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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 HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Holding bunny

  • This topic has 4sd replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by DanaNM.
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    • DaisyMaisy
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      29 posts Send Private Message

        Hi, sorry if this is really long but it’s just something i need to kind of rant about. my bunny is 9 months old. She had a vet appointment today where she completely freaked out when she was about to be picked up and almost dropped off the table. This is when the vet said I need to hold her more often if she’s getting this stressed so that it’s easier for future and if she ever got sick.

        I know it is natural for them to not like being picked up but she would tolerate it when she was younger, until she got her spay in March. Since then she will hop away if I try. I’ve tried getting her used to it again by putting my hand under her belly everyday and slowly lifting her but she’ll run away when she’s almost off the ground so after a while I just stopped trying but now since the vet appointment I have been thinking to start trying again as my bunny is still being a bit off with me, when usually after her vet appointments she’ll be fine and back to normal after an hour or two. All her previous appointments she’s been so good and sat still throughout most of it but i think today has just made us both a bit upset.

        She’s also been free roaming the garden everyday since the weathers been better and a few days ago it was getting dark and she still wouldn’t come back inside the house so I had to pick her up and she was kicking and trying so hard to get out of my arms. I think i’m losing her trust now, which is making me a bit sad but I’ve been trying to make it up to her with lots of treats and spending a lot of floor time with her but she’ll move away after a few strokes.

        I am going to keep trying to gain her trust back but i don’t really know what to do about the picking up situation? I guess it will just take a lot of time and patience

         


      • LBJ10
        Moderator
        16961 posts Send Private Message

          As you said, the vast majority of bunnies simply do not like being picked up or held. This doesn’t mean they can’t come to tolerate it though. You can work on getting her more used to being handled, but you may need to be more firm about it. When you grab her, you have to do it with confidence. Otherwise, she will find ways to avoid being picked up. Obviously, you still want to take baby steps. Start by holding her very briefly and rewarding her each time. Treats can go a long way in this.


        • DanaNM
          Moderator
          9016 posts Send Private Message

            For regular daily transportation, you might consider training her to go into her carrier. That way you can safely move her from the garden to the house.

            TBH A vet should be able to handle a rabbit that doesn’t like to be held. In my experience a lot of it is about the technique of the handler and less about the rabbit itself.  I have a few buns that HATE being picked up but I manage just fine with them.

            Lifting from the belly is going to make the rabbit feel unsafe. You should support them with one hand under their front shoulders and another under the rump, and hold them close to your body so they feel supported. You can also do some clicker training to help them feel more comfortable with this. If you search youtube for “clicker training picking up rabbit” you will find some examples.

            . . . 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.  


            • DaisyMaisy
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                Oh nooo, not actually lift her from belly but like under her chest I meant, so only her front paws will go off the ground. She usually lets me do this but as soon as I go to put my hand under her bum she’ll hop out my hands.

                I have used her carrier to bring her in a few times but sometimes she avoids it because I think she knows now that i’m going to bring her back in lol, but a lot of the time she comes back in herself anyway so it’s not too much of an issue.

                That’s exactly what I was thinking about the vets too, surely they should know how to handle a rabbit whether they liked being held or not :/


              • DanaNM
                Moderator
                9016 posts Send Private Message

                  Ok that makes more sense!

                   

                  . . . 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 HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Holding bunny