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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Skittish bun, any advice?
Last Post by peppypoo at 9/30/2012 11:40 PM (14 Replies)
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User is Offline Emmie
462 posts Send Private Message
9/26/2012 1:30 PM

Hi Guys!


You may or may not remember my fiancé Matthew who adopted a gorgeous 'Lionhead' bun named Penny. I was recently in the states visiting him and I got to meet this pretty little girl! She is incredibly skittish. She has absolutely no problem with people feeding her or being around her, but she is NOT a cuddle bun. I've been around a few buns and all of them love a nice pet and sometimes love me back, but Pen is just content to take the treats and run. If you put your hand near her, she darts.


Have any of you got a bun like this? Do you think she'll feel more comfortable when we bond her with Thane? I brought over a small stuffed dog covered in his scent and she immediately loved it. She now snuggles up beside it and grooms it. Looking good so far!


My pretty princess:


User is Offline bullrider76543
Joplin MO
1291 posts Send Private Message
9/26/2012 3:31 PM
If you come up with any ideas let me know because Baby our mini lop is the same way!! like we are going to get her or something.
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User is Offline Emmie
462 posts Send Private Message
9/26/2012 10:08 PM
Strange. I think it could be she wasn't really socialised with humans from an earlier age.
Thane is very affectionate so I'm hoping when we bond them she'll come out of her shell.

User is Offline Monkeybun
Hillsboro, Oregon
10511 posts Send Private Message
9/26/2012 10:32 PM
Monkey STILL hates being touched. She's just a No-Touchy type She's willign to climb all over you as long as you don't try to pet her lol. Cranky thing :p

User is Offline LittlePuffyTail
New Brunswick, Canada
Forum Leader
16155 posts Send Private Message
9/27/2012 2:22 AM
How old is she? Most bunnies tend to calm down with age.

She's beautiful.
Proud to be a Bunny Hugger and a voice for the voiceless

User is Offline Emmie
462 posts Send Private Message
9/27/2012 3:18 AM
I'm thinking she's a 'Don't touch me' diva lol. She's about 4/5mths I think. Wouldn't be any older. I'm going to have her spayed in Ireland I reckon. Matthew is taking her over here at Christmas time. I also think our vet fees are not as bad as they are where he is. Hoping once she's spayed and settled, we can start the bonding process!

User is Offline bullrider76543
Joplin MO
1291 posts Send Private Message
9/27/2012 4:22 AM
Well Baby is already spade and she is 7 months old. she loves exploring but is skittish of every sound and not wanting to be touched.
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User is Offline alexakol
Ontario, Canada
14 posts Send Private Message
9/27/2012 4:57 AM



I have a beautiful lionhead who is exactly the same. She isn't hostile by any means, she'll crawl all over me, lay beside me, etc. but as soon as I try to touch her, she's gone. Unless my hands smell like raisins, lol.


For reference, she is 3 years old and spayed. When I adopted her, it seemed like she was like most bunnies, a pet for a kid that lost interest, so I assume she didn't have much interaction to begin with. After a year of having her, I bonded her with my lop Frank. They loved each other pretty instantly (Hooray!) and I thought maybe this would help to turn her less anti-petting, but she hasn't changed.


I hope you are able to make some progress, but as long as the bun seems happy I think you'll just have to accept it and let it be, and of course take pleasure in the small victories, like when the bun forgets it doesn't like to be touched and jumps on your lap 

User is Offline tanlover14
3611 posts Send Private Message
9/27/2012 6:59 AM
Hmmmm, just as an input -- I can tell this isn't the issue with some of your buns since they're older... but we got our girl bun when she was 3 months old and hadn't been spayed. She would NOT let us touch her. At all. She would dart and get soooo nervous whenever we could go anywhere near her. It really made me sad to see her so frightened and nervous all the time. However, the best advice I got was when someone told me right after her spay to be her main comfort. Be the one helping her heal and make her see you caring for her and making her life comfortable. We did so by putting a nice, comfy stuffed animal in with her right after her spay (which, btw, SHE LOVED and cuddled with constantly) and by making ourselves an almost constant presence with her while she recovered. We actually got her to take her first nibble of veggies (the first thing she ate after her spay) right from our hand which she had never done before and gave her constant petting (which she detested before hand). She scurried at first but was so exhausted I think she may have just dealt with it, but as she healed her curiosity and love for us really REALLY grew. She is now our most cuddly bun and LOVES climbing on us and getting pet. She is still skittish towards other people and very nervous around new things/people but our relationship and bond with her has really improved since.

It may be as simple as this! Hope the info helps! Let us all know how it goes with her and she is absolutely GORGEOUS!
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User is Offline Emmie
462 posts Send Private Message
9/28/2012 1:58 PM
That is really wonderful advice. I'll make sure Matthew sees this if she is spayed over there.

I have no problem with her being an anti-contact bun. That's fine if she is happy (Which she really is!). I have the crazy affectionate Thane for my bun love!

User is Offline Elrohwen
Hudson Valley, NY
7322 posts Send Private Message
9/29/2012 8:02 AM
It can take a really long time with some bunnies! I have one who is skittish of new things and loud sounds, but loves to be petted. The other is completely laid back about sounds and situations, but hates to be touched. You just have to be super patient and work slowly on the bond over time.

I found that clicker training helped immensely with both bunnies. It's really fun when you see that light bulb moment and they realize that they can work with you to get the treats that they want. Otto now lets me hug him rather tightly while he's on my lap, because he gets rewarded for it and trusts that whatever I do during training sessions will be good for him. He still hates to be petted most of the time if I don't have treats nearby, but it's so much fun to bond with him over training and get him more used to being handled. Sometimes you just have to buy their love a bit with yummy treats :-)
- Elrohwen

User is Offline tanlover14
3611 posts Send Private Message
9/29/2012 8:51 AM
Great idea, Elrohwen. I'm actually JUST starting to try clicker training with one of my behavior issue buns who is always destructing everything. Anyhow, I've been doing a lot of research on the topic and I agree -- it may really help you guys form a bond with her! Any kind of bonding with her (even if it has to be with treats in the beginning) can do nothing but strengthen your relationship over time!
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User is Offline Skipper's Mama
1252 posts Send Private Message
9/29/2012 11:02 AM

My bun at the beginning was not skiddish per say. She was more aloof. She was real independent and wanted her own space and petted on her own time. We've had her for about about 6 months now. I hadn't actually seen a real strong bond form between us until about a month ago when she started becoming really affectionate. So it honestly may take time. Reading aloud to her really got her used to our presence. I know this may sound odd but I take my bun out every morning while I'm getting ready. And I noticed a real improvement in our relationship when I would just sit with her while she was out and put my make up on, on the floor while she ran around. After a few mornings of doing this she started coming up to me more and nudging me with her nose. About a few weeks ago she had surprised me and decided jump into my lap and wanted to be held. I just think the more exposure she has to you the better.

User is Offline Emmie
462 posts Send Private Message
9/29/2012 1:53 PM
That's all brilliant advice guys, thanks a mil! I will look into clicker training when Penny is here with me as I know Matthew wouldn't have the patience with her.

User is Offline peppypoo
Forum Leader
1953 posts Send Private Message
9/30/2012 11:40 PM
Ohh my, she's gorgeous . Everybody has made great points. Remy was incredibly skittish at first, and while he'll never been the snuggle bun that Peppy is, at 2y/o now he's calmed down a lot and will submit to (and I daresay enjoy!) the occasional petting session.

Before bringing her to Ireland though, do check up on which airlines will allow you to bring her in the cabin both ways across the Atlantic. Wouldn't want her to get stuck on either side!
Tammo (RIP), Milo (RIP), Peppy, Remi
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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BEHAVIOR > Skittish bun, any advice?

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