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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 Bonding with my rabbit

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    • Philippe.P
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        Hi yall, me again… Unfortunatly …

        Here’s the situation, with my previous bunny, I could pet him literally 3 days after I got him…. I now own my new rabbit since Maui died and Théo ( The new one)  is really independant it seems. I can tell I’ve spent less time with him. But none the less, it’s been 2-3 months and yet, her runs aways every time I tried to pet him.

        At first, the breeder told me to keep him in a cage since bonding would be easier. But since I was getting no result in the cage, I tried, to free roam him. He’s now free roam, but I can tell you he runs aways from me everytime he can. I’ve tried everything, no petting for 1-2 days but he wasn’t really coming to me for anything other than food, he doesn’t seem curious at all. Also, breeder told me to kind of force the interaction when he was a baby wich I think it was a mistake.

        Last week, he got spayed. After doing so, I kept him in his cage and to my biggest surprise, he flopped next to me and let me pet him. 1 week later, vet told me I could free roam him, and he’s now running away again…

        What are your tips ? I know Bam you’ve seen this kind of question a lot. Should I stop petting him for a week or two. Should I keep him in a pen until he’s comfortable with me ? Or should I juste accept that he’s not a cuddle bunny and that he’ll bond slowly but surely…. I’m kinda of out of ideas here… Kinda feel like I “failed” my bonding …


      • Philippe.P
        Participant
        21 posts Send Private Message

          Also, Théo lives in the livingroom which I’m not verry often. Maybe I could move him to my room but he might climb on the bed or run back to the living room everytime he can. Litter traing has also been very hard with him. Lots of poop on the floor, he doesn’t eat all his cecotrope, not an easy bunny at all ….

          I’ve had to pick him up a lot at first since he always had A LOT of cecotrope stuck to his fur and paws…


        • DanaNM
          Moderator
          9038 posts Send Private Message

            So, caging and forcing interaction is not what I would recommend. That is basically a recipe for the rabbit being fearful of you and afraid of hands. Most shy buns do well with a pen that is their “safe zone”, and exercise time in a larger area. So I think you could have your bun penned for part of the day, and then provide several hours of exercise time per day in the free roam area. This will also encourage your bun to explore.

            It would be best to move the bun’s pen into an area of your home where you spend the most time. Then the trick is to “play hard to get”, but still spend a lot of time in that room. So when bun has some free-roam time, lay on the floor and read, watch tv, play on your phone, etc. Let the bun explore and hang out, but don’t try to pet. This stage can take some time, but earning the trust of a shy bun is very rewarding and worth it in the end!

            You can also do lots of hand feeding. You can hand feed pellets and salad in addition to treats. This helps a lot to get the bun to approach you and see you as a positive thing.

            Also keep in mind you just got him neutered, so his litter box habits should improve a lot in another week or two!

            . . . 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 BEHAVIOR Bonding with my rabbit