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Home Forum BEHAVIOR I guess I’ve really messed up, nearly in tears

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    • Tgbarber
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      Theo was such a cuddly bun. I am so in love with him. But i guess I’ve made too many mistakes…moving to new home, letting daughter get puppy 3 months after getting Theo, moving him around in new house. What was just occasional pooping and peeing on sofa is now constant. It used to occur if i left him alone too long. Now it’s when I’m there right beside him. Also be used to go in cage and go to bed so easy. I had to grab him tonight and that is such an awful feeling as i know it scares him.

      I’m having trouble reading him now too. He’ll flop, lay sprawled out. So he seems relaxed and then i stand up (slowly) and he freaks out. He was running around room and at first i thought he was playingbut i think he was running in fear. 5 minutes later he was sprawled and half asleep. I feel like i don’t understand him any more and i feel like such a bad rabbit mama. I’m nearly in tears. If i had to do it over again i wouldn’t have gotten the dog. But my daughter is so happy!! Maybe I’m just tired from scooping poop and washing towels. I got angry and he felt it so now i feel guilty about that and the fact that made it worse.

      I’m just rambling. Any kind of support or encouragement would be helpful right now.


    • LBJ10
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      I don’t know if it’s necessarily something you did. How old is he? Is he neutered?


    • Tgbarber
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      He’s neutered. He’s 10 months old


    • Tgbarber
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      Was neutered in August


    • Tgbarber
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      I think it’s interesting that when he was in his previous room, I bought a new recliner and put it in there. He never once peed or pooped on it. Is that because he was established in that room and then i added the chair?

      Is he afraid in the basement? There are new noises…furnace is in room next door. Maybe he hears dog more?


    • Gina.Jenny
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      could you try using disposable puppy training pads on the settee instead of towels?


    • Love4Bunny
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      Do you think Theo smells your new puppy on your clothes or hands? Maybe changing clothes or washing hands between handling animals might help. Does your daughter bring the puppy into the rabbit space/ is there noise in the neighbouring rooms that would scare Theo, and so perhaps he’s jumpier than usual? It may not be you at all. One other thought is that maybe Theo needs more time and privacy to feel settled. I saw a video that recommends creating a space that’s just for your rabbit (a cardboard box hidey house with an exit and entry point). You could place it in or around his cage so he could retreat there to feel more secure, and it’s a human-free zone.

      In any case, go easy on yourself. You’re taking care of people and animals! Change isn’t bad but it can be stressful, especially if you’re negotiating several new things. As rabbit owners, we want to make our pets feel safe & happy. Because we care, we sometimes blame ourselves for things we can’t change. Maybe you might also need to carve out a tiny, tiny moment for your sanity


    • Bam
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      I use puppy pee pads on my sofa, because my rabbit decided he wanted to pee and poop there. First I tried blocking off the sofa, but that was very impractical.

      And please don’t accuse yourself. That’s of no use, especially when you’re dealing with animals. They live in the present so what you do from now on and is what matters most.. Adult rabbits aren’t as cuddly as very young bunnies, so that could just be a normal consequence of his becoming an adult. Once they have matured past their “teens”, they can become more cuddly again – it’s a bit like it is with humans, we have a period in our lives when we are busy emancipating us from our parents – and once that’s done, we become closer to our parents once again.

      As the others have said, try to spend a lot of time with him. It doesn’t have to be in direct interaction with him – for a bun it’s often enough if the human is in the same room. Wild rabbits hang out like that, a few yards apart, doing nothing together. 


    • Tgbarber
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      When you say he decided to pee and poop there, how much poop? I’m amazed that in like 5 seconds of sitting still beside me, I’ll scoot him over as i know what he’s doing and there’s 25 poops under him. How cam he poop out so much at once? Is that normal pooping or is that marking pooping? He doesn’t always pee or didn’t used to. The peeing is getting more frequent. Do you think your bun is marking? I have read on several sites that beds and sofas are full of human smells so buns tend to like to mark them to make them snell like buns.

      I just wish i truly knew what he’s thinking when he’s doing this


    • Tgbarber
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      One night i laid on sofa which is rare for me. I had a blanket on me. I woke up to Theo laying on me. My first thought was oh how sweet, my second thought was….you guessed it, i was covered in poop


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      My first though is adolescence, my second thought is marking his house as his, since the puppy has come.

      I adopted a cat into the house 3 days ago and the 2 buns (just stopped marking their area because of recent bonding) have gone back to peeing and pooping everywhere (and the male is thumping Olympic style), so I’ve reigned in their free area again until they are clean again – maybe you could do that?

      Make Theo’s area smaller (with an xpen) so he absolutely uses the litter tray and then make it bigger. If he messes, make it smaller again. reward good behaviour with a bigger space

      They don’t like messing their living quarters, so if their living quarters are small they have no choice except to pee in the litter tray

      No harm in trying….


    • Jessica
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      Have you considered having a radio playing quietly or white noice in his area? Background noice can help so that the strange noises of the furnace, sump pump (if you have one) pup upstairs, aren’t so startling. Amelia will startle to sudden noices or neighborhood dogs barking, but if the tv is on she has no issues with any of it. We make sure we leave something on for her when no one is home.

      I think Theo is likely upset because of all of the changes. Buns tend to like consistency, I know I have to plan 45 min each morning with my bun for clicker and cuddles or she is just awful for the rest of the day. I think Vienna has the right idea with cut back his space to re learn where he is supposed to potty. Try beginning bonding stuff with him. Buns get miffed easily, let himself see that you still love him best and I think he will come around


    • Tgbarber
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      You guys are great!! I’m gong to try all these ideas. Thank you so much.


    • Vienna Blue in France
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      Let us know how you get on tgb – if that doesn’t work we’ll surely come up with some other suggestions….


    • Tgbarber
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      I’m sitting here on my sofa with my pee pads. I’ll let you know how it goes.. i left him out while i did house work and when i came back he left a little pile of poos and pee spot on one of the pads. Boy was that easy to roll up and throw away and get out a new one. Maybe I’ll have more patience with him now. Never thought of puppy pads. Great idea. Hopefully he’ll one day feel like this room as well as sofa is all his and the marking will stop.

      He has plenty of places to hide…bunny tunnel, bunny house, but under dresser and behind sofa are his favorite places.

      FYI he is not fond of blueberries. Wouldn’t eat it.


    • Love4Bunny
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      He has plenty of places to hide…bunny tunnel, bunny house, but under dresser and behind sofa are his favorite places.

      Yup, that sounds about right! Yes, like Vienna said, keep us posted. Minimising space also worked for me, so I fully support Vienna’s suggestion. Good luck!

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