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Advice for my newly adopted holland lop (male)

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Mrs641

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I have a 2 year old female, spayed, Holland lop. She’s been with us for almost 6month and we just love her! I just took in today an intact male, Holland lop. I expected there to be some hormonal behavior on his part, but whoa! He’s humping anything and everything he can find! We introduced them briefly, she didn’t seem to mind him at all, until he began chasing her to mount her, we ended the introduction immediately. I’ve got the new buns pen set up right beside the others crate, so they can smell each other etc...he’s done nothing but try and get to her so I separated their areas a bit and put up a towel so they can’t really see each other, but can hear and smell. Would it be wise to keep them apart entirely until I am able to neuter him? It will be at least 2 weeks, as the clinic is booked. I have a separate area he will play in during the day, but don’t want him going crazy because he knows shes around. Also, am I able to anticipate being able to bond them once he is neutered and healed? This is a new adventure for me, thanks guys! 🐰 🐰
 

Blue eyes

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Definitely wait until after he's neutered before attempting to bond. It is recommended to wait up to 6 or 8 weeks past surgery to allow hormones to fully dissipate. Otherwise, those residual hormones can interfere with the bonding process.

No way to tell whether or not they will ultimately bond. That will be up to the two of them. Some bonds are effortless, some are more difficult, and sometimes 2 rabbits will simply refuse to get along.

There are some links and tips about bonding here:
 

Mac189

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When you do try to bond them after the neuter and some healing time, start with a fence between them and keep that up until they mostly ignore each other aside from friendly sniffs or looks. Then try introducing them in an area that neither of them has a reason to feel territorial over (I've seen people use a bathroom) and watch for aggressive body language such as raised tail, ears back (might be a little harder to notice in lops), and growling or grunting. They will likely circle each other a little bit, but if you see aggressive body language with circling, break up the behavior or separate before retrying. I've heard of some owners having success "stress bonding," where the rabbits are placed together in a situation that is new to them where you still have control if they get aggressive. The stressful situation (being in a dry bathtub, together on a car ride, in a room with the dryer on, the sound of the vacuum) takes up more of their attention than the new rabbit and they tend to be comfortable with each other in solidarity rather than only focusing on each other as a new threat. Foxwell and Willa bonded over Foxwell being afraid of my roommate's cat and hiding behind her every time he saw it. It was hard for them to be jerks to each other if the cat was around and became best friends in about a week. Good luck!
 

zuppa

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Hi, how old is he?

Anyways you did good that you separated them, also keeping them so close so he can smell her will make him nervous as he's young and it's springtime poor boy will suffer I would move him away from her so they can't see and smell each other until he's neutered + 2 months after that. Then you can do much research and watch there's lots of video tutorials on youtube about bonding, and you can prepare some new territory foreign for both and start bonding sessions. As Blue eyes said there's no guarantee that they will bond but there's always hope, especially if first session girl tolerated him and you did good that you separated them before she was annoyed by his attempts.

If you wanted easy bonding you should adopt another already neutered (2 months +) rabbit and maybe do some dating at the rescue to see if they like each other. If it's not too late to return him and go for a neutered rescue male I would suggest to do that. Or just go long way if you like challenges, it may work as well just will take more time and patience and you will need to learn a few things, we are happy to help just do research on bonding and be prepared with ski gloves, broom etc. Also if you go for it I would suggest to keep them not only separated for those 2,5 months before bonding starts, but also limit their off-cage territory, I mean don't let her free roam because you will have to introduce them somewhere where they both were never before, otherwise they can get territorial and understood each other as an invader. Just cage with an attached x-pen would be fine for now and after bonding if it was successful you will create new territory for them removing their smells from there if any with vinegar so that would be their completely new residence, after a while you can free-roam them if that was your plan.
 

Mrs641

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Thanks guys for all your advice! So, what we have decided is, he’s going back to his original owner today and will be neutered next Wednesday. She will keep him for 2 months and then we will reintroduce him to our home and hopefully form a successful bond with my bunny we have already. I kind of figured that’s what we needed to do, but I thought I’d give it a shot and see how it might go. I want to do it right so we have the best chance for a bond, thanks so much guys 🐰🐰
 

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