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BINKYBUNNY FORUMS > BONDING > Rabbit poor behavior and biting
Last Post by Wick at 4/04/2019 2:13 PM (8 Replies)
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User is Offline Rabbitreader321
2 posts Send Private Message
4/03/2019 5:44 AM
I got a rabbit last year and he had a strong personality, but biting was a once every few months event. However, I've been bitten multiple times in the last month when I a) feed him b) try to pick up stray poops. He bruises me and it doesn't break the skin, but it still hurts and I've tried laying my hand on his neck when he grunts, but he keeps grunting and lunging for me. I'm at my last straw and am considering giving him back because I am completely lost. I hope the bunny forum can help me and I can work on his bday behavior before I give up.

User is Offline Kiki
205 posts Send Private Message
4/03/2019 6:19 AM
Is he fixed? This is classic territorial behavior which is usually driven or made worse by hormone surges.
When Indie did this I would yelp, she got the message fast that it hurt and made me upset. Also, I try not to clean her cage or fill her bowl with her in the cage.
If he is unaltered I would seriously consider fixing him, it would save a lot of issues and you wouldn't have to give him up.

User is Offline Asriel and Bombur
Boston, MA
1062 posts Send Private Message
4/03/2019 6:24 AM
I agree with Kiki it sounds territorial and hormonal and getting him fixed would help heaps. If he is already fixed, just try not to invade his territory while he's there. Even something like feeding and picking up stray poops can be considered invading his territory, and some buns never lose that instinct. It might be something you will need to wear gloves for. I would highly suggest not touching his neck when he grunts, as you clearly have already noted, it makes him worse. He can't see what your hand is going for, and in a bunny anything around the neck area can make them even more jumpy, so just don't do it.
instagram @asriel_and_bombur

User is Offline Rabbitreader321
2 posts Send Private Message
4/03/2019 7:30 AM
He's neutered, I had him fixed as soon as I got him, I don't clean his cage if he's in it, is there anything else I can do to stop this behavior besides just evading him?

User is Offline Kiki
205 posts Send Private Message
4/03/2019 8:01 AM
Well you can't punish him. You say you are picking up poops and he is biting you, but you aren't cleaning the cage while he is in it? Can you explain that a bit more clearly so we have context? Some buns, are just territorial, if he is a good bun otherwise then yes I would probably just evade him, but what else can you tell us about how/when he is charging you etc?

User is Offline Rabbitreader321
2 posts Send Private Message
4/03/2019 12:58 PM
I can clarify it, I apologize for the lack of details.

He was neutered around 6-7 months. He currently is housed in a dog cage with two floors and in addition has 24-7 access to an adjoining gate area where he can run around. He has 2 litter boxes, one inside the dog cage and one outside (he only doe his business in the outside one) Plenty of toys and hay, water and blankets. in addition I also let him wander outside the gate when I'm home and supervising. When he's wandering outside the gate I'll clean the cage then. What I mean is the little stray poops that are outside the litter box I just try to pick them up and he'll sometimes come running over and grunt at me when I'm picking up 3-4 poop pieces. It's typically food and territory aggression, I may have to resort to locking him up before feeding him, putting the bowl outside the cage then let him out to eat so he can contain his excitement and not come in contact with me during feeding times. When I put my hand on his neck he sort of understands to calm down but still tries to push to get to the food. But he has no issue with me reaching in to fill his water bowl or grab his hay box.
He's always had a mischievous and troublesome personality and is definitely very smart and intelligent, so I try to give him more complex toys and things to keep busy, he may be bored so I'm planning on giving him even more intricate toys and expand his gate area even more.

User is Offline Asriel and Bombur
Boston, MA
1062 posts Send Private Message
4/04/2019 4:33 AM
It could just be his personality. Some buns can remain territorial even after a neuter. I know it's way more uncommon with males, but maybe his neuter was incomplete.
instagram @asriel_and_bombur

User is Offline DanaNM
Santa Barbara, California
Forum Leader
2623 posts Send Private Message
4/04/2019 8:36 AM
I think I remember a discussion on another thread, where one of the of forum leaders had some experience with this. They recommended wearing leather gloves when you have to do the cleaning, and when bun runs over to bite, just wait calmly for them to calm down (you keep your hand there, so that they aren't "successful" in chasing you off).

I've alerted the other moderators to hopefully get some more input from them.

User is Offline Wick
Forum Leader
3698 posts Send Private Message
4/04/2019 2:13 PM
I don't think you're referring to me Dana, but your suggestion reminds me of a video I posted in the past regarding interacting with an aggressive rabbit.

The idea was similar; gear up in boots, gloves, layered pants, etc... And don't provide a negative reaction to the aggressive behavior.

http://youtu.be/HxV0j7SwBbk

Here it is! It's an interesting take that I think makes sense. You're essentially teaching a very scared rabbit that what precedes and follows an aggressive action isn't what they expect.
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