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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > My bonding quest with Maryann
Last Post by Beth K at 1/13/2011 9:28 PM (144 Replies)
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User is Offline Beka27
Cleveland, Ohio (USA)
Forum Leader
15630 posts Send Private Message
1/15/2008 6:15 AM

isn't it amazing what we do for our buns?  that's an interesting idea.  i know you'll keep us posted.  good luck!

Meadow..... Photobucket ...... Max, my angel bunny

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
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11427 posts Send Private Message
1/15/2008 6:35 AM
Wowza...I'd heard of this technique! I really hope it works!! *fingers crossed*
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
3872 posts Send Private Message
1/15/2008 12:55 PM

that is an interesting method... paints quite an interesting picture in my mind.  lol.  glad that its working  

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2819 posts Send Private Message
1/17/2008 7:21 AM

Well the suspension idea isn't working anymore. Apparently Maryann has become comfortable enough with it to start fighting again - even when I'm shaking the dang thing.

I decided to let them out of the cage and have free range of the apartment. Maryann spent half of her time chasing Dono and nipping him. But she never had her ears back when she did this. The got into one big ruckus, complete with rearing up, scratching at each other and so on. That's when I seperated them, gave them each a treat to end it on a good note and head on back to their cages. That's something else. When I handed them their treats, they came up next to each other to get it. Seems like I have found another motivator.

Oh, and I should note that when I was coaxing Maryann with a treat, Dono figured he'd get his own and went head first into the container of dried percimmons(sp), leaving them scattered all over the rug. He is a little piggy - eating twice as much as Maryann but being the same size.

I will be video taping tonight's bonding session since Auntie Heather at Rabbit Haven in Santa Cruz wants to see what's happening so she might be able to give some insight that I'm missing. 

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
3872 posts Send Private Message
1/17/2008 7:53 AM

wow there's just no end to maryann's feistiness!  i guess she's all trained for space now huh? 

and i guess that dono is feeling right at home now, what with helping himself to treats & all.

can't wait to see your next bonding session... it really sounds like you're making progress markus.  slow progress, but progress none-the-less!

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2819 posts Send Private Message
1/18/2008 12:15 PM

( I mentioned this elsewhere but felt I should keep all info in the same place)

Today marks 2 months of having Dono.  Although this may be a long time, I should note that due to my injury, there has been realtively little bonding going on other than on the weekends at HRS.  So, they've not had a chance to try and bond in Maryann's home.

I tried the suspension technique where you hang a carrier by bungee cords and put the buns into it.  The first night, things went swimmingly - only one toussel and I didn't even need to intervene.  The second night though, I think Maryann became used to it and the fights were on.  I opened up the carrier to let them loose for a bit and about 30% of the time it was Maryann chasing Dono around and nipping him when she was close enough.  I stopped that night's bonding when Dono fought back and they were both rearing up and boxing.

The next night, I tried another box bonding with Heather's suggestion to lie Dono across Maryann's back when she nips him.  Here's the URL for the video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgBm0wZqWR0

First, you'll see that Dono is scared of her - not wanting to have me bring him near her.  Then, you'll see Maryann biting him and the resulting 'across the back' with Dono.  The first time, Dono quickly took off.  The second time, I think it got to Maryann because she took off from under him.  The third time, Once I put Dono on her back, he began to 'chew' on the back of her neck.  I thought he was initiating a mounting so I left him alone.  But instead, she bucked, he fell off and all hell broke loose.  So, I seperated them again, allowing Maryann free run of the bedroom and Dono of the living room - so they could exercise out the tension.

Tonight I am going to try a car ride followed up with piles of leafy greens near one another and see how they do.  Then, Saturday, it's off to Rabbit Haven to see what they think of the whole mess.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
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1/18/2008 6:43 PM

Well just when you think there's no hope, something like this happens:

I took Maryann and Dono on a 10 min car ride and, as per usual, by the end of it Maryann was stretched out in the carrier and I caught Dono grooming her. So up to my place, put them into their bonding area, dropped two piles of greens into it and watched. This video takes place about two minutes into the session (excuse the focus but I somehow turned off the manual and can't find the switch now. )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gr25PJcgo0U

You will see Dono give a warning thump when Maryann comes close. That was the only time they got that close during the session but I'm still going to take it as a small victory.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Lisa_43
Perth Western Australia
1518 posts Send Private Message
1/18/2008 9:47 PM

I have been watching this thread for a while and it has been very interesting.

I have not given any input as I didn't feel experienced enough.

This bonding session must give you some hope; maybe it is just going to take a lot of time and patience for you to see the rewards.

Keep up the good work.


User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
3872 posts Send Private Message
1/19/2008 4:58 AM

no kidding huh?  I'm so glad you finally got rewarded with an encouraging date experience at home!  yay!

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
3872 posts Send Private Message
1/19/2008 5:10 AM

umm.... between your bunnies that is

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2819 posts Send Private Message
1/22/2008 5:41 AM
So, continuing with the difficult bonding of Maryann and Dono:

This weekend consisted of 10 min car rides followed by placing them both into a 8 x 3 foot kitchen area for 30 mins. Maryann would hop over to one corner near the litter/hay box and Dono would hop over to the opposite corner near a willow mat. Dono would remain in that corner while Maryann would, eventually, hop out and about trying to find a way out of the walled off bonding area. Her path would cross Dono's a couple of times to which she'd just lean forward, ears forward, sniffing and then eventually take off like a shot from him back to her corner and remain there for another 10 minutes - either of them barely moving.

In other words, they're both scared of one another.

I also put in two handfuls of fresh baby greens for them. Dono remains in his corner, unmoving while Maryann will eventually find them and begin chewing on them. However, I have found a way to coax Dono out of the corner. Whenever I give my bun's a treat, I whistle so when they hear a whistle, they expect a treat. I would whistle and Dono comes out of his corner like a shot to get a raisin. Maryann also turns towards me for the raisin and they will actually sit next to one another in order to get the treats. As I feed one, the other sniffs the one being treated with ears forward (again, non agressive). However, if there are no treats and Dono's still moving AND has his side or back to Maryann, she'll eventually lean under him and give him a nip. To which, he'll take off like a shot to his corner again.

I find this as a very positive step forward as they are now reacting in Maryann's territory as if they were on neutral territory. I think I am still a good month away from them being close to bonded but at least we have finally broken through the always agressive barrier.

Oh, and on a side note, I have found out that Dono fears me picking him up more than he does Maryann as when I try to take him out of the bonding area, he'll run over to the litter/hay box - which is right next to Maryann. He's not looking for support from her, he just feels that it is safer near her than it is near me.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
11427 posts Send Private Message
1/22/2008 6:06 AM
LOL
Thanks for the videos...we can kind of get a better feel for how things are going. I don't have advice, not experienced enough but Good luck..

Markus, do your neighbours wonder what's going on with you taking bunnies for frequent short car rides? lol I can only wonder what they think!
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Kokanee & Chuck My Bridge Bunnies-you left paw prints on my heart

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
3872 posts Send Private Message
1/22/2008 10:43 AM

yahoo... great progress (to the inexperienced eye anyways)!  maryann is your bun and dono will end up being her bun

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2819 posts Send Private Message
1/27/2008 3:17 PM

This weekend I brought Maryann and Dono back down to the Rabbit Haven in Santa Cruz so Auntie Heather could take a look at them. Osprey helped with some bonding time and they both saw first hand Maryann's nips towards Dono. Heather spent some time with just Maryann trying to suss out what her issue was and went off with them in a cart at PetSmart to see them together. She came back with sweaters on both of them. The one for Dono was armor against Maryann's attacks and the other one was on Maryann to give her the sensation that someone was constantly holding her. Unfortunately, it didn't stop Maryann from nipping Dono in the face. Heather's bonding techniques are to take the bun that was nipped and put it over the nipper. And the sad thing was that the moment she did that with Dono, Dono began grooming Maryann as if to say "I don't know what I am doing, but I am sorry!"

However, she confirmed what everyone else has. Maryann's "attacks" do not seem to be hostile as she doesn't chase him or persue the attack other than a nip or two. She seems to be irritated enough at him though that if he gets into her space, she'll nip. Heather thinks it might be because of teeth issues with Maryann that makes her grumpy but the vet confirmed that there aren't any issues as of yet.  We just don't know what Maryann is irritated about to be causing this.

So, the end result is that I am going to keep them until the end of February. If Maryann doesn't warm up to Dono by then, I think I am going to turn Dono back over to them. He REALLY wants to have a girlfriend and here at home all he does is sulk in the corner of his pen that is farthest away from Maryann. He is still eating though so I'm not worried about his physical health - just his emotional. If this happens, I'll probably take Maryann on a couple more dates but unless love at first sight happens, I'm just going to keep her as a single bun. She seems quite happy being by herself.

Heather also said that she'd have no issue boarding the two of them and working on them to bond them. I'm not sure having another person bond them will do much good as I witnessed the same behaviour while both Heather and Osprey worked with them. I am going to be boarding them at the HRS near the end of February as I am heading to a 4 day conference. We'll see if being away from home with strangers helps at all or not.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2819 posts Send Private Message
2/03/2008 3:37 PM

So now it's now week 7 on the bonding quest.

We went the week doing 15 min car rides and time in the kitchen and the same thing went on each day.  Dono would sit scooshed up in his corner, Maryann in the opposite corner.  She'd venture out, sniff Dono, Dono would thump and, if Maryann was standing on anything other than the tile, nip Dono.

Sunday, we went to the HRS to try it there.  There was some more non-nipping times when they were both close together but I think that was due to Maryann being preoccupied with the new cat roaming around the place.  I tried some face to face bonding with them but it would usually end with Maryann nipping Dono and then increasing from there.

I then brought them home.  I opened Dono's cage (a large dog kennel) and opened up the carrying case.  They BOTH hopped into the large dog kennel and began checking things out.  I had trouble getting Maryann out because she'd hide in his cardboard house.  Eventually, she hopped out of the open cage door and I was able to scoop her up and put her into her cage.

I am still not giving up on them.  They WILL be bonded.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline Lisa_43
Perth Western Australia
1518 posts Send Private Message
2/03/2008 3:52 PM

Excellent job Markusdark, you should get the award for never giving up.


User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
2/03/2008 8:05 PM
Posted By markusdark on 02/03/2008 6:37 PM

I am still not giving up on them.  They WILL be bonded.

 hang in there!!  we have faith in the three of you!!

 

~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2819 posts Send Private Message
2/06/2008 7:50 PM

Here is a collection of some clips of one of my latest bonding sessions with Dono and Maryann:

www.youtube.com/watch

You'll see how Dono will just go to a corner and stay there as still as possible.  Maryann will sometimes ignore him and sometimes nip him but it never really seems like she's overtly hostile towards him - afterall she always leaves him alone after just one nip.

Oh, and I also left about 30 seconds of Dono grooming himself - because it was cute and he reminded me of the gopher from Caddyshack.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline babybunsmum
Waterloo ON Canada
3872 posts Send Private Message
2/07/2008 2:28 AM

wow markus thats a huge difference from earlier footage of the 2... you're def making progress!  they sure are cute bun buns

I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2819 posts Send Private Message
2/07/2008 7:14 AM

Well that is because she's on linoleum.  If she had sure footing, she'd continue the attack until Dono hopped away.  She's alot less sure of herself when her legs keep sliding out from under her.

It is just strange though that that is the extent of her 'attack'.

My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!
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