BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Small Apartment Bonding - Our Journey - Is this OK??
Last Post by FrankieFlash at 11/09/2012 6:19 PM (6 Replies)
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User is Offline StarryMoon544
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11/04/2012 5:00 PM

Hey everyone. I have a one year old spayed female and a 9 month old neutered male. Our female has never had potty problems or tried to mark things with her chin. However, before our male was neutered he would have accidents and chin EVERYTHING. After he was neutered his bathroom habits were 100% improved, and he would only try to chin the females condo (he left everything else alone). We live in a small one bedroom apartment with an extremely small bathroom and bedroom, but a decent sized living room and kitchen (our bedroom is off limits to the buns). 

Before attempting bonding, our buns would each have the run of the kitchen and living room area at different times. They never showed any issues with this set up, it actually worked pretty well. We decided we wanted to be able to keep them in the same condo and have them out at the same time to make our lives easier, so we decided to try bonding. The only place that would be considered neutral in our apartment is the bathroom, so we started them off in the bath tub. Our male instantly tried to mount the female. She was scarred and my fiance didn't wipe the tub out before we put them in, so their little feet were wet too that just added to the stress; it just wasn't a good time! That bonding session lasted about 2 min. 

Next time we tried the car ride. There really isn't anywhere that's neutral in our apartment that would work besides the tub, so we took them on a car ride to grandpa and grandmas house. They were absolutely adorable in the car, snuggling together the entire time. We brought them into my parents bathroom and they didn't seem to even acknowledge each other for the first 10 minutes. After that, the male tried to mount the female. He wasn't super aggressive about it, but she obviously was not having it! She ran away and he chased her. Eventually he gave it up, and they went back to ignoring each other. When she would run past him though, he would try to chase her again. So we ended that session there, that was about 30 min. 

It is starting to get very cold here, about 35-40 on a good day, so now bonding is back at our apartment. 

We have started just letting them both out in the kitchen/living room area at the same time and supervising. 

Surprisingly, our male hasn't tried to hump her! He tried to chin her once, but she let him and her tail fluttered like crazy when he did. There haven't been any potty accidents and no excessive chinning on the males part. Basically what happens 90% of the time is our female will try to creep up on the male out of curiosity, and when he notices her she darts in the other direction. 

Today when they were out, the male hunkered down and the female touched noses with him for a few seconds. 

They have been getting along good, but definitely aren't bonded and have never fought or been aggressive towards each other. What are everyones thoughts on the way we have been going about bonding? Is this an okay way to try? Any suggestions, tips, whatever is appreciated, thanks guys  

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
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11/06/2012 2:14 AM
It sounds it's going alright, since there doesn't seem to be any aggression. How long are your bonding sessions?
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless

User is Offline StarryMoon544
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11/06/2012 8:59 AM
About 20 min. - 30 min. depending. I was worried that the space wasn't neutral enough. Is there anyway I can try to get Oliver to stop chinning Winnie's condo? I think she feels like he's the boss and she just goes with whatever dominant behaviors he does, so they get along, but they aren't bonded. I don't know.. maybe I'm just expecting too much too soon.

User is Offline tanlover14
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11/06/2012 4:09 PM
It sounds to be like it's actually going pretty good.

I would give you the advice to not try and interfere with the humping and chasing. Although it looks bad they HAVE to go through this whole process to successfully establish a pecking order. Unless of course it turns violent and biting begins to occur.

Another small tip is to ALWAYS end bonding sessions on a good note -- even if they fight, you have to put the good in their minds. So you can put one on each side of you and give them a treat. It sounds small but sometimes it's the small things that go a long way. Also, another thing you can do is put a towel in both of their cages -- the next day switch the towel to the other cage. It helps them get used to the others scent and since you only have a small area for bonding, it will be putting the "other bun" scent in THEIR territory. You can see how good they are getting along by seeing how they react to this. Does it make them anger or on edge? Or do they not even mind it? If they DO get angry, this helps them take the anger out on the towel rather than each other.

All in all it sounds like it's going good! Bonding is usually a long process and by the sounds of it it's starting to get better. If she let him hump her, my guess is that he's going to be the dominant bun. And him chinning her stuff isn't a bad thing if you plan on bonding them into the same cage anyways so I wouldn't worry about that! Just be thankful you're not having accidents everywhere. My buns were the worst! with that!
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User is Offline StarryMoon544
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11/09/2012 7:39 AM
Thanks so much!! I will try the towel thing and see how that goes. Trust me, I am VERY thankful for no accidents I was surprised there aren't any actually, great now I probably jinxed myself haha

The humping isn't as frequent anymore. Lately Winnie has been so quick to get away that he never gets a chance. I just hope after all this they can be bffs

User is Offline tanlover14
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11/09/2012 8:31 AM
A digression in humping USUALLY means they are beginning to figure out their hierarchy. For lack of better terms. Hahaha.

It sounds like they are still doing really good -- keep us updated with any new news, whether good or bad! It's a great place to get bonding advice for sure!
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User is Offline FrankieFlash
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11/09/2012 6:19 PM
Just to chip in since I recently experienced this but within a week of Bunjamin stopping/slowing down on the humping our buns were bonded. We took advantage of them being comfortable in the neutral territory and started increasing the length of bonding sessions. That really helped. We always ended positive like tanlover said but if they were comfortable to eat and potty in the pen together we kept them there.

Our sessions started going for hour then hours and by the end of that weekend they were living together in un-neutral territory. It was hard to make the step from neutral to un-neutral but my two handled it well. A piece of advice my rescue gave me was when you do un-neutral territory, make sure it's the boys territory because girls tend to be more territorial.

BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Small Apartment Bonding - Our Journey - Is this OK??