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Forum BONDING Snoopy and Pancake

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    • Susanne
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        I’ve now got my 4th adopted bunny, renamed Pancake, to bond with Snoopy! She is a harlequin and a bit bigger than him, but they did well at the shelter so decided to take her home!

        Getting them set up was a challenge, at first had them in the basement with Maxwell and Ruby but they were all too crazy (I’m in a rental and technically I only should have 3 and in the basement)… so I have them temporarily split in a large bedroom upstairs during the bonding process. I started bonding about a week ago and started off very well, and we’ve probably done 5 or so sessions now. The first day they were cuddling and Pancake was grooming Snoopy almost immediately. About the third session she decided to start asserting some dominance and humping.. he did not like that so was nipping/ biting(he had nipped some before but nothing major and she never responded other than hop away). They haven’t really cuddled since the humping, but he has starting grooming her some too.. so alternating grooming each other with some annoyances/ nipping/ biting etc. that I do have to intervene. Snoopy has been pretty stubborn and mean at times. Pancake mostly just runs away and I think only nipped once so that has been good.  There is also a decent amount of ignoring. So I might put them in a smaller space and try and get them to chill and cuddle more to accelerate things, but overall I think they’ll bond in a reasonable amount of time. My house probably has so much bunny smell I’m sure that doesn’t help!


      • DanaNM
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          Pancake!!

          That sounds very positive and like they are sorting things out!

          . . . 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.  


        • Susanne
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            Hi, I thought I’d put up an update here, since unfortunately things haven’t been going as smooth as I hoped. There were a couple of set backs with injuries, so this now will be my most difficult bond probably, out of the 3 I’ve done. We are on 2 months now. I am still hopeful they will bond though, especially over the last couple days.

            Basically Pancake is not aggressive at all, which has really been the reason we’ve still been able to hang in I think. She did bite back a little in self defense, but very minor compared to what Snoopy did to her! She also seems pretty forgiving.

            I wonder if Snoopy is a bit traumatized from his fight with Maxwell and that is making him have a harder time trusting, or, he is just not wanting to be the submissive bun. Also he has been in most of the house from trying the trio bond so the smells could be part of it.

            To make a long story short, they groom each other a lot and act pretty comfortable in a small neutral space. Once I get them to a big room (I’ve had limited options but trying to get more creative recently) she starts to want to hump him a lot and that upsets him and he wants to bite her and go after her. If I stop them, they are all good again very quickly. Regardless what space they are in, Snoopy doesn’t really calm down and cuddle her. He will demand grooms aggressively, but usually doesn’t settle for cuddles. He will lay close, sometimes touch, even flop in the space, but not cuddle (although early on he did flop on her and that’s why this whole thing is so confusing lol). If there is hay, he will munch almost the whole time if they are not grooming each other or themselves.

            Two days ago I moved to my large closet, and decided I won’t allow any humping at all. Before I would allow a couple seconds or I couldn’t get to them right away in the bigger room (and the face humping from Pancake which I did try to stop almost caused a really bad bite on Pancake luckily missed any sensitive areas) so the closet is a nice size space. It’s close to where they are living so I was surprised they are acting like it’s neutral so that was great news. This seems to work, as they already cuddled more than before. It’s interesting because with my last 2 difficult bunnies, I allowed some humping toward the end so they could figure things out, and after that, things progressed really fast. But with these 2 it seems like I need to prevent it completely.

            That said, I am scared to even put hay in there with them since it has distracted Snoopy so much. So, this week I’m doing 2 ish hour sessions in the closet with just them and water and hoping they keep up like yesterday! They were acting 95% bonded. Maybe after a week they can have hay and be OK….

            I’ll try and attach some pictures soon, they are super cute!


          • DanaNM
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              Oh man, I’m sorry you have been having a tough go of it! It sounds like the closet is working out well for them though! And I agree, there are enough positives that I would want to keep going as well. It’s interesting he gets so upset with the mounting, even with them both grooming each other a lot, but it sounds like they will get there eventually. I think your instinct is right that Snoopy doesn’t trust her yet. In my first pair, my male was VERY afraid of the female even though she was never aggressive towards him. It took a long time to get him to stop immediately attacking her, and then a longer time still to get him to stop cowering in the corner. However, he finally did overcome his fear and groom her (unprompted too) and then they were “suddenly” bonded. So I think Snoopy will get there since Pancake isn’t being aggressive towards him.

              Have you tried any car rides with them? And/or do you have any friends or relatives (or workplaces lol) that would let you bring the buns for some sessions there? Since you have other buns in the house it could be extra helpful. When I’ve had really tough bonds moving to an entirely new space (not in my home) has been enough to turn the corner. With that tough bond above I took them to my office on a weekend and they spent about 6 hours there!  😆 And I would always have them right in the car together on the way to and from the new bonding location. On the flip side, if you take them to a new place and they do horribly, that’s a good indication that it may not work out.

              It might also be good to have someone else assess them, if there are any rescues in your area that help with bonding. Sometimes buns behave really differently around their humans vs. a stranger. If things turn south in the closet, I would explore those options. But it sounds like you are doing a great job with them!

               

              . . . 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.  


            • Susanne
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                Hi, thanks for the response.

                I haven’t done car rides, and I’m thinking they might not help because as of now, when I go to pick Snoopy up after a session he runs to her for help and tries to snuggle in lol. So I do think he sometimes sees her as protection already. And really he hadn’t been tooooo aggressive.. just a lot of one bites (ripping good chunks of fur) after she refused grooming and hoped away, then the one bad bite near genitals. There was one fight but that was my fault, they got into each others area when I left the room one day (I’ve been a bad bunny parent this year 🙁  ).  So that wasn’t because of aggression or fighting during a bonding session. I’ve stopped anything before it got bad in sessions.. and he only tried to really go after her when she tried to mount excessively or when he seemed to have a bad day (sometimes he let it go a little). but those times he did get pretty aggressive and I intervened really fast. He also calmed down fast and would be grooming her within seconds. I think the breaks and residual effects from that was most of the problem, although before all of that they seemed to be at a stalemate, since they seemed to spend so much of the sessions ignoring each other. but I do think the room I was in was also not a good choice. plus today I realized the shoes I had on were shoes that ALL 4 of the buns love to CHIN, so I could have inadvertently been aggravating them when I wore them (too late to remember if there bad days were days I had them on lol)

                Anyway! It’s hard to summarize 2 months of drama! haha.

                So today in the closet was great. I ended up going longer than planned and adding hay later on thinking I could end it if it went badly. There were a few mounting attempts and I pet them both right away before anything happened and they chilled out immediately. Either groomed or went about doing something else. I did have the shoes on and maybe a coincidence, but things went better after I took them off. There was a lot of laying close but not touching, which is better than across the room. I did move them each closer to the other once lol (another learning with these 2, they seem to need a lot of encouragement…). By the end, Snoopy flopped right by Pancake then she flopped on his head and he didn’t move! So that might have been a first.. Then she was flopped on him grooming him while he was sleeping. It was pretty cute. This was after they had ate together etc pretty peacefully (I think I had to calm them down once or twice when I saw a mount attempt about to happen). I ended the session soon after, so I think we are definitely headed the right direction. It was almost 5 hours I think.

                I don’t really have other places to go, and the shelter maybe would have some resources. I’ll check with them as a last resort since they are about an hour and half away.

                I tried to add photos to my profile so I could add them here but couldn’t get it to work 🙁


                • DanaNM
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                    I was thinking the car ride might actually help her to stop mounting! Weirdly enough I’ve noticed a huge drop in mounting whenever I’ve done car rides. So just something to consider 🙂

                    Sounds like they had a great session in the closet though, so fingers crossed they keep it up!

                    That’s frustrating about the photos! I’ll check with the other mods to see if there’s any known issues.

                    . . . 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.  


                  • Susanne
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                      Ah I see! If she starts getting relentless again with the mounting, I’ll give a car ride a shot. They are fine together in a carrier so it’s an option for sure.

                      I don’t want to get my hopes up since they’ve got stuck around this point in the past, but it does feel like we may be getting over the “hump” (fingers crossed!).

                      I tried to delete some old photos, resize mine, etc, so it doesn’t seem to be a size or space issue with the pictures. It shows it uploading but then doesn’t appear. Let me know if you find anything out!


                  • Susanne
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                      So after 5 hours with them today, it feels like they are 98% or so bonded. The biggest problem is still Pancake trying to mount occasionally. It seems like she’ll try a few times in a short window, but most of the session she is fine. (although, I’ve been doing afternoons so could get worse if different time) Today, there was a mix of sleeping while touching/slight cuddling, some better cuddles( still not full body cuddles or too much time in good quality cuddles), sleeping apart, eating hay at the same time, grooming each other and themselves. So all pretty good. They both flop often etc.  Snoopy chewed on one of Pancakes toenails at one point, so I mean they are getting comfortable! Snoopy even flopped behind Pancakes head and groomed her ears/back like she did to him yesterday <3

                      It really did look like the mount attempt easily could have turned ugly though. Since I stepped in, they stayed decently calm and turned it into a short petting session and I think one or the other ended up grooming the other instead. So it ends up very positive as long as I re-direct. But how long will she keep trying?? LOL


                    • Susanne
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                        What does a buzz sound with a tail wag mean?


                        • DanaNM
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                            That means they are thinking about mounting!

                            . . . 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.  


                          • Susanne
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                              That figures! She did it while running off, but I was already coming towards them since she had been acting suspicious so couldn’t tell if she was mad or still in mounting mode. The buzz was something my bridge bun Elmer used to do when he was courting me before his neuter lol. My other buns don’t make that noise! It’s funny how different buns communicate differently. I was wondering if that makes a difference in bonding.

                              I guess at this point neither one is wanting to submit. Or she REALLY likes Snoopy lol. He hears a “honk” out of her and immediately puts his guard up, and she did get away with getting on him a little which he did NOT like at all, thankfully no fur pulled or anything. I suppose I have to wait it out. They do like each other otherwise.

                              I’m taking a couple days off, and hoping the weekend goes well, and I’ll try for more time. Until the mounting stops I can’t trust them overnight.


                          • Susanne
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                              Well after a week, we aren’t too much better off. I’ve logged a lot of hours. I did switch Saturday to 2x per day to break up the sessions since they do fine when they are sleepy and I feel like the more awake hours to re-direct her mounting the quicker it might go? Plus it seems better for me 🙂 I had a lot of time to analyze them in my head and I think I just have to break her instinct to mount with repetition.

                              Sunday it did seem like she calmed down a little. She seemed to attempt a little less and give up a little easier, but she is still trying A LOT. Especially when they are active/ out exploring the closet. And Snoopy does not like it. Part of it could be her size, she is almost twice his size so he doesn’t look to comfortable and he is part Netherland dwarf (plus Himalayan) so he actually wheezes/squeaks sometimes when stressed and when she has mounted him.  She does usually get away with a few seconds because it will be unexpected and I don’t get there in time, and sometimes he will take it OK for a second or 2. Mostly they end up doing a little tornado/bunny dance. Snoopy has looked like he nipped/bit her but I have not seen any fur pulled so that is really good.. so I can say nothing negative has happened. Tons of grooming, flops, eating together and positive things. They even have the whole comfort with being all up in each other space thing happening (mostly). It’s just hard being so many hours without being able to push forward to a marathon. I also have tried really hard to be really calm and not say anything/ pet Pancake when I stop the mounting, which also seems to help. The next step would be to try a car ride first, which I’m trying to avoid because Snoopy has had a stressful year including a car incident so I don’t want to do that to him if I don’t have to. Since yesterday seemed like an improvement, I’ll give another week before trying anything else I think.


                            • Susanne
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                              • Susanne
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                                  Ugh Now I’m just venting. Got them back in the closet this afternoon hoping they could just sleep a bit together and keep growing their connection, but Pancake starting off more mounty than ever, Snoopy bit her cheek pulling (thankfully) just a small amount of fur. She was upset but did not stop her from trying more later. They finally settled down and are laying close but not touching. I will do a car ride first in the next few days, and I also emailed the rescue. I was thinking I did do car rides when Ruby was relentlessly trying to hump Maxwell, and although it didn’t stop her, maybe it’s part of why he submitted to her eventually, but this time it’s different because Ruby was smaller than him and so Ruby getting to finally hump Maxwell and bond probably wouldn’t work with Pancake and Snoopy because he could get smooshed. lol. Anyway, I’ll still try, they are different buns afterall.

                                  I’ll also see if the rescue has anything else they can advise. But, after the car ride and anything else they say, I’ll probably just give it another week or 2, then possibly have to swap females 🙁 I hate to do that, but I’m in a rental and not even supposed to have all 4 rabbits and they are supposed to be in the basement. Need to get them bonded and back to the basement, plus where I have them now will be harder to keep cool once the weather starts warming up, plus in general it’s just hard having them all over the house. Ideally with the housing marking I’ll probably want to go ahead and keep renting a while, so I just really need them in the basement. Buying more gates to set them up down there either way. I had moved them upstairs because Maxwell and Ruby were starting to scuffle with the new buns down there, but I can gate them off farther apart I think and have them all down there…


                                • DanaNM
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                                    Ugh, that’s so stressful, I’m sorry 🙁 . And those pictures are so precious, it must be so frustrating to see them cuddle like that but then have it devolve into scuffling.

                                    I hope the car ride helps, or maybe someone from the rescue can work with them for you to see if they can work some magic. That said, it would be completely understandable to try another bun or take a break from bonding all together. Bonding is stressful and I’m sure you and Snoopy could use a break. :-/

                                    . . . 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.  


                                  • Susanne
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                                      Well, they did mention distracting her which made me realize I hadn’t reintroduced toys again since the bad bite a while back out of fear.. so I did last night. And I don’t want to get my hopes up because it hasn’t been long, but a couple hours last night and a short while now, I had some palm plates and a tunnel in the room and it’s helping.. fingers crossed.


                                    • Susanne
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                                        Hi again, this is a weird night. Came home and fed the normal treats and pancake didn’t eat. She looks like she might be going into statis 🙁  it’s always such a hard call if emergency or not, I don’t have lots of experience. Not stomach bloat. I’m going to monitor a bit and possibly go to ER 1.5 hours away tonight… She is acting pretty weird and uncomfortable. He did bite her today who knows where i thought maybe under her tail, didn’t see skin so I can’t imagine any injury especially one painful enough for her not to eat?

                                        Anyway..she was sitting up by the gate so I put her over with Snoopy since wondering how it would be with her not well(plus maybe it would get her moving a bit to move her gut). So they are in Snoopy’s territory, she is not mounting and they are fine. She is not feeling good at all, but has tried to use the bathroom and pooped and peed some, also moved around. She doesn’t seem more stressed with him. Though he did chase her a little. So I hope it’s not a bad thing to use this to my advantage a little because I feel if we can wait until morning for regular vet that would be best. I don’t feel safe making that drive tonight honestly.


                                      • Susanne
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                                          I would definitely say we are going the right direction, hopefully it’s enough to make this work.

                                          I can tell she knows the humping is not wanted. At this point she has come towards him honking and sometimes can hold back the mounting urge .. so that is good. Also she has stopped after me or Snoopy told her to stop. But I still did have to physically remove her at least once. Did I mention I even heard her honk in her sleep???


                                        • Susanne
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                                            The night of the stasis didn’t seem to affect anything, she was right back to mounting in the next session she felt better! Oh well. I’ve started taking notes in the sessions so I can see if there is a pattern. It seemed like they might have been cycling, but after the last couple days it did seem like after a couple hours she calmed down enough where she still tried but it got less intense. After 2 hours I didn’t have to intervene anymore, and I have been trying to let things go a little to judge where they are, and how easily she can be deterred, but of course trying careful with the head mounting (difficult as they start the tornado action so fast). The nice thing is Snoopy doesn’t seem upset about it afterwards, he may get a little distant but he isn’t like attacking her or anything. It also has to get really far before he nips her and he’s hardly even pulled any fur anymore. Also with having the toys and tunnel, they seem more comfortable running around the room, digging, binkying, etc in the same space. They aren’t cuddling as much but I think that is OK as long as they seem comfortable together. They still do cuddle and groom every session at least part of the time. So, I think this weekend will be a decision maker for me. I want to see if we can go long periods without me needing to intervene. There isn’t much else I can do and it’s not sustainable to bond rabbits 2-5 hours per day indefinitely 🙂 I’ll get them in a carrier for a short car ride if she goes into a frenzy after her initial excitement as the final thing to try having a bit more time for that over the weekend.


                                          • cappuccino/cappo
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                                              Hello!
                                              Has this ever happened to your rabbit before? If so, how did you treat her? How much did she pee/poo, was it more, or less then usual? When was your last trip to your vet? If it was recently, did the vet inject your rabbit with something or did they give her a certain medicine? Are your rabbits spayed/neutured yet?

                                              If this keeps on going on I would call the emergency.


                                              • Susanne
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                                                  Hi, I’m not sure if you saw my response after the original, I think it was awaiting moderation a bit, but all was well. She was hadn’t been into the stasis long and I got her out of it pretty quick, otherwise we definitely would have went to the ER first thing in the morning. Thank you for the response!


                                              • Susanne
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                                                  Well it was interesting to have them together in one of their territories last night for sure. I think it went so well, but I felt so bad for Pancake being in pain. I had one dose of Meloxicam from a past vet visit/statis episode with Ruby that I gave her and that was all she needed to get better. Kicked in and she gradually got back to herself. Once she perked up, she did mount Snoopy a little so I put her back over in her area. She is back to normal it seems this morning. Not sure if last night will have any effect on the bonding going forward, but she did seem to like him around for comfort so it seemed positive to me.


                                                • Susanne
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                                                    So the weekend is going ok. Decided to get in as many hours as possible since they do seem to do best the longer they are together plus this was kinda my last big time commitment for a while before I reevaluate.

                                                    Started Friday about 3 or 4 pm. I have notes but overall I think they were working things out themselves other than me calling “no”. So I did walk out once for about 5 minutes downstairs to grab some things thinking they hadn’t needed me, but of course they got into it :/ sometimes I think they are only good because they know they’ll get in trouble!  Pancake got some big fur chunks pulled again, little skin but only surface and I didn’t see anything serious and she acted ok. Decided to keep going since they had stopped fighting on their own by the time I got there ,(still riled up though). And I never did have to intervene. did grab pancake to look her over. She did not seem to even get Snoopy once, when I got there she was like in corner scared of him and he is so small! So, despite that she tried to mount him once more. After that she calmed down then we all slept there together without incident all night. I had stuff to do in the morning and split them for a bit.

                                                    Started back around 1pm Sat. They have done really well. More distant. She mounted him a couple times and I switched it up and pet him during since she was the correct direction, he let it happen until she was satisfied lol. Afterwards he nipped and chased her away and they aren’t as cuddly but it’s better than fighting I guess. She still keeps trying but she is giving up more quickly usually.  He finally went and cuddled her really good around 10pm, which is where we are now, and she got up and tried to hump him so now they are sleeping about a foot apart since I guess the interaction made them unhappy:/ I don’t get why she had to get up in try when they were all cozy


                                                  • Susanne
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                                                      Overnight went well. They just slept again as far as I could tell. However they are still distant this morning so it’s really confusing how to proceed. It does seem like they’ve made progress this weekend so feels like a reason to continue. But in some ways I’m not certain they have?

                                                      I did pet Snoopy again once this morning when she tried to mount and he let her. She seems unimpressed after. Later when she goes for a mount he chased her off and nipped. Then follows her proceeding to try and hang out, sometimes ask for a groom himself. All very strange. It’s too early to tell but I think she is switching (not sure if just in addition to mounting) to thumping at him now for grooms. He gave her a little so hopefully if she realizes she gets better results she will chill on the humping. Now they sleeping apart again.

                                                      Still haven’t done a car ride. I was planning on it when they got to their hyper time last night when she usually spazzes out but she really was good. I guess it could possibly help with them being distant, I’m guessing it’s all related to them still disagreeing on the dominance thing so not sure if the scary situation together somehow makes one of them decide.


                                                    • Susanne
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                                                        So now I decided to let them out of the closet into the bathroom that connects to one of their areas. The mounting seemed to be under control where Snoopy could get her to stop. I won’t leave them unsupervised yet but they are confusing me! They are playing around together, kinda ignoring. One mount attempt Snoopy chased her away but not too mean. So I’d say that’s good considering they have not changed in non neutral area?

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                                                    Forum BONDING Snoopy and Pancake