Aggressive when being held

Discussion in 'Rabbit Knowledge Library' started by Alliefan, Sep 10, 2019.

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  1. Sep 10, 2019 #1

    Alliefan

    Alliefan

    Alliefan

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    I have a 7 month old Flemish Giant. I got her when she was 5 and she was neutered the next month. She runs up to me and loves "some" attention. At times she will jump in my bed for a quick cuddle then she scurries off.

    I've reading here about others who's rabbit doesn't like to be held. Ashes does not like it and she won't sit on my lap. Backing off and giving her her space seems to have made that worse. So I started picking her up and sitting on the couch with her until she calms down ... not rewarding her kicking and biting by letting her go ... but wow it makes her so mad, biting and scratching. When she appears to have calmed down I let her go and she aggressively digs at me and runs away.
    (I was putting her in timeout in her cage for 15 min each time she digs at me if I catch her time.). Crazy thing is, within an hour she's back bumping my foot wanting attention ... as long as it's on the floor.

    Am I going to make it worse by making her sit on my lap a few times throughout the day to get her more used to it? I want to be able to calmly have her sit on my lap so I can enjoy her but also to trim her nails, etc.
     
  2. Sep 10, 2019 #2

    Poopy Poo

    Poopy Poo

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    Short answer: yes you are making it worse, if you continue she'll get defensive and nervous, think she is already. You need to build trust get to her level and not to force, since she's already scared of you it won't be easy you'll need some patience. In January I've got a 9 wk old lop girl with same problems now it is September and she just stopped biting last month and comes to me i am still very careful around her mouth as my hands remember but I feel she's so much better now. Good luck
     
  3. Sep 10, 2019 #3

    Hermelin

    Hermelin

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    Because it’s a larger breed it’s better to earn her trust. And carry her in a basket or travel cage. Larger breeds it’s really hard to pick up comfortable for them like for smaller breeds.

    Myself have a french lop and she struggled a lot until I had earned her trust and figured out what she liked. She hate being picked up but at least she tolerate me handling her for short minutes.

    After eating her trust a bit, you can start to slowly build up getting used with being held and picked up. But most bunnies will just tolerate being held.
     
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  4. Sep 10, 2019 #4

    Alliefan

    Alliefan

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    Ok thank you. I started out like a video showed, just putting your hands on them then picking up her paw. She was fine with but I will give her more time. Thanks for the help
     
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  5. Sep 10, 2019 #5

    Poopy Poo

    Poopy Poo

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    Yeah but there's plenty of hope :)
    My other lop Bernie was lunging at me when I've got her and won't let me touch her she knows karate for sure. But now she is so happy when picked up with any style she's begging to be petted! I think every rabbit is a bit different and firstly you can watch them and study them then you can try many different ways until you feel that would work and then keep moving that way. It just takes lots of love and patience, I believe that everything is possible if you want and make right steps.
     
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  6. Sep 10, 2019 #6

    Alliefan

    Alliefan

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    Do rabbits, especially the larger breeds, become more laid back and easy about things in general as they get older? This is my first indoor rabbit.
     
  7. Sep 10, 2019 #7

    Poopy Poo

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    You know, my Smoky was so difficult there she was in a crazy home before and had no trust in humans I believe. It looked so impossible I was so lost! I've noticed first changes when I just was laying on the floor near her cage reading and fell asleep, I've noticed that after that she looked at me differently, like I was there near her but didn't try to talk to her or take her out or something, just was laying there sleeping, and I think she thought that I trusted her so I fels safe sleeping in her presence. It was an accident but when I understood that she feels better I took my sleeping bag and just slept near her cage more often, it definitely worked more than words!
     
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  8. Sep 10, 2019 #8

    Alliefan

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    Well makes sense. I always did that with my horses ... take a chair out to the pasture and read or studied for hours. Excellent bonding tool. I will try that with her. Thanks!
     
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  9. Sep 10, 2019 #9

    Hermelin

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    I’ve never had problems with handling my bunnies and pick them all up. Just that in the beginning it will always be a struggle until they have trust, I notices how they want to be handled and also learning them that being held and picked up aren’t scary. Just a lot of patience and positive reinforcement everything will turn out good

    I only have experience with 5 bunnies so maybe haven’t met the bunny that truly won’t accept being handled and held ^^
     
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  10. Sep 11, 2019 at 5:38 PM #10

    April LD

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    Try bribery! Use some freshies (lettuce, cilantro, whatever is her favorite) to get her to come to you and get in your lap. Try to get her in your lap before she gets the freshie/treat. DON'T pet her, DON'T touch her, just let her sit/jump in your lap, give the treat, say good girl and let her go. If you have more than one "treat" continue to give her the rest but make sure she gets in your lap first. Do this for a week and then try a pet. Short, quick pet where you know she enjoys being touched, do this for a week. It takes time and patience. She will get there. Best thing is to make sure she understands that being in your lap, being loved on/picked up is a good thing not a bad thing. Forcing her to stay, giving her tine out after being with you on your lap or being held is reaffirming that these things are bad. You need to reinforce this is good. Bunnies are like 2 to 3 year old kids...short attention span, need reinforcement, and need praise. Just take your time! Be patient! She'll come around if you show her you are "good" and good things happen when she does what you want her to do, without her understanding that this is what you want. You want her to think this is what SHE wants :p:rolleyes::)
     
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  11. Sep 11, 2019 at 11:08 PM #11

    Andreya

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    So, I know nothing, I just got my girl a few weeks ago. But she's a 5-month-old Flemish Giant and she doesn't like to be held either. She hadn't been handled much prior to my bringing her home, so I'm not sure if that's why, but she hates it. This morning she came when I called her, and she loves to nuzzle up against my hand while I pet her and kiss her head. So far she just doesn't want to be picked up, it freaks her out and she gets mad.
     
  12. Sep 12, 2019 at 5:22 PM #12

    Hermelin

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    Just pick her up with a basket or travel cage. My french lop hate being picked up. At least she learned to tolerate it, but in the beginning she would always shake and be extremely scared. When putted on the ground again she would growl at me, to show her displeasure.

    I can tell you it took 3 months for her to accept me handling her. Got a few bite marks and scratches, but totally worth the struggle. Because I have the closest bond with her in my family and the only one she will kiss. She doesn’t accept other people picking her up, if she’s not wrapped in a towel.

    So do it in baby steps and positive reinforcement and everything will go well

    IMG_4131.jpg
     
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  13. Sep 12, 2019 at 6:33 PM #13

    Poopy Poo

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    She's so big! And beautiful, I just thought she's much smaller, she's about size of my Smokey :)

    This is a very good trick with the basket or travel carrier, I do it myself with Smokey, I just open her door and place open carrier in front of her, she jumps into it and I bring her a few steps to the play cage, I use it for all my girls while cleaning their cages. She learned quickly what that means I just tell her jump in jump in and she is very relaxed that way, like an elevator because play cage is placed 55cm from the floor, she loves it.
     
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  14. Sep 12, 2019 at 8:08 PM #14

    Katie161908

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    Poopy poo iv had neighbours abandon their bunny it a tiny filthy falling apart cage totally unloved or cared for it had him inside with me as iv got no cage and I'm trying to get help with that but he wouldn't come near me for over a week then he started sneaking out and watching me as each day passed and he seen i wasn't going to hurt him he started coming up and trying to eat out of the food bowl while I was filling it so I tried petting him and he didn't run away slowly he has let ,e do m9re iv only had him 3weeks to a month 2 n8ghts ago I woke up to him sitting on my chest the next m9rning he started sitting in my bedroom door way laid out like a king today he stay laying how he does while I walk over stepped over him to answer my door as soon as he heared my son he was gone I can't believe how fast he has been getting close but I do admit I spent the first week sleeping next to his hiding spit he found and I'd stay there watching tv 9n my laptop and I'd talk to him like he was human it's working for me give it a go sitting next to his safe spit for a day or sleep there a couple nights and any other extra time and ur bunny will lower his guard lol by lil.i have 2 heart conditions and need new lungs and I was losing myself fast this bunny has helped me more then I'll ever be able to do for him and now I'm determined to get him to trust me completely his my new best friend.iv been looking for place that might help me getting a suitable hutch or a site where people give them away but don't really know where to start if u have any ideas I'm is Australia,New South Wales ,wodonga area.any info that might help me out would be fantastic he has appointment at vets today to have his nails done I think for first time they are so long I cried.i don't know really what they need or don't need done for them I'm trying to learn
     
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  15. Sep 12, 2019 at 8:59 PM #15

    Hermelin

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    So cute, my doe Lilja learned traveling in a basket, she get really scared and stressed in travel cages. But I also taught her the trick to walk into the travel cage. She rather be picked up than the travel cage

    She’s my big cutie with a lot of fluff. I’m just worrying about her age. She’s old now for a giant breed and walking out and seeing her sleep like a dead log always scares me. She sleeps extremely deep, dosen’t wake up even though I shout at her
     
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  16. Sep 12, 2019 at 9:06 PM #16

    Alliefan

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    Awww I love the way she snuggles up to you.
     
  17. Sep 13, 2019 at 5:42 AM #17

    Hermelin

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    She’s like a huge teddy bear, a lot of hugging and docile with a queen attitude. Myself also want a Flemish giant but the spots of bunnies are already filled. It’s so hard resisting getting another bunny they are so cute and fluffy
     
  18. Sep 13, 2019 at 1:01 PM #18

    Alliefan

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    I needed to do some reading yesterday so I went over near her and laid down on the floor. That really is bonding. Early this morning I noticed she was laying near me, next to my bed rather than off in the corner as usual.

    Thanks for the help!! Getting me started and going in the right direction with my new Flemish.
     
  19. Sep 13, 2019 at 4:12 PM #19

    soenso

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    I have had my Flemmie for three years and she still won't let me pick her up. As others have mentioned, they are so big that they may never feel secure enough to be ok with being picked up. I do all my quiet activities on the floor and she lays with me and licks me :) She's really cuddly and loving but just will not be picked up. I think it's fine :)
     
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  20. Sep 13, 2019 at 9:44 PM #20

    Whiterabbitrage

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    We got our Flemmie when she was a baby and she hated being picked up even back then. Hated it! We’ve had her for five years now. She is a good girl about getting into her crate for transport, but cannot stand being picked up. She loves to cuddle but has never once crawled into my lap. I assumed that because she is so big, she doesn’t like to get onto things that are unstable. I had a medium sized breed years ago and she was fine with getting picked up. If I was in a chair, she would jump up into my lap. I just assumed Flemmies were different.
     

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