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Forum BONDING Query regarding humping during bonding

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    • sarahthegemini
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      Hi guys, I have a query specific to my situation but with so many updates on my bonding thread, it could get a bit confusing 

      So, Peanut and Buttercup have been together for almost 58 hours now. They’ve been in their permanent living quarters for around 30 ish hours. They are flopping, snuggling, sharing hay and veggies, sharing litter boxes, and grooming each other a little here and there. When they were in semi neutral area, they groomed each other A LOT. Not so much now. They run around and Peanut will often follow Buttercup just to be near her.

      In the 58 hours, Peanut has humped Buttercup on 3 occasions – the first time was about an hour into the marathon bonding session, then again at the 10 hour mark and just now at the 58 hour mark. Each humping episode lasts around 10 minutes and will consist of him mounting her face which we stop immediately and then humping her the normal way. At first, Buttercup put up with it then she started running away and on this third occasion I think she nipped to get him to back off. On this occasion also, Peanut was a little more amorous? He was grooming her back quite intently prior to mounting.

       Here is where I’m confused:

      – He will hump her and then groom her head a little afterwards

      – She has never humped him, yet puts her head down to ask for grooming when he’s trying to hump her

      Now I assume they are trying to establish hierarchy but surely him humping then immediately grooming her doesn’t add up? Can anyone shed light on this? Also, wouldn’t he be humping her a lot more? 

      I have read tons of articles on bonding and the general consensus is once they have been together for 24 to 48 hours with no issues, you can pretty much consider them bonded but if they’re still figuring out the hierarchy, is this still the case? And does humping and possible nipping count as an issue? Or is it just scuffling and fighting that is an issue? I’m just concerned that Peanut trying to hump and Buttercup not liking it might lead to a scuffle. Is it a good sign or a bad sign that the humping is so infrequent? 

      I don’t know whether humping is considered aggressive or not, is it? Once Peanut has it out of his system, they are both happy to flop and snuggle together immediately afterwards.

      Other than this problem, everything else is perfect. A little more grooming on either side would be nice though. What are your thoughts? 


    • Love4Bunny
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      My kiddos still hump every now and then with occasional nipping but go back to normal shortly after. Your pair snuggle afterwards, which is a good sign so I wouldn’t be concerned at this stage. I would say chasing with nipping is more of a concern. Or if one of them looks frightened and hides in a corner.
      Thor often grooms Crysta and then lies down so she can groom him back. Crysta will try and get grooming by sticking her head under Thor’s mouth… whenever. I think your pair are doing just fine.


    • sarahthegemini
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      Posted By Love4Bunny on 1/18/2017 4:04 PM

      My kiddos still hump every now and then with occasional nipping but go back to normal shortly after. Your pair snuggle afterwards, which is a good sign so I wouldn’t be concerned at this stage. I would say chasing with nipping is more of a concern. Or if one of them looks frightened and hides in a corner.
      Thor often grooms Crysta and then lies down so she can groom him back. Crysta will try and get grooming by sticking her head under Thor’s mouth… whenever. I think your pair are doing just fine.

      Thank you for the reassurance! There has been no chasing whatsoever and the nipping (if it even was a nip, I’m not 100%) was only in response to the humping. Buttercup flopped right next to Peanut immediately when he stopped mounting her. And then he did the same so at least neither feels intimidated or afraid. Do you think I should try to encourage grooming or leave them to it?


    • Wascally Wabbits
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      From my experience with my previous pair, Lilo (top bun) would hump Chicho problem once a day or once every couple days. He would always hump (sometimes nip Chicho if Chicho tries to run away) and then spend 5 minutes grooming Chicho after. I think sometimes they just wanna remind the other rabbit they’re top bun. Chicho would occasionally put his head down while Lilo tries to hump him, but it’s more of a submissive head down, not a groom me head down, more “please don’t hump my face” head down, if you know what I mean. They always snuggle afterwards.

      Unless your “humpee” seems really nervous after every hump session, I wouldn’t be too concerned. Mine were bonded for 5.5 years with 3-4 times weekly “reminder” from the top bun. I notice this usually happens after Chicho does something like.. jumping on the couch before Lilo, or getting too much attention from the hoomins.


    • sarahthegemini
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      Posted By Wascally Wabbits on 1/18/2017 5:43 PM
      From my experience with my previous pair, Lilo (top bun) would hump Chicho problem once a day or once every couple days. He would always hump (sometimes nip Chicho if Chicho tries to run away) and then spend 5 minutes grooming Chicho after. I think sometimes they just wanna remind the other rabbit they’re top bun. Chicho would occasionally put his head down while Lilo tries to hump him, but it’s more of a submissive head down, not a groom me head down, more “please don’t hump my face” head down, if you know what I mean. They always snuggle afterwards.

      Unless your “humpee” seems really nervous after every hump session, I wouldn’t be too concerned. Mine were bonded for 5.5 years with 3-4 times weekly “reminder” from the top bun. I notice this usually happens after Chicho does something like.. jumping on the couch before Lilo, or getting too much attention from the hoomins.

      That’s really interesting, I wonder if I’m mixing up submissive head bowing with ‘groom me’ requests. Is there an easy way to tell? I’m also wondering if a lot of the supposed head bowing is actually them just really snuggling into the other one as I haven’t seen the head being lowered completely that much. I’m misunderstanding a lot!

      Buttercup is totally relaxed after the humping session is over so that’s great but I don’t want her to become really agitated with Peanut (tho I wouldn’t blame her ha!)


    • Love4Bunny
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      Do you think I should try to encourage grooming or leave them to it?

      I mean, you can if you feel it is necessary. I don’t think you need to, but it is up to you. The only time I groomed for bonding-sake was in the beginning, when they weren’t fully bonded. Nowadays, I groom both together when I want to cuddle with them so there’s no jealousy. Like W.W. says, humping can happen if too much attention is on one rabbit. I don’t think rabbits are textbook. Your pair will have a unique relationship with little quirks and annoyances, so I wouldn’t stress too much. In a perfect world, there would be equal grooming and no humping. The good thing is that your pair seem to have an understanding to snuggle at the end of it all


    • LBJ10
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      Dominant buns will often groom. Sometimes I think it’s Leopold’s way of taking care of what he “owns” (i.e. Wooly). Gotta keep him looking neat and tidy, you know.

      Submissive head bowing is sometimes hard to pick up on. Usually the submissive bunny will have their whole body flattened to the floor though and their chin will be pressed on the floor. Demanding to be groomed is more of an aggressive act where the dominant bunny shoves their head under the face of the other bunny. Or shoves their head under your hand. There’s usually pushing and shoving involved so the head can be placed into “grooming position”.


    • elizabethr
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      I would not worry about it at all! My two buns humped each other almost constantly for the first day or two they were together, and as I was starting to get worried they tired of it and stopped! Other than a heirarchy thing, I think it can also just be for fun. As long as no chasing, they are just fine.

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Forum BONDING Query regarding humping during bonding