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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.
LEADERS: Bam BinkyBunny JerseyGirl LBJ10 LittlePuffyTail LongEaredLions RabbitPam
Hello! I am new to binky bunny...
I have had rabbits for a few years, but just decided to bond a pair. I brought home Howie to bond with my JoAnn after they had a really good date. Things seemed to start out pretty normal. Some territorial nipping and lunging, some stand offs for grooming (putting their heads down by each other), some mounting by Howie, and some ignoring each other. It's been about two weeks, though, and it does not seem to have progressed. The problem is that after about 5-10 mins Howie will not leave JoAnn alone. He continuously tries to mount her, but bites her at the same time. This turns into circling and I have to break them up. Their dates are only civil for about 10-15 minutes. Any advice?
Humping isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the escalation into a fight isn't good. Are you able to pet Joann's forehead to calm her down a little first? If Howie can hump her for 10-20 seconds, he may be able to "get his point across" and then they can resume normal activities.
What kind of bonding space are they in, when are your sessions, and what do they have in the space with them? Sometimes adding or removing objects and litterboxes can help with territorial behavior.
I always had a very lightweight "cheapy" laundry basket in the room with us during bonding. When my pair would scuffle, I would use it to gently nudge them apart, then I would drop it upside down over one of the bunnies, making an immediate "cage". It was enough of a barrier to stop the fight, without ending the session. After a few minutes, the basket would come off and the session would resume. I never did less than a one hour session, and I never allowed a fight to end the session.
What other deterrents have you used, noise maker, spray bottle, and are you stressing them beforehand? Have you tried reducing the size of the bonding space?