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Home Forums BEHAVIOR Bonded bunnies that both have dominant personalities

This topic contains 7sd replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Kate 8 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #1322710

    Kate
    Participant

    I have 2 bonded rabbits, a neutered male and a spayed female, both close to 2 yrs old. The neutered male I’ve had for almost 2 years and I rescued the female as a companion for him almost a year ago. Their bonding took about 8 weeks total. Since being bonded they’ve never had a real fight, but what I’ve realized is that they are both dominant/have big personalities. Lately, within the past few months I have noticed an increase in chasing by the female. It’s pretty much a daily occurrence at this point. Right after they were first bonded she used to chase him and actually pull fur out. I have not seen the fur pulling recently, just the increase of chasing and then at the end she will like stand on him with her front feet. I have also occasionally seen her “dig” at him with her front feet. I’m sure she is doing this as an act of dominance (at least that’s what it seems like), but I think the male is very bothered by this. The male has been thumping more and more, especially in the middle of the night (waking me up), but I haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly why he thumps. I have had my suspicions that it’s in response to the female and he’s trying to tell her to back off/give him space.

    However, when they’re not doing that, they do lay next to each other and groom each other, although it’s almost always the female asking the male to groom her. He sometimes obliges but often times just ignores her haha.

    My question is whether or not I should keep them together. I know that everything/everyone tells me not to break up a bonded pair, but I wonder if they would be happier either alone or bonded to different bunnies due to their individual personalities. Do you think it would be safe to try unbonding them? If not, do you have any suggestions on what I could do?

    Side note: my roommate has 2 bonded bunnies as well and they have never acted the way mine do!

    Thank you for your advice/input!


    #1892824

    Asriel and Bombur
    Participant

    It doesn’t sound like yours are actually bonded though. Could you tell a little bit about the bonding process? Did you use neutral territory to start out? How long did you have each one before you started bonded?

    It could just be the bond wasn’t cemented properly or they were never given the chance to work out their kinks in the relationship. It couldn’t hurt to do some stress sessions to hit the nail on the head. If it does get too stressful for the male, I would personally separate them.


    #1892826

    Doodler
    Participant

    That has to be so frustrating! I am sorry you’re dealing with this.

    How long have you had both pairs at the same house? Other bunnies in the home can impact the dynamics of a pair so I am wondering if she’s reacting to them.


    #1892829

    Harley&Thumper
    Participant

    If this is a recent thing it could be spring fever. Even spayed / neutered bunnies can act hormonal during the start of spring.


    #1892842

    Kate
    Participant

    So I had the male for a year before I got the female. I got the female in May 2018 and bonded them. I will say it was difficult to bond them because the male doesn’t get stressed easily lol. I tried the vacuum and other loud noises and he really isn’t afraid of anything, so during the bonding process he was seemingly the dominant one for a while, humping the female and all that. And the female would just let it happen during the “stress” bonding. I started off with them in a small space pretty much touching each other and increased the space as they got better with each other. Also during this time they were in separate cages but close enough to see and smell each other, and I would put a stuffed animal in with one and place it back and forth between both cages to also help with the scent. And everything I read seems to say the female usually becomes the dominant one once they’re bonded. Which I think is what happened except for the fact that the male won’t truly let her be dominant.


    #1892843

    Kate
    Participant

    That’s a good thought, although I only moved 2 weeks ago and this behavior has been going on for a few months. I only mentioned the other bunnies in the house because they seem as content as could be with each other. I could almost equate my rabbits to an old married couple who needs their space. They’ll sit together and groom each other like other rabbits do, but then they also seem to like their own space and I think that’s what is prompting these behaviors? It’s hard to say but for example, if I have them loose in the house, sometimes they’re right next to each other sleeping and other times they’re on different floors as far away from each other as possible! Which is fine, but I don’t like the chasing and thumping. I would just feel bad to know that I kept two bunnies together that weren’t truly content being together.


    #1892844

    Kate
    Participant

    It’s been going on since the fall/early winter so I don’t know. I mean both bunnies have displayed these behaviors before but it seems to be with an increasing frequency since then.


    #1892845

    Kate
    Participant

    Another thing I didn’t mention, they both do the “territorial pooping” around the litter box and from what I know that’s a dominant thing. The male actually does it more than the female.


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