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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Training deaf bunny

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    • bunnyfriend
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       I started clicker training Totoro today and I’m having fun with it. Once he has targeting down I really want to use the clicker to make his litter box habits better. I feel bad because Wilbur is deaf (or mostly deaf, not sure) so I can’t really “clicker” train her. Does anyone know good way to train bunnies without using verbal commands or clickers? She catches on very quickly, she knows to stand up and walk to for a treat and to hop up onto my lap as well. I taught Wilbur to go through her tunnel for a treat but I have no way of asking her to do that, so sometimes she’ll randomly do it as a way of begging for treats. Is there any kind of cue(maybe visual?) I could use?


    • MimzMum
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      There’s been some talk here lately of sign language training for deaf bunnies (my Mimzy is also deaf) so I suppose a few simple symbols could be taught.


    • bunnyfriend
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      Haha okay I’ll give that a try.


    • BinkyBunny
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      Another way might also be to tap on the floor..enough for your bunny to feel the vibration. Bunnies are actually very sensitive to that.


    • bunnyfriend
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      Good idea! She definitely can tell if I do that.


    • BarbaraHeidenreich
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      I am actually a super quiet trainer with almost every species of animal I train. Most critters are pretty visual and pick up super quick without an audio cue or marker. The clicker or other marker is only relevant is behavior is happening super fast and the bunny is onto something else before you can reinforce. Or the animal is far away from you. If you are able to deliver the reinforcer in direct conjunction with the behavior, the marker is not necessary. So for me I am right there ready and waiting with a treat the moment my rabbit does what I want so no need for the clicker. My hand moving towards my rabbit with the treat lets her know she did it correctly. I also tend to use visual cues instead of verbal.

      It is great that you are working on targeting. The target can be used to crate all sorts of behavior…like going through the tunnel, recall, etc. I use an acrylic one. Most animals can learn to target in one session. Then use it to train other behaviors. The target helps you get the action so you can reinforce it. Then you start associating whatever cue you want and gradually phase out the target. Hope that helps!
       


    • Kokaneeandkahlua
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      Training a deaf animal is alwyas the same, you just want to replace the sound of the clicker with something visual or tactile

      Many dog trainers use a’ thumbs up’ signal for deaf dogs- which may work as dogs are so vigilent to our body language. I use a light-clicker. They make them for you to use in the dark to find the key hole on your vehicle; it’s a small unit with a light-you press it turns on, you let go it turns off. A laser pointer could be used as well. Don’t choose one that you have to press on and then press off-you want it to turn off when you let go-short and sweet and one touch- like a clicker

      Then introduce and ‘load’ it like you would the clicker


    • skunklionshow
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      I’ve done music therapy w/ deaf patients I have found that vibration (i.e. tapping on the ground or even drumming) is very effective.  As K&K said, light is also great.  Just think anything sensory (i.e. ear touch, smells, etc).  You may want to ensure that there is some poop or pee in the litterbox since scent may be helpful for the training.

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Forum HOUSE RABBIT Q & A Training deaf bunny