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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Naughty 7 year old bunny, getting nastier with age
Last Post by bunnluff at 9/05/2013 6:57 PM (9 Replies)
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User is Offline bunnluff
206 posts Send Private Message
8/30/2013 11:23 AM

So here's a little background info on Bella, my ultra naughty dwarf bunny. I bought her 7 years ago from a pet store when she was quite young. She was a sweet little thing and really tiny and cute. I waited a few months to have her spayed so she would be old enough and also so she could live with my other female bunny. The two rabbits got along right off the bat so I got lucky there. Didn't really have to bond them much. Anyway I can't exactly pinpoint when Bella started acting aggressive, nor can I imagine anything that would have been so traumatizing that it may have left her with distrust. She lunges at me, grunts, she attacked my face last night when I got down onto her level. I try to be as non-threatening as possible but I have to chase her all over in order to capture her when play time in the living room is over. She's always been very tough to catch. Alternatively, she can be sweet as pie and will cuddle and let me hold and pet her. She is a true Jeckel and Hyde rabbit. She is also mostly litter box trained, I started her as soon as I got her. But now she just poops where she pleases and pees all over the cage almost every day and also pees on the carpet probably 2 times a week during playtime. I'm honestly so frustrated because my other rabbit is an absolute peach in nearly every way possible. Why is Bella such a nightmare?! Is there anything I can do since she's already 7 yo? I feel helpless. I am always so patient with her as I know rabbits can sense emotion. Thank you for any and all help!

Here's a photo of the rabbit in question. Don't let her cuteness fool you. What lies beyond that precious exterior is pure evil.

 


User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
18870 posts Send Private Message
8/30/2013 11:28 AM
She's very cute. Have you had her in for an exam lately to see if there is anything medical causing her current grumpiness?

User is Offline bunnluff
206 posts Send Private Message
8/30/2013 11:43 AM
Posted By Sarita on 08/30/2013 02:28 PM
She's very cute. Have you had her in for an exam lately to see if there is anything medical causing her current grumpiness?

 

Thank you. Earlier this year I noticed that she flinched when I pet her right cheek. I immediately thought it was her teeth and that they had gotten too long and needed trimming. When I took her to the vet for an eye infection this past spring, the vet said that she would need to have her molars trimmed eventually but not just yet. But she's been mean for years and I haven't noticed that she's been any different with the sensitive cheek area.


User is Offline miaeih
426 posts Send Private Message
8/30/2013 11:59 AM
I don't see any behavior that you described as being mean. One of my buns was labeled as such and has the same types of behaviors. I don't know why yours is behaving that way but for mine, if you pay attention really closely, there are certain reasons. Below are just some of the reasons.

Hay box is empty (pee)
Hay box not empty but doesn't the pieces that's left (pee)
Wants to be let out (pee, bites bars)
Pet when she's not interested (lunge, scratch)
Omg human trying to capture (lunge, scratch, thump, flick feet, bite, etc)
Why aren't you paying attention to me (pee, bite)
Don't touch my husbun (lunge, scratch, bite)
What are you doing with my litter box or where did it go (pee where it's supposed to be)

User is Offline Sarita
(Dallas)
18870 posts Send Private Message
8/30/2013 12:00 PM
I think some rabbits are just more sensitive than others - they aren't necessarily being mean, they are just hyper sensitive. It seems to us that they are being mean though. I had a very aggressive rabbit named Pepe - I think he was just more fearful than most rabbits.

He was much happier when I allowed him to be free roam in the house. I think he just liked the independence and while he did enjoy being petted on his terms he was happier just hanging out. I basically just let him be himself.

I doubt she is ever going to change - you are probably just going to have to change your expectations and allow her to be grumpy and sweet.

User is Offline bunnluff
206 posts Send Private Message
8/30/2013 10:14 PM
Posted By miaeih on 08/30/2013 02:59 PM
I don't see any behavior that you described as being mean. One of my buns was labeled as such and has the same types of behaviors. I don't know why yours is behaving that way but for mine, if you pay attention really closely, there are certain reasons. Below are just some of the reasons.

Hay box is empty (pee)
Hay box not empty but doesn't the pieces that's left (pee)
Wants to be let out (pee, bites bars)
Pet when she's not interested (lunge, scratch)
Omg human trying to capture (lunge, scratch, thump, flick feet, bite, etc)
Why aren't you paying attention to me (pee, bite)
Don't touch my husbun (lunge, scratch, bite)
What are you doing with my litter box or where did it go (pee where it's supposed to be)

 

It may not seem mean but it certainly isn't lovely behavior. She's only "nice" to me. My dad has to wear leather elbow length gloves to feed her because she's attacked him several times. I suppose she's a bit tempermental because it's her breed, she's a dwarf and I know many dwarves are known to have stinky attitudes. I just thought maybe I was doing something wrong that I could change to make her more polite. I guess it really is just HER. She's a stinker.


User is Offline jerseygirl
Australia
Forum Leader
16690 posts Send Private Message
8/31/2013 8:19 PM
I would certainly be following up on her teeth as possible contributor to behaviour.
Especially with those little dwarf features. She beautiful btw!

When Jerseys mouth is bothering her I notice her tolerance levels decline and she is more anxious too. I even think with her, the peeing is related to stress relief and sometimes pain.
Whoever says "It's only a rabbit" has obviously never loved a rabbit.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8879 posts Send Private Message
8/31/2013 11:25 PM
I agree another vet check is order. Since she is getting older teeth issues and arthritis can cause pain and even low level pain can make a bunny a bit more feisty over time. If you had said she was always like this then I would think it was just her but this is a change in behavior over a few years?

I have feisty bunny but she's always been this way. She's cuddly and sweet and feisty...she know what she wants and she will let me know when she's not happy with me and half the time I don't know what I did to offend her. But over time I am improving and have discovered that if I mimic a two click purr while I pet her, she relaxes sooner. And if I have done some unknown offense,like not petting exactly the way she wants and she grunts and moves away, I try to decipher if it was pain related (as she has arthritis) and then I make a 2 click tooth click purr followed by a 3 click tooth purr. I know she is listening as her ears turn torward me when i do this...I have to repeat several times over about a minutes time and then she forgives me and comes back over or at least closer..about a foot away and accepts my approach. I just discovered this trick with her this year. Have no idea what I am really saying in bunny language...or maybe its just what works with my bunny.