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Forum BONDING Flopping after a chase?

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    • Wick
      Moderator
      3907 posts Send Private Message

      I am currently bonding my two rabbits, Wick (M) and Fable (F). They are currently at a stage that they are both free-roam in the living space and then they stay overnight in a small pen (because neither can be trusted unsupervised and the small pen has been helpful in dissipating Wick’s tension with Fable).

      I’ve noticed on multiple occasions now that Fable will flop after getting seemingly aggressively chased by Wick. Just a moment ago, they were put in the small pen for the night and Fable was slightly too insistent on pushing her head under Wick for a groom so Wick jumped over her, lunged at her behind (he never really bites anymore; he just goes through the motion) and they did two small circles (no chasing room in the pen). No fur pulling or contact. Wick stayed put and Fable immediately lounged down and flopped.

      Two things:

      1. Baseline, Fable flops a lot. I’m unsure if it’s more than a “typical” rabbit, as my only comparison is Wick whose 4-5 flops all occurred before he was 1yo.

      2. I’ve read that chasing can be an enjoyable behavior, but the catalysts never seem ‘positive’ for them. And Wick just always seems tense.

       

      So I’m wondering what other’s experiences may be with one rabbit flopping after a seemingly tense interaction. I am inclined to think she’s misinterpreting the situations, haha. Wick sees them as him standing his ground and she sees them as fun?

      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.


    • Hazel
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      It could very well be that she’s misinterpreting the whole thing 😆

      But it also seems to be a thing for one rabbit to act especially relaxed around the other one during bonding as an attempt to be seen as top bun. As in “This is my turf, I’m not worried about you whatsoever, look how much I don’t care!” *flop*

      It might be her way of showing him she’s not fazed by his chasing?


    • DanaNM
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      3135 posts Send Private Message

      That’s so interesting! I agree with Hazel, it could either be a “you don’t scare me”, and/or a “I’m not a threat so chill out, man” ?

      . . . 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.  


    • prince dorian the bun
      Participant
      55 posts Send Private Message

      I am not sure about the bonding part of the equation, but Dorian is a flopper and he flops when he’s ran about or any type of physical exertion (I mean he also flops if he liked his dinner or I am sitting in the same room, or its sunny, so who knows how accurately I am reading this!). But it seems almost like a reaction to being tired. He generally only does it when happy running, but he did get super spooked once, when I he finally calmed down he flopped almost out of relief. If she’s a flopper, maybe she’s just tired out after the chase or flopping out of relief? Or she could think it all great fun 😀


    • LBJ10
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      I do get the feeling that somethings bunnies see chasing as sort of a game. Almost like they are teasing the other bunny. Like human siblings where one keeps pestering the other one to the point that the one being pestered goes into a rage and a chase ensues.

      I agree, maybe the flop is like a “haha, you chased me and now I don’t care”.


    • Louiethebunny
      Participant
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      Sounds similar to what my little dude does. He’ll kinda run around my feet and dart around then go to his spot and flop down, probably because he’s so tired.

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Forum BONDING Flopping after a chase?