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.