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Hello everyone!

I am wanting know how to proceed with my holland lop Cadbury. She is a sweet little girl and we got her fixed a year and a half ago. I adopted her from a teenager who was breeding them and did not have the money to take her to a vet. She had snuffles and hasn't had a problem since I gave her echinacea and probiotics for rabbits. She originally came from a bunny hoarder who had hundreds of bunnies in cage in a barn with tons of poop and urine covering the floor. Besides her snuffles she was otherwise healthy. Teeth checked as well. The young lady said that when she had her litter she was extremely territorial and aggressive and would not let her get near the babies.
I knew that bunnies could be worked with and decided to adopt her.

She was extremely aggressive until we got her fixed. In between her territorial behavior she was really sweet; however we took some bloody bites working with her. I was told her behavior might never change. She currently lives in the largest size caged dog crate and her behavior suddenly has shifted favorably. I cut her nails and she just let me...which never happens, it takes two people and a towel. further, she has been litter training amazingly, which no more than a month ago the poop wouldn't always make it into the litter box. So I have been giving her time out and about, but we still fear for our ankles. I am in the process of rearranging my home to accommodate a larger yet controlled space for her, a large doggy pen is what i will be using.

We have not been bit in a year, whence is out she comes up to be pet, prior she would bite when she didn't want us to stop and very bossy like too. lol. Now i don't give her the opportunity because i am afraid. I place her elsewhere when i am not able to sit with her for an hour lol.

I am looking for advice on properly integrating her into our home. Further does any have any knowledge on if the behavior is something she will just have? I was told that it might take longer for her hormones to settle beyond the 2-3 months after her spay, could it be that she is calmed down now and I can properly work with her without the rage.

I would appreciate some advice and guidance. I do research and try to make decisions but this is only the second rabbit I have owned in my life and she is completely different in nature.

Best,

Brittany
 
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Lucas the Bun 💕🐇

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The only way you’ll build trust, and be comfortable around her and vise versa,
is to be around her. 😉

Let her sit next to you on the couch,
and be confident around her (rabbits can sense when your nervous (and happy) and if your nervous they’ll be nervous.

This girly in the picture she used to bite and scratch, now she grooms me and is really sweet (in a sassy sort of way)😆.

If your worried she’ll bite you read her body language, if her ears are pinned down and her eyes are wide, do not attempt to pet her you’ll likely get bit, not because she’s aggressive, because she’s scared.

You can pet her when she does’nt flinch when you’re hand gets near her, and her ears are relaxed (I’ll add picture).

Feel free to ask questions and welcome to the forum 😊🐰❤
C34114C3-0CE8-49AE-995D-75126231B514.jpeg
Resting beside me


4814CCC4-5182-4BB7-9E09-EA0EAEF8291B.jpeg
Kissing me 🥰🐰, NOT BITING
 
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Lucas the Bun 💕🐇

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Ps. If your rabbit lets you cut her nails without putting up a fight,
LUCKY ! ,
But seriously, I HIGHLY DOUBT SHE‘LL BITE you

My rabbit doesn’t even let me, (at least without a struggle) 😒😅 and she still kisses,
 

Hermelin

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Myself owns an previous aggressive bunny, it wasn’t caused by hormones instead it was triggers and him being scared.

I’ve not truly been bitten by him for a year, but he can nip or go for the bite but it never break the skin. For example I touch his trigger point, I try to pick him up without doing his routine for picking up and so on. He will fixate a lot at my hands and can growl when he’s unhappy.

If I see the signs of triggering him, I just use treats as a distractions to make him relax again. I can check his teeth, clean the ears, trim the nails and he’s a totally angel. No struggle but pulling a little loose fur from his trigger point and he will try to bite me 🤣

They can feel your fear, so try to not let your fear rule you. I would say the biting when she don’t want you stop, try to put a stop to it by going away. Only reward her when she is calm and behave how you want. You can use treats when she behave good (use daily pellets ratio as treats). Because myself have also owned a nipping girl that was highly territorial when it was other animals and quite bossy. Her nipping would leave big bruises, but she later learned that nipping wouldn’t give what she wanted.
 

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Hi, what you described are great changes I just surprised that they started 1,5 year after fixing her (if I understood correctly), I would expect changes after a month or two. I have fixed males they changed after 2-3 months after neutering.

I have an aggressive nervous rabbit myself, I adopted her when she was 9 weeks from an oopsie litter and she had very bad experiences in her old family, very disturbing environment and she was very nervous and I was all covered with bloody scars first few months. she was very territorial and she had no trust in humans, there they had a small non-stop barking dog and nasty nephews and their small cage with mother and 4 babies was in the living room next to TV on loud 24/7, they were also smoking in the living room, when I came to collect her I only spent 10-15 mins in there but all my clothes and hair smelled like an ashtray, you can hardly breath there. She had some health problems, but main problem was that she was very nervous and defensive. She was advertised and sold to me as a mini lop but she is now about 2 year old and she's very big and very strong, and still very desperate, she moves fast and she is still territorial, she can't wait for food she's boxing at me and all, she is still not spayed.

She is so much better now, last time I've got bitten was around a year ago but exactly as you said my ankles still remember so I avoid situations when she could.
She is fine with grooming and clipping nails and brushing just she is protective over her space so I don't touch her there and I clean it only when she is not there.

It took lots of work, it would probably be easier if I could spay her but we've decided on the long version.

First changes I've noticed with building trust after I took a sleeping bag and slept on the floor next to her enclosure. I was so surprised, there's something changed in her look. Probably because sleeping in front of her showed that I trust her? She loves when I am on her level, she comes to me now but it took really long time. She won't lick my hands as my other rabbit do but I am happy she's still defensive when I want to pick her up in her territory but when she is on my lap she is relaxed and happy, clicking her teeth in my arms and can stay for an hour on me. She's a big girl I love her a lot, and she loves me. But she was a pain really, I can't tell you how many times I was ready to give up. The only thing that was stopping me, I can't really give her for adoption because who will take a rabbit like her, aggressive, nervous, biting?? Honestly, there was one day I thought maybe I can let her to woods but that would mean her death, so was only a thought.

What I've learned from it, that even without spay she has changed became calmer at 1 year old, now she is two next months, she's quite good girl, including her toilet, she is still protective over her territory so I just don't irritate her, but changes are great and very positive overall.

In your case it is great that she is spayed, took long time but just sit next to her cage on the floor or lay on the floor reading or sleeping or playing with your phone, ignore her, she will see that you are not trying to get her, she will start taking it easier. Takes time but it should work. After a couple weeks you can try keep her door open and do same just ignore her and she should come to you out of curiosity, have a little treat for her just give her a pellet and say hello and let her go. Every time she comes to you give her a pellet. Do not force her, takes time but you'll be there, I wish you best of luck :)

And please keep us updated and we also loves pictures :)
 
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She used to attack ankles from under beds and coffee tables. Lol. I sure hope that sge
The only way you’ll build trust, and be comfortable around her and vise versa,
is to be around her. 😉

Let her sit next to you on the couch,
and be confident around her (rabbits can sense when your nervous (and happy) and if your nervous they’ll be nervous.

This girly in the picture she used to bite and scratch, now she grooms me and is really sweet (in a sassy sort of way)😆.

If your worried she’ll bite you read her body language, if her ears are pinned down and her eyes are wide, do not attempt to pet her you’ll likely get bit, not because she’s aggressive, because she’s scared.

You can pet her when she does’nt flinch when you’re hand gets near her, and her ears are relaxed (I’ll add picture).

Feel free to ask questions and welcome to the forum 😊🐰❤
View attachment 50546
Resting beside me


View attachment 50547
Kissing me 🥰🐰, NOT BITING
The only way you’ll build trust, and be comfortable around her and vise versa,
is to be around her. 😉

Let her sit next to you on the couch,
and be confident around her (rabbits can sense when your nervous (and happy) and if your nervous they’ll be nervous.

This girly in the picture she used to bite and scratch, now she grooms me and is really sweet (in a sassy sort of way)😆.

If your worried she’ll bite you read her body language, if her ears are pinned down and her eyes are wide, do not attempt to pet her you’ll likely get bit, not because she’s aggressive, because she’s scared.

You can pet her when she does’nt flinch when you’re hand gets near her, and her ears are relaxed (I’ll add picture).

Feel free to ask questions and welcome to the forum 😊🐰❤
View attachment 50546
Resting beside me


View attachment 50547
Kissing me 🥰🐰, NOT BITING
That is a good body language tip!!! She does do this thing, ears forward eyes slitted. Lol...we just give her space but I can't till of that's stay away or curious and relaxed. Lol.

Thank you for your post, I wasn't sure I would get a response.
 
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Ps. If your rabbit lets you cut her nails without putting up a fight,
LUCKY ! ,
But seriously, I HIGHLY DOUBT SHE‘LL BITE you

My rabbit doesn’t even let me, (at least without a struggle) 😒😅 and she still kisses,
Yes of late she has been not putting up a fight. Before we feared for our arms and fingers. Lol. I hope next trim will be the same. She has also been doing this thing where we pick her up out of her doggy crate and she is complete limp. Prior she was psycho! Putting down is a different story. She just wants down right away lol.
 
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Myself owns an previous aggressive bunny, it wasn’t caused by hormones instead it was triggers and him being scared.

I’ve not truly been bitten by him for a year, but he can nip or go for the bite but it never break the skin. For example I touch his trigger point, I try to pick him up without doing his routine for picking up and so on. He will fixate a lot at my hands and can growl when he’s unhappy.

If I see the signs of triggering him, I just use treats as a distractions to make him relax again. I can check his teeth, clean the ears, trim the nails and he’s a totally angel. No struggle but pulling a little loose fur from his trigger point and he will try to bite me 🤣

They can feel your fear, so try to not let your fear rule you. I would say the biting when she don’t want you stop, try to put a stop to it by going away. Only reward her when she is calm and behave how you want. You can use treats when she behave good (use daily pellets ratio as treats). Because myself have also owned a nipping girl that was highly territorial when it was other animals and quite bossy. Her nipping would leave big bruises, but she later learned that nipping wouldn’t give what she wanted.

I wonder if she will have triggers as well. Prior she had raging hormones with extreme territorial posessiveness and now I am not sure where this behavior change is going.

That is a great idea...I will use pellets as treats. Overdoing it on her veggies gives her tummy issues.
 
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Hi, what you described are great changes I just surprised that they started 1,5 year after fixing her (if I understood correctly), I would expect changes after a month or two. I have fixed males they changed after 2-3 months after neutering.

I have an aggressive nervous rabbit myself, I adopted her when she was 9 weeks from an oopsie litter and she had very bad experiences in her old family, very disturbing environment and she was very nervous and I was all covered with bloody scars first few months. she was very territorial and she had no trust in humans, there they had a small non-stop barking dog and nasty nephews and their small cage with mother and 4 babies was in the living room next to TV on loud 24/7, they were also smoking in the living room, when I came to collect her I only spent 10-15 mins in there but all my clothes and hair smelled like an ashtray, you can hardly breath there. She had some health problems, but main problem was that she was very nervous and defensive. She was advertised and sold to me as a mini lop but she is now about 2 year old and she's very big and very strong, and still very desperate, she moves fast and she is still territorial, she can't wait for food she's boxing at me and all, she is still not spayed.

She is so much better now, last time I've got bitten was around a year ago but exactly as you said my ankles still remember so I avoid situations when she could.
She is fine with grooming and clipping nails and brushing just she is protective over her space so I don't touch her there and I clean it only when she is not there.

It took lots of work, it would probably be easier if I could spay her but we've decided on the long version.

First changes I've noticed with building trust after I took a sleeping bag and slept on the floor next to her enclosure. I was so surprised, there's something changed in her look. Probably because sleeping in front of her showed that I trust her? She loves when I am on her level, she comes to me now but it took really long time. She won't lick my hands as my other rabbit do but I am happy she's still defensive when I want to pick her up in her territory but when she is on my lap she is relaxed and happy, clicking her teeth in my arms and can stay for an hour on me. She's a big girl I love her a lot, and she loves me. But she was a pain really, I can't tell you how many times I was ready to give up. The only thing that was stopping me, I can't really give her for adoption because who will take a rabbit like her, aggressive, nervous, biting?? Honestly, there was one day I thought maybe I can let her to woods but that would mean her death, so was only a thought.

What I've learned from it, that even without spay she has changed became calmer at 1 year old, now she is two next months, she's quite good girl, including her toilet, she is still protective over her territory so I just don't irritate her, but changes are great and very positive overall.

In your case it is great that she is spayed, took long time but just sit next to her cage on the floor or lay on the floor reading or sleeping or playing with your phone, ignore her, she will see that you are not trying to get her, she will start taking it easier. Takes time but it should work. After a couple weeks you can try keep her door open and do same just ignore her and she should come to you out of curiosity, have a little treat for her just give her a pellet and say hello and let her go. Every time she comes to you give her a pellet. Do not force her, takes time but you'll be there, I wish you best of luck :)

And please keep us updated and we also loves pictures :)
I am not sure if my approach of leaving her be and petting her only in her space and when she comes up or giving her space is what has done it. But it has been an extreme behavior change. Something I have been doing has helped her towards the positive.
 

Lucas the Bun 💕🐇

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There are different things that cause rabbit aggression:

-hormones
-fear
-triggers (like touching them on the butt) could be one
-cage aggression (never take them out of the cage, cage becomes safe place)
- they aren’t used to you, so they don’t trust you
 

Lucas the Bun 💕🐇

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Body Language https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjI9Y3xr_3rAhUSRa0KHVHxBRgQwqsBMBp6BAgKEAs&url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDnPE0z_Lwc&usg=AOvVaw2r0F_eUZ17ZmyxWK0eggpy

Bonding with your bunny

Article:

Aggressive Ears vs Happy Ears

How to tell if your rabbit is bonded to you
 
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Hermelin

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I wonder if she will have triggers as well. Prior she had raging hormones with extreme territorial posessiveness and now I am not sure where this behavior change is going.

That is a great idea...I will use pellets as treats. Overdoing it on her veggies gives her tummy issues.
It’s something you will have to test and see, later just avoid triggers when building the bond. With my boy I had cage aggression, hand aggression and if you touched him he would attack. So myself could never put any hay in his litter box without him running towards me even though he wasn’t in the cage, not the easiest litter box to clean with him around. I can now clean the cage even though he jumps in and he won’t attack me or the brush but I still prefer him not being in the way because I can accidentally get touch his trigger point.

Myself think it was mostly hormones that made your girl extra aggressive. She have calmed down and it’s safe to work with her. If you are still scared when interacting more, just put on more clothes and when you feel more comfortable dress down.

My own previous aggressive boy, he only have one trigger point now. Totally a sweetheart as long you read his signals correctly and know how to handle him:
 

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If she is biting you after you stop petting her, because she doesn't want you to stop petting, this isn't nervous or scared aggression, this is dominance and her being a bossy female. It's her saying she is in charge and is telling you that you aren't allowed to stop yet. So in part it's a natural dominance behavior, but it is also a learned behavior. She has learned that she's allowed to be 'top bun' and that she is allowed to nip to get what she wants.

So it's going to be a lot of retraining effort on your part, and diligence. Making sure you aren't rewarding her negative behavior by giving pets or treats after she has behaved this way. If she nips after you stop petting her because she doesn't want you to stop, and you immediately start petting her again, you are teaching her that nipping gets her what she wants. So it's really important to pay attention to what you are doing after she exhibits the unwanted behavior, so you aren't inadvertently rewarding her.

You need to flip it around so you are rewarding positive behavior, like rewarding her after she gives a nose bump to get your attention before it escalates into a nip. Or reward her with a pellet when she is behaving nicely.

When she isn't behaving and is nipping or acting bossy, I would either firmly but gently herd her back to her area(a dominant bun would chase off another rabbit bothering it) or I would thump at her then turn my back to her then glance back over my shoulder at her to make sure she's watching. This is a way rabbits show disapproval with each other(or with us). You'll have to experiment a little to see what works best with her to get your message across. Every rabbit is different.

Reading up on rabbit body language can also be helpful.

This one's good too, though some listings are lacking a more complete description.
 
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so
It’s something you will have to test and see, later just avoid triggers when building the bond. With my boy I had cage aggression, hand aggression and if you touched him he would attack. So myself could never put any hay in his litter box without him running towards me even though he wasn’t in the cage, not the easiest litter box to clean with him around. I can now clean the cage even though he jumps in and he won’t attack me or the brush but I still prefer him not being in the way because I can accidentally get touch his trigger point.

Myself think it was mostly hormones that made your girl extra aggressive. She have calmed down and it’s safe to work with her. If you are still scared when interacting more, just put on more clothes and when you feel more comfortable dress down.

My own previous aggressive boy, he only have one trigger point now. Totally a sweetheart as long you read his signals correctly and know how to handle him:
[/QUOT

So far her typical triggers haven't been coming up. I have been letting her out to run around the living room and she actually jumped up on the couch and cuddled next to me. not for long or else she will pee, she doesn't really understand that she has to go back to litter tray to pee. She will go back to use it though, just not consistently. she is cage trained after only a couple of days....
 
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If she is biting you after you stop petting her, because she doesn't want you to stop petting, this isn't nervous or scared aggression, this is dominance and her being a bossy female. It's her saying she is in charge and is telling you that you aren't allowed to stop yet. So in part it's a natural dominance behavior, but it is also a learned behavior. She has learned that she's allowed to be 'top bun' and that she is allowed to nip to get what she wants.

So it's going to be a lot of retraining effort on your part, and diligence. Making sure you aren't rewarding her negative behavior by giving pets or treats after she has behaved this way. If she nips after you stop petting her because she doesn't want you to stop, and you immediately start petting her again, you are teaching her that nipping gets her what she wants. So it's really important to pay attention to what you are doing after she exhibits the unwanted behavior, so you aren't inadvertently rewarding her.

You need to flip it around so you are rewarding positive behavior, like rewarding her after she gives a nose bump to get your attention before it escalates into a nip. Or reward her with a pellet when she is behaving nicely.

When she isn't behaving and is nipping or acting bossy, I would either firmly but gently herd her back to her area(a dominant bun would chase off another rabbit bothering it) or I would thump at her then turn my back to her then glance back over my shoulder at her to make sure she's watching. This is a way rabbits show disapproval with each other(or with us). You'll have to experiment a little to see what works best with her to get your message across. Every rabbit is different.

Reading up on rabbit body language can also be helpful.

This one's good too, though some listings are lacking a more complete description.

The articles are very helpful. I have been referencing them when she is out and so far she it has been helpful. have been attempting to reward he when she is behaving nicely. Yesterday after I was not able to continue petting her for an hour ;) lol I gave her a pellet and no bite, she hopped away a bit. and came back begging for more pets. I would acknowledge her with a small pet and she seemed okay with that. Then she went crazy with wanting more pellets and begged directly in my face lol. literally whiskers and nose in my face. Hopefully i won't reward her bad behavior on accident. lol rabbits are so different than dogs or cats.

Thank you!
 
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Body Language https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjI9Y3xr_3rAhUSRa0KHVHxBRgQwqsBMBp6BAgKEAs&url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDnPE0z_Lwc&usg=AOvVaw2r0F_eUZ17ZmyxWK0eggpy

Bonding with your bunny

Article:

Aggressive Ears vs Happy Ears

How to tell if your rabbit is bonded to you
The youtube link showed an error message.

However the article was extremely helpful. i really want her to live happier and be around people she loves being around us, i think maybe i was reading her wrong before, although she did have tons rage lol.
 
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Really good video, but at the beginning she’s kind of loud (lower volume) 😅

That was so cute. I loved watching that video. With her floppy ears its hard to tell with her body language sometimes. I try to follow her breathing and eyes a lot. lol although she was breathing really hard last night and i was like whats going on and then she peed!!! Missed that...poor thing had to pee. I hope i can catch it next time.

All of you vids and articles have been very helpful.
 

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