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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > HOUSE RABBIT Q & A > What type of personality for a first-timer
Last Post by Malp_15 at 11/14/2012 12:47 PM (11 Replies)
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User is Offline Dramapony_misty
7 posts Send Private Message
11/12/2012 7:10 AM
What should I do (first-time bun owner)?
Rescue the "mean" rabbit since he should around after being rescued from a hutch (8)
 89%
Look for one that is fostered so you can see him as he will most likely be in your home (1)
 11%
Other (please specify in a post) (0)
 0%

HI All,

Hopefully by the end of the year, I will be a first-time owner of a most-definitely-going-to-be-spoiled house bun.  I've owned a dog, a cat (both now deceased), and horses, but never a rabbit.  After doing some research, I decided that I want a house rabbit.  I'd like to adopt one, but being from the Scranton, PA area and having a husband that is against microchipping, it's proving to be tough to find one. 

We did visit a local private animal rescue last week and they have several buns.  Out in the barn in cages.   I know they only have so much room but it doesn't really help with the whole meet-and-greet.  In particular was a larger brown bun who was miserable.  Tried to bite at your hand through the cage, etc (he has been neutered so it's not hormones).  Even the caretakers said he was mean.  The owner of the place said he was a former house rabbit so I can only image being locked in a hutch after that would make anyone miserable. 

So...the bleeding heart in me says to take him and hope that with more freedom, he will come around.  The more logical part is telling me that maybe for a first bun, try to find a rescue that is more bun-friendly (probably with a network of fosters) so I will have a good idea of what the bun will be like once comfortable in a home situation.

Thoughts?  Also, what is an ideal personality for a first-timer?

 


User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
17964 posts Send Private Message
11/12/2012 7:45 AM
Awww, the poor rabbit. I've had experience with "mean" rabbits and it's really fear aggression not the rabbit being mean, but being fearful.

The rabbit I had, Pepe, scared the heck out of me, but I learned to change my ways (he didn't always necessarily learn to change his however, but I'm very forgiving and despite his aggression, enjoyed him very much). The only thing I know about Pepe was he was a stray that a former adopter (I used to rescue rabbits) found on the streets (she was good at finding strays by the way). He was always a biter though.

Once I allowed him free roam though, he became a much happier rabbit and I think that really did help. Pepe did have lifelong issues however (dental problems and stasis problems due to his dental problems) and he did end up passing from an enlarged heart (which was an unknown with him). He was fairly young though when he came to me but was always lunging and biting me when he was in his condo. After a very bad bout of stasis I decided to let him free roam since I was able to do that at the time.

He did in time allow me to pet him without biting and he would jump on my bed and allow me to snuggle with him - okay, I had to grab him and hold him when I laid down, because otherwise he would bite my butt - it was just the instinct to bite.

I'll be honest, it takes a very forgiving person to deal with a fearful aggressive rabbit and it also takes a person who will have no expectations that this rabbit will eventually become a full force snuggle bun...Pepe wasn't snuggly but he did end up being a fun rabbit despite the lack of snuggles. I just had to allow him to be him and not have any other expectations.

It's sad to me that a rescue would just label this poor rabbit as being "mean"...taming an aggressive rabbit is not for everyone but it can certainly have it's rewards.

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
17964 posts Send Private Message
11/12/2012 7:50 AM

 

Here is one of my favorite photos of Pepe - he was some kind of mix - his color by the way is called agouti.

 


User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
Forum Leader
7322 posts Send Private Message
11/12/2012 7:52 AM
It's very very common for rabbits to be territorial of their cages, so I wouldn't base everything off of that interaction. When I volunteered at a rabbit rescue, about 1/4 of the rabbits would charge your hand if you put it in the cage, but almost all would make perfectly fine pets in a different environment.

Have you looked on Petfinder? A quick search pulled up a number of buns in Clarks Summit. I'm also not sure what you meant by your husband being against microchipping making it difficult? I've never met a microchipped rabbit and the local rescues and shelters here don't do it, so I don't think it should be an issue.

The ideal personality is really up to the owner. Some people want very cuddly rabbits while others are fine with more aloof rabbits who want to hang out near you, but don't want to be petted (most rabbits are somewhere in between). I would just look for a bun you click with. Some people get along with the more aggressive buns very well, but if it's not something you feel ready to deal with there's nothing wrong with that. I do think that the majority of buns in shelters would make a fine pet for you, especially since it sounds like you don't have kids or other pets running around that would scare a more timid bunny.
- Elrohwen

User is Offline Dramapony_misty
7 posts Send Private Message
11/12/2012 8:01 AM
Thanks

The Clarks Summit (Griffin Pond/Humane Society of Lackawanna County) supposedly does chip which I thought was odd for rabbits, but I inquired specifically about them and was told yes.

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
Forum Leader
17964 posts Send Private Message
11/12/2012 8:08 AM
Chips in rabbits is very common in California - around where I live they don't even check rabbits for chips.

I did ask one of my vets about this at one time and she felt that since my rabbits were strictly indoors, it wasn't necessary. So I have never done it. I now many rescues, humane societies, SPCA's just chip all their animals as a matter of policy so it's not too unusual.

User is Offline FrankieFlash
Michigan
1715 posts Send Private Message
11/12/2012 8:34 AM
I voted for the poor guy in the cage. He sounds like he needs some TLC and it sounds like you're willing to give it. I adopted my girl and the only reason people didn't want her was because of her red eyes. How stupid. Their loss and mine and Bunjamin's gain. She is the sweetest rabbit ever and it's so fun seeing her come out of her shell. It's truly a rewarding experience.

User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
10463 posts Send Private Message
11/12/2012 10:06 AM
I also voted for the "mean" one. I volunteer in a shelter, and I frequently see rabbits that are cage aggressive. It isn't unusual, especially since alot of those cages aren't exactly huge. More space often makes a big difference in those rabbits, and they calm right down.

User is Offline tobyluv
South Carolina
640 posts Send Private Message
11/12/2012 10:23 AM
It would be nice if you could adopt that poor "mean" rabbit, and get him into a good environment again. He may have some aggression issues, though, which you would have to deal with and you would have to work with him to overcome his issues. It's hard to know if the place (and the cage) are at the root of his aggression, and if he would lose that aggression when he was back in a loving home setting. The HRS site has a page regarding aggression. http://rabbit.org/faq/sections/aggression.html

Does this rescue have a room or even an x-pen that you could take the rabbit to and be able to sit down with him? Surely they could find some place for you to interact with him and get to know him.

Any rabbit that you adopt from a rescue or shelter will be one more that is saved. Thank you for adopting.

User is Offline Roberta
Wanneroo, Western Australia
3359 posts Send Private Message
11/12/2012 5:59 PM
I too had a Long Eared Land Shark. Nermal was adopted and returned a few months later. She hadn't been mistreated but I suspect had been over handled and allowed to rule the roost as an only bun becoming very territorial. Coming home to a large bunny family again must have been a shock. It's taken some time, cunning and lots of nose rubs but we are getting there and I no longer have constant wounds and scratches. So even though the little bitey bun is fixed being in an environment surrounded by other buns with all sorts of strange smells and hormnones in the iar from some of the others would definitely make him edgy and aggressive. I honestly believe that a loving home, some free space and some time will solve the biting issue.
 photo 08990f11-285a-44a8-8afe-47ee405d6fd1_zps09e3c66f.jpg

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
Forum Leader
7322 posts Send Private Message
11/14/2012 7:20 AM
Posted By Dramapony_misty on 11/12/2012 11:01 AM
Thanks

The Clarks Summit (Griffin Pond/Humane Society of Lackawanna County) supposedly does chip which I thought was odd for rabbits, but I inquired specifically about them and was told yes.

Interesting! I'm not surprised that some humane societies do it as a general policy, though the rescues by me don't (and we have a generally high rate of dog and cat chipping around here).

 I wouldn't let that stop you from finding a bun though. I can see maybe being against getting your own bunny chipped, but what's the problem with getting a bun who has already had it done?

- Elrohwen

User is Offline Malp_15
British Columbia, Canada
601 posts Send Private Message
11/14/2012 12:47 PM
Neither of my buns are microchipped because if for whatever reason they got out, no one in my area would even think to bring them to a vet/shelter to be checked for a chip. But if i was adopting one that already was, I'd be happy to have that added protection, at no extra cost.

I have my cat tattooed, microchipped, and wearing tags but it is more common for people to check cats & dogs.
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