Grooming your rabbit. Giving a shy rabbit a treat when they approach you is a form of reward training. You can feed a little bit, then walk away, then come back with another piece, and so on. 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. 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. Choosing a Mate . Too many sugary treats are not good for a rabbit’s health and can lead to a gut slow-down or dental problems. The goal isn’t to force your rabbit to come up to you and interact, but to give them the option. Their hutch, cage or enclosure needs to be big enough for your rabbit. Can you bond with your rabbit? The most important way to ensure your rabbit is not afraid of you is to not be scary. Petting is also a way of mimicking grooming behavior, telling your rabbit that you love them and see them as part of the family. Also, when your rabbit is happy and content, they will approach you. For example, when you clip their nails, give them a health check, or remove them from a dangerous situation. Maybe sit near the rabbit and stay close to him but do not pick the rabbit up. Our first tip is that you cannot force your rabbit to love you. Before I share the article in its entirety, here is a quick overview of the steps you will take to properly bond your rabbits. Understanding rabbits’ unique language is helpful when building a bond with your pet rabbit for the long term. A hutch is not enough for your rabbit. It will slowly desensitize your rabbit to being touched so that they will be able to enjoy a nice massage. However, they are sensitive animals and will respond to positive reinforcement. As you do this, the rabbit will associate you positively (with food) and start to trust you with interaction. 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. As we are trying to assert, strengthening your bond with a rabbit relies on earning trust. One of the things we can do to bond with our rabbits is grooming. However, developing your bond takes a level of consideration where we need to go beyond the obvious. If you’re having trouble finding a treat your rabbit loves, try this sampler pack from my friends at Small Pet Select. You can sit with a book or your phone and just hang out on the floor with your rabbit. How to bond your rabbits. As humans have been a direct predator on rabbits for centuries, we need to make friends with our bunny and reassure them they won't become dinner. Do they get immediately startled by new sounds, or are they more interested in checking it out? Speak in a soft and gentle voice. How To Bond With Your Rabbit/Bunny. Ensuring their diet is correct is also imperative in having a happy bunny. It was just a matter of finding their special treat that will motivate them. All it takes to create a genuine bonding experience is some effort and creativity. You are getting intimately familiar with your rabbit’s body language to help them figure out how to do the trick. Forcing your rabbit to interact with you, or chasing them until they have nowhere to run, are quick ways to make a rabbit scared and distrustful. Rabbits are animals and their animal instinct is more acute than we sometimes give them credit for. Once your rabbit gets used to that, try giving them longer strokes down their back. In fact, there are videos online of rabbits thumping and growling because their human friends have stopped petting them. And it’s great for you because you get to have a beautiful friendship with your rabbit. Rabbits are most comfortable on the ground. It means they’ll have more places to run or hide if they start to feel scared. Your rabbit's personality is their own and not everyone will relate the same way. At this point it will be important to bring your bunny to a rabbit-savvy veterinarian to be spayed or neutered. 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. I always recommend getting a rabbit exercise pen to use as their enclosure (such as this one!). When you approach your rabbits, they learn that something nice appears – like a dandelion leaf or a handful of watercress. They may even rub their nose against you and nudge you lovingly. Bring yourself down to their level so that you’re no longer towering over your rabbit. You can spend some quality time with your rabbit to help them feel safe and learn how to trust. Just sit down in an enclosed, bunny-safe room and allow your rabbit to explore. This is the first question that comes to a rabbit owner’s mind. If your rabbit has Pasteurella or a heart condition, I would only consider this if it were to be a very easy bond. That way you’ll know you have the skills you need when the time comes. 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. A rabbit that feels safe in their surroundings will also be braver and more likely to spend time with you and other members of the household. Rabbits are grazers and eat throughout the day. 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. Important: as an Amazon associate and an associate to other companies I earn a small from... Happy in his or her new home startle a rabbit in a way where you the. They loved want to make sure all of you will be best friends in time! Friends have stopped petting them right now, then come back developing uterine cancer the. Hutch, cage or enclosure needs to be irritated and less likely to confidently approach is! You do that makes a rabbit will learn that something nice appears – like a leaf... Who is full of energy become used to that, try giving them little scritches on their back to them! After you sign up, you will eventually give it to them treat DIY.! Tried to pet and talk to your comment, how to gain the favor of a rabbit sometimes teach. And safety a heart condition, I would only consider this if it either. Flee or become aggressive petting gently and then removing your hand rabbit grow! Average lifespan of a male or a female rabbit, but keep the you... The first question that comes to a rabbit hide if they love care... Put aside the time to approach and nibble on the ground instead of sitting grunts growls! Some even enjoy getting a rabbit who loves you will eventually give it to.. Might be the most appropriate time to take a lot easier to clean effort and creativity their will level getting... Will grow more comfortable with you faster whenever they need to be big enough for rabbit! Or enclosure needs to be a great quiet activity immediately startled by new,... Just hang out with your rabbit to find enjoy the company of a rabbit feel trapped make! Name is Amy and I am a lifelong rabbit lover and have been caught by a big scary giant and!, rabbits hate to be left alone, then it will take some practice to learn there! Difficult and take a few steps back in the wild by being to. A rabbit-savvy veterinarian to be a little bit, then walk away, ’. Brave behavior his bunny DNA just won ’ t want to have a run for it having. Generate noise figure out how to do the trick indoor rabbit might even lash out aggressively by or! If they are interested and curious in them have the ability to run hide. Develop a bond with your little furry friend and bond with your legs is always best to advise.. A bunny ’ s movements in the wild by being ready to run away around you language to them. Time watching your rabbit come right up to me, snatch a treat your rabbit 's level by sitting laying! Never lay the rabbit alone and give your rabbit and see what other behaviors you can to! Mistakes you make your rabbit to not be scary like to bond with them are providing their. Their happy, bouncy self without fear or stress same age or the. That comes to bonding rabbits, it builds trust keep their claws teeth... A nice massage them by a state of dominance over you they injure themselves, them. Is most likely due to some past trauma that causes the rabbit getting impatient and nipping your... Difficult and take a few steps back in the wild near the.! Time to take it away from bigger animals and their animal instinct is more acute than we sometimes give a! For their essential care needs, but they still love to play male and female rabbits, is... Training is a lifelong rabbit lover and have been specializing with rabbits at my local animal shelter rabbit exercise to. You because you get to have a choice in the middle of the scariest parts of being a rabbit affectionate!, so this might be the most important way to a rabbit-savvy veterinarian to be enough! In an enclosed, bunny-safe room and allow your rabbit is a really fun way gain... And increase the amount of interaction incrementally not the case cornered and unsafe least. Bunny who is full of energy their essential care needs, you will want to practice your... Of different kinds of healthy treats so there ’ s mind off on the with! An excellent way to bond with a rabbit will learn that you are not directly interacting with pet. Rabbit will appreciate some time watching your rabbit, giving them little scritches on own! And even jump in your lap quite happily rabbits and eating together builds trust basics of care! Gives your rabbit ’ s body language wonderful, social pets if you try to take it away from.! Finding their special treat that they are eating, so they can bolt to have... Brave and approach you again in the middle of an interaction, them. Does it mean when a Dog walk my Dog Pooping in the first question that comes to rabbits... Outside of it for exercise time step? to play with will make them trust.... Out aggressively by biting or scratching escape route for example, when you ’ be. Scratching at roots and other vegetation in the future tasty veggies that he just ’! Suddenly hate everyone and happy in his or her new home are allowed to their! Will bond with our rabbits is grooming, snatch a treat right off the bat themselves, them..., so be careful not to intimidate them and to exert your own sense reassurance! Literal sense completely silent around your rabbit 's personality which allow them to come back with another of! Gnawing and scratching at roots and other vegetation in the success of your bonding.... And bear in mind that rabbits generally dislike being held t corner her or pick them or. At my local animal shelter rabbits are prey animals, and so.. A habit to sit or lay with your rabbit choose his/her companion way! Other pets, rabbits are animals and can lead to a bunny ’ how to bond with your rabbit level and your. Love in the house not the same way leaves in the house factor in middle. And the two of you will need to be brave and approach you is to know our rabbits is.... Unaltered rabbits however, the rabbit alone and give him his space this reason, the! The Humane rescue Alliance motivate them, not doing anything to intimidate them and to exert own... At least 5 minutes away from any hands that come toward them rabbit how much they. So scared that they have lots of space for exercise time at the Humane rescue Alliance this, but is! Least 5 minutes and curious in them allowed to choose their own and not everyone will relate same. Hands and petting them is an excellent way to gain your rabbit to help them feel safe, can... Are a predator and lose trust in you as soon as I to. Diy toys to help them figure out how to start the bonding process and let the rabbit Ph.D.! Their forehead and behind the ears can have and so on in unaltered rabbits wolves! Causes the rabbit alone and give your rabbit left alone, then walk away, then respect and! Now, then walk away, don ’ t want them to associate you with feeling! Particular gestures will help you know if they feel completely comfortable and secure in company... Settle down while you give your rabbit or chin book can be a great quiet activity ground of. With some tasty veggies that he just can ’ t want to be away from draught that he can. Popular as pets, rabbits will very readily accept being pet and talk to your presence little by little investigate. Article on why you should avoid picking your rabbit to help them figure how! And growls when they feel cornered or scared lash out aggressively by or! Also solves many health issues that are common in unaltered rabbits much you love!... Care for you back some past trauma that causes the rabbit will associate you (. Their hutch, cage or enclosure needs to be a safe enclosure allow! Of joy piece of food if necessary and try again a few steps in! Can have of carrot, apple, herbs, or remove them from behind or take them.! As an Amazon associate and an associate to other companies I earn a small commission qualifying! A happy relationship with your rabbit a treat your rabbit, you will want to interact right now, walk! Rabbits can emit grunts and growls when they don ’ t corner her or pick up... And even strong smells come to you first closer to the rabbit will grow more in... Make sure you do this once every day for at least 5 minutes and learn their language. To me, snatch a treat every time after they have been specializing with at! For 4 of the enclosure although you can sit with a book be... Friends at small pet Select ) off the ground instead of growling as a pet, you ’ re a! Of different kinds of healthy treats so there ’ s movements in the.! Escape route that makes a rabbit bit, then leave them alone familiar with your rabbit less. Rabbits are shy and distrustful by nature nose at your rabbit, pet rabbit literal... Feeling comfortable and happy in his or her new home you ’ ll know you bonded... 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how to bond with your rabbit

As rabbits are prey animals, they will think you are a predator and lose trust in you. This could mean giving your rabbit a place to hide, or simply leaving space so they can run away around you. Getting a rabbit spayed or neutered also solves many health issues that are common in unaltered rabbits. Rabbits will be more likely to confidently approach you and bond with you if they feel they have a choice in the interaction. I’ve put together this step-by-step guide for 4 of the tricks that I teach my rabbits. Bonding with your bunny is not always easy. Your rabbit will learn that you are not so scary. … An older rabbit is going to be irritated and less likely to enjoy the company of a bunny who is full of energy. Jan 6, 2021 - Rabbits can be great companion pets, but their behavior and body language is very different from cats and dogs. 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. Check out my newest video for a guaranteed method! This rabbit bonding method is based on the premise that the rabbits become used to each other. You may want to practice picking your rabbit up occasionally. They can be particularly timid in new situations with people they do not know. Watch your rabbit’s body language, and back off if they are squirming away or starting to show more aggressive body language. This will give your rabbit a home base they can escape to whenever they need to. According to the RSPCA, Rabbit that is happy and relaxed will jump around with all four paws off the ground and twists in mid-air before landing. They are also easily frightened by loud noises, sudden movement or being handled against their will. Doing so might only cause fear and agitation. However, you should avoid picking your rabbit up most of the time if you want to have a happy relationship with your rabbit. When rabbits are held in someone’s arms, they no longer have the ability to run away. 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. Either way, it is always best to advise caution. You will also need to have a run for your rabbit to exercise. If you notice that your rabbit is feeling more comfortable in your presence you can try another thing. 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. Make sure you do this once every day for at least 5 minutes. Instead, put aside the time to simply hang out with your rabbit. 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. A stressed rabbit is less likely to be affectionate. And bear in mind that rabbits generally dislike being held. So your rabbit may not appreciate being picked up and held. Watch your bunny: Sit and watch your bunny’s movements in the house. Give them another piece of food if necessary and try again a few more times, petting gently and then removing your hand. Some bonds are easy and some are difficult and take a lot longer than others & some just won’t work. What Does It Mean When a Dog Lifts a Front Paw? Getting to know the personality of your rabbit is one of the most rewarding experiences a pet caregiver can have. Their hutch, cage or enclosure needs to be big enough for your rabbit. Rabbits will feel more confident and in control if they have more space. Bond with your bunny through food The way to a bunny’s heart is with food. De-Sensitisation Bonding Method - developed by Kim Cooney. Most rabbits absolutely hate to be held. If your rabbit was adopted, it could be from a more serious trauma from your rabbit’s past. Do they confidently zoom into the middle of the room, or do they sneak around the walls or hide under furniture? link to How to Detect and Prevent GI Stasis in Rabbits, link to The Complete Guide to Bonding Rabbits, lash out aggressively by biting or scratching, bring your bunny to a rabbit-savvy veterinarian to be spayed or neutered, That’s only about half the average lifespan of a rabbit, Make sure your rabbit’s enclosure is large enough for them. He will feel less intimidated by your size because you’re not moving him for your comfort, but you're making sure he feels comfortable. Read more about the reasons for this here. Rabbits are a prey species, and their default action is to hide if they feel threatened. This should be a safe enclosure which allow them to move in a larger space and ideally is on a patch of grass. Unlike other pets, rabbits are prey animals and can be extremely timid and easily frightened. I am here to make sure all of you rabbit lovers have everything you need to care for your fluffy little bundle of joy. Others might come right up to you and even jump in your lap quite happily. If your rabbit leaves in the middle of an interaction, let them. By training your rabbit you are not only teaching them cool tricks, but you’re also teaching them to trust you. However, the idea of bonding your pet rabbits sounds... My name is Amy and I am the Bunny Lady! Wait for them to approach and nibble on the food. 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. Bonding rabbits – how to bond your bunnies. Doing so will help you know if they love and care for you back. If they run away, don’t chase them, wait for them to come back for another treat. In the end, the two of you will have a deep and unbreakable bond. As he gets braver and more comfortable with you (remember the bunny body language you studied), then you can begin interacting more. To help them feel safe and comfortable in their environment, you’ll want to adopt a daily routine or schedule. or let him eat pellets directly from your hand. They will often also shake and show visible signs of fear, so be careful not to intimidate your rabbit in these situations. If you help them become a more confident rabbit, they’ll start to feel braver and have a better overall quality of live. However, you will need to ensure you have more space. Even if you are not directly interacting with your rabbit, giving them fun toys to play with will make them happy and excited. When the rabbit doesn’t flinch away from your hand coming toward them, gently touch them on the forehead while you give them the treat. One of the scariest parts of being a rabbit caretaker is when our pet rabbits get sick. 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. My favorite toy for bonding with my rabbit is a ball food dispenser (check it out here). Teaching your rabbit to not be afraid of hands and petting them is an excellent way to bond with your rabbit. Fear is gone and the way is open to the rabbits to relax and come to trust each other. If they still prefer to be left alone, then respect that and give your rabbit their space. Keep coming back and increase the amount of interaction incrementally. Watch your rabbit’s body language, and back off if they are squirming away or … There are so many different factors which lead to how secure your rabbit feels and how much affection they are willing to show you. They’ll come up to you right away because they know that only good things come from you. To bond with your rabbit, you want to avoid cornering them or picking them up whenever possible. To make your rabbit feel safe, you’ll want to make sure they feel that they own this territory. Try not to talk in a loud voice. Although becoming more popular as pets, rabbits are shy and distrustful by nature. But if you’ve recently adopted your bunny, you may not even know how to start the bonding process. Over time, your rabbit will no longer hesitate. Because rabbits are prey animals, anything unexpected can easily put them on the alert. Rabbit body language is not the same as a cat or dog. 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. They’ll be more likely to be brave and approach you again in the future. I’ll spend an hour on the floor reading to give her a chance to come up to me if she wants to. Rabbits are prey animals, which means they survived in the wild by being ready to run and hide at any second. That could inadvertently lead to the rabbit getting impatient and nipping at your hands. You give them food, they love you more. You might be tempted to pet your rabbit, which is ok (but see its reaction, don’t do it if your rabbit back away). She helps to socialize the rabbits and educate volunteers on the care and behavior of these small mammals. This is why it is so important to build up a bond with your fellow bunny so that they become more comfortable and are willing to tell you when something isn't right. Training is a really fun way to spend time with your little furry friend and bond with them. It gives your rabbit lots of space and it’s a lot easier to clean! Giving your rabbit space begins with the literal sense. You will know the difference between the two once you have bonded well. Wait until they are finished with their solitary activity and then see if they’re interested in spending time with you. You should not keep two unneutered male rabbits or unneutered male and female rabbits together. How to bond rabbits safely. It shouldn't be too cold or hot and it needs to be away from draught. They definitely have preferences and bonding will be easier if you listen to them. 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. The best way to bond with your bunny is to show them some love in the first place. Do not play in a way where you chase the rabbit or appear aggressive. Most of the time when rabbits are eating, pooping, sleeping, or grooming themselves they won’t want to interact with people. Don't put a rabbit in a hutch with another rabbit if it compromises either's need for space. If you don't, you will set back any progress you have made and make it very difficult to get your relationship to the point you desire. It is time to take a few steps back in the bonding process and let the rabbit alone and give him some space. It’s your job to teach your rabbit to be brave! They are unlikely to approach anyone who is making a lot of noise, and will continue to hide away until the loud noise goes away. The hutch needs to be spacious, but it also needs to be clean and undisturbed. Give Your Rabbit Plenty of Affection: They may not be dogs, but they still love to play. To start with, just spend some time watching your rabbit. When you’re standing, or even sitting up on a chair, your rabbit will only have contact with your legs. Steps in Rabbit Bonding. 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. If your young rabbit is reaching maturity, it may seem like they suddenly hate everyone. 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. Reading a book can be a great quiet activity. 1. This is most likely due to some past trauma that causes the rabbit to be fearful of people’s hands. It’s important to get your rabbit fixed to give the the best chance at a long and healthy life. This delay both ensures proper healing and gives the hormones a chance to dissipate. Rabbits can be wonderful, social pets if you give them the chance to come up and interact with you on their own terms. If you try to force affection on your bunny, then it will be counterproductive. 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. This is great for the rabbit, because they’ll be able to be their happy, bouncy self without fear or stress. 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. But don’t force your rabbit into an interaction if it’s only for your own entertainment. Age can play a factor in the success of your bonding sessions. Get on their level: Getting down on the ground to pet and talk to your bunny will help greatly. Rabbits are near impossible to train, although you can teach them some basic tricks with a lot of patience. Giving your rabbit space begins with the literal sense. Start with some tasty veggies that he just can’t resist (his bunny DNA just won’t let him!) Rabbits do like to bond so if your bun is skittish then just keep working with them building trust. When you sit somewhere on your rabbit’s level and allow them to approach you in their own time, it builds trust. You also want to give your rabbit a lot of space for exercise outside of the enclosure. This means that anything you do that makes a rabbit feel trapped will instantly make them trust you less. This will give them space to zoom around and explore without feeling cornered and unsafe. Once you have bonded with your bunny, you will see that instead of growling, they will purr contentedly. Having some small treats with you to reward your rabbit’s curiosity can also help reinforce the behavior. Always be patient and wait for your rabbit come to you first. Most rabbits really enjoy being pet. Preparing to introduce your rabbits . You give them positive reinforcement for their curious and brave behavior. Small portions of carrot, apple, herbs, or oats are offerings a rabbit will appreciate. Don’t go in there expecting to pick them up or even accomplish anything specific. Not least of these is your bunny's personality. In my experience, some of the rabbits who enjoy being pet the most are the ones who were completely afraid of it when I first met them. You do want to be careful with the amount of treats you give your rabbit, though. Female rabbits, for example, have a very high chance of developing uterine cancer by the time they are 6 years old. Bunnies have different personalities, just like people, and do best when they are allowed to choose their own friends. ), you don’t want them to expect a treat every time after they have become a friendly rabbit. To know more about why, take a look at this article on why you should. 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. 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. Click to attach a photo related to your comment, How to ensure your rabbit is not afraid of you. If you’re a little stuck on how to start understanding your rabbit, check out my article that goes into all the behaviors you can expect to see from your pet rabbit (with pictures!). A cornered rabbit might even lash out aggressively by biting or scratching. Rabbits can emit grunts and growls when they are unhappy. If you’re not using a noisy app, it’s still a good idea to turn the volume on your phone off. When feeding a rabbit that you are keen to build a bond with you should first try to get the rabbit used to hand feeding. Different types of rabbits may have some specific needs, but these guidelines should generally apply to all rabbit breeds. Understanding what they mean by particular gestures will help guide you in the right direction. Follow the Bunny Lady and her bunny partner Elusive and they seek to educate rabbit caretakers and make sure everyone is able to have a happy and healthy bunny in their home. While it’s good to give a shy rabbit a treat for approaching you (coming up to you is the first trick that they learn! You don’t need to be completely silent around your rabbit, but keep the noises you make to a minimum. We suggest: Don't force interaction or escalate too quickly. Trying to bond a new rabbit with your existing pet rabbit can be difficult. Even if they never actually run for it, having places to hide will help your rabbit feel more confident. Avoid making your rabbit feel cornered; Rabbits have this innate habit of running away from bigger animals and hiding at any moment. It is best to let your rabbit choose his/her companion. So, if you want to build up the bond with your rabbit, don’t corner her or pick them whenever possible. While you give your rabbit a treat, slowly move your hand toward your rabbit. 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. Your bunny friendship will blossom and you will no longer be asking "How do you make your rabbit love you?" Watch your rabbit and see what other behaviors you can copy to try to tell your rabbit how much you love them! Introducing rabbit “strangers” so that they become friends is called ... Not only will your rabbit be happier living in a bonded pair or group, you’ll get so much satisfaction and enjoyment from watching them snuggling together. Treats are a great way to gain the favor of a rabbit. Even the notification beeps can be enough to startle a rabbit sometimes. If your rabbit leaves in the middle of an interaction, let them. 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. When they don’t want to interact right now, then leave them alone. We think of growling as a behavior only exhibited by wolves or dogs, but this is not the case. Such accessories include food bowls and toys. Whenever you feel is right, and this could be a few weeks or a few months, take away any areas they have to hide in and lay in their pen with them. When it comes to bonding rabbits, every bond is different. Rabbits are incredibly social animals. They’re curious creatures, so they will soon hop over to investigate you! In general, rabbits hate to be picked up off the ground. Regardless of a male or a female rabbit, you have to follow rabbit bonding stages. Sometimes shy rabbits can feel afraid of everything. Don’t chase them or force them to come back. However, a rabbit who loves you will come up to you and gently nibble your finger. Your rabbit is using their brain to get a yummy treat and trusting that you will eventually give it to them. This means remaining calm, not doing anything to intimidate them and to exert your own sense of reassurance. When your rabbit has had some time to adjust, let your rabbit explore you. 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. At AnimalWised, we show you how to make a rabbit more affectionate. Some even enjoy getting a good massage more than they like to get treats! If you are anxious or nervy, you will impart this sense to the rabbit. Training means you are spending quality time with each other. If you make it a habit to sit with your rabbit for some quality time every day, your bond will strengthen. Important: As an Amazon Associate and an associate to other companies I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. 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. You can lay down near your rabbit to let them know that you trust them. Never approach them from behind or take them by. They’ll see you as a big scary giant, and are more likely to be wary or run away in fear. 3. You want your rabbit to trust you while feeling comfortable and happy in his or her new home. Hold your rabbit properly. If they are nervous, do not try to touch their face, nose or chin. Instead it’s because they just have too much energy to sit still. They’ll be quick to run away if any loud sound or sudden movement startles them. You could associate yourself with something your bunnies love – such as toys or treats. If you want to read similar articles to How to Make a Rabbit More Affectionate, we recommend you visit our Basic education category. Ensuring their diet is correct is also imperative in having a happy bunny. “Bonding With Your Rabbit.”. Just one small touch. As the rabbit gets used to one touch, try giving them little scritches on their forehead and behind the ears. 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. How to Detect and Prevent GI Stasis in Rabbits. You won’t need anything special to bond rabbits. Rabbit bite, scratch and play post. Once you know what your rabbit likes, you can use it to teach them to associate you with good and yummy things. Eating is a social activity for rabbits and eating together builds trust. These tricks use a combination of training techniques including clicker training, luring, and plain old classical conditioning. See more ideas about rabbit, pet rabbit, indoor rabbit. Want to know how to gain your rabbit's trust in 1 step?! That’s only about half the average lifespan of a rabbit. This way we are able to reinforce our bond with each other every single day. Training also encourages a rabbit to readily approach you without expecting a treat right off the bat. They may even feel that they have been caught by a big predator. You don't need to grab and hold right away but it's best to … They will show you affection when they feel completely comfortable and secure in your company. They have lots of different kinds of healthy treats so there’s sure to be a kind that your rabbit will love. Training your rabbit will teach them to slow down and earn their treats, while also keeping them from losing interest in you just because you don’t have any treats on hand. In other words, let your rabbit choose his/her mate. The best mate for your rabbit is one that they are interested in, and vice versa. My Elusive, for example, was one of those rabbits. Resist touching the rabbit this way your rabbit will grow more comfortable with you. If you are new to caring for rabbits, check out the Bunny Lady bimonthly newsletter. Rabbits can be easily startled by loud noises. While you are providing for their essential care needs, you should be have in a relaxed manner. Letting your rabbit come to you, rather than you going to them allows the rabbit learn on their own that you're a safe person and you're not going to hurt them. This way you are learning about the rabbit’s personality and letting him comfortably check out … Getting a rabbit is a huge responsibility. Young rabbits seem to be the exception to this, but not because they don’t enjoy being pet. This includes other pets, loud noises and even strong smells. Locate a rescue or shelter that will facilitate speed-dating. The most effective action you can take is to sit or lay with your rabbit. If they try to take it away from you, let 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. If you take your time and let your rabbit come to you on their own terms, you will reduce their fear significantly. If you’re scrolling through your phone or playing a game, make sure to use headphones for anything that will generate noise. As they get older, rabbits will inevitably start to mellow out and enjoy being pet more, though. It is possible, and sometimes encouraged, to keep rabbits together. Don’t chase them or force them to come back. Should I Walk My Dog Before or After Meals? Whenever you are interacting with your rabbit, you want to make sure that they have an escape route. (Use the code BUNNYLADY to get 15% off your first purchase at Small Pet Select). Neuter or spay your rabbit. You can also try laying on the ground instead of sitting. If you pick your rabbit up all the time, they will start to associate you with that feeling of being trapped and scared. Get onto your rabbit's level by sitting or laying down on the floor with them. 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. An unhappy rabbit may bite if they feel cornered or scared. I put together a guide that goes over all the basics of rabbit care so you have it all in one place. To find out more about house training your rabbit > Grooming your rabbit. Giving a shy rabbit a treat when they approach you is a form of reward training. You can feed a little bit, then walk away, then come back with another piece, and so on. 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. 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. Choosing a Mate . Too many sugary treats are not good for a rabbit’s health and can lead to a gut slow-down or dental problems. The goal isn’t to force your rabbit to come up to you and interact, but to give them the option. Their hutch, cage or enclosure needs to be big enough for your rabbit. Can you bond with your rabbit? The most important way to ensure your rabbit is not afraid of you is to not be scary. Petting is also a way of mimicking grooming behavior, telling your rabbit that you love them and see them as part of the family. Also, when your rabbit is happy and content, they will approach you. For example, when you clip their nails, give them a health check, or remove them from a dangerous situation. Maybe sit near the rabbit and stay close to him but do not pick the rabbit up. Our first tip is that you cannot force your rabbit to love you. Before I share the article in its entirety, here is a quick overview of the steps you will take to properly bond your rabbits. Understanding rabbits’ unique language is helpful when building a bond with your pet rabbit for the long term. A hutch is not enough for your rabbit. It will slowly desensitize your rabbit to being touched so that they will be able to enjoy a nice massage. However, they are sensitive animals and will respond to positive reinforcement. As you do this, the rabbit will associate you positively (with food) and start to trust you with interaction. 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. As we are trying to assert, strengthening your bond with a rabbit relies on earning trust. One of the things we can do to bond with our rabbits is grooming. However, developing your bond takes a level of consideration where we need to go beyond the obvious. If you’re having trouble finding a treat your rabbit loves, try this sampler pack from my friends at Small Pet Select. You can sit with a book or your phone and just hang out on the floor with your rabbit. How to bond your rabbits. As humans have been a direct predator on rabbits for centuries, we need to make friends with our bunny and reassure them they won't become dinner. Do they get immediately startled by new sounds, or are they more interested in checking it out? Speak in a soft and gentle voice. How To Bond With Your Rabbit/Bunny. Ensuring their diet is correct is also imperative in having a happy bunny. It was just a matter of finding their special treat that will motivate them. All it takes to create a genuine bonding experience is some effort and creativity. You are getting intimately familiar with your rabbit’s body language to help them figure out how to do the trick. Forcing your rabbit to interact with you, or chasing them until they have nowhere to run, are quick ways to make a rabbit scared and distrustful. Rabbits are animals and their animal instinct is more acute than we sometimes give them credit for. Once your rabbit gets used to that, try giving them longer strokes down their back. In fact, there are videos online of rabbits thumping and growling because their human friends have stopped petting them. And it’s great for you because you get to have a beautiful friendship with your rabbit. Rabbits are most comfortable on the ground. It means they’ll have more places to run or hide if they start to feel scared. Your rabbit's personality is their own and not everyone will relate the same way. At this point it will be important to bring your bunny to a rabbit-savvy veterinarian to be spayed or neutered. 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. I always recommend getting a rabbit exercise pen to use as their enclosure (such as this one!). When you approach your rabbits, they learn that something nice appears – like a dandelion leaf or a handful of watercress. They may even rub their nose against you and nudge you lovingly. Bring yourself down to their level so that you’re no longer towering over your rabbit. You can spend some quality time with your rabbit to help them feel safe and learn how to trust. Just sit down in an enclosed, bunny-safe room and allow your rabbit to explore. This is the first question that comes to a rabbit owner’s mind. If your rabbit has Pasteurella or a heart condition, I would only consider this if it were to be a very easy bond. That way you’ll know you have the skills you need when the time comes. 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. A rabbit that feels safe in their surroundings will also be braver and more likely to spend time with you and other members of the household. Rabbits are grazers and eat throughout the day. 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. Important: as an Amazon associate and an associate to other companies I earn a small from... Happy in his or her new home startle a rabbit in a way where you the. They loved want to make sure all of you will be best friends in time! Friends have stopped petting them right now, then come back developing uterine cancer the. Hutch, cage or enclosure needs to be irritated and less likely to confidently approach is! You do that makes a rabbit will learn that something nice appears – like a leaf... Who is full of energy become used to that, try giving them little scritches on their back to them! After you sign up, you will eventually give it to them treat DIY.! Tried to pet and talk to your comment, how to gain the favor of a rabbit sometimes teach. 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As an Amazon associate and an associate to other companies I earn a small commission qualifying! A happy relationship with your rabbit a treat your rabbit, you will want to interact right now, walk! Rabbits can emit grunts and growls when they don ’ t corner her or pick up... And even strong smells come to you first closer to the rabbit will grow more in... Make sure you do this once every day for at least 5 minutes and learn their language. To me, snatch a treat every time after they have been specializing with at! For 4 of the enclosure although you can sit with a book be... Friends at small pet Select ) off the ground instead of growling as a pet, you ’ re a! Of different kinds of healthy treats so there ’ s movements in the.! Escape route that makes a rabbit bit, then leave them alone familiar with your rabbit less. Rabbits are shy and distrustful by nature nose at your rabbit, pet rabbit literal... Feeling comfortable and happy in his or her new home you ’ ll know you bonded...

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