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Forum BONDING Work towards a trio?

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    • Susanne
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        Me again! So I thought I’d feel out my remaining 3 buns in a quick bonding session. I probably could have done a smaller area but put them on cleaned foam mats in a bedroom. I’m sure there are so many bunny smells in my house at this point. They were pretty much immediately aggressive. First. Maxwell bit Pancake’s nose like he used to do to Snoopy, very hard and to the skin. A bit later Pancake was sniffing Ruby’s lower back and suddenly bit a huge chunk of fur out with skin attached. Ruby didn’t fight back I don’t think, it happened really fast.

        That said, I can’t deal with all that right now. I know I could try again and not let them interact but it’s overwhelming. I’m thinking part of it is All the smells from trying bonding the last ones all over the house. Plus just being the trio etc…

        What I’m thinking is now I’ve double gated the basement (pancake is upstairs) and maybe put pancake down there like a few hours at a time at first? Maybe they could all get used to each other then they will be ok for a while living with the barrier between them.

        Do you think that would be ok for Pancake? Ideally they could get to a point a double gate wouldn’t be needed but either way, if they stop acting aggressive maybe I could try bonding them in the future. Eventually I will move too so that could be a good time. Might be a few months or a few years…

        I guess just looking for any opinions on best way to make them happy without rushing out for another rabbit . I think I need a break from bonding but want Pancake to be happy. I do work at home so keep her company a lot too.


      • DanaNM
        Moderator
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          So, my instinct is that you (as a human) definitely deserve and need a break from bonding. Pancake will be fine, so try not to worry about her. I have been in your exact position and I know the feeling of just wanting to have them with a partner again, but you should definitely be kind to yourself and just rest. I think the time would be better spent working on the bond between you and Pancake than working towards a trio right away. I think in my own grief at times I just dive into bonding right away as a coping mechanism, and sometimes it works out, but other times it has been very stressful.

          All of that said, personalities in trios are important, and the mix of sexes can also matter. I think since Maxwell was a bit of a wild card in the last trio attempt it could indicate he will be hard to bond with any other bun. If my memory is correct, he was also a bit tricky to bond with Ruby? I personally had terrible luck with my two females as well. I think if you eventually decide to try I would work with the buns individually in pairs rather than all three, and try a car ride or something stressful as the first dates. Prebonding will be important too, but Maxwell and Ruby may need to be separated during that time. So if you move Pancake down near them now, you could end up with three separate rabbits for a while.

          So my two cents is that for now I would personally keep things as they are and just give Pancake extra snuggles whenever you can. I think you spending time with Pancake will definitely be enough for her for the time being (you could get her a stuffy as well), and when you feel ready to can make the call about whether you want to attempt a trio or look for another friend for her instead.

          . . . 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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              Yes, I think your instincts are right, mine are saying the same. Pancake is acting more normal the last couple days so I will try not to worry too much about her. It’s hard to know what they are feeling but I at least know she isn’t full on depressed. I think bonding with her will be helpful for us both I agree.

              Also agree with what you said about Maxwell. I have a feeling he may be the same with any rabbit, he may be happy with Ruby and not want any others around. He actually wasn’t like that with Ruby, he loved her and submitted pretty quick..and it took a while for her to stop nipping and being mean to him, lol. So I was hoping he was mean to Snoopy because it was a male, but now seeing him with Pancake I think that might not be true….  Plus Pancake didn’t bite Snoopy even once as hard as she did Ruby, and from behind totally unprovoked! So that just tells me they would be REALLY tough, like you said, possibly knowing it’s another female. All that to say, I agree that it’s an extremely difficult situation and I don’t need the stress and neither do they. I agree working one pair at a time if I were to try later would be a better start, and also agree they would likely all split if living in the same area with shared barrier. So that does not seem like a great scenario for me right now lol. I really like the idea of having the 3 then getting her a friend eventually, after a long break.

              Thanks for the feedback, I do tend to be impulsive sometimes when I’m worried about them, so good to take a step back.  You validated what’s been floating around the back of my head the last day or so.


            • DanaNM
              Moderator
              8960 posts Send Private Message

                Glad to help, I often am the same way with bonding, but my experience with trios has showed me that some buns are just happy to be in pairs.

                With my last attempt I even had a bonder from the rescue work with them… after about 6 hours she called me and was like “So…. do you think they WANT to be bonded?”, and we agreed the answer was NO.  I think for groups and trios to work they really do all need to have interest in each other.

                Sounds like you have a good plan, and Pancake is lucky to have you as a human. <3

                . . . 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.  

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          Forum BONDING Work towards a trio?