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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > General Experience - please?
Last Post by piperknitsRN at 3/13/2012 3:48 PM (12 Replies)
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User is Offline Mr.Buck
142 posts Send Private Message
3/05/2012 10:54 AM

So - here's my bun situation...

The boyfriend(JT) and I don't live together. Buck lives with him, Rex lives with me. But I browse shelter websites at least weekly if not more often and since before Buck got there there has been a gorgeous 7lb bunny who I like and I really want her. We've already agreed no more animals until we live together but I really want her. I'm totally fine waiting and if she finds a home before then - great! But if not I'll be looking into bunny dates at the shelter.

I just want to know if it's even a good idea. Buck likes us and all but I think he'd love a friend he plays with Rex all the time and I just think an animal of the same species is always good. But I've read horrible stories of rabbits losing all of their litter habits and not liking their humans anymore because now they can deal with somebunny who really understands them.

I guess I'd like any supportive or contrasting stories you guys have. I want to keep the relationship with Buck and because it's probably not going to happen for a while I have plenty of time to think this completely through. The only way I would get her is if they bond through the bunny dates. I'd really like to take her home - but she'd be for Buck, not me so it's only if he takes a liking to her. I understand that they sometimes break up and if that were to happen, I would be willing to commit to the two of them living totally seperate.

Just looking for personal stories of going from a single bun to 2 bonded buns.

Thanks guys!

User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
2007 posts Send Private Message
3/05/2012 11:10 AM
I wouldn't ever do it again. Honestly. Its stressful, mentally, to watch your bunny freak out and even fight. The poop wars are TERRIBLE. I had no idea. They also can stink, even altered they can give off this gross skunky "this is my territory" smell. Its twice as much money, across the board. We've had the house split into 2 for 6 months now, which is annoying. I just would really never do it this way again. I'd rescue a bonded pair before I'd think of trying to mess with bonding again.

I'm confused though, sorry, Rex is your bunny and Buck is your bf's bunny? But you're looking to add a third to your house but bond it with Buck at your bf's house?

User is Offline Stickerbunny
4132 posts Send Private Message
3/05/2012 11:22 AM
Few questions - would she be living with the boyfriend as well if you bond them? If you ever break up with your boyfriend (not saying it's likely, but always a possibility) would he be willing to take on the second bunny permanently? At least a few strategic planning things to discuss with him before you decide, if you haven't already.

My two when they bonded did lose ALL litter habits. I had to clean their area twice a day (once when I got up, once before bed) and spot clean all day when possible, there were always pee puddles and droppings outside the boxes. Powder did stop being as friendly, though he still loved human attention and Stickers has never been big on humans. They lived together for 6 months before they broke up and the litter habits never really got much better, they used the box sometimes, but not much. Then Stickers one day decided she no longer liked Powder and attacked him for no reason I could tell and they have been apart since because honestly it's easier on me and she doesn't seem to care for him anymore when I tried to rebond, she just ignores him or gets totally stressed having him around. And Powder seems perfectly content sleeping in the bed again and being a cuddle bun with free reign as far as the house goes, when they were bonded I had to keep them more confined due to litter issues.

Now, my two are a rare case where the bond didn't last long, from all I have read/heard/seen rabbits usually stay bonded with maybe the occasionally argument. If you move them back and forth between your two places (not sure how you handle the pets, some people will spend weekends together and bring pets, some leave pets at home, etc) the loss of litter habits is more likely to be a problem. But a lot of pairs get back their litter habits after the initial "marking" period, mine just never got over it (though, first day they broke up they went back to being 100% on litter, go figure). That was my experience with bonding, needless to say, wasn't exactly fun times. lol But it was awfully cute when they would flop out together and cuddle and if I could give them their friendship back I probably would.

User is Offline Mr.Buck
142 posts Send Private Message
3/05/2012 11:35 AM
I'm Amanda - Rex is the dog.
JT(the boyfriend) has Buck the bunny.
So we'd be adding only a second bunny but ONLY if/when I move in with him. Of course, I'd take all animals if we broke up! They're mine! We've never discussed but I want them.

I really wanted more positive. I've gotten 2 sad stories, sorry guys. I really want a bonded pair for life! But Buck will be a year old on Saturday (making a cake!) and we'll see if he changes in the next few months and still maybe try bunny dates. How did yours bond from the beginning. Was it too easy to be real kind of thing?

User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
10511 posts Send Private Message
3/05/2012 11:39 AM
I'd wait, personally. Wait until you are living with the BF and Buck, so bonding would be easier. You would want to do sessions DAILY, which means you'd need to be there every day, and if your BF doesn't want any more animals until you're living with him... well, that would rather mess things up wouldn't it.

Better to wait, than to make the BF mad about another pet. Also better to wait until the buns can be side by side constantly to bond.

User is Offline Stickerbunny
4132 posts Send Private Message
3/05/2012 11:41 AM
My two bonded easily, it took about a week and a half and the only issue was Powder wanted to hump Stickers, once he stopped she accepted him and it was a bond. Sometimes I wonder if Powder called her fat cause she put on a few pounds and that caused her to attack. haha (she was 7 months old when they bonded, now she's full sized, so gained a little over a pound)

There are plenty of positive bonds as well, if you read back through the bonding journals in this section. So you could still have a bonded pair for life.

User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
2007 posts Send Private Message
3/05/2012 1:56 PM
I'm still working on bonding my duo. We're finally getting there I think. Having a bonded pair is probably awesome, I just don't like the process and personally find it stressing. I asked my vet about it as well, she said she doesn't know much about it even though she has a couple rabbits, because of the cases she's seen where bunnies fought

User is Offline Sam and Lady's Human
2007 posts Send Private Message
3/05/2012 1:57 PM
Another question, do you guys have an actual move in date or something? Is your bf ok with you planning on taking his bunny if you split?

User is Offline HoneysBuns
47 posts Send Private Message
3/05/2012 2:27 PM

I took my bun on bunny dates once one of my rabbits died, and having him find a girlfriend has been a great experience. I made sure to get a rabbit that got along with my Ham, she actually licked him immediately, and that's when I knew they'd work out. It took two weeks before I could trust them to live together full time. Peach (the new bun) has been really good with her habits, considering she was 3 when she was finally given a litterbox, but Ham has always been a bit of a marker, so it's no surprise really when he pees on a blanket. They recently (I'm assuming its both but it might just be Ham) started marking with poops ever since my foster bun Houdini'd into their room and ran around, but I'd expect them to do that : ) And it seems like they are way more focused on me then when they weren't living togethor. They constantly follow me around and cuddle with eachother when watching me (like in my avatar, except the other way!) It's ridiculously adorable.
Basically, you might as well take your bun on a couple dates. If all goes well, and there seems to be a mutual interest in the buns, then you can decide where to go from there. Honestly, I love that we found a soulmate for my little bun. The relationship is adorable, and I think some buns just need someone who "speaks their language". It's made my relationship with Ham stronger, and I have loved getting to know Peach, she's a great little rabbit.
Hope a positive experience helps!

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
7322 posts Send Private Message
3/05/2012 3:36 PM

I didn't like bonding, and it was stressful for me. I was unemployed at the time and had no excuse not to work on it daily, but now that I'm working full time I can imagine finding a million reasons not to do it. Still, looking back it only took a month or so (plus some more weeks of the buns sleeping in a tiny cage in our bedroom so Hannah wouldn't chase) and in the grand scheme of things that's not so bad. I love having a bonded pair, but it was definitely work.

I also didn't have any problem with litter habits, which might have made a difference in how I feel about it. Otto was never a cuddly bun, so his personality didn't change much (he did regress, but eventually came back to his previous low level of cuddliness). Hannah was new to us, so she's only become more friendly over time. She was attached to Otto at the hip for the first few months of their bond though. I also got lucky in that Otto is extremely easy going - I put him with multiple rabbits at a rescue and he was grooming himself and eating within seconds of meeting new rabbits. My whole experience was just getting Hannah to chill out, since she was soooo excited to meet another rabbit and got sort of obnoxious. It can be such a different story with two fairly dominant rabbits. I honestly didn't pick Hannah because she was the best with Otto - he was basically the same with every bun that we met, so it was kind of a toss up and we went with the lop who came from a loving home over the uppy earred bunnies from the shelter.

At the end of the day, I'd definitely do it again. I'd also live with my first rabbit for at least a year though, to make sure I was bonded to my original rabbit (I'd had Otto for exactly a year when we added Hannah). If I'd bonded him really early and I don't think I'd have much of a relationship with him at all, since he's not keen on people.

Overall, I'd definitely do it again. I love having a pair and watching them snuggle together, or explore together, is so rewarding. Hannah absolutely needed a friend, and watching her with another rabbit is great. Otto would've been fine either way, but he likes having a buddy.

- Elrohwen

User is Offline luvmyhunybuny
475 posts Send Private Message
3/10/2012 12:29 PM

I have had 2 positive bonding experiences and one not so positive. I managed to bond 2 unspayed females with neutered males. They both were instant bonds. As in, I took one pair on a car ride, did neutral time once and then let them go in their shared area of the house. Never even a scuffle. It was actually a "too good to be true" situation. When Piper got spayed, they were separated for the day, back together that night and it was like they were never apart.

I tried bonding Smudge (male) with my bonded pair. We did car rides (as a trio and one on one) neutral time and Smudge got along well with Piper. Toby and Smudge got along pretty well in neutral, but any time we moved even a teensy bit out of neutral (after many neutral "see mom we get along" times) the fights started. I don't think Toby was keen on sharing his girl.

I think it all boils down to personality. My instant bond buns are both pretty laid back. I also found it to be different when bringing a girl into the home the boy has been living in. In my experience the boys seem less territorial.

User is Offline HoneysBuns
47 posts Send Private Message
3/12/2012 3:57 PM
I agree with luvmyhunybuny, I think that it really depends on the personality of the rabbits, if at least one is pretty laid back and chill, chances are it'll be an easy bond.

User is Offline piperknitsRN
312 posts Send Private Message
3/13/2012 3:48 PM
I had a relatively quick bond between my spayed girl, Olive (the original bunny in the house) and neutered from-the-shelter boy, Simon--maybe two to two and a half weeks? That said, it was *not* love at first sight, they ignored each other, then scuffled, and it was stressful for me to watch them fight. See my thread/bonding journal here at this link: http://binkybunny.com/FORUM/tabid/5...ault.aspx. Also, you must prepare yourself for the reality that the intended pair may *never* bond, and you may have to permanently maintain them in separate enclosures, have alternate "free range" times--it can be quite the hassle/chore. This is not meant to discourage you from bonding if that's what you choose to do, or to be "negative"--but just to give you food for thought. I had a lot of panicky moments after I initially brought Simon home and the two were nipping at each other/pulling fur--I was thinking that I'd made a big mistake, and that can be extremely stressful, knowing you *chose* to bring another living creature into your home and "upset the apple cart" so to speak. I actually heard my bunnies *growl* at each other early on in the bonding process, and it can be mildly traumatic to watch them fight/have to separate fighting bunnies--for such cute little creatures,they can get a little scary when they're aggressive and hyper-territorial, which a lot of bunnies are in the beginning of bonding. You have to have a measure of patience and a lot of faith to bond--not to mention a lot of free time. When I said it took two or two and a half weeks--this was a constant, daily effort, several hours a day, where I was sitting downstairs in the cold basement (in November!) breaking up bunny fights. Sometimes, bonding goes relatively quick, other times, it can take a bit longer, and in other cases, may never happen at all. It is wonderful that they are bonded now, and keep each other company without quarrel, but if I were to do it all over again, I would choose an already-bonded pair and save myself the stress and hassle factor. I'm not saying "don't do it"--you ultimately have to make that decision for yourself, but just voicing my experience. In short: there are definitely rewards and I'm ultimately glad and thankful the bond worked out, but you have to be prepared for a lot of time-consuming work and effort, and the possibility it might not work out, even then.
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