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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Can u train ur bunny 2 come when u call it?
Last Post by BB at 12/29/2006 12:04 PM (12 Replies)
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User is Offline Thunder
11 posts Send Private Message
10/31/2006 12:40 AM
My bunny is 5 months old and i would love him 2 come 2 me when i call can u train them. Of course he will come when enticed with food.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8677 posts Send Private Message
10/31/2006 7:40 PM

Two of my bunnies come when called.  One is more like a cat, and will come if she feels like it.

Clicker training is a really great way to train your bunny to do all sorts of things, including to come when called.  I took a class on it, and we could train bunnies within minutes to touch their nose to a ball.  Pointless job, but it then leads to other things that are more useful.

The rabbit rescue in Santa Barbara, B.U.N.S, has a great article on it - http://www.bunssb.org/newsletters/March2001.asp

But for rabbits, it's best to use a quieter version of the clicker, because the noise can actually startle the bunnies and that obviously hinders training.  


User is Offline dmh426
Syracuse, New York
435 posts Send Private Message
11/10/2006 3:56 PM
I have a one and a half year old mini rex who I can train to do anything, if I start the training with rewards.  If you can get your bunny to come with a treat, start by getting a little further away each time, and then a little further and then start to give treats every other time until you dwindle it down to none.  Sophie, my bunny, comes on command, will stop dead in her tracks whenever I say "no no no" and will return to her cage from anywhere in my house when I clap my hands and say "night night Sophie".  It all started with a little treat. Good luck!!!!

User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
12/14/2006 3:55 PM
Posted By dmh426 on 11/10/2006 5:56 PM
I have a one and a half year old mini rex who I can train to do anything, if I start the training with rewards.  If you can get your bunny to come with a treat, start by getting a little further away each time, and then a little further and then start to give treats every other time until you dwindle it down to none.  Sophie, my bunny, comes on command, will stop dead in her tracks whenever I say "no no no" and will return to her cage from anywhere in my house when I clap my hands and say "night night Sophie".  It all started with a little treat. Good luck!!!!

what do you use for the negative reinforcement with the "no no"? i think the positive stuff is easy because food works, but i'm stumped on the negative reinforcement
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User is Offline Lucy
Chicago, IL
379 posts Send Private Message
12/14/2006 5:42 PM
well, Fujoe is like a cat when he is called.. sometimes he'll come sometimes he won't, But there are two places that EVERYTIME I say "Fujoe, out!" He'll scamper out. That's the bathroom and the kitchen. He knows he's not supposed to be there. What I used to do is say "Fujoe, out!" and scoot him out with my foot. WIth time he got the hang of it- it took time- every once and a while I have to say it a few times. But it's cute when he looks at me and is like "oh no! she saw me! RUN!"

Fujoe used to run to me when I came home.. not anymore.. sniff.

User is Offline hooty22
Pittsburgh
606 posts Send Private Message
12/14/2006 5:47 PM
Training is relatively simple as long as you are consistent and agressive about it. You must do it everyday. As far as the punishment goes, you should use it as little as possible because animals learn much faster and better with rewards. But if he's doing something bad, you really don't have much of a choice. If you say 'no' loudly when you catch him in the act, he'll learn that is bad because he'll associate that bad thing with a startling yell. If you are training him to come to you, when you are punishing you want to make sure that you don't say his name while punishing because then he'll begin to associate his name with punishment.....Yep, all those years of psychology are really paying off!!

User is Offline saya836
19 posts Send Private Message
12/14/2006 7:53 PM
I trained Kyuubi to come to me everytime i snap my fingers together and say "Kyuubi come Here" it took only a day for him to learn it. I also trained him to to stop doing certain things when i clap my hands together and say "No no Kyuubi". It soo amazing at how smart bunnies can be.

User is Offline dmh426
Syracuse, New York
435 posts Send Private Message
12/18/2006 4:23 PM

For negative reinforcement, I will clap my hands, standing behind her and say "no no no" or "no Sophie", initially, I had a spray bottle filled with water and I would lapmy hands, say "no no no" and then spray her in the body area (not the head!!!) and spray once or twice until she ran away from whatever it was that had her entertained that was a no no.  She started to hear "no no no" and knew she was going to get sprayed and now runs when I say "no" once. Bunnies are like cats. They don't like water.

i learned all this in Hop to It: A Guide to Training Pet Rabbit by Barron's. It has some queer late 70's photos, but the info is great!


User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
12/20/2006 8:44 AM
thanks, i think i will try the spray bottle. i hope she doesnt associate me as being bad though (along with the water). there is an area of the house i don't like her to go in during play time and no matter how loud i stomp and say no and try to push her back she stays there. looks like im gonna have to whip out the big guns! water!
qwerajsdlfjklwerajioasefklasdfjklasdfiojwe*!*!*$

User is Offline Theresa Moan
Nashua, NH
254 posts Send Private Message
12/21/2006 4:25 AM
Posted By poopy on 12/20/2006 10:44 AM
thanks, i think i will try the spray bottle. i hope she doesnt associate me as being bad though (along with the water). there is an area of the house i don't like her to go in during play time and no matter how loud i stomp and say no and try to push her back she stays there. looks like im gonna have to whip out the big guns! water!


I have found that they find the water more annoying than anything.  It can be kind of a distraction - usually they'll have to stop what they are doing and start cleaning themselves!

User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
12/21/2006 8:04 PM
ok so even though Medusa associates me with food, she still will not come when i call her. i tried making the clicky noises myself when i give her the food.

this is a problem when i let her out for free time...she gets so excited that she just won't come...then i have to figure out how to get her out from under the bed or whatever small nook she might go in. i can't really trust her during free time until she can do that.
qwerajsdlfjklwerajioasefklasdfjklasdfiojwe*!*!*$

User is Offline dmh426
Syracuse, New York
435 posts Send Private Message
12/22/2006 6:09 AM
With the water training, I find that I didn't have to do it more than a few weeks. Yes, it's a distraction but she also realizes that the "no no no" and the water is telling her that she can't do what she is doing. Try blocking off the areas where you don't want her to go. Baby gates work wonders!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8677 posts Send Private Message
12/29/2006 12:04 PM

Clicking can take time for some bunnies.  Keep training - this can take many days or even weeks. Also, do training sessions only for the amount of time they are interested.  Some bunnies will do it for 1/2 or more, some will do it only for five minutes.

I think you'll find that if you allow her some free time first to explore she'll be more reponsive.  I know you want to be prepared for an emergency, but even during something frightening, a fire, an earthquake, during those times even if you've trained them, a scared animal may not obey.  

So right now, my advice is to allow her to have freedom to explore first (unless she 's not potty trained, then you may need an x-pen to slowly allow freedom.)

It's hard for anyone human or animal alike to settle down if they are excited about something they want to do.  It would be like a brand new shopping mall, or a fun park, (whatever makes you get happy!) and you are exposed to it, and then told you have lessons to do first.   It's hard enough for us humans to concentrate on the assignment at hand if we're excited, it must be near impossible for a bunny.

Also try doing the clicker training around the time you feed her. You can even feed her with regular pellets.  This way she's hungry.  When training, you have to start small, make sure she associates a word or a click with food.   How you do this is first by getting her to associate food with a sound (a clicker or snap) So, you click and RIGHT AWAY, you give her a pellet or small treat.  Do this over and over until you see that when she hears that sound she begins looking for food.  Once you can get her to come for food, than you can begin using her name and the key word (food or click or snap) .   She should begin slowly associating her name with coming to you for food.  

There are great sites and books about clicker training rabbits if you want to really get into the depth of it. It's actually rather easy, but it's too complicated to tell exactly how it's done in one simple paragraph.

The basics are getting your bunny to associate food with a sound like clicking, and then you learn how to help him gradually associate that sound with words.   In the clicker training class I took, I saw a bunny flop on command.  Useless, but they were just showing how a bunny can learn many words, including flop.

Hope that helps. And just know, it most likely won't happen overnight - it can take many times, days and even weeks.  Just do daily session each day (after he's explored)  If you feel like she's not trusting you yet, then work on that first before doing too much training.   

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