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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > I need help bonding my bunnies!!!
Last Post by ~M. at 2/29/2012 8:56 AM (7 Replies)
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User is Offline ~M.
7 posts Send Private Message
2/28/2012 3:48 PM

 I understand that answers to the question of bunny bonding already exist, but I need advice for my specific situation. I'm not sure what to do and I'm worried that I'm causing my rabbits unnecessary stress!! 

I have a younger rabbit of an unknown breed. Her name is Doodle and I got her about seven months ago. She is not spayed. We've been living together in my VERY small efficiency apartment. We've bonded and everything is dandy. I have, however, recently purchased a very young angora rabbit. I've brought it to my apt and now I'm faced with the issue of bonding. 

I understand that I need to have my bunnies go on "dates" in neutral places, the only issue is I do not have a neutral place in my apt. Doodle has traveled and explored virtually every part of my apt. Even my kitchen table and bathtub. 

Doodle is not overly aggressive but when she is around the new rabbit she, for very clear animalistic reasons, wants to assert her dominance. Luckily my new rabbit is very docile and never fights back. Doodle, however, is endlessly stressed by the new rabbit. I have placed my new rabbit in an exercise pen during the day, but it's managed to get out, more than once, and has spent, again, more than one, entirely unsupervised day with Doodle. Doodle follows the rabbit everywhere it goes, puts her face in the fur around the rabbit's hind quarters, and then mounts it. I'm assuming she has spent days doing this when the rabbit has escaped the pen, and I'm now fearing that because they've spent so much time developing a quasi negative bond they will have an even harder time bonding.  I'm also curious to see if the fact that they were left alone without harm coming to either rabbit can be seen as somewhat positive?? Or is it simply damaging to the relationship? 

What I want from this question is a possible solution for how to bond my rabbits without a neutral area. Or, if a neutral area is absolutely necessary, can I place my rabbits in a large box with the top open and conduct "dates" that way? I cannot take my rabbits on car rides to induce fear because transporting them in and out of my apt building is rather risky business. 

Is Doodle's mounting behavior aggressive? I've read yes, but I've also read conflicting reports elsewhere. I'm not sure what to believe. Regardless, I don't like the behavior so I stop it. 

Should I move my new rabbits cage into another part of the apt and only let them interact on "dates"? The new rabbit's cage is currently right in the middle of Doodle's once private property - as I have limited space and initially thought it would be nice to keep them together during the day to get them used to one another's company. 

Thanks so much for your replies. 

~M


User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
17698 posts Send Private Message
2/28/2012 3:58 PM
I think first and foremost you need to get Doodle spayed before you start bonding. Once she is spayed you need to wait at least a month before you begin the bonding process.

User is Offline ~M.
7 posts Send Private Message
2/29/2012 12:48 AM

I had planned on getting her spayed in the summer time when I had a little more flexibility with my schedule (I'm a school teacher) and extra cash flow from a second job, but that's four months away! Should I just not have them interact with one another for the next four months??


User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
Forum Leader
15654 posts Send Private Message
2/29/2012 1:48 AM
No, I would not let them interact at all. The baby may become injured, or their interactions now may complicate the bonding process later on. They can be in the same space as long as neither are getting overly stressed out, but kept at least 3-4 inches apart at all times. If the space where their pens are is the same area as their exercise space, make sure to put a divider up blocking the other pen when one is out.

The other issue is that the new bunny is a baby and will also need to be spay/neutered before they are bonded. I would try to get them both in at the same time over the summer.
Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline ~M.
7 posts Send Private Message
2/29/2012 2:31 AM
Thanks so much! I've been stressing out about what to do with them!

I've been giving them separate exercise time, which has seemed to help Doodle calm down quite a bit - the baby rabbit seems entirely unaffected by Doodle's actions, it just ignores her for the most part.

I'll just keep them separated until I can get them both spayed.

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
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7322 posts Send Private Message
2/29/2012 3:33 AM
I would definitely keep them separated until they are spayed and recovered. Unspayed females are very territorial and she could easily start a fight that would compromise their ability to bond later.
- Elrohwen

User is Offline HoneysBuns
47 posts Send Private Message
2/29/2012 7:12 AM
I wouldn't let the bunnies go up to the other ones cage before being spayed/and dating sessions either. I made this mistake and I think it ruined my chances of bonding my first two rabbits. You can move them next to each other when things are going well and you are considering sleepovers, but before then, I would recommend dividing your apartment into new bunny's area and older bunny's area. That way there is less problems with territory (this might also help prevent unwanted marking). After they've been spayed, you can try to create neutral space by putting up and xpen, and then putting clean sheets/towells/blankets on the side so they can't tell where they are, as well as on the floor. You can also try your bathtub/shower and perhaps sinks (clean and dry of course) when doing close contact dates. Hope your bonding goes well!

User is Offline ~M.
7 posts Send Private Message
2/29/2012 8:56 AM
Thanks so much everyone!!
I'll go home and make separate living arrangements for them tonight.
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