Last Post by RabbitPam at 8/25/2012 4:02 AM (10 Replies)
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User is Offline Almcv
Winnipeg Canada
57 posts Send Private Message
8/23/2012 5:45 PM

hey guys

been looking for ways to better bond myself and dakota, shes gotten alot better since when i first got her, but i can tell shes  a little unsure about me still.

just looking for ways that maybe you and your rabbits did to bond

iv slept outside her cage a few times on the ground and that seemd to help

i always lay on the floor with her, or sit in my chair and she just sits beside me

iv heard doing the car ride thing but with you holding your rabbit well someone drives around also

anything else would be nice

User is Offline Milove
Eugene, OR
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8/23/2012 6:07 PM
This isn't the best suggestion, but every time I take my buns to the vet they seem to bond more with me afterwards (so maybe the car ride thing is a good idea?). I think the stress of the trip and maybe the stress of an exam (having teeth/ear/temperature checked) by someone else makes them more than happy to be back in your care afterwards haha. I always get excessively groomed by my buns when we get back from the vet! Other than that I would keep doing what you're doing - I try to spend as much time as I can down on the ground with them. I like to do my work/homework on the floor with them.

User is Offline Almcv
Winnipeg Canada
57 posts Send Private Message
8/23/2012 6:13 PM
i know its a slow process n such, just looking for different routes then what im taking, or what others have had luck with
i just need to find someone to drive me around since i live on my own >.<

User is Offline Furbrats' mum
15 posts Send Private Message
8/23/2012 9:12 PM
when i 1st got my bunny, i'll take him out of the cage & let him roam around me, it took a while for him to feel confident around me, but after a while, he knows that i'm no threat + i'm the one who changes his food/water & cleans his cage. Now he is not caged at all & he hops next to me when i am carrying his food, sometimes he is near to my feet that i have accidentally kicked him when walking, & even that doesnt scare him anymore. And when i cut his fruits & bringing it out from the kitchen, he gets so excited that he crashes into me.

Having said that, Furball is a sociable bunny but doesnt like to be carried, so if i try to carry him, he gets all fidgety & tries to escape.

It takes a long time to bond & also all bunnies are different, so your bunny may like a certain way of bonding with you which others may not & vice versa

User is Offline TH004
261 posts Send Private Message
8/24/2012 12:41 AM
My first rabbit took a while to bond. To help, I would let her out and I would act like I was reading. The ignoring her plus page turning would make her come over to steal my attention. I also just hung around while she was out, talking nicely to her. Treats help too. I also left a day's old sock I wore in her cage, for her to get used to my scent being non-threatening.

Sleeping outside of the cage sounds like a great idea! Your buns is probably coming around. How long has it been? Has he had any other owners in the past? I wouldn't recommend the scare method (driving/vet/etc). I don't think it builds long-term bonds. My rabbit is all over me too after a vet, but is quickly back to himself.

My first rabbit took probably a month to not try to attack me and an additional 6 weeks to like me. She had some kids who didn't know how to handle a rabbit be her owners before me. My rabbit now is a lot more relaxed, so he never disliked me. However, it still took a month for him to like me.

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
7322 posts Send Private Message
8/24/2012 4:22 AM
I'm not sure that the car trip is going to help much. It helps to bond two bunnies to one another, but that's because they remain calm and don't attack each other while under stress. Doing it with you there is a risk that she will begin to associate you with stressful situations and that's not what you want.

The best thing you can do is sit on the ground and let her approach. I like to keep pellets in a little dish nearby and when the bunnies approach me I give them a pellet. Soon they're climbing all over me to see if I have snacks for them. Feeding her when she approaches will cause her to associate pleasurable things with you.
- Elrohwen

User is Offline Skipper's Mama
1252 posts Send Private Message
8/24/2012 7:38 AM
It may sound really silly but I'm a big reader. So when I'm reading I'll sit next to my bun's cage and read aloud to her. She seems to like it. And it gets her used to my voice. I also made sure to not wear anything scented. I would notice my bun would shy away from me if I had perfume on or scented lotion.

User is Offline Almcv
Winnipeg Canada
57 posts Send Private Message
8/24/2012 10:08 AM
iv had her for just shy of 3 months
shes come along long way since iv gotten her, she use to nip at me if i was in her way, then id just screech and she hasnt bit me in a long time just nudjes me outta the way to move
i feel were pretty close she knows who i am and rarely hides from me but she does sometimes, i guess if its something she hasnt seen me do before

User is Offline Kokaneeandkahlua
Edmonton, Alberta; Canada
Forum Leader
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8/24/2012 2:49 PM
It sounds like you are doing very well. I really do agree with Elrohwen, your bunny could associate you with the stress of a car ride. I do however feel Milov is on to something. My first bunny Kokanee would not let me hold her. Then we had her first vet exam, she freaked when they brought her to the counter in her carrier, I let her out, she jumped into my arms and cuddled on my shoulder like a parrot. She woulnd't get off, had to drive home with her on my shoulder and she kissed me the whole way. Things were very different after that day. I don't know, something about staying at a vet for the day, maybe not knowing if they'll go home again? But she was a different rabbit after that. So...hmmm drop her off for a day at the vet?

Really though I'd say continue what you are doing, give treats and veggies by hand, associate yourself with positive things like time out and treats and your on your way

User is Offline Cristina
128 posts Send Private Message
8/24/2012 6:13 PM
I have 3 buns and each is different. Some take longer than others but there are quite a few things you can do. For one, be consistant as much as possible. Spend time EVERY day with your bun and make sure its qaulity time. I agree with others, talkng to your bun, in my opinion, is very important. Buns are no different than humans, it takes them a while to put trust in you and fully bond with you. In the mean time keep doing what you are doing. I also would lay by my buns cage, and it really did help! I think it's very important to sit on the floor with them or lay on the floor. It helps them to feel like your on their level and not be so intimidated. Also a friend of mine suggested soemthing that really really helped. Take your bun in a smaller room that doesn't have a lot of things that she can hide under. Like a bathroom or laundry room are good. Close the door and sit on the floor with your bun. Let her come to you, don't force yourself on her. When she feels comfortable she will come to you! At first when you try to pet her, she WILL run away. Once she begins to trust you she will let you reach out and pet her and even eventually hold her. Once she does well you can start expanding the area. Bigger rooms etc. Just be consistant, talk to her, and let her feel comfortable so she will place trust in you. Make sure you let her do it on her terms though. It make take a while to fully bond and get her trust, but it is well worth all the effort!

User is Offline RabbitPam
South Florida
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8/25/2012 4:02 AM
One of the ways they bond with you that's not as noticeable is when they rely on you for their daily needs. If you can get a routine going (you may have already) of feeding her at the same time twice a day, giving her a treat at a set time, like when it's time for bed and you call her name and say (well, I say Bunny Bedtime) for her to know to jump in the habitat and get rewarded with a little treat. Praise her often for good things she does well - even for going in the litter pan when she should. Then she knows that the person who is always there to meet her needs is you.

Reading on the floor is excellent, and you'd be surprised how well she knows she's safe with you now. Give her head pets for no reason just when you are around, too. If she's out playing, and you go to your bathroom (if it's near her) then (OK, it sounds silly) you can leave the door open a bit and see if she comes looking for you. An otherwise aloof bunny often will make sure they know exactly where you are, and will check on your whereabouts. How many of us had little spying eyes when we went somewhere else in the house? Bonding with a bunny can be subtle. You're doing well for 3 months.
SPIKE, my snuggle bunny (aka Spikey Marbles)