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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 Newly bonded bunnies

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    • smurfier
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      After several months of them not getting along my rabbits are firmly bonded. They refuse to be separated for more than just a little bit. They are a male and a female. The female is younger, smaller, and clearly in charge. She shows her love by cleaning you. I just discovered that she has cleaned the males eyes so much (at least once an hour) that he no longer has hair by the front of his eye.

      I need some thoughts from other bunny people.


    • Three Little Bunnies
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      That is so sweet! I finally got Shadoe and Bolt bonded (after 5 months) and Bolt thinks he is in charge but I know who really is. Same situation, with a younger smaller female who is the main bunny. So cute to watch them play together.


    • Wick
      Moderator
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      I have no experience with bonding, but I believe overgrooming can be a sign of dominance (so perhaps she is still feeling the need to overly assert dominance) or stress. I would think, similar to excessive humping to assert dominance, it’s a behavior you want to monitor and intervene/stop when it becomes excessive/harmful. I imagine this behavior isn’t pleasant for the male.

      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.


    • Asriel and Bombur
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      Can you tell us about the process they went through to being “firmly bonded”?


    • smurfier
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      The process involved a coworkers dog. We dog sat for a day before we got out little girl. The dog so loved our male, but he was having none of it. In his defense there was just too much dog for a bunny to love at first sight since it was a Great Dane. Note that we took advantage of the situation since we was still somewhat new to us and kept him out of the kennel in our arms protecting him. The experience really changed our relationship to a more trusting one.

      Fast forward months later and we’re dog sitting again. This time it’s mostly to see what our little girl will do around a dog. She did fairly well, given that it was still just too much dog for her to properly deal with. She went into her brother’s kennel since it was the closest and he defended her against the monster who just wanted to give them kisses.

      For several days after that he would tolerate her being in his kennel but there was no eating his food or sleeping over at night. That is until he fell asleep with her in the kennel. She very carefully moved over and started her cleaning process. He was immediately in love.

      The whole idea behind us getting a second bunny is that he is a complete attention hog. It was just too much for us to handle on our own. So the moment he finally realized that she could love him they were bonded. 

      They become more firmly bonded as time went on for the next couple weeks. That’s when they started setting down the ground rules of living together. Like him insisting that she use the littler box more regularly, and her insisting that he not make such a big mess of the kennel. That last one involved her throwing the food bowl that he had tipped over at him.

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Newly bonded bunnies