Forum

OUR FORUM IS UP BUT WE ARE STILL IN THE MIDDLE OF UPDATING AND FIXING THINGS.  SOME THINGS WILL LOOK WEIRD AND/OR NOT BE CORRECT. YOUR PATIENCE IS APPRECIATED.  We are not fully ready to answer questions in a timely manner as we are not officially open, but we will do our best. 

You may have received a 2-factor authentication (2FA) email from us on 4/21/2020. That was from us, but was premature as the login was not working at that time. 

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.

What are we about?  Please read about our Forum Culture and check out the Rules

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.

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS

Forum BONDING Bonding Katniss&Vanilla

  • This topic has 8sd replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by DanaNM.
Viewing 8 reply threads
  • Author
    Messages

    • teatime-cottage
      Participant
      7 posts Send Private Message

        Hello everyone, I am new to the group so please let me know if I make any mistakes or break any rules. I have 2 rabbits whom I am hopefully going to be bonding in 1 week vanilla is an almost 2 year old REW male and has been neutered for 9 weeks he has a very outgoing personality Katniss is a 4 year old mini rex female she has been spayed for 3 weeks and has a more shy laid-back personality I have had both bunny’s for over 1 year.   my plan for now is to start swapping litterbox’s and on the 20th  I am going to do a stress bonding session followed by 10 minutes in a neutral space I will continue to do 10 minute sessions in a neutral space until they no longer fight each other once that happens I plan to do 101 rabbits method which is basically keeping them in a very small neutral space and gradually expand the pen and add things to it, will this work? any advice or tips would be appreciated. also I do not have space to keep pens side by side they are in separate rooms right now and once bonded will be free roam in my bedroom. thank you

         

         

        [edited by moderator to remove links]


      • DanaNM
        Moderator
        8859 posts Send Private Message

          Hi there!

          Your plan sounds like a good starting point. It’s good to have a plan, but be prepared to adjust if things are not working as expected. Every pair of buns is different, so some strategies work better for some than others.

          I have a couple suggestions. First would be to swap actually bunnies when doing pre-bonding, instead of just the litter boxes. I like to swap every two days (on the alternate days to litter box cleaning), and do this for a week or more, depending on how the buns are behaving. if they are super relaxed after a week, start sessions. if they are still acting aggressive or tense towards each other after the swaps, keep pre-bonding for a bit longer.

          The other tip is to experiment with the space and be more flexible with your timings. For some rabbits, 10 minutes is too long to start, so you need to start shorter and then work up to longer. Other rabbits do fine, so you can increase the time a little more quickly. I personally like to do super short dates for the very first introductions (maybe even 3-5 minutes). If that goes well I aim for 10, then 15, then 20, then 45, etc. Usually when they can spend 30 min or more together I will aim for longer, like an hour or 2.

          In terms of space, I have often had less success with small spaces. My buns have always fought less and had more stable bonds (with less issues with moving to new locations or vet visits) when I used larger spaces. This is just to say, if they are fighting a lot in a small space, try to give them more room. A common size to start with is an x-pen. If they are fighting a lot, try 2-xpens. The “micro space” bonding methods that are promoted on some blogs are actually considered a form of “flooding” and inhumane by some rabbit welfare groups. (I didn’t watch the video you linked so I don’t know if she promotes that method, just mentioning it as a PSA for general education). The logic behind this is aggression is born out of fear. If a rabbit is afraid, their options are fight or flight. In a small space, they have no where to “flee”, so fighting can become intense very quickly. In a larger area they have space to get away from each other and de-escalate the interaction on their own.

          There is not one perfect way to bond rabbits, so there is usually some trial and error for each pair (and bonder) to find what works best for them, so this is a long winded way of saying it’s normal to have to experiment or change up your strategy.

          The last thing that is tricky as a new bonder is knowing when to take the next step. Usually you want to see good behaviors “cemented” before moving on to the next phase. Not fighting is a good measure for knowing when to increase the amount of time. Once you get to long sessions, you want to look for positive behaviors, such as grooming each other, cuddling, food sharing, and litter box sharing. When they can spend many hours (like 6-8) together with no fighting or aggression requiring intervention and you are starting to see some positives, then they are ready for some overnight sessions, or a marathon to “cement” them. You basically want to get to the point of having them spend 48 hours together in neutral territory with lots of positives and no negatives, then you can start to transition them to their final home.

          Feel free to post about their progress here to let us know how it’s going and get feedback if you have questions!

          . . . 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.  


        • teatime-cottage
          Participant
          7 posts Send Private Message

            Ok thank you so much for the advice. I will do cage  swapping and  if that goes well start with shorter sessions and let you know how it goes 🙂


          • teatime-cottage
            Participant
            7 posts Send Private Message

              I started swapping litter boxes today everything went well no signs of aggression on Saturday I plan to do the first session with a fence dividing them.


            • teatime-cottage
              Participant
              7 posts Send Private Message

                Ok i just finished the first session I did not use a divider  it went ok vanilla was very dominant and would not stop mounting her Katniss was very submissive and scared she did not nip or try to run away I did it in a bathtub because it is a neutral space but the bottom was covered in fleece so they were not sliding around. at what point will he stop mounting her so much?


              • Wick & Fable
                Moderator
                5765 posts Send Private Message

                  Hard to say when he’ll stop mounting. Generally you want things to get sorted out between them, but if the submissive rabbit is getting harmed or overly stressed by it, you can try and gently push the humper off. You can also try getting a stunt double (i.e., plushy rabbit) that has the other rabbit’s scent and see if the dominant rabbit can exhaust their humping needs on the plushie if you put it in their pen for a bit, haha. That has reportedly worked on a few cases.

                  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.


                • DanaNM
                  Moderator
                  8859 posts Send Private Message

                    Lots of mounting is pretty normal at first. Sometimes a bit more pre-bonding helps with this, but it’s a normal part of the process. If he mounts her head, spin him around so he’s over her rear so he doesn’t get a bite to his genitals, or if it’s stressing her out a lot you can gently push him off as was suggested (or if she tries to move away, keep him from chasing). If you do push him off, I like to pet both buns to try to calm them down. It’s OK to do lots of petting in the early sessions while they are still very excited around each other.  Sounds like a pretty good first date!

                    . . . 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.  


                  • teatime-cottage
                    Participant
                    7 posts Send Private Message

                      Helo everyone I just finished the second bonding session I had planned to only do a 5-minute session today but they were doing so well it ended up being a 20-minute session after some mounting from Vanilla they started eating hay together and grooming themselves and Vallina even groomed Katniss twice!


                    • DanaNM
                      Moderator
                      8859 posts Send Private Message

                        That’s great! That sounds like good progress!

                        . . . 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.  

                    Viewing 8 reply threads
                    • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

                    Forum BONDING Bonding Katniss&Vanilla