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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.

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS

Forum BONDING I just dont get it. What is bonding?

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    • Cas
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      Is bonding different than the bunnies just getting along and hanging out with each other? Are there special requirements to be considered bonding? I feel like an idiot but I really dont know what I’m supposed to be doing.

      We brought a second bunny home about a month ago (Clover). Our resident bun knew she was in the house but we kept her in our room until she was spayed. Resident bun is free roaming. Well, Clover healed from her spay and we Introduced them. The resident bun (Pepper, neutered male) nipped, mounted, humped a bit. Then he just lost interest and went on his way. Over the next few intros the negative actions decreased. Now, they’re both free roaming with no issues. I found them cuddling during a nap behind the laundry basket today. They were all snuggled up together.My daughter came in and startled Clover and she ran into the litter box where Pepper was.

      So, are they bonded? Do I need to keep doing more things or just let them be and work things out on their own?


    • sarahthegemini
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      Bonding is the name of the process of introducing bunnies who are to live together. Bunnies are not an animal that can just ‘hang out’ or have play dates with one another. They either live together or they essentially have nothing to do with each other. It’s kind of all or nothing with bunnies haha.

      The bonding process is very involved – all buns need to be spayed or neutered. Then you do something called pre bonding which is where you switch them between enclosures (so at this point they don’t live together) Switch them daily. This is so that they lose track of what is their territory and they get accustomed to one another’s scent. After doing this for a month, you can start proper bonding sessions. This means putting the bunnies together in neutral territory for small periods of time (5 mins to start) then gradually build up. Once they can go hours and hours with no negative behaviours, you can ‘cement the bond’ which means putting them together for 48 hours. Once they’ve passed this, they are generally considered bonded.

      As you can see, it’s pretty complex haha. There are always experiences that don’t fit the mould though and it sounds like your two might be one of those! I would keep an eye out in case they start acting up (have they established dominance?) but it sounds like they are quite happy.


    • Asriel and Bombur
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      I agree with Sarah, I’d monitor closely. With a new bun it’s recommended they settle for a good month, and then you can begin prebonding. So still being quite new on top of being spayed like 2? weeks ago (I’m sorry this just sounds like it was all super quick to me, bringing her home and having her spayed and healed). Her personality could come in full force a few more months down the line when she’s more settled in, and her hormones could very well act up again. It can take females a few months to fully drain from their hormones. She could also have a post-spay craze at some point.

      So to me, this all seems very rushed, and I would keep an eye out. Things with bunnies can change in the blink of an eye.


    • DanaNM
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      Hi there, no worries about being confused, there is a lot of seemingly conflicting information out there.

      My checklist for whether buns are fully bonded is whether they:
      – share food happily (like, they will yank things out of each other’s mouths without issue)
      – snuggle (you’ve already ticked this box)
      – groom each other (sometimes grooming is only 1 way though)
      – are VERY relaxed around each other (like they will practically climb on top of each other without incident)
      – share litter box (not all pairs do this, so this is kind of an optional one). It definitely shouldn’t cause a scuffle if one hops in the box while the other is in there.
      – neither bun seems scared of the other one, at all.
      – Have no aggressive interactions (no hard nips, fur pulling, chasing, lunging, boxing, scuffling, etc)

      Usually the progression is sessions in neutral territory, and then progressing to semi-neutral territory, and finally to their final home together (usually not a neutral space since the original bun probably lived there first).

      The fact that you are finding them snuggled up together means you might have an easy go of it (some buns just go together easily) and they are well on their way, but I agree that you should monitor them pretty closely for a while in case your girl has some hormonal fluctuations or she changes her personality a bit as she settles in. Until you deem them 100% bonded, they shouldn’t be unsupervised together in case they start fighting.

      . . . 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
      Moderator
      3182 posts Send Private Message

      Hi there, no worries about being confused, there is a lot of seemingly conflicting information out there.

      My checklist for whether buns are fully bonded is whether they:
      – share food happily (like, they will yank things out of each other’s mouths without issue)
      – snuggle (you’ve already ticked this box)
      – groom each other (sometimes grooming is only 1 way though)
      – are VERY relaxed around each other (like they will practically climb on top of each other without incident)
      – share litter box (not all pairs do this, so this is kind of an optional one). It definitely shouldn’t cause a scuffle if one hops in the box while the other is in there.
      – neither bun seems scared of the other one, at all.
      – Have no aggressive interactions (no hard nips, fur pulling, chasing, lunging, boxing, scuffling, etc)

      Usually the progression is sessions in neutral territory, and then progressing to semi-neutral territory, and finally to their final home together (usually not a neutral space since the original bun probably lived there first).

      The fact that you are finding them snuggled up together means you might have an easy go of it (some buns just go together easily) and they are well on their way, but I agree that you should monitor them pretty closely for a while in case your girl has some hormonal fluctuations or she changes her personality a bit as she settles in. Until you deem them 100% bonded, they shouldn’t be unsupervised together in case they start fighting.

      . . . 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.  


    • FluffyBunny
      Participant
      1260 posts Send Private Message

      Hey, your bunnies sound a lot like my current pair (2 males, one not neutered due to a heart defect). I introduced my lionhead to my rex when the lionhead was a baby, and let them have very supervised ‘play dates” for a few months – including in the rex’s territory. The rex’s old bonded partner died shortly afterwards; but by then, the two younger bunnies were very comfortable without ever doing a formalized bonding procedure. My rex is one of those bunnies who bonds immediately with every other rabbit, so I’m sure that’s part of it.

      Sometimes you just get lucky!

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Forum BONDING I just dont get it. What is bonding?