The subject of intentional breeding or meat rabbits is prohibited. The answers provided on this board are for general guideline purposes only. The information is not intended to diagnose or treat your pet. It is your responsibility to assess the information being given and seek professional advice/second opinion from your veterinarian and/or qualified behaviorist.
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So, I just adopted my first rabbit whom they think is a Harlequin mix, on March 13. Because I got him from an animal shelter they aren't sure of his age but they believe he is about 2 years old. He is mostly white with some grey stripes (I will post a pick soon). He was known as "Mr. Grumpy" at the animal shelter but interacted with me quite well. So far he tends to grunt and occasionaly thump when I first start to pet him but then he calms down. I know that he has to get used to his new environment and to me and my husband. Are there any recommendations to help me speed up this process. I hold him and play with him at least twice a day and then try to give him his own space. I don't want to overwhelm him. He really is a sweet bun, and I know with some loving he'll be an even sweeter boy. Of course any hints would be greatly appreciated!
There is what we often call the "Floor Ignore" - all you do is sit in the same area that the rabbit is romping in - be it a full room or just within an X-pen. Then, just read a book or magazine. This lets him play all he wants and he can come to you on his terms. Usually, you don't want to try and pet him whenever he comes up to you but only when he gives you a nose bump or a little tug with his teeth. That's rabbit speak for "Hey, you, slave! You may pay attention to me now." And if he hops away, just let him do so. This will let him know that you are no threat to him. But what you are doing now is good as well.
You should though take him to a vet at your earliest convience. It is always good to get a new animal checked out immediately. It will give the doctor a baseline data read for future visits and you can discuss altering them then (if it hasn't been done yet). Not to mention, about 15-20% of the people here have had their rabbits miracuously change sex after seeing a vet.
i would suggest to continue doing what your doing
EDIT: i forgot about the floor ignore and also if you do that and give him treats when he comes up to you it helps him get to know that your hand wont hurt him it has treats
We have renamed him HATTER. He is neutered. I have started to spend time in his area and have noticed that he is more calm when I let him do his own thing. I have tried giving him treats but he seems to snub those when they are in my hand. As soon as I put them down on the floor though he gobbles them up...such a fussy boy. My goal is to let him roam the house once my husband and I are sure he knows where his litter box is. I hope that will also make him a much more happy bunny. It is hard to not want to lather him up with hugs and kisses (especially when he cleans his face), but I know that patience will pay off in the end. Thank you for all of the replies and please keep any more suggestions coming!
Oh, and he was in the animal shelter for almost 2 years, which I'm sure adds to his "charming" disposition....
Congratulations on rescuing Hatter! I rescued my bun, Bindi, Jan. 25th of this year and we are still getting to know each other. He will come around. Welcome to the board and please post pics soon
I let Hatter out into the living room for the first time last night to spend some "family", play time and he did a mini binky! I was so suprised that I wasn't even sure if it WAS a Binky....my little guy is has really come a long way since I got him on Saturday.