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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > DIET & CARE > Aggressive over food
Last Post by BB at 9/14/2012 9:30 PM (2 Replies)
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User is Offline zoologist
Orlando, Fl
268 posts Send Private Message
9/14/2012 5:41 PM
Tofu is very aggressive when it comes to his food. His previous owner warned me of that when I first got him but I didn't think too much of it. She told me to watch my hands when feeding him because he would nip at her. Ok, easily solved by cleaning up food dishes and replacing them with fresh food when he was out exploring.
Then I started hand feeding him his greens as a bonding method. It goes well, but if I pick up a green and he is waiting for it he will lunge at my hand to get it. He bit me HARD once while doing this but I shook it off as an accident, and decided to only hand feed him larger pieces to keep my fingers away from his teeth.
Tonight was weird. I was feeding him the larger pieces of lettuce, and when I went to put the bowl down in frot of him so he could eat the rest he grunted, lunged, and attacked the bowl biting it fiercely. Now he's lunged before, and attacked the bowl, but never has he done both at the same time, and never has he grunted. I know grunting/lunging are signs of a ticked off rabbit, so what gives?
He gets about a cup of mixed greens a night, a handful of pellets (1/8 of a cup?) and unlimited orchard grass hay. He is a small bunny, probably only a couple of pounds.
-Jessy

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User is Offline zoologist
Orlando, Fl
268 posts Send Private Message
9/14/2012 5:43 PM
We know he was starved at his previous previous home and was found with no food/water when rescued. His previous owner said he was skin and bones, but bulked up pretty quickly when she got him on a healthy diet
-Jessy

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User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8673 posts Send Private Message
9/14/2012 9:30 PM

VIvian grunts and boxes when I put her food down - I can't put the food down fast enough before she tries to box it out of my hand. So now I just drop the greens down, and she'll box them as they drop. LOL.I'm okay with that, but she doesn't bite anymore so that's the difference.  She gets very nutty though with treats, circles all around my feet, will chew on my pant leg, do a very light nip sometimes - (she hasn't bitten anyone in two years) and so I trained her to circle in front of me and wait. That helped a lot.


It would make sense that your bunny may have aggressive tendencies if he was starved before. You can try and train him via clicker or ?? to be rewarded for staying calm before food is given to him. He also could have begun to learn that he gets his food right away when he is like this and then by attacking the bowl, he can get the food all over the place, making it easier to eat. (Some bunnies tips their bowls just for that reason).

If you are not familiar with clicker training, you can still try train by rewarding positive behavior. I think using thick gloves that he can't bit through might be a good idea during this. You can try to hand him food, but as soon as he lunges pull away, or curl the food up in your hand. If he lunges and bites, then do not react at all, but don't give him the food. If he continues to bite your gloved hand, then pull away. The first time that he goes just calmly sniffs, then give him the food. Repeat this over the next week or so and see if that improves. I do recommend though that he gets some food in him before you train him otherwise if he's VERY hungry, it could make training harder as he will for sure be more aggressive and at FIRST, you want to catch him when he is calm, and reward him for that behavior.

Here's a video of Vivian after I trained her to do a circle in front of me, instead of getting nutty all around my feet. She learned this within a few days of a few minutes of training each day. I have heard that "aggressive" bunnies are very smart - I don't know about that really, but in Vivian's case, it is true! (of course, I am biased

)

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