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Old 08-11-2017, 10:05 PM   #1
CosmoMom
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Hello! I am new to the site and have a couple questions...

We adopted a 2yr old Netherland Dwarf a little over a week ago. He seems pretty sweet so far and to be adjusting well.

I don't know how well the previous owner cared for him. From what I understand she kept him mainly in his small cage (approx. 1ft x 2ft) so subsequently when he was let out he would chew/bite whatever he could. We have built him a 5ft x 5ft enclosure-is this enough space?

When we are home (approx. 7:00-8:00am and 5:00-10:00pm we allow him to run around the house. Is this enough exercise?

Yesterday he went a bit crazy and began dashing around and jumping into the air-in this a 'binky'? I happened to be cleaning his cage at the time and at the very beginning of cleaning he did thump a couple times but he was very inquisitive whilst I was cleaning.

I never remove him from his cage-I allow him to come out when ready.

He has bit me twice-once when I put my hand into his cage to adjust something and once when I was refilling his food bowl. He also growled early this morning when I replenished his water. I know they can have an independent temperament so is this normal?

He snuggles with me for about 1/2 to 1 hour in the evenings-I hear faint purring and very faint 'teeth noises'-his ears go flat and last night he fell asleep in my arms. I am assuming this means he's ok with being snuggled for short periods?

Lastly, because he's so tiny (2.3lbs)-is it ok to allow him access to the whole house? I read online they get more anxious when allowed large spaces? He has access to his smaller cage and two options for little houses/huts/burrows at all times.

He's a sweet guy and as I said I think he may have been a little mistreated so I want to make sure we are doing all we can to make him the happiest bunny!

Thanks of any help/advice!!!


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Old 08-12-2017, 01:47 AM   #2
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Hello! I am new to the site and have a couple questions...

We adopted a 2yr old Netherland Dwarf a little over a week ago. He seems pretty sweet so far and to be adjusting well.
Nethies are such sassy little monsters! My favorite! Congratulations on your new terror. <3

I don't know how well the previous owner cared for him. From what I understand she kept him mainly in his small cage (approx. 1ft x 2ft) so subsequently when he was let out he would chew/bite whatever he could. We have built him a 5ft x 5ft enclosure-is this enough space?
So long as you let him out (as stated below) this is enough space in my opinion. If you did not, I'd suggest more room. He's lucky to have you now.

When we are home (approx. 7:00-8:00am and 5:00-10:00pm we allow him to run around the house. Is this enough exercise?
As with any animal, the more exercise the better. But this is a good amount for most rabbits. They are most active around sunrise and sunset- they sleep in the middle of the day and night. So it sounds like you catch his active times, so that's perfect.

Yesterday he went a bit crazy and began dashing around and jumping into the air-in this a 'binky'? I happened to be cleaning his cage at the time and at the very beginning of cleaning he did thump a couple times but he was very inquisitive whilst I was cleaning.
Sounds like a binky to me- they are a little ridiculous. Thumping is usually annoyance or danger though- he sounds a bit territorial. Is he neutered?

I never remove him from his cage-I allow him to come out when ready.
Perfect! Keep this up!

He has bit me twice-once when I put my hand into his cage to adjust something and once when I was refilling his food bowl. He also growled early this morning when I replenished his water. I know they can have an independent temperament so is this normal?
It's pretty normal- particularly (in my own personal experience) for dwarfs. Again, sounds pretty territorial. Just don't remove your hand when he bites you (hard to resist I know) and he will learn that that doesn't work after a few times. Only remove your hand when he's calmer and not biting/lunging at you. He's new though, so he might calm down on his own once he realizes you aren't trying to take his home away fro him.

He snuggles with me for about 1/2 to 1 hour in the evenings-I hear faint purring and very faint 'teeth noises'-his ears go flat and last night he fell asleep in my arms. I am assuming this means he's ok with being snuggled for short periods?
Most rabbits like to snuggle, but not be held. It's SUPER individual. But he sounds happy (the teeth noises make me think he's happy- however teeth grinding can mean pain, so it's not 100%.) They do sound different though.

Lastly, because he's so tiny (2.3lbs)-is it ok to allow him access to the whole house? I read online they get more anxious when allowed large spaces? He has access to his smaller cage and two options for little houses/huts/burrows at all times.
If you do decide to let him have run of the whole house (I always have with my dwarf mixes) just do it slowly. And always allow him access to his cage. They seem to do fine if you do it slowly and allow them to explore on their own.

He's a sweet guy and as I said I think he may have been a little mistreated so I want to make sure we are doing all we can to make him the happiest bunny!

Thanks of any help/advice!!!

Hopefully this answers everything! Do you have pictures?!?! He sounds like the cutest little devil ever!!


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Old 08-13-2017, 01:28 AM   #3
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Thank you so much! That is just the responses I needed! Thank you for taking the time!

He is a little cutie with a big attitude but we are getting to know him. He's been 'binky-ing' tons today-especially when we first let him out this morning. We took him to the vet yesterday and the Vet and all the techs who worked with him said he was a sweet heart. They were preparing for bites because of his breed but he was a star! He had SUPER long nails and teeth...I think he may have been in pain (poor guy)! No biting today and some possible chin rubs Even if he develops a terrible attitude I'll still love him-I'm smitten with my little Cosmo!

I am a teacher and am hoping that in a few weeks he might feel comfortable coming into the classroom? I am going to transition him very gradually and make sure he knows it's a safe place! We will see how it goes over the next couple weeks...if I don't think he will be comfortable it's not happening!
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Old 08-13-2017, 04:08 AM   #4
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Nethies are prone to teeth problems! My nethie mix has to have her teeth filed down every two months- so definitely keep your (and your vet's) eyes on those teeth! It sounds like he's very lucky to have you though!
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Old 08-13-2017, 11:00 AM   #5
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That's very good you rescued that little guy and you were given good advice. Nevertheless, I advise you against bringing a rabbit in a classroom. That's really not an environment suited for a bunny and stress is really not good for them. Netherland dwarves are also really not good with children - I know breeders who will allow people to touch all their rabbits except nethies... because they bite! Also rabbits don't like agitation or change, or travelling from one place to another, or loud noises, or being touched when they don't want to, or being carried / handled. This make them very ill suited to children. Children are regularly scratched or bitten by rabbits. Rabbits are also regularly killed by children who handled them incorrectly and broke their backs, their jaw, tried to pick them up and made them fall, stepped on them; crushed their internal organs by holding too tight... while the parent / teached was looking elsewhere for one second.
Maybe you should read those articles about the house rabbit society before attempting it. It's of course your decision, but I'm pretty sure your rabbit would be a lot happier waiting for you at home than in your classroom:
http://rabbit.org/faq-classroom-rabbits/
http://www.rabbit.org/journal/3-10/classroom.html
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Old 08-13-2017, 12:41 PM   #6
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My nethie mix LOVES children!! As did my last pure nethie (he was kind of a jerk to adults though- but he loved young children). It really is rabbit dependent. Although I only let older children (teens) hold Brandy, she volunteers with children all the time (in various places) and has never bitten one (she was on a euthanasia list for aggression, but we worked on it- apparently too well since Netherland Dwarves are supposed to bite according to Aki). Most rabbits would not do well in a class room, but you'll get to know your rabbit and be able to tell.


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