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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > extremely shy?
Last Post by BB at 3/21/2007 9:48 PM (11 Replies)
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User is Offline feegore
5 posts Send Private Message
2/28/2007 5:37 AM
hi everyone,

i'm a new 1st time rabbit owner. I have a young (prolly around 5-6month old) mini-lop. i have a cage for it so it can sleep at night and when i'm not here. but i have noticed he is extremely shy and doesn't respond to me trying to play with it. for example, he will leave the cage, but if i see him, he'll scamper back in.  i'm pretty sure he was treated very poorly before i got him (rescued him from a local pet shop) and want to know if there is any hope of getting him to bond with me and feel comfortable in his new home. thanks.

User is Offline Lucy
Chicago, IL
379 posts Send Private Message
2/28/2007 5:53 AM
welcome to binky bunny feegore!

I just obtained my second rabbit.. and she is the same way. She's spent the first year of her life in a shelter. I've had her for two weeks or so and she'll kind of explore her area, but if she'll see me, she'll scamper right back.

You just have to have a little patience- but he'll warm up to you.
Think about it.. you are totally new for him. This is what you should do spend time around the area his cage is in. Do your work on the floor.. watch tv.. whatever. Just make sure you're on the floor. He'll come over and explore you. Eventually, you can offer him a pet. What will most likely happen is that he'll run away the first few times you'll offer your hand, but eventually he'll let you pet him.. and I bet you that he'll just melt.

what type of cage do you have? Do you have a dark place that he can hide in? When he'll feel more comfortable he'll come out, but it's very important that he feels safe in your enviornment. How long have you had him?

User is Offline feegore
5 posts Send Private Message
2/28/2007 6:06 AM
idk, its a normal rabbit cage i bought at petsmart, that has a door i can leave open for him to come and go as he pleases. i've just got him a oatmeal container so he can hide in. and i've only had him for a few days, and i understand its something that takes a lot of time.but i think its a good sign that he will eat from my hand, idk.

but i figured that it would be better to ask before hand and know what to do

thanks for such a quick response

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8678 posts Send Private Message
2/28/2007 9:42 PM

Welcome feegore!    

fuejoe has given you great advice. 

How much space does your bunny have when he's out of his cage?   If he's fully roaming the house, it will help to close the doors and hang out in a room together.    Let him approach you.   In the bunny world, ignoring is a sign of non-threatening behavior, and so if you ignore him, he will eventually come up to you out of curiousity and a need for companionship.  Don't reach out to him at first, just let him fully explore, and then slowly pet just the top of his head.    Some bunnies may think you are going to try and dominate them if you pet their back first.

If you can spend an hour a day doing this, after a week or so,  I bet you will see he will begin to trust you.

You also have a challenge because he's right in the middle of teens, and his hormones are going kooky.  Has he shown any aggression at all?  How are his litterbox habits?

Again Welcome!!!


User is Offline KOKKINIKLOSTI
Levadeia, Greece
60 posts Send Private Message
3/01/2007 2:41 AM
Welcome Feegore! Well as i can tell from what you say there is a chance that he was abused before! You could avoid any source of lound or suddensound, as it may scare him too much! And also you may let him have free range in a small room even without you inside, so that he gets used to the environment!
Aftias: baby bunny
Trrreli, Estia, Mira: hammy girls

User is Offline feegore
5 posts Send Private Message
3/01/2007 5:58 AM
Well he currently is living in my room, and when i open the cage for him to roam, i keep my door shut as i have tried to 'bunny-proof' most of my room, with the other part blocked off from him. i tried a lot of the tips yesterday and they worked marvels. he was scared at first to even leave the cage but now hes hopping all over . its a good thing i have this week off as i will spend a lot of time bonding with william. and he has shown no aggression whatsoever. and on the whole his litterbox habits are somewhat hopeful. he wont poop outside his cage, and when inside, he'll get 1/2 in the litter tray. i guess its a good place to start, lol. i really would like to thank all of you guys for your help.

User is Offline Gravehearted
Campbell, CA
2442 posts Send Private Message
3/04/2007 11:34 AM
welcome Feegore :-)

I'm so glad that the advice people shared is already helping. having the week off to spend with him really will help develop your bond too. I'm glad to hear he's not showing signs of aggression. Generally bunnies do much better with litterbox training after being neutered too.
~ bunny mom to to HRH Hareiette, Viktor the crazy Krum and Pandora, prima binky ballerina ~ Save a life, Adopt!

User is Offline minilop111
bunnyville
25 posts Send Private Message
3/04/2007 4:52 PM
i suggest to take him out every day for at least the first month, and make sure to give him a treat when you open the cage.

My bunny now comes to the cage door always and loves just sitting in my lap though he also gets plenty of exercise when i let him on the floor. Another thing is when i pet him he starts making the cutest purring noise that he does for no one else, i know we bonded well and i hope this helps for u

User is Offline poopy
Orange County, CA
694 posts Send Private Message
3/05/2007 8:53 AM
Just had a thought- you could place a large (full page) photo of yourself in his cage. Don't know if this would do anything.
qwerajsdlfjklwerajioasefklasdfjklasdfiojwe*!*!*$

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8678 posts Send Private Message
3/12/2007 10:07 PM
Posted By poopy on 03/05/2007 10:53 AM
Just had a thought- you could place a large (full page) photo of yourself in his cage. Don't know if this would do anything.


That's a very innovative idea.  Hmmmm.  Worth thinking about!

User is Offline Fiver
Lakewood, Colorado
22 posts Send Private Message
3/15/2007 12:58 PM
My wife and I, too, are fairly new rabbit owners so whatever I say may or may not be correct. I am not sure if I missed some information but is your rabbit neutered? I have the impression that pet shops sell only neutered or spayed rabbits, but I am not sure about that. We, too, started out with a young male. He, however, was fairly friendly and enjoyed (or at least seemed to) being petted. Are you thinking about getting him a pal? We did, a female about twice his size, and that has really livened things up. We have had the male for about 8 months now and the female about 4 months. It is amazing how our relationship with those two rabbits is still changing. Little by little, they seem to be accepting us into their warren. I can't imagine what it will be like a year from now. The advice above about the patience can't be stressed enough as far as I am concerned. One thing I am still learning is the bunny language. These rabbits seem to have a complex way of communicating with humans. Jennifer posted our question about the nose pokes. (Apparently, since we have Safari as our browser we can't start a "thread". But that may be fixed shortly.) It will be interesting to see how things come out with you. Another observation my wife and I made is that there does not seem to be a House Rabbit alive that did not have a rocky start. The only place where these rabbits are born is with the "bad guys". I don't see HRS producing any litters. Just saving rabbits.

User is Offline BB
San Francisco Area
Forum Leader
8678 posts Send Private Message
3/21/2007 9:48 PM
Posted By lecasler on 03/15/2007 2:58 PM
My wife and I, too, are fairly new rabbit owners so whatever I say may or may not be correct. I am not sure if I missed some information but is your rabbit neutered? I have the impression that pet shops sell only neutered or spayed rabbits, but I am not sure about that.


Actually, most of the time pet stores do not sell neutered bunnies.  Usually they are selling baby bunnies that are still too young for the surgery.
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