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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Bonding tips needed please!
Last Post by KOKKINIKLOSTI at 2/03/2007 3:28 AM (4 Replies)
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User is Offline KOKKINIKLOSTI
Levadeia, Greece
60 posts Send Private Message
1/31/2007 9:28 AM
So, at last the new bunny arrived along with his human mommy 3 days ago! His a 4 month old male, by the name "Odisseas"! So, he first met Aftias in my bedroom, but Aftias got so scared that i had to take him away! They slept in their cages in the same room the first night but it seems that Odisseas was so upset by the smell of Aftias that didn't stop thumbing until we moved him in a spare room where Aftias has never got in! Yesterday was their second date in the bathroom! From the first second Odisseas mounted Aftias and although Aftias accepted it, Odisseas bit him! Aftias was very patient with Odisseas, and he only turned to shoo Odisseas when he got bit! So we had to get them apart before things got painful for one of them! Well, Aftias seems to be the submissive bunny and he is very easy going, although he has forgotten his good litter manners since Odisseas arrived! But Odisseas on the other hand, although he is so cuddly and loves being peted, he is extremely territorial and short-tempered! Also when he gets upset for some reason, he stops eating! The first two days he would only nibble some pellets and hay, until today tha he ate a little more because he hasn;t seen Aftias at all! Their next meeting will be after maybe a month, just to make sure that Odisseas feels perfectly comfortable with me, but until then i would appreciate any suggestion!I don't want to start switching litterboxes and other stuff until i am certain that Odisseas is comfortable with his environment and doesn't get to upset! And just to let you know that Aftias is also 4 months old and the my vet said that he cannot neuter them until they reach the age of 6 months!
Aftias: baby bunny
Trrreli, Estia, Mira: hammy girls

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8645 posts Send Private Message
1/31/2007 9:51 PM
Uh, oh, well O not being neutered could cause a riff.   Even if he doesn't directly fight, his strong "unneutered" scent can signal territorial dominance issues that challenge Aftias, which inturn will create dominance displays via their poop!.

So, you really have a challenge in bonding these two.  Two male is difficult enough, but having one of them not neutered yet can add to problems.  (I know your vet there won't do it until he's six months old)  I know here they usually only wait to do females until six months.

Aftias seems like he would deal with a dominant bunny up to a point. He is showing enough annoyance and dominance to tell Odisseas when enough is enough, but the fact that Odisseas hormones are driving him to be territorial, he may push it until a fight breaks out.     

I also am figuring you will have poopwars for as long as the can smell each other and until they work things out.  

So here's what I suggest:

1.  Don't try to bond until Odisseas is neutered and his hormones have died down. I know this is three months unless you find another rabbit savvy vet that is willing to do neuter Odisseas now.  Otherwise, you will have poop all over the house.

2.  You may even need to completely separate them in other rooms and not allow them to see each other to help stop the poop issues.   They may only then poop near the room where the other is staying - like by the closed door.

3.  You can try and get them used to each other by using a stunt double - check out my bonding section regarding that. http://www.binkybunny.com/BUNNYINFO...aspx  (you'll need to scroll down)   Note: if you bunny ends up digesting the fur of the toy bunny, you'll need to take it away.)

4. When you do bond, do what started to do - go slow in the bathroom.  Mounting is fine as long as there is not fighting back.  You can help by petting the one that is being mounted.   Keep things short, and do several sessions a day IF possible, and slowly increase time.

5.  If they begin to show true aggression, then you may need to do the stessor methods prior to having them meet in the bathroom - like a car ride.

User is Offline KOKKINIKLOSTI
Levadeia, Greece
60 posts Send Private Message
2/02/2007 8:24 AM
Well, the "stunt bunny " trick is a great idea! Neither of them is neutered, as they are the same age, but i keep them in separate rooms! In fact Aftias has never been in Odisseas' room, so Odisseas now feels like home! I haven't tried your trick yet, but yesterday i thought i could give Odisseas a ball to play! But the ball was from Aftias' room and although Aftias has never touched it, the ball was "soked" in Aftias' scent! I didn't realise that until i saw Odisseas mounting the ball! He mounted it for a good 10 minutes and then started circling it while making voices! After some time, he saw that the ball was not so bad after all and he would ignore it! Today he would onlu circle around it only if i rolled it! What is your opinion about this?
Aftias: baby bunny
Trrreli, Estia, Mira: hammy girls

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8645 posts Send Private Message
2/02/2007 10:02 AM

Well, Odisseas is definitely saying he wants to be the dominant male.   In the wild the males want to be dominant so they have their pick of potential mating partners.

 And the display of humping and circling he is showing for the ball is also a sign he wants to mate.  So he may be doing two things at the same time.  Saying,   "I am dominant bunny, I hump to show you that I am the dominant male, and look it there, you took it. So HAHA I really am the dominant male, now I have the power to mate....wait...there's no one to mate with...well, this ball that smell like a rabbit will have to do.   I'll circle and swoon it into submission!"

The thing with the stunt doubles, is they can get a bunny ready and feel less threatened by the other bunny., but that is in hopes that the bunnies when they actually meet not pursue the territorial dominance to the extreme.   I don't really see that happening with bunnies that aren't neutered.  The movement alone of the other bunny may set the other one off, like as you roll the ball.  So I stll think you need to keep them separated until a month after their surgery, but still use the stunt doubles during the time they don't see each other.


User is Offline KOKKINIKLOSTI
Levadeia, Greece
60 posts Send Private Message
2/03/2007 3:28 AM
Oh, i don't intend to introduce them again before the neuter! Anyway, the good thing is that now Odisseas seems to be much more comfortable with his new environment! And i will definately try the "stunt bunny" again, with a plush this time! Thank you very much!!!
Aftias: baby bunny
Trrreli, Estia, Mira: hammy girls
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