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Sarafina and chester love each other if there are cage bars inbetween them- whoever is out of the" house" will groom the other through the bars, they lie next to each other, etc...but if those bars are gone- fur flies!
Chester is very pushy and demands Sarafina grooms him when they are on dates- she obliges- but then when she puts her head down he won't groom her. If she is slow to groom him he gets ANGRY and nips her! Why can't they seem to bond? they have been living side by side since November! Should I begin super intense bonding sessions? I didn't put too much time into it originally since I was scared they would hurt each other since they fight when nothing separates them!
When they met at the shelter (speed-dating) they got along great! When she came home, the problems started. In car rides they cuddle together too. Last weekend at the HRS picnic, they origonally got along in the pen- and then- Chester antagonized her and fur flew! It's so hot and cold with them!
Expert advice needed!
hmmm... i'm new at this so take my advice with a grain of salt!
i wonder if you could try the banana hat method to encourage grooming? in other words, schmear a wee bit of banana on their foreheads or even sprinkling a bit of water to encourage grooming. it almost seems like they just need some encouragement and security in grooming wach other. just a thought.
sounds like you're leaps & bounds ahead of me... good luck with your progress & stick to it!
doh! lol. ah well... worth a shot at mentioning it. i think i have one of those too 'cept she's a she. she's scuffed baby bun's eye twice now and i can't risk her doing it again... poor baby bun. i'm trying the stunt double method with moderate success. how hard are the nips? have you had any wounds to tend to? do you hold the nipping bunny's head down to show dominance after they nip? i think sometimes nipping is okay if it's not doing harm but i get that you want to see progress.
markusdark's maryann was quite a feisty bun and nipped a lot at her bunfriend dono when he was trying to bond them. i *think* that the bonders he took the buns to thought that she didn't know acceptable bun behaviour and needed to be taught it. dono was too afraid of her to teach her. (correct me if i'm wrong markusdark!)
i also watched a youtube vid about bonding where they said a similar thing. in both cases the bonders set up the bonding area so that there was a separate spot for one bun to goto when they've had enough of the other bun's behavior. in the video the narrator said that the older more experienced bun would go into the crate and face out & not let the younger bun in or near if the younger bun did something unacceptable (like too much humping or nipping). this eventually taught the bun what not to do the offending behaviour.
does your bonding area have a 'nook' in it where one bun can retreat to? how big is your bonding area?
i may not have any good solutions but answers to some of these q's could help some one else give advice. i'll be following along your thread to read suggestions for sure!