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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Bonding Journal** Fujoe and Patina
Last Post by BB at 3/21/2007 9:12 PM (38 Replies)
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User is Offline Lucy
Chicago, IL
379 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2007 2:57 PM
Hi Everyone!

I reilized I had two threads going about my bonding process... so I'm going to try to redirect everyone here so it's all contained.

So, I guess it went better at the shelter than it's been going on here, last night NOT a good bonding experince. Binky- I took your advice and tried to tire out Fujoe by inticeing him with the stunt double. It worked.. he went crazy, and wouldn't stop. He was making the oddest sounds, after talking to Toni- she's at Red Door who gave us Patina- we figured out that Fujoe had a bunny orgasm. He made this odd grunt/squeek and fell over..

Anyway, I thought he was done- we put the two bunnies together and he went after her again- this time she wouldn't take it. She was angry and thumping. Finally, out of exhaustion, Fujoe flopped. Patina came by and nudged him and PUSHED her head under his. There was this stand-off between them, We tried petting one, then the other, then both- nothing. No one started grooming. She was so persistant with him. I felt so bad for my baby!!

So that's been it so far- I'm waiting till andy comes home so we can try again. Right now they are sitting/loafing next to each other on opposite sides of the cage. So it seems like they like each other's company- but I need to get one grooming the other... I'm going to put some banana one one of their's heads and let the other one lick it off.. but I don't know who's head to put it on.

If anyone has had any experience with any males who just keep mounting--PLEASE give me any adivce on how long it took for him to get it out of his system. anything. It's not stressfull on me yet- thank goodness.. I would feel better if once of them groomed the other-- i feel as if I sometimes catch a lick or two through the x-pen, but I don't know if I'm dreaming it. Thanks everyone for all of your support!!!

User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2007 4:47 PM
Well my buns are not in as bad of a situation as yours, but this might be helpful to you. My buns have got along w/ no mounting or scuffles for a month. Then suddenly the other day Medusa (yes my shy little gargoyle girl) has started chasing & mounting the happy-go-lucky Pookers, who was quite upset by this new development. So when she starts up this behavior I put Pookers under an upside down laundry basket (the type with slots in it) so Medusa is forced to interact and sniff Pookers' face. Not only did they huddle together, but they had to use teamwork to "push" the basket as far away from the vacuum as possible hehe. When she seems to have calmed down, I put them both under the basket and start vacuuming all around. This might be a good way to start off a session if you don't feel like doing the car ride. Let us know how it goes.
qwerajsdlfjklwerajioasefklasdfjklasdfiojwe*!*!*$

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2007 5:24 PM
It just takes time and a lot of patience!

keep in mind that mounting is a dominance thing, not a sexual one. Hopefully in about a week or so you'll see a real decrease in mounting - but it's different for every pair. It's about Fujoe needing to be in charge.

If Patina's getting upset about the humping - limit his humping to about 15 seconds and then get him off her.

As far as the banana goes - I would try it on each of them! Ideally you want them both to be grooming. by shoving her head under him, she was presenting - which means "groom me now"
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
2093 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2007 6:16 PM
One of the rules that we have when doing bonding session for The Haven is that if anybun gets bitten or mounted, someone puts the bun on the receiving end on top of the bun being agressive.  This is supposed to deflect the aggression.  That said, our little 2 pound Deanna is still humping her trio mates, and since they don't seem to mind, I allow her to do it.  The main thing to watch is if the bun on the receiving end is distressed.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8674 posts Send Private Message
2/19/2007 8:32 PM

in my opinion, he's dealing both with sexual urges and dominance.   A double whammy!  That's so funny about him having the big "O".   I have seen that happen  at the shelter with a recently neutered bunny and his toy.   Same thing, squeek and  then he fell over.   And what you're seeing underneath (this is a response to your other post from the other thread) is normal for either sexual urges and excitement that may not have nothing to do with sex, but both can trigger an erection.

When she gets mad, does she try to bite him? What does she do?  Are her ears back? Does she lunge or???   When she thumps and gets mad, does  he back off? 

As far as how long it takes may really depend on her.   She might be putting out body language that is showing him that she wants to be dominant (like pushing her head under his chin) or with subtle language.    So in turn, he will feel the need to dominate.   I can tell you that on average it can take as little as a week or a few weeks, but usually no more than a two as far as the the crazy mounting goes.  How long have they been bonding?

where are you bonding them?  Are you able to put them in a neutral territory or are they in a territory that he might consider his, which may be another reason he needs to "prove" himself.

Does it help if you try and pet them both to calm them down?

Basically what they are going through is the norm.  Some of us get lucky and have it easier, and some of us are unlucky and have had it worse.  So right now, just stay calm, patient and prevent aggression from developing into fights. They seem like they are working out their heirarchy issues.   Keep things in neutral territory, and you shorten the bonding times if aggression begins to increase.  If she begins thumping and showing aggression, then give them a break.  It seems like the stunt double at least somewhat curbs him through exhaustion? no?


User is Offline Lucy
Chicago, IL
379 posts Send Private Message
2/20/2007 5:02 AM
ok so I couldn't bond them last night because something came up.. but I just finished a session right now.. They seemed to be tolerable of eachother last night.. both of them sitting side by side on either side of the x-pen for most of the night.

I'm still hesitant to try the banana.. I don't want to the one who establishes the dominant one.

So i put in Patina's stunt double in with him... he was thumping at it, did a half mount and then started grooming it! I thought it was a good sign. I kept pushing it under his nose and he would groom it. He eventually loafed right next to it as I was petting him. So I thought all was good.

I put both Patina and Fujoe in the tub for this bonding session. He immediatly started to go after her. She took it though. She didn't struggle or move. I let him mount for about 20 seconds, and then tried to deterr him for about a min. He ws angry, he kept thumping- I think it was at him. So this went back and forth for a while. I would put them nose to nose and Patina would still shove her head under his, and he would thump and then try to mount her again. So they are both being stubborn. Near the end, she was getting pissed of at him and trying to get away. I tried to end it on a good note by grabbing some treats, putting them next to each other and letting them eat them as I pet them and talked to them.

Fujoe wasn't AS aggressive- though I don't know why he would groom the stuffed animal, but not her. I don't know why she isn't backing down at all even though she's being mounted.. He didn't get excited this time! I saw no pink them ( I kept picking him up to check) though he was making these odd grunts/squeeking sounds. That and there was A LOT of tooth purring on his side. I can't figure out why.. Like REALLY loud.

I put them in opposite cages when they were done and it didn't seem to bother either of them. There wasn't a lot of sniffing or anything. Fujoe went to one of his favorite spots by the window, flopped, and now is lounging. Patina went to the top floor of her cage and is lounging. so all is good??

osprey- Next bonding session tonight I'll try to get Patina to mount Fujoe.. It might make him more angry, but oh well..

Binky- when she gets mad she thumps. He'll kind of look startled, but then go for her again. She has not lunged or bit him at all. There's been a little bit of growling, but none on this past bonding session. She'll run away from him.. but then it'll seem like she's teasing him. I know that sounds weird. But she'll run away from him. He'll stop and be breathing hard, she'll run by him, bursh by him and then stop at the opposite side of the pen. So I think she wants him..

They've been bonding since Sat(4 days).. and Sat at the shelter was their second date. so not long at all.

I'm trying to bond them in the tub and in the studio (which Fujoe was never allowed in) in an x-pen. So far, the tub has been more successful. She'll stay still as he mounts her.. so I've been able to end possitvely in the tub. In the studio it's just frustrating.. Toni suggested doing it out in the hallway of the apartment building, but the light is broken so I can't really see..

I do pet both of them.. It will calm down Patina, but sometimes Fujoe just doesn't want any part of it- his goal is to mount her.

There hasn't been any fights, which I've been really gratefull for. They do sit by eachother when they are out- on either sides of the x-pen. There's been some action THROUGH the x-pen.. I kno that they can bit each other,,, but I don't know how else to separate the two rooms. They aren't fighting through the x-pen, it looks like fujoe is either licking her or semi-biting her. not hard though.

Fujoe is thumping now, I swear she's teasing him. She's running back and forth the length of the x-pen and he's going crazy on this side trying to sniff her. She'll come up to the x-pen, put her head down, and he'll thump.

Sorry this was so long... rabbits are odd creatures.



Anyway..

User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
2/20/2007 9:45 AM
Fujoe, have you been starting each bonding session with a stressful experience such as a car ride, washing machine topper, or vacuuming? I think this can really make a difference.

Also, introducing food to divert aggression is a good tactic.
qwerajsdlfjklwerajioasefklasdfjklasdfiojwe*!*!*$

User is Offline Lucy
Chicago, IL
379 posts Send Private Message
2/20/2007 8:25 PM
so.. we tried again tonight.. Fujoe didn't really go for his stunt double.. so we thought that was a good thing. We put them together and he started to mount her. We pulled him off and it went on for a while. I used the waterbottle on him to spray him.. he got angry and thumped at me, but it didn't stop his mounting.

I fed them both parsley, and Fujoe wasn't even done chewing that he went for Patina again.

I tried to put Patina on top-- that didn't work. It was just confusing.

I also tried the banana thing.. I put it on Fujoe and Patina started licking it off! Yay! BUT.. he thumped and then tried to mount her again!! Any ideas why? We put some on her and he quickly licked it off and thumped. He's been thumping so much lately.. it's kind of been the same thing through the x-pen... I just saw her lick his head, she then stopped, put her head down, and he got angry and thumped and she ran away.

poopy- i haven't tried the stressfull thing yet- tomorrow I'll be putting them on a washer together.. It's not in our building so we have to take them outside, and haven't had time to do that. We don't have a car, so that's out of the question. And I don't want to vacuume by them. I feel like that's too much. I don't want her to be more scared of me.

we'll see what happens tomorrow.. hope everyone get's lots of binkies!

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8674 posts Send Private Message
2/20/2007 10:12 PM

Though a stunt double is no guarantee to help with the actual bonding, it does at least sometimes help to predict some behavior. Since he is grooming the stunt double, he might be saying he's fine as long as the bunny gives in and stays passive.   SO, it appears as if he is not opposed to her, but opposed to her wanting to be dominant, even in the slightest bit.   So at least we know he's not saying he wants to be an only bunny.  Originally, in my own opinion, I would have thought that having her mount him would have made things worse, but I am surprised to hear that it only confused them and didn't cause a fight.  Wow. I learn something new everyday!. 

She is showing a bit of dominance by requesting to be groomed at any time, and there may be body language - how she's sitting or hunched that makes him nervous.  When she approaches him to lick off the banana, he could be thumping to tell her "don't even think about nipping me, missy!"    Since many times bunnies will nip the other on the forehead.  I feel it's just out of nervousness.    The LOUD purring, may actually be agitation.   When I take Rucy to the vet she does this.  I couldn't believe she'd actually be happy and purring. That's when the vet told me rabbits will also do this out of agitation.

However, I have also witness softer purring during bonding.  One will do it, listen and then the other will do it and  listen, and so on, and though the pair wasn't bonded, it was almost as if they were communicating to let the other know the other they were happy with each other at that moment - but it was much softer than the louder agitated teeth chatter.

His rough grooming you said in the other post is similar to what Jack was doing.  He was almost chewing her fur.  I am really not sure what that is about.  He stopped doing it once they were bonded, and once she stopped sitting near him each time he would do it.  Sometimes I would stop him, but he learned that if he wanted his beloved Rucy to hang out, he'd groom better.

It sounds like he is an insecure bossy man right now.   He's nervous, scared and angry.  I think what you're doing and how you're doing it is great.  She sounds like she'll take it for a bit, but she's no pushover, so with those two personalities, they are having issues to work out    I bet by three weeks from now things will have calmed down, and they will be on there way.     

When I was bonding in the bathtub, I brought in a radio and listened to calm music. I don't know it helped them any, but it helped me!

Sending happy peaceful bunny bonding vibes your way.


User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
2/21/2007 7:35 AM
honestly, the vacuum isn't THAT stressful. mine usually express curiosity at the vacuum itself. then when it turns on they will run & hide, but when i turn it off they aren't like scared of me or anything. they come right back out and medusa stops mounting. and since you aren't having a walk in the park with them, i would say a stressful situation IS necessary
qwerajsdlfjklwerajioasefklasdfjklasdfiojwe*!*!*$

User is Offline Lucy
Chicago, IL
379 posts Send Private Message
2/25/2007 9:48 AM
ok.. so we've had a few bodning session since the last post... a few more crazy mounting sessions, and then it seemed to stop all of a sudden.

she has started to groom him.. but Fujoe won't recipicate the action. So what has occured is Patina mounting Fujoe. It's not a lot, but it's still happening. There's alos a lot of thumping on both of their parts. He will sometimes try to mount her, but it's when he puts his head down to be groomed and she doesn't. Then he'll thump and try to mount her. Sometimes she'll be okay with it and other times she'll run away.

the first time they seemed okay with eachother there was a lot of flopping on both of their ends. -this was in the bathtub- since then I've held all the other sessions in our studio (another totally neutral space) and they haven 't been that comfortable with each other.. any reason why?

we just had a session where they both munched on hay for a bit and seemed really good.. then they wanted to be groomed by eachother. patina groomed fujoe for a long while (at least two mins) and he started to groom her (this is a first) but didn't do it for long and then got pissed off that she wouldn't groom him back.

My question is how often to we intervin? Should I pet both of them as this is happening? How much do I pet them. I know that it's supposed to trick them into grooming each other, but is it making them each think they are the dominant one?

User is Offline osprey
Los Altos, California
2093 posts Send Private Message
2/25/2007 4:43 PM
This sounds like you have made progress.  The mounting back and forth thing is the two of them trying to figure out the dominance relationship, as you have noted it should start to diminish.  Eating together is a very good sign, this shows that their comfort level is going up.  The flopping thing is also good, it shows that they are not stressed by having the other one around.

When you said that the sessions in the studio did not go as well, what did you mean?  Did the fight, or just not interact?  Was this a large space?  If the space was totally new to both of them, they may have been more concerned with exploring than bonding.

In terms of intervening, we generally only intervene is there is a lot of chasing, or sombun gets nipped, or if the bun getting mounted looks distressed.  Cross petting is good, it shows them both (particularly Fujoe) that he still has an important relationship with you.  Are these two cuddly with you at all?  When I was bonding DJ/Curly Sue with Deanna, we spent some time with the three of them lying side by side on my chest getting pets.  Would that work for your guys?

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8674 posts Send Private Message
2/25/2007 5:34 PM

It sounds like they are actually making progress.  

Many times when they move to a new place, and they are still working out dominant issues they may digress a bit when moved.  If they don't settle back to where they were in their previous bonding behavior after about 20 minutes or their aggression gets really crazy, then you may need to go back to the bathtub.  Part of the reason there is the tub might be slightly stressful for both of them. And sometimes stress can actualy help in the bonding process.  Where the studio is on neutral, not stressful. 

I remember this happened with bonding of Rucy and Bailey - talk about a sore back from sitting on the bathroom floor.  What a nightmare.  I don't know how big your bathroom is but what worked for me was I took them from the bathtub and put an x-pen in the bathroom, and then slowly expanded it so that they ended up having the whole bathroom.  

When bonding, I do pet them in the very beginning of each session to help keep them calm as they are transitioning from their own singledom to bonding - I have found this is the time when some bunnies can be quite anxious.   I have also heard petting both bunnies helps mix their scents.  But if you find that their anxiousness happens later on in the bonding, or petting causes jealousy, then you may find a better time to pet them.  I wish there was one cut and dry way to do it, but each pair may require something unique. 

I do know that petting the bunny that is being mounted can sometimes help keep her/him calm.

Hopefully you're not getting discouraged.  Though bonding can sometimes be love at first sight, or happen within a few days.   The average is around 3 weeks, and you know how averages are - that means there are a lot that take longer.    It does look like progress is being made.  Hopefully fujoe can will settle down soon.  The fact that he at least offered a "token" groom is progress.

 

 


User is Offline Lucy
Chicago, IL
379 posts Send Private Message
2/27/2007 9:46 AM
soo.. two days ago? I tried a "stressfull" situation- i put them on top of a dryer in the laundry room of the apartment building. It was the worst experience. They just wanted out and kept trying to climb on andy and me.. then I think fujoe got really upset that we weren't helping him and he started to bit Patina- as if she was the one that put him in such a bad place.

The bonding session after that wasn't really great- lots of nipping.. which they don't usally do. So this stressfull situation is totally out of the question.


The bonding sessions have been pretty standard.. eating together... then some grooming by patinia to fujoe... fujoe getting angry that she stopped, patina getting angry she's not getting groomed back. then there's some thumping mounting and chasing.. they'll end up loafing together, and someone almost always flops.

i don't really pet them in the beggining anymore.. when they start to chase eachother is when i start petting.

with the tub they were flopping like crazy-- but it might be cause the tub is slippery? with the studio, it's just a bit more agression.. but they have more room...

i would like to let them free in the bathroom.. but i'm a little worried fujoe might start chewing on the baseboards in there, and then get pissed off I'm pushing him away and I don't want him to take it out on patina.


how soon should I try to expand their bonding space? The session last for 30 mins- 45 mins now... so that's good, right? They start to get pissy at eachother any longer than that.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8674 posts Send Private Message
2/27/2007 9:16 PM

Ah, it looks like stressful situations may turn up the aggression for fujoe.  Well good to know.   So keeping things calm and peaceful may be the ticket for him.  

I can't remember what worked for Fujoe's destructive behavior - perfume?  Can you wipe perfume on the bathroom baseboards?

So when you say the session last for 30 min - 45 minutes -  that is good!  What was the average before?  How long has it taken for them to increase?  There is NO right amount of time, I am just trying to get an idea of their progress.

My rule of thumb is expand when you feel you could actually feel comfortably leaving them somewhat unsupervised in the space they're in. (like you would have no problems doing other things in the house, like the dishes, homework, etc etc)   I think it's best to stay where it is working until you can trust them.  But if you would like to try sooner then I still would  keep the space rather small - use x-pen to block off part of the bathroom. (if that's possible), and slowly expand.

You can also try and create a neutral or semi neutral space in your general living space so you can spend more time.  You can check out that in the bonding section, and scroll down to where it says "don't have a semi-neutral space?"  so you can spend more time supervising in a more convenient area.

Obviously if it makes them freak out again, then unfortunately you're stuck back in the bathroom.

 

 


User is Offline Lucy
Chicago, IL
379 posts Send Private Message
3/01/2007 8:43 AM
nothing curbed Fujoe's chewing on the baseboards... i ended up stapling cardboard to all of the baseboards.

anyway....

we had a HUGE setback. One day went by that we didn't bond them... and then andy tried last night and he told me there was a lot of mounting and aggression. We tired this morning and there was no grooming. There was just mounting- Patina to Fujoe and Fujoe to Patina... more Patina mounting Fujoe. I think she's getting fed up with Fujoe not grooming her back.

She's also been a lot more aggressive twoards us too.. I don't really know what to do. I can't really spend more time with them because of the whole BFA show thing going on. I'm home today because I stressed myself out so bad that I got sick. I'm near her cage on the couch, but she hasn't come out. I'll go on the floor in a bit, but I have really bad body aches.

I don't want to give her back. . .

User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
3/01/2007 1:12 PM
What does the rabbit rescue where you got her think?
qwerajsdlfjklwerajioasefklasdfjklasdfiojwe*!*!*$

User is Offline wendyzski
Chicago, IL
1316 posts Send Private Message
3/02/2007 11:10 AM
I'd ask the bonding coach at Red Door, but it may not work out for them. They are both little firecrackers, and they may not be able to work out the dominance thing.  If they and you are getting all stressed out, it might be time to hang it up for now, and try again after a month or so.  Maybe Fujoe will get lonely and decide that having another bunny around is worth it, and he'll be nicer next time.  Or he may turn out to be happier as a solitary - that happens too.

 I know you don't want to give her back, but stuff like this happens all the time.    No one will blame you or anything.  There was a big French Lop (Zeus) at Red Door for a while who came back  TWICE from bond-fosters - he was so laid back he was getting beat up by the girls.  Now he is happy in a home where his bestest friend is a big dog and they nap all day together!    Even my Pepper had an unsuccessful attempt at bonding - I don't mind because it meant she came back so I could have her!

Stories like yours get me so worried - I put in my app for a husbun for Pepper, but she's such a little cranky-pants that I'm afraid she;'l be all mean.

User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
3/02/2007 11:52 AM
As I recommended before, it would be less stress for you if you chose a bunny that was love at first sight for them. So if you do end up giving her back, I wouldn't take another one unless its love at first sight. In that case you can wait till you move....where it sounds like there will be alot more potential mates who might be love at first sight.

When you move here, there is a shelter facility 15-20 mins. north of LA in VanNuys called BunnyLuv. They have over 50 buns (on site) and bonding services (you leave your rabbit there w/ one you guys select) and they do all the bonding, car rides, etc. You might consider that to avoid the worrying.
qwerajsdlfjklwerajioasefklasdfjklasdfiojwe*!*!*$

User is Offline wendyzski
Chicago, IL
1316 posts Send Private Message
3/06/2007 12:47 PM
Just wanted to let you know that even if Fujoe and Patine don't work it out, telling us about your experiences is helping those of us looking for companions for our buns.

I heard back from Toni at Red Door and once I get over this latest round of bronchitis I'll be bringing in Pepper for some dating of her own.  We talked about how and where I plan to work things out in my teeny apartment, and she said "now, some bonds are really fast, some take time and some just don't work at all".  I reassured her that I knew, and mentioned that I knew you and that you were writing a bonding journal on here.  We agreed that we both feel bad for all the stress you are dealing with. 
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