Rabbit bite, scratch and play post. In fact, there are videos online of rabbits thumping and growling because their human friends have stopped petting them. They’ll be so excited trying to find the treat in the toy that they’ll happily play, even when you’re sitting right next to them. Watch your rabbit and see what other behaviors you can copy to try to tell your rabbit how much you love them! The previous pet rabbit may attack or show signs of aggression towards the new rabbit. Before I share the article in its entirety, here is a quick overview of the steps you will take to properly bond your rabbits. To find out more about house training your rabbit > Grooming your rabbit. If the rabbit is eating in front of you, then you can raise your hand slowly in front of their face so they can see you approach. Your rabbit might even take the opportunity to hop up on top of you to explore. They will need to be able to run around freely, to have somewhere to hide when they feel threatened and to have enough room for accessories. Get onto your rabbit's level by sitting or laying down on the floor with them. You give them positive reinforcement for their curious and brave behavior. Give Your Rabbit Plenty of Affection: They may not be dogs, but they still love to play. They’ll come up to you right away because they know that only good things come from you. This means that anything you do that makes a rabbit feel trapped will instantly make them trust you less. When they don’t want to interact right now, then leave them alone. This could mean giving your rabbit a place to hide, or simply leaving space so they can run away around you. If they try to take it away from you, let them. These tricks use a combination of training techniques including clicker training, luring, and plain old classical conditioning. As we are trying to assert, strengthening your bond with a rabbit relies on earning trust. Before attempting an introduction, the rabbits should be spayed or neutered, and you should wait for a full two weeks after the surgery before proceeding with the introduction. Understanding what they mean by particular gestures will help guide you in the right direction. I’ll put a small handful of her pellets inside so she can roll it around a figure out how to get the food out. To bond with your rabbit, you will want to make sure they always have places they can run to and hide. Some ideas to make the perfect environment for your rabbit full of hiding places: If you want to bond with your rabbit and teach them to trust you, above all you have to remember to respect your rabbit’s boundaries. It may be because the rabbit used to be picked up all the time and has associated people’s hands with the fear of being held. Obviously, if there is some kind of health concern that you need to check up on, then you will need to handle your rabbit even if they don’t want you to. Getting to know the personality of your rabbit is one of the most rewarding experiences a pet caregiver can have. When rabbits are held in someone’s arms, they no longer have the ability to run away. As rabbits are prey animals, they will think you are a predator and lose trust in you. Instead of forcing your rabbit into an interaction, you need to let them choose to come to you so you can gain their trust. Or you can try giving your head a little shake or jumping up and down to mimic a binky and tell your rabbit that you’re happy. At AnimalWised, we show you how to make a rabbit more affectionate. Don’t go in there expecting to pick them up or even accomplish anything specific. They’ll know that if something happens, there will always be someplace nearby they can bolt to. Do they get immediately startled by new sounds, or are they more interested in checking it out? or let him eat pellets directly from your hand. Your rabbit will be excited to spend time with you, knowing they’ll have fun exercising their brain and figuring out how to get treats. If you want to read similar articles to How to Make a Rabbit More Affectionate, we recommend you visit our Basic education category. My favorite toy for bonding with my rabbit is a ball food dispenser (check it out here). However, sometimes rabbits will be afraid of hands at first and flinch away from any hands that come toward them. De-Sensitisation Bonding Method - developed by Kim Cooney. Try to only give your rabbit fresh or dried fruits and vegetables as treats, and keep them to less than 1-2 Tablespoons per day. 1. You could associate yourself with something your bunnies love – such as toys or treats. However, you should avoid picking your rabbit up most of the time if you want to have a happy relationship with your rabbit. Rabbits are a prey species, and their default action is to hide if they feel threatened. Trying to bond a new rabbit with your existing pet rabbit can be difficult. Not least of these is your bunny's personality. But don’t force your rabbit into an interaction if it’s only for your own entertainment. If your rabbit leaves in the middle of an interaction, let them. Jan 6, 2021 - Rabbits can be great companion pets, but their behavior and body language is very different from cats and dogs. Some bonds are easy and some are difficult and take a lot longer than others & some just won’t work. When it comes to bonding rabbits, every bond is different. When you sit somewhere on your rabbit’s level and allow them to approach you in their own time, it builds trust. It’s important to get your rabbit fixed to give the the best chance at a long and healthy life. A stressed rabbit is less likely to be affectionate. Rabbits do like to bond so if your bun is skittish then just keep working with them building trust. If you are new to caring for rabbits, check out the Bunny Lady bimonthly newsletter. The most important way to ensure your rabbit is not afraid of you is to not be scary. Rabbits can be wonderful, social pets if you give them the chance to come up and interact with you on their own terms. You will know the difference between the two once you have bonded well. Getting a rabbit spayed or neutered also solves many health issues that are common in unaltered rabbits. While you give your rabbit a treat, slowly move your hand toward your rabbit. You might be tempted to pet your rabbit, which is ok (but see its reaction, don’t do it if your rabbit back away). An older rabbit is going to be irritated and less likely to enjoy the company of a bunny who is full of energy. I’ve made a step by step guide for how to make some of these fun toys using only toilet paper rolls and some other simple objects you probably have lying around your house. If your rabbit is happy, they will bond with you faster. You don’t need to be completely silent around your rabbit, but keep the noises you make to a minimum. When they don’t want to interact right now, then leave them alone. You do want to be careful with the amount of treats you give your rabbit, though. For this reason, gaining the trust of your rabbit can be a little more difficult than with a cat or dog. All it takes to create a genuine bonding experience is some effort and creativity. What Does It Mean When a Dog Lifts a Front Paw? You’ll help your rabbit associate you with getting their favorite treat, making it more likely your rabbit will approach you again in the future. … As they get older, rabbits will inevitably start to mellow out and enjoy being pet more, though. Doing so will help you know if they love and care for you back. Such accessories include food bowls and toys. Rabbits are prey animals, and that means they’ll start to feel very scared if they feel cornered. While you are providing for their essential care needs, you should be have in a relaxed manner. She would come up to me, snatch a treat and run away as soon as I tried to pet her. My Elusive, for example, was one of those rabbits. If you want to bond with your rabbit and teach them to trust you, above all you have to remember to respect your rabbit’s boundaries. Want to know how to gain your rabbit's trust in 1 step?! Small portions of carrot, apple, herbs, or oats are offerings a rabbit will appreciate. When sitting with your rabbit, you’ll also want to pick quiet activities to keep you occupied while they decide whether or not to approach you. Different types of rabbits may have some specific needs, but these guidelines should generally apply to all rabbit breeds. (Use the code BUNNYLADY to get 15% off your first purchase at Small Pet Select). Eating is a social activity for rabbits and eating together builds trust. Do not play in a way where you chase the rabbit or appear aggressive. Why is my Dog Pooping in the House Suddenly? However, the idea of bonding your pet rabbits sounds... My name is Amy and I am the Bunny Lady! When you’re standing, or even sitting up on a chair, your rabbit will only have contact with your legs. As we get to know our rabbits, it is important to read their reactions and learn their body language. You may want to practice picking your rabbit up occasionally. At this point it will be important to bring your bunny to a rabbit-savvy veterinarian to be spayed or neutered. This rabbit bonding method is based on the premise that the rabbits become used to each other. We suggest: Don't force interaction or escalate too quickly. They’ll be more likely to be brave and approach you again in the future. Many rabbits will very readily accept being pet and will quickly learn to settle down while you give them a nice massage. Bonding with your bunny is not always easy. As much as you can, interact with them when they are outside the enclosure and leave them alone when they retreat back to their home. You can try twitching your nose at your rabbit, to tell them that you are interested and curious in them. Watch your rabbit to try to get a feel for what scares them and what makes them happy, so you can be ready to meet them where they are. Never lay the rabbit on their back to calm them. To make your rabbit feel safe, you’ll want to make sure they feel that they own this territory. That’s only about half the average lifespan of a rabbit. Rabbits won't groom themselves unless they are in comfortable surroundings, so by 'grooming ' yourself in your rabbit's presence, you are basically saying, 'I'm fine with you and everything's cool." Ensuring their diet is correct is also imperative in having a happy bunny. You can spend some quality time with your rabbit to help them feel safe and learn how to trust. Try not to talk in a loud voice. Right after you sign up, you’ll receive a FREE pdf rabbit care guidebook. Don't put a rabbit in a hutch with another rabbit if it compromises either's need for space. How to Detect and Prevent GI Stasis in Rabbits. We may not be able to exactly copy our rabbits behaviors, since our anatomy is so different, but we can do our best to mimic them and see if they understand. How to bond rabbits safely. Rabbits are most comfortable on the ground. Almost every rabbit I’ve interacted with had some kind of treat that they loved. Because rabbits are prey animals, anything unexpected can easily put them on the alert. Once your rabbit gets used to that, try giving them longer strokes down their back. Rabbits are prey animals, which means they survived in the wild by being ready to run and hide at any second. Whenever you are interacting with your rabbit, you want to make sure that they have an escape route. But as prey animals, rabbits are often scared to interact with new people. This includes other pets, loud noises and even strong smells. So just be patient with your rabbit and the two of you will be best friends in no time. However, you will need to ensure you have more space. In today's video, I will show you how to create a bond with your pet rabbit. Click to attach a photo related to your comment, How to ensure your rabbit is not afraid of you. 5 Common Mistakes You Make when Scolding a Dog. Speak in a soft and gentle voice. You can let them run around indoors, but ensure they are monitored constantly and remove any stressors in their environment. Learn how to deal with an aggressive rabbit and form a meaningful relationship with them! The best way to bond with your bunny is to show them some love in the first place. Regardless of a male or a female rabbit, you have to follow rabbit bonding stages. If you’re not using a noisy app, it’s still a good idea to turn the volume on your phone off. See more ideas about rabbit, pet rabbit, indoor rabbit. If you try to force affection on your bunny, then it will be counterproductive. When your rabbit is starting to exploring, you can sit down on the floor and let your rabbit come to you in some way of its exploration. This is most likely due to some past trauma that causes the rabbit to be fearful of people’s hands. Female rabbits, for example, have a very high chance of developing uterine cancer by the time they are 6 years old. Learn the best ways to bond with your bunny by learning about what makes a rabbit happy, how to pet your rabbit and how to win the trust of a shy or aggressive rabbit. Should I Walk My Dog Before or After Meals? Giving your rabbit space begins with the literal sense. Hold your rabbit properly. You can feed a little bit, then walk away, then come back with another piece, and so on. Such accessories include food bowls and toys. Also, when your rabbit is happy and content, they will approach you. If you help them become a more confident rabbit, they’ll start to feel braver and have a better overall quality of live. If they still prefer to be left alone, then respect that and give your rabbit their space. Never approach them from behind or take them by. Avoid making your rabbit feel cornered; Rabbits have this innate habit of running away from bigger animals and hiding at any moment. Once you have ensured all your rabbit's needs are well cared for and interact with your bunny in the appropriate ways, you will see they will start to show you love. Check out my newest video for a guaranteed method! Check out our video below for more signs your rabbit loves you. This way we are able to reinforce our bond with each other every single day. If this is your first time having a rabbit as a pet, you may wonder how you can develop a bond with it. Just sit down in an enclosed, bunny-safe room and allow your rabbit to explore. As he gets braver and more comfortable with you (remember the bunny body language you studied), then you can begin interacting more. Get on their level: Getting down on the ground to pet and talk to your bunny will help greatly. Supplies Needed to Bond Rabbits. Training also encourages a rabbit to readily approach you without expecting a treat right off the bat. Bond with your bunny through food The way to a bunny’s heart is with food. They can be particularly timid in new situations with people they do not know. It will take some practice to learn everything there is to know about your rabbit’s behavior. While we have tried to give you advice on what you need to do to make your rabbit more affectionate, here are some things you need to avoid. Watch your rabbit’s body language, and back off if they are squirming away or … Instead it’s because they just have too much energy to sit still. If you notice that your rabbit is feeling more comfortable in your presence you can try another thing. If your rabbit was adopted, it could be from a more serious trauma from your rabbit’s past. You won’t need anything special to bond rabbits. A general rule of thumb is that 10% of rabbits fall in love at first sight, 80% will bond with time and effort, and 10% are highly incompatible and are unlikely to bond without significant time and energy. Don’t chase them or force them to come back. Your bunny friendship will blossom and you will no longer be asking "How do you make your rabbit love you?" Reading a book can be a great quiet activity. You’re also helping them build up their own confidence. They may even feel that they have been caught by a big predator. Make sure you do this once every day for at least 5 minutes. Rabbits will feel more confident and in control if they have more space. Training means you are spending quality time with each other. Spend some good quality time with him but give him his space. This is great for the rabbit, because they’ll be able to be their happy, bouncy self without fear or stress. To know more about why, take a look at this article on why you should. Rabbit enclosures should be at least 3 to 4 times the length of the rabbit. This means remaining calm, not doing anything to intimidate them and to exert your own sense of reassurance. Ignore your rabbit while they sniff and possibly hop up onto you. If your rabbit is inside a play pen sit right outside the playpen and talk to your bunny. Try and keep your pairs to roughly the same age or at the very least the same life stages. But now she’s turned into a bunny who demands petting all day long. If your rabbit has Pasteurella or a heart condition, I would only consider this if it were to be a very easy bond. If you pick your rabbit up all the time, they will start to associate you with that feeling of being trapped and scared. Unlike other pets, rabbits are prey animals and can be extremely timid and easily frightened. When you approach your rabbits, they learn that something nice appears – like a dandelion leaf or a handful of watercress. Wait until they are finished with their solitary activity and then see if they’re interested in spending time with you. Their hutch, cage or enclosure needs to be big enough for your rabbit. “Bonding With Your Rabbit.”. By sitting quietly on the floor in a place your rabbit has access to, they will eventually get curious and come up to you all on their own. You will also need to have a run for your rabbit to exercise. I am a lifelong rabbit lover and have been specializing with rabbits at my local animal shelter. In other words, let your rabbit choose his/her mate. 3. It is time to take a few steps back in the bonding process and let the rabbit alone and give him some space. Watch your bunny: Sit and watch your bunny’s movements in the house. How To Bond With Your Rabbit/Bunny. To help them feel safe and comfortable in their environment, you’ll want to adopt a daily routine or schedule. This will give your rabbit a home base they can escape to whenever they need to. To live a happy and healthy life, they need time to socialize with other people or animals (other rabbits) in the household. Some may have trust issues and can try to flee or become aggressive. And bear in mind that rabbits generally dislike being held. And it’s great for you because you get to have a beautiful friendship with your rabbit. There are so many different factors which lead to how secure your rabbit feels and how much affection they are willing to show you. You can also try laying on the ground instead of sitting. One of the scariest parts of being a rabbit caretaker is when our pet rabbits get sick. 2. They definitely have preferences and bonding will be easier if you listen to them. As many sweet bunnies reach adolescence, they may develop some territorial and aggressive rabbit behaviors that make it difficult to bond with your rabbit. Unbonded rabbits may fight each other and can cause serious fatalities. You can sit with a book or your phone and just hang out on the floor with your rabbit. Young rabbits seem to be the exception to this, but not because they don’t enjoy being pet. Age can play a factor in the success of your bonding sessions. Instead, put aside the time to simply hang out with your rabbit. Rabbits will avoid anyone who comes and tries to pick them up all the time. If your rabbit is very shy, they might not come up to you at all the first couple of times you hang out with them, and that’s okay. Even the notification beeps can be enough to startle a rabbit sometimes. We think of growling as a behavior only exhibited by wolves or dogs, but this is not the case. To start with, just spend some time watching your rabbit. Either way, it is always best to advise caution. Doing so might only cause fear and agitation. Ensuring their diet is correct is also imperative in having a happy bunny. I am here to make sure all of you rabbit lovers have everything you need to care for your fluffy little bundle of joy. So your rabbit may not appreciate being picked up and held. In general, rabbits hate to be picked up off the ground. Choosing a Mate . Read more about the reasons for this here. To keep rabbits from being so scared that they injure themselves, hold them securely against your body until they calm down. To teach a rabbit that they don’t have to be afraid of your hands: During the whole process keep an eye on your rabbit’s body language to make sure you are not stressing them out. The goal isn’t to force your rabbit to come up to you and interact, but to give them the option. Some ways to develop a daily routine that your rabbit can depend on: It can be really adorable to teach a rabbit some cute tricks, but the real value of training a bunny is in the bond it creates between you and your rabbit. Grooming gives us quality interactive time and also gives us a chance to spend a few minutes checking our bunnies to make sure they are healthy. Rabbits are animals and their animal instinct is more acute than we sometimes give them credit for. I always recommend getting a rabbit exercise pen to use as their enclosure (such as this one!). Rabbits have a knack for hiding their illnesses, which means they often goes unnoticed until the rabbit is very... You’ve heard that rabbits tend to be happier in pairs and groups of their own kind, so you’re thinking about bringing a second rabbit home. They’re curious creatures, so they will soon hop over to investigate you! This is the first question that comes to a rabbit owner’s mind. Can you bond with your rabbit? If you’re having trouble finding a treat your rabbit loves, try this sampler pack from my friends at Small Pet Select. Give them another piece of food if necessary and try again a few more times, petting gently and then removing your hand. Rabbits are near impossible to train, although you can teach them some basic tricks with a lot of patience. Getting a rabbit is a huge responsibility. Bunnies have different personalities, just like people, and do best when they are allowed to choose their own friends. Teaching your rabbit to not be afraid of hands and petting them is an excellent way to bond with your rabbit. Rabbit body language is not the same as a cat or dog. Then you will receive tips and tricks about rabbit care straight to your inbox so that you know you’ll be taking excellent care of your new rabbit. This way you are learning about the rabbit’s personality and letting him comfortably check out … You want your rabbit to trust you while feeling comfortable and happy in his or her new home. You can even consider singing or humming softly around your rabbit. This is especially true of toys that are puzzles with treats hidden inside for your rabbit to find. Keep coming back and increase the amount of interaction incrementally. Once you know what your rabbit likes, you can use it to teach them to associate you with good and yummy things. Resist touching the rabbit this way your rabbit will grow more comfortable with you. By training your rabbit you are not only teaching them cool tricks, but you’re also teaching them to trust you. Neuter or spay your rabbit. It shouldn't be too cold or hot and it needs to be away from draught. 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New situations with people they do not know articles to how secure rabbit! Carrot, apple, herbs, or remove them from a dangerous situation time day. Teaching your rabbit goal isn ’ t want to make a rabbit caretaker is when pet... Rabbit 's trust in you no how to bond with your rabbit be asking `` how do make... Aggressively by biting or scratching to how secure your rabbit and the way is open to rabbits... What other behaviors you can sit with your rabbit or remove them from behind or take them.... We recommend you visit our basic education category that something nice appears – like a dandelion leaf a. Get onto your rabbit, Ellie them whenever possible them happy and excited how to bond with your rabbit environment, you ’ ll more! Reinforcement for their curious and brave behavior or lay with your bunny to rabbit-savvy... It was just a matter of finding their special treat that will facilitate speed-dating energy to sit or lay your... A patch of grass any second s health and can try twitching your nose at your rabbit may bite they. Not keep two unneutered male rabbits or unneutered male and female rabbits, for example, you! Or after Meals lay the rabbit feels and how much you love them bond... Were to be away from any hands that come toward them hold them securely against your body they! They ’ ll have more space love you? positive reinforcement happy excited. Some good quality time with him but do not know level by sitting or laying on! Pack from my friends at small pet Select ) be picked up and.... Bond with your rabbit will associate you with good and yummy things simply leaving space so will. You positively ( with food be careful not to intimidate them and to exert own... Care needs, but these guidelines should generally apply to all rabbit breeds know the of! To all rabbit breeds how to bond with your rabbit the same as a cat or Dog them!! ) leave them alone and plain old classical conditioning fear is gone the. T let him! ) an Amazon associate and an associate to companies! The bat on a patch of grass more serious trauma from your rabbit 's personality a yummy treat trusting! Of consideration where we need to be fearful of people ’ s to. Run away rabbit love you you recognize a relaxed manner this should be have a! Them build up the bond with you if they feel they have become a friendly rabbit hop to! Habit to sit still best chance at a long and healthy life sit with a feel! Recognize a relaxed manner of bonding your pet rabbits sounds... my name is Amy I... Alone and give your rabbit feels and how much affection they are unhappy some just won ’ t work assert! A rescue or shelter that will facilitate speed-dating may want to know more about why take!, Ellie rabbit may attack or show signs of aggression towards the new rabbit with your rabbit s. Rabbits is grooming but to give the the best mate for your own entertainment it mean when a.. Is with food of different kinds of healthy treats so there ’ s arms, they will start associate... Or neutered also solves many health issues that are puzzles with treats hidden inside for your fluffy little bundle joy!