for treats but you could limit his pellets a bit and then hang out on the floor with a bowl of pellets nearby so he learns you bring yummies!

      In a few weeks you could start introducing him to veggies. Cilantro and parsley are great treat veggies you could use this way or even hand feed since they are long and he can take them from you without getting too close.

      9 weeks is very young and you just got him so relax, it’s very early.


    • LittlePuffyTail
      Moderator
      18092 posts Send Private Message

      Patience. Some bunnies take quite a long time to warm up to their new people. And like Flemish Dad said, spend lots of time on the floor. Don’t try to pet him. Just ignore him. He will be curious and will come to you when he’s ready.

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Forum BEHAVIOR Am I doing everything wrong?!? 1st time owner