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Last Post by LittlePuffyTail at 10/06/2012 1:45 AM (7 Replies)
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User is Offline Aylnine
60 posts Send Private Message
10/04/2012 8:36 AM

I've just been at my wits' end trying to brush Sir Rupert. I've tried both the furminator and the hairbuster, and while they both pick up hair just fine (I do have to pull, though), Sir Rupert hates both of them. Hates. So much so that when he feels it on his back he'll just run away now. It might just be because he's not used to being brushed, but he never looked this bad when I got him from the shelter so they must have used something. I am thinking of calling the shelter to see if they know what they use on their rabbits, but for the meantime, does anyone use a better brush (better as in they'll stay still and the brush will still pick up hair) for their bunny? My partner suggested a boar bristle brush because that's what he uses on his cat, but I'm afraid that it won't work on bunnies because the hair quality is so different.

If it makes any difference, Sir Rupert is a Himalayan mix and his hair is short-medium and very very thick.

User is Offline Kayle
68 posts Send Private Message
10/04/2012 8:56 AM
I use a bore bristle brush with lots of bristles on it and it works really good. I also use a double row flea comb after that that works well to get the extra hair. My bunny does not like to be brushed but I have realized that if I brush him while he's eating his veggies he seems calmer.

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
13831 posts Send Private Message
10/04/2012 11:25 AM
My rabbits hate grooming time. No matter what type of brush I use or if I just use my fingers. I have to sit them on the table because they wouldn't tolerate it. They usually sit pretty quietly but I can tell they are angry about it. It helps that they know as soon as they are done, they get a treat.

Bindi is starting his big shed and I have a little row of bunny-bite bruises on my forearm. That's how much he hates getting groomed.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless

User is Offline Skipper's Mama
1252 posts Send Private Message
10/04/2012 1:16 PM

I've tried a number of different brushes. The plastic one that has rounded edges, flea comb, baby brushes, and even a pumice stone. Skipper isn't a big fan of grooming but the brush I got a few months back doesn't seem to bug her nearly as much. She'll sit still much longer for me and it picks up her fine/silky hair really well. I got the Safari Cat Curry Brush. Here's the link to the photo. I was able to pick two of the up for about five bucks. (Mainly because if I'm not watching or forget to put it out of Skipper's reach she'll attack the brush and destroy it.)

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
7322 posts Send Private Message
10/05/2012 9:47 AM
The first thing I would try is brushing him gently while he's eating. Don't worry too much about getting hair out, just brush slowly and gently so he can get used to it and hopefully eating will help him associate it with positive things.

I've also had success with the clicker. Start with getting your bunny to touch the brush with his nose. Most bunnies are curious and will sniff whatever you're holding, so click and treat when he bumps it. Once he's excited about touching it, use the back of the brush (not the bristly part) to touch his back, then click and treat. Gradually work your way up to a brush stroke, then click treat. One of the keys to this is a high rate of reinforcement - you should be clicking and treating every 10 seconds or so to keep him interested and thinking about what will happen next. If he runs away, just sit quietly and see if he'll come back to try again at an easier level.

My two already understand the clicker, so it was a bit faster, but they went from hating the brush (for years) to letting me brush them pretty extensively in only two 5 minute sessions. While brushing I continue to reinforce with treats, but now I can get in 5+ good brushes (getting lots of hair out) between treats. I use pellets because they're small and easy to eat.

As far as brushes to use, it varies rabbit to rabbit. I have two lops, but one has very thick and soft hair while the other has slightly shorter and not quite as silky hair - technically they would have the same fur type, but I can tell the difference with which brushes work better. I like the hairbuster comb sold on BB and a slicker brush. The furminator pulls too much and they don't like it. The hairbuster pulls a bit, but you can angle it differently to make it more gentle.
- Elrohwen

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
12097 posts Send Private Message
10/05/2012 11:30 AM
Mostly I use my hands, wet hands are best. I have every type of brush going. I like the rubber comb sold on this site, as well as a cat slicker style brush but really hands do the best job

User is Offline Aylnine
60 posts Send Private Message
10/05/2012 11:36 AM
I think hands would be the way to go for me. Now when I come at Rupert with anything brush-like or even try to pet him he runs away... I might have ruined combs for him for now. I tried doing wet hand massage before but it kinda seemed like I just smooshed all of his loose hair into his coat. Should I try to do it with just slightly damp hands instead?

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
13831 posts Send Private Message
10/06/2012 1:45 AM
You might have to do what I do to groom: sit bunny on a towel on the kitchen table. My buns would never hold still for a grooming otherwise. If you do this, please make sure to never leave bunny unattended, even for a second. It helps to offer a treat right afterwards too, because then they know something good is coming after the horror of brushing.

I take a bowl of water, wet my finger tips and just smooth both my hands down bunny, in the direction of the hair. This is a great way to get hair from under the belly too.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless
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