Aggressive female rabbit

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Behavior' started by Lenka, Nov 20, 2019.

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  1. Nov 20, 2019 #1

    Lenka

    Lenka

    Lenka

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    My rabbit has become very aggressive recently. I know that when I’m in her playpen it’s her territory and I have to respect it. However she is very aggressive even outside her playpen. She started to bite me for no reason, just me sitting on the sofa is enough for her to attack me. When I move my hand after she bites me she gets even more angry. She will be 7 months old next month and I want her to get spayed but I’m worried her behaviour will not change. The other thing is she started to destroy things but it’s in very aggressive way as well. I also noticed she is eating more cardboard. You think spaying her will help?
     

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  2. Nov 20, 2019 #2

    Hermelin

    Hermelin

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    Spaying will often help with guarding the territory and being extremely territorial. Hormones make them act that way often and some bunnies will react negative on being pumped with hormones. Which can change their personalities.

    Often after a spay/ neuter they will calm down and don’t have as much temperament.

    Myself know that when my doe get temperamental she can bite me without I’m doing anything but often calms down later around a month later.

    Dosen’t dare spaying her because of her age and how easily her stomach mess up. If she was younger it would be no question of spaying her :3

    So go through with the spay and it will also help. After a spay she might be a bit unhappy and will have a bit of temperament but it calms down after 2 months.
     
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  3. Nov 20, 2019 #3

    Lenka

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    Thank you for reply. But if you don’t mind me asking... what do you do when she bites you? Coz I normally try to run away but it seems to anger her even more.
     
  4. Nov 20, 2019 #4

    Augustus&HazelGrace

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    Sounds like hormones. The spay should settle that down but will take about a month. The eating of cardboard is perfectly fine, in fact, you want to give her plenty of different cardboard items to give her something to destroy that's not your furniture. You can give her phonebooks, toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls, you can make the toilet paper rolls into balls and other toys or stuff them with hay.
     
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  5. Nov 20, 2019 #5

    Augustus&HazelGrace

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  6. Nov 20, 2019 #6

    Lenka

    Lenka

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    Nice ones thank you for the idea
     
  7. Nov 20, 2019 #7

    Daisy's Mom

    Daisy's Mom

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    I had my Holland Lop spayed when she was 13 months old. That was in July. It has made a huge difference in her temperament. She is back to being very sweet & fun. She is a wonderful family member!
     

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  8. Nov 20, 2019 #8

    Hermelin

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    When she bites me I push her away and say no. While standing up, she will often come back and try biting me again but I just shove her away or pick her up and lock her in the hutch.

    Not really that fun, she’s a giant bunny so her bites are quite strong. I rather be bitten by my holland lop or netherland dwarf they won’t leave any big wounds or bruises xD

    I often put her in time out and just interact less with her until she backs to the cuddle bunny she is.

    I often just cover myself with clothes that can protect me better from her, but it often dosen’t happens that much. I know the signals and can back away and let her have the space.

    She’s a cuddly bunny that often will press her head up to my face to get kisses and love cuddles. So it is easy for me reading her, but young bunnies are harder especially when they are under 1 year old :3
     
  9. Nov 20, 2019 #9

    Lenka

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    Wow you are so brave. Honestly I can’t even push her away coz I’m worried she will hate me And losing her trust would be a nightmare since I only have one bunny She is very sassy and spoiled by me so it’s not all her fault.
     
  10. Nov 20, 2019 #10

    Hermelin

    Hermelin

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    When you have built up a solid bond, a shove won’t make her hate you.

    I remember when I got my doe, she was a true nightmare trying to be a boss but after she understood biting didn’t work and she couldn’t boss over me. She warmed up and became extremely cuddly, she gets super excited when she sees me and give me kisses but my family she won’t give kisses. Because they are just her servants that’s supposed to spoil her and not the other way xD

    Myself often push my bunnies limits, so myself have been bitten by all my bunnies at least once. But I rather be bitten than my family and friends. I learn what they find okay and what I need to work on more.

    Bunny bounce back easily after they have been unhappy or scared. You just need to bribe them and spoil them and they are back to normal in no time xD
     
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  11. Nov 20, 2019 #11

    Lenka

    Lenka

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    Thank you! You have so much knowledge and I will try to be more brave from now on. It’s my first rabbit. I had pets before( dogs, birds, fish, hamsters..) never had a bunny so it feels weird coz they can be so sassy and I find it hard to read them:)
     
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  12. Nov 21, 2019 #12

    Hermelin

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    I have only owned bunnies and I love their quirky personalities. They can really be bosses that you can’t help spoiling and you are really at their beck and call xD
     
  13. Nov 21, 2019 #13

    Lenka

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    Thank you. So in the morning I tried to get her back into her playpen and as I reached for her she bit me. I pulled my hand away and then I tried to grab her again and she lunged at me but this time I was faster and quickly pulled my hands away from her. I managed to get her in but she was very upset. Once in a playpen she flops on the side and I’m lost for words:) I can’t understand. She is relaxing now:)
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  14. Nov 21, 2019 #14

    Hermelin

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    That behavior might disappear after spaying if it’s territorial but if it’s because she feel cornered. You will have to train her. But you will have to wait until after spaying so you know what to focus on ^^

    You can use thick gloves as a protecting measurement against your bunny. It will really help a lot and make you less scared ^^
     
  15. Nov 22, 2019 #15

    ThePelletnator

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    They are quirky. At the beginning our dwarf was very social, didn't mind being picked up, but then despised being touched or anything. It took months and another bunny to get her socialize again. Once you lose that bonding, for some reason or another, you just have to start off at square one again. They'll come around, but it just takes time, perseverance and patience on our parts. And lots of love and treats....
     
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  16. Dec 5, 2019 at 3:41 PM #16

    TonyaBun2

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    I have a question? I am not sure if I am doing this right or not but here goes. I rescued a dwarf bunny female! I was called because someone abandoned their home & left 19 cats roaming around, the bunny was in a homemade cage made of chicken wire, 9 small dogs in 3 kennels. None had food or water! The bunny was in bad shape & was gonna be put down but I wanted to try & help it. So I brought it home, in the very bottom of the litter area I found old cat food, so I am guessing they were feeding it that!! On the toes it had the nails were VERY long & curling in different directions they were brittle & all fell off even after I cut them down. After several mts of good regular food & hay they have grown in strong but still grow sideways & strange! I have kept her separate from my other pets ( a regular sized bunny, 2 ferrets & 1 chinchilla). I took her to my vet to be sexed & spayed or neutered but even though he sedated her he could not tell!! I am pretty sure it’s a SHE but she is mean as all get up!! Which I can understand because she has had a rough time of it! She also has old puncture wound scars in her ears!! The reason I say she is because she pulled her fur out & acted like she had babies in her house in her big cage!! She guarded it for days!! She comes to the cage bars to be petted on her nose, ears & cheeks but that’s it!! She does not like to be held or touched anywhere else! If I get her out to try & play with her she pees then starts grunting & hopping around. She will come up to you but if you try to pet her she will charge & bite & slap with her front paws! I have no clue about her age but she is tiny. I just want to teach her that it’s ok & life can be good if she can relax. Any help will be appreciated!!!
     
  17. Dec 5, 2019 at 5:40 PM #17

    Blue eyes

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    Aside from hormones, that behavior is actually something that --I'm afraid to say -- you have encouraged. Catching her and picking her up to get her into her playpen is a big no-no. It teaches her that you are to be feared and not trusted. You are the one "forcing" her to go somewhere. This is another reason why she is trying to bite you. She is telling you in the only way she knows how that she doesn't like what you are doing.

    Once she's spayed, she isn't going to like that behavior any more. That habit of just grabbing a rabbit and moving them wherever is what new owners of baby rabbits often do-- not realizing that only babies tolerate such behavior.

    The better approach is to coax or trick your rabbit into going where you want. Some train them to go into a cage on command. Others use a pen to coax them. Food (greens, or pellets) may be used as a bribe too. Mine are free range except at night. In the evening I put their daily pellet portion in their cage and they quickly hop in. You can read more about this here (scroll down on that page).

    Understanding these quirks of the personalities of rabbits is key to making both you and them happy. They are unlike any other pet.
     
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  18. Dec 5, 2019 at 6:50 PM #18

    ThePelletnator

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    So true. Bribery, coaxing and outright fooling your rabbit is necessary. Chasing after them and forcing them only makes them even more angry. Once I stopped the chasing, and moved to coaxing her around with food did she eventually loosen up. And they can move quickly from being feisty/biting to wanting to be pet in a short time. But having a companion for her is always helpful. My dwarf moved from that scared/angry/biting stage to mellow in about 2-3 months. She still fights with the bigger one, but that's because he's a hog and at times she has to steal back her treats that I give her from him, so it's a constant merry go round between the two. But they both love each other.
     
  19. Dec 5, 2019 at 7:22 PM #19

    Hermelin

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    Start with coaxing and bribing, no picking up practice or forcing to cuddle. Use the daily pellets ratio as treats during the day and let her eat from your hand. While she eats from your hand you can pet and scratch behind her ear a little. The food will work as an distraction and make her calm, of you can’t pet her while she eats.

    Just let your hand lay close by and keep her company while talking. This will help her build up a bit of trust towards you.

    Attacking the hand are just warnings and because she gets scared. It’s normal among bunnies that have not built up a trust towards humans.

    Have small goals what you want to reach and take baby steps towards them. When you can touch her without attacking, you can train picking up and other things.

    My buck that was scared and aggressive towards human, I waited for 9 months until I started to pick him up. But I started to train picking up after 6 months of owning him. When he regressed in the progress of building his trust towards humans I stepped back a few steps and started from there again. Took 1 year to get a more confident and cuddly bunny. But worth the time and the enjoyment of seeing how confident he have become, from a frighten insecure bunny to a bunny that runs upto me and begs for cuddles and treats :)

    So let your bunny decide the tempo and when they are ready to accept you. From that adjust your bunny training ^^
     
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