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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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    • HoneyBunny
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      Background:

      Jack(agouti)and Josh(black) are brothers and just turned  6 months old and did desexing about 7 weeks ago. Started to fight 6 weeks later after desexing. Bonding was good when they were baby and Jack was the dominant one.

      What’s happening now:

      Had 3 bonding sessions (20min/30min/1hr) in bathtub. No fighting. Had seen snuggle/flopping/grooming. Jack kept lowing head demanding grooming but Josh ignored him most of the time until Jack started to gloom Josh and then Josh groomed back.

      Questions:

      1. Should I go to next stage or do more bathtub session? If so, how long?
      2. My next stage would be let them out of the bathtub and free roam in the bath room with two litter trays and hay. Is that a correct step?
      3. I don’t really understand when people say let them be together for at least 48 hours. A silly question here, how can I help if they fight in the night as my sleeping is quite deep😥

      4. I can’t tell who is dominant now. Is that alright?

      Some pictures from today’s bathtub session.


    • DanaNM
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      Sounds like it’s going great!

      I would go for longer and longer sessions  in the same space you’ve been using before changing the area they’re in (since it’s going well).

      You can try to go for a couple hours next, then bump up to three or four.

      The 48 hr thing is either ‘cementing’ (finalizing the bond), or ‘marathon’ bonding. I usually sleep near the bonding area somehow. If it’s for cementing usually things are pretty peaceful, marathoning can be more intense if there are scuffles you need to prevent. I usually don’t get much sleep, because believe me you will wake up if anything happens!

      . . . 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
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      Oh and it’s very normal to not know who’s dominant. As long as they are getting along then no need to worry about it. 🙂

      . . . 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.  


      • HoneyBunny
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        Hi thank you for your reply! So do you mean I should do longer session in the bathtub? I don’t mind it at all as I’m so afraid that I’m rushing it and ruin it.

        But my question is: if I do longer session in the bathtub, should I put litter trays in? As the space is quite limited, should I put one or two trays in? They already did wee twice in the bathtub during the last session😅


    • DanaNM
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      Yes, I would do longer sessions in the tub! Or if that’s not practical, you could try the bathroom floor so long as it’s similarly neutral.

      I don’t usually add litter boxes until they are spending many hours happily together, because buns can get territorial over litter boxes (even when they are brand new). I usually like to put down a bunch of puppy pee pads instead. 🙂

      And I think it’s great that you are not rushing, there’s no harm at all in taking things slowly! 🙂

      . . . 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.  


      • HoneyBunny
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        Hi good to see you! Yes I put puppy pee pads in today and decide to have more and longer session in the bathtub as I have a strong feeling that I can’t trust them for now. They’ve been in the bathtub for a hour now. At the beginning they both demanded grooming and lowered head to head. After a few embarrassing minutes, I gave them a pet together. And then Josh groomed Jack for like 2 seconds. Jack groomed Josh later when Josh lied down. I let them have breakfast in the bathtub and I quickly went back to the living room to clean their playpen while they were busy with the hay. I felt a bit scared and had to pop back like every 3 minutes. They lied down together for a few minutes after having breakfast.

        Question: When I add litter tray later, is it better to be a new one? What about the size? Someone says it would be better to be a small one?


      • HoneyBunny
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        Sorry another quick question: what about the water? They had a 2-hour session today and I just put some hay in the bathtub but not the water. When I put them back they started to drink immediately.
        So do I put a new bowl when I have a long session?


    • HoneyBunny
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      Today’s session


    • Cinnamon Bun
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      Oooh… they look so cute together!  


    • DanaNM
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      It sounds like it’s going very well! But at this stage I would strongly advise you to not leave their side for even a few seconds. Things can happen in a flash (especially in a small space like a tub), so it’s important to be there supervising the whole time.

      In terms of water, you can add a bowl and/or give some wet greens to help hydrate them. 🙂

      When you eventually add a tray, I would get a brand new one that’s large enough for them to sit in comfortably together. Most bonded pairs share a box, but some prefer side by side smaller trays.

      . . . 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.  


      • HoneyBunny
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        I know… it was heartbroken to them fighting😔luckily it is going so far so good.


      • HoneyBunny
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        Hi it is me again👋 So Jack and Josh are out of bathtub and did 2 dates in the whole bathroom. We did a short one (half an hour) last night and a longer one today (3 hours). I put the pad in a corner with hay and water next to it. They shared the water and hay and had wee on the pad and had some naps together on the pad. They kind of treated the pad like a litter tray so it makes me feel like it would be no problem when introduce a real litter tray. But I have to wait because my new bigger litter tray are still on the way.

        As I’m going to have longer and longer session for the next couple of days and also I need to finally let them be together for 48 hours, which means I can’t use the bathroom anymore. I need to move them to another neutral place which would be a guest bedroom in my house so I can watch and sleep with them for the last stage. Is that ok if I suddenly change the place? I’m planning to do this when I receive the new litter tray probably this weekend.

        If it is going well, I’ll let them be together  for the whole daytime in the guest room and will do the last step by next weekend. So it would be 2 weeks before they go back to their old living place. Is two weeks too soon or not? I’m still a bit scared.


      • DanaNM
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        That sounds like a good plan! As long as the new place is neutral, it’s usually OK to switch places. You can start out the session in the bathroom, and then move them to the new spot after an hour or so if you’d like. Sometimes this seems to help!

        It sounds like everything is going very well with them. 🙂   My sense is that they will be ready in two weeks, but you’ll have to see how they do with the overnight sessions in the new room. If those go well then they should be good to go!

         

        . . . 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.  


      • HoneyBunny
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        Thank you! I’ll come back to update after trying the new neutral place. And of course also some questions about the big moving back day. So excited 😆!!!


      • HoneyBunny
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        I’m so sad now. Just one hour after I replied you, Jack attacked Josh again. I think it is because my water bowl is too small and they can’t put head together at the same time. I feel so bad now.
        I cuddled Josh and then Jack for a few minutes and put them back to their playpens now.

        It is so frustrating and I was so close.
        I have to wait for another few days. And then I plan to put them in the guest bedroom I mentioned straight away.


      • HoneyBunny
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        Ok, thank you. I think I will get a big new tray ASAP.


    • DanaNM
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      Aww bummer! But little hiccups are normal at this phase. You really haven’t had very many dates, so they are just still getting comfortable with each other and establishing their relationship terms.

      . . . 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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