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Last Post by tashibun at 2/26/2010 2:57 AM (5 Replies)
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User is Offline tashibun
16 posts Send Private Message
2/22/2010 4:53 PM

 Hi again,

Thanks for the welcome.  As Tashi is settling in I'm working on become a better blind bunny parent.  Fortunately, he is a very forgiving bunny!

At the moment, I'm using the NIC panels simply to expand his bounded space.  He started out in an xpen, which was a big step up from the cage at the shelter.  Although I want him to stay safe and secure it is clear he needs and wants more space.  Enter NIC panels and zip ties, with the result a bigger pen.  I am trying to imagine a way to build an 'upstairs' that is completely enclosed (except a ramp up), so that he can enjoy zipping up and down as well as around.  If anyone has any suggestions, I'd be grateful.

His enlarged space is going to include a one-story mini-haven (so if he climbs on it there won't be far to fall), as well as a box with stuff to dig in.  At the moment he is all about rearranging his fleece blankets, and throwing his basket around,  so I thought something with more substance would make him happy.  I have noticed, though, that he is inclined to eat the paper in his space rather than simply chew on it.  How much can he eat before it becomes a problem?  What would be safe to allow him to dig in?

Finally, looking a bit ahead, I was thinking about clicker training as a way to develop a better relationship as well as to communicate.  I'm aware that there is a literature on this, but wondered if anyone had any experience they could share.

Thanks again for your advice, and for the links to info.  He and I both appreciate it.

User is Offline mellowzmom
236 posts Send Private Message
2/22/2010 5:01 PM
That picture needs a subtitle! He is soo cute! I have been training Mellow some. So far, his best trick is standing and walking for a treat. It sounds like you are in tune with his space needs. I have no experience with NIC cubes, but others here have done wonderful things.

User is Offline Barbie
1584 posts Send Private Message
2/22/2010 5:02 PM
From what I've heard, eating paper is fine as long as there's no poisonous inks on it and as long as he doesn't fill up on paper and not eat his hay.

As far as wht he can dig in... what about shredding up some computer paper and putting that in a basket/box for him?

I think clicker training is great! I do it with Leroy, and I'm going to start training my new bunny, Jeannie soon. It definitely strengthened my bond with Leroy. is a great resource. And the i-click sold in the BB store is a good clicker. I still have to post some videos of LEroy doing his tricks but so far he knows to come when I whiste, "spin" "stand up" "walk" (on hind legs), "target" (finds and touches the ball on the end of a stick that I hold out), "ball" (runs to touch his nose to a jingly ball - I can even throw it and he'll chase after it, but he has yet to master "fetch" ) I'm going to start doing some agility type tricks with him too. You'll have to get creative with some of the tricks and modify them for a blind bunny, but something like coming when you whistle he could do (once he gets to know his surroundings and as long as he has good hearing). Also, having a bunny that does a few tricks on command is a GREAT party trick and a great way to start talking to your friends about bunnies if they aren't already knowledgeable about how great bunnies are as pets.

User is Offline Barbie
1584 posts Send Private Message
2/22/2010 5:03 PM
Oh and I agree with Mellowzmom, that is an adorable picture! I love his little tuft of fur sticking out!

User is Offline MarkBun
Richmond, CA
2844 posts Send Private Message
2/24/2010 12:52 PM
Something very simple, without clicker training, is to be sure to tell him what's coming just before, just as it happens and just after it has happened. For example, if you need to pick him up, you can say "Pick up," just before you touch him, "Pick up" as you get a grip on him and then "Pick up" as you lift him into the air. Likewise, I have found with blind bunnies to say "head pet" just before and during petting will let the rabbit know ahead of time that you plan on petting him and he won't start from the sudden, unknown touch.

I 'clicker trained' my rabbits with just whistling. Albiet it is only to let them know they're about to get a raisin, but it does have them come out of hiding and towards me which is all I ever wanted.
My bonding quest with Maryann - Read about a less than easy bonding with two buns - but they did bond!

User is Offline tashibun
16 posts Send Private Message
2/26/2010 2:57 AM
Great thoughts -- thanks. I'm not sure what the perfect reward is yet (beyond cilantro, which is part of his regular diet), but I'm sure we'll find one. I particularly appreciate your thoughts, MarkBun, on giving him a warning. Picking him up is the one thing he is really not flexible, and not happy, about. I completely understand that, from his point of view. I want to work on making it more predictable and less stressful, and this sounds like a great way to start.
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