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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 BONDING Bonding an aggressive(?) bunny

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    • Narielis Rosa
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        Hi, I have two bunnies, one female (roughly 3 years) and one male (9 months). I’ve had the female for almost two years now and recently got the male maybe 2-3 months ago and have had a lot of difficultly in bonding them. Their initial encounter went alright as they really wanted nothing to do with one another, but then I found out that the male was sick so they had to be separated for a few weeks. when I got the okay to try the bonding process my female showed aggressive behavior every time the male got close. The male is very sweet and doesn’t even fight back no matter what. The female chases and pulls out his fur. The female got spayed back in May of 2023 and the male currently isn’t as he’s young and has minor health issues that I wanted to get done before neutering him. He doesn’t show any dominant or aggressive behavior and practically takes whatever she gives. Right now (and for the last month-month and a half) they have their own enclosures right next to each other and I take turns letting each other out during the day. I’ve tried switching litter boxes, enclosures and toys but that doesn’t seem to make any progress. I would pet the male then let the female smell him off of me and she shows zero aggressive behavior towards me, she just nestles into my hand with his smell, but everytime they are together she tries to attack and has succeeded in pulling out lots of fur. After one really bad fight (no blood and a whole lot of fur lost on the male) I gave them time to just smell each other through cages and put a break in their bonding sessions(would do once-twice a day for a max of 20 min), but when I started again she was still the same amount of aggressive. I tried putting them in a laundry basket on top of a turned on dryer and petting the female to keep her from wanting to attack and eventually she relaxed and they laid next to one another then I ended the session on a good note. I thought that would reduced her aggression but even after that she stills tries to chase and pull fur out. Today she was out and the male escaped and before I could pick him up to avoid conflict she had already pulled out some of his fur. Every time she does I tell her no and put her away so hopefully she understands that being aggressive isn’t something she should be doing but it feels like nothing works as it keeps happening. I tried researching and watching videos but now I’m just stuck on what to do. I really want them to bond as I don’t want to have to give away the male since he was in a very neglectful home beforehand. Thank you in advance for any response!!

         

         


      • DanaNM
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          Your male needs to be neutered before proceeding. Otherwise his hormones will prevent the bond from truly forming and will cause her to be more aggressive towards him. So, I would pause all bonding and focus on that first. Once he’s neutered, let his hormones settle for 3 weeks and then try again. Considering how badly they have been fighting taking a break is a good idea in general.

          It is possible they aren’t a good match, but I have a strong suspicion that things will go differently once he’s neutered. When you restart, I recommend doing sessions in a very large space (at least 2 x-pens) that’s completely neutral, such as a friend’s house if possible. For all of my tough bonds the setting has been very important, and larger spaces can help the buns move around without feeling trapped or threatened by the other bun.

          . . . The answers provided in this discussion are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or a qualified behaviorist.  

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      Forum BONDING Bonding an aggressive(?) bunny