Any advice for picking up your bunny?

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Reese'sMom

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Hi there!

I have a French Lop named Reese Witherspoon and I've had her since January 3rd of 2021. I'm not sure how old she is but she is very big. When fully stretched out she is around 3 feet long, and weighs around 8.5 lbs.

So my problem is that when ever I try to pick her up she almost always runs and kicks her legs. As a result of this I have four 6inch long scratches and many other 3inch scratches. I have tried a few different ways of picking her up which I will list below.

1. "Scoop Method"
I basically just get my waist aligned with whatever surface she is on and scoop her from the side, and hug her against my body. I just did this and what happened was she instantly started to run. I changed my hand position to go on the outside of her body and supporting her upper body.

2. Under the bum and against the chest
This is the recommended method of picking up rabbits from Lennon the Bunny. I've tried this but Reese is to big to pick up like this I feel. She generally runs before I can get her off the ground.

3. By the arms under the bum
This one is similar to the 2nd one. Except I pick her up similar to how I would a cat but I support her bum. I generally will sit criss cross in front of her with a blanket on my lap and scoop her against my chest. Once I have her I cradle her like a would a baby but with her feet down. (Not on her back)

If any of you have suggestions on what to do differently I am willing to try anything!

Thank you so much!
Reese's Mom
 

ArtistChibi

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Why are you attempting to pick Reese up? Could you elaborate? You shouldn't force to pick up a rabbit unless you need to provide medication through the syringe or clip the nails. Forcing them to be picked up could result in associating you with being unable to escape and she would stop wanting to be near you, thinking you will try to pick her up.
 

Preitler

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Sometimes you need to pick up a rabbit. No, it isn't that stressfull when used to it, they just hate to lose the initiative but can get used to it. Some more, some less. some just accept it, and then there is the majority that will always be fed up quickly. Their attitude towards that topic can vary a lot.

In order for it to not being too stressful you need to train it, by starting low and short, down on the floor, and not lifting them to a significant height before you're confident you both can handle it. Combined with a treat afterwards. Once they know what's happening and no harm comes to them it's not that stressful, if they like it, or not. Well, tolerate it, or not is the better wording, I reckon. Avoiding everything that might pose a little challenge or is somewhat out of the comfort zone imho is not necessary. Be sure to have band aid at home ;)

If you don't train it but need to do it it will be adding stress to the situation, and you won't have much practice in restraining the rabbit - which can be dangerous.
Like never learning to swim because you might be frightend in the water when you can't swim.

I wouldn't pick them up and toting them around just for fun or to show off though, there's always the possibility of a struggle, and injuries by bad handling or a fall are a real possibility., And most really don't like it, overdoing it, like every day, can easily cast a shadow on your relationship. It's just something that is good for both to know and not being scared about, or dangerously awkward.
 

James + Ted

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I’ve had my buddy for a couple of years. I pick him up several times each day. At first, he scratched me up pretty good, trying to get away. Now, he runs in front of me, and puts himself into position to be picked up. I use your method #2. He doesn’t like to be held for very long, though.
 

Reese'sMom

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Why are you attempting to pick Reese up? Could you elaborate? You shouldn't force to pick up a rabbit unless you need to provide medication through the syringe or clip the nails. Forcing them to be picked up could result in associating you with being unable to escape and she would stop wanting to be near you, thinking you will try to pick her up.
Most of the time I pick her up to remove her from my desk, or the dresser. I also pick her up to cut her nails, which she hates. Other than that I pick her up and place her on my lap to just pet her. I didn't realize it could be so bad to try and pick her up.
 

Reese'sMom

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Sometimes you need to pick up a rabbit. No, it isn't that stressful when used to it, they just hate to lose the initiative but can get used to it. Some more, some less. some just accept it, and then there is the majority that will always be fed up quickly. Their attitude towards that topic can vary a lot.

In order for it to not being too stressful you need to train it, by starting low and short, down on the floor, and not lifting them to a significant height before you're confident you both can handle it. Combined with a treat afterwards. Once they know what's happening and no harm comes to them it's not that stressful, if they like it, or not. Well, tolerate it, or not is the better wording, I reckon. Avoiding everything that might pose a little challenge or is somewhat out of the comfort zone imho is not necessary. Be sure to have band aid at home ;)

If you don't train it but need to do it it will be adding stress to the situation, and you won't have much practice in restraining the rabbit - which can be dangerous.
Like never learning to swim because you might be frightened in the water when you can't swim.

I wouldn't pick them up and toting them around just for fun or to show off though, there's always the possibility of a struggle, and injuries by bad handling or a fall are a real possibility., And most really don't like it, overdoing it, like every day, can easily cast a shadow on your relationship. It's just something that is good for both to know and not being scared about, or dangerously awkward.
Yeah when I first tried to hold her in the very begging I always did it on my bed and would give treats after wards. Thank you so much for the help!
 

ArtistChibi

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Most of the time I pick her up to remove her from my desk, or the dresser. I also pick her up to cut her nails, which she hates. Other than that I pick her up and place her on my lap to just pet her. I didn't realize it could be so bad to try and pick her up.
To pick her up to clip her nails or get her off your desk. I've done that, too. But other times, it's best to let them willingly come to you. Since I'm work from home, Shen is used to me being at my desk for 8-12 hours, he learned he can get on my lap and stare at my bed where Xiao Wu is. 🤭
 

BunMomDelux

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I’m no expert or anything I’m just talking about my experience. You can acclimatize an animal to being picked up & held just by showing them that you’re strong enough to hold them without them slipping & that they can control when to be put down. Under the ribs and right at the butthole is where I lift my 15lbs chonker and in a swift graceful motion in put her front paws on my shoulder, one arm under the bum the other around her back. It feels very secure. First few times she panicked I immediately put her down on the bed & comforted her. Each time she slowly let me hold her a bit longer before scrambling. Always hold tightly and don’t squirm or drop her bum stay stoic. Always put her down on a soft surface (bed is ideal) the second she panics. It shows her that she’s 100% in control of deciding when to go down. If they sratch or nip don’t jump or say ow! stay calm and gently put them down & comfort. I’ve had my chonker for about 10 days now she’s already letting me hold her for about 20-30 seconds at a time. This technique has worked for me on a bunch of animals including one super anxious cat that never wanted to be held. Now he likes it :p Also never never never chase to pick up. If she runs away from you let her & try again 10 minutes later.
 

BunMomDelux

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Hi there!

I have a French Lop named Reese Witherspoon and I've had her since January 3rd of 2021. I'm not sure how old she is but she is very big. When fully stretched out she is around 3 feet long, and weighs around 8.5 lbs.

So my problem is that when ever I try to pick her up she almost always runs and kicks her legs. As a result of this I have four 6inch long scratches and many other 3inch scratches. I have tried a few different ways of picking her up which I will list below.

1. "Scoop Method"
I basically just get my waist aligned with whatever surface she is on and scoop her from the side, and hug her against my body. I just did this and what happened was she instantly started to run. I changed my hand position to go on the outside of her body and supporting her upper body.

2. Under the bum and against the chest
This is the recommended method of picking up rabbits from Lennon the Bunny. I've tried this but Reese is to big to pick up like this I feel. She generally runs before I can get her off the ground.

3. By the arms under the bum
This one is similar to the 2nd one. Except I pick her up similar to how I would a cat but I support her bum. I generally will sit criss cross in front of her with a blanket on my lap and scoop her against my chest. Once I have her I cradle her like a would a baby but with her feet down. (Not on her back)

If any of you have suggestions on what to do differently I am willing to try anything!

Thank you so much!
Reese's Mom
I’d like to add that I’ve had 2 3lbs buns for 5 years. I always tuck my hands under them & wait. If they squirm I leave them down. If they stay I scoop em up and they both love to be cradled on my boobs and get cheek kisses they’ll stay for 5-10 minutes sometimes and occasionally fall asleep like that. If they pull away or look down I immediately put them down.
 

Miva13

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Hi there!

I have a French Lop named Reese Witherspoon and I've had her since January 3rd of 2021. I'm not sure how old she is but she is very big. When fully stretched out she is around 3 feet long, and weighs around 8.5 lbs.

So my problem is that when ever I try to pick her up she almost always runs and kicks her legs. As a result of this I have four 6inch long scratches and many other 3inch scratches. I have tried a few different ways of picking her up which I will list below.

1. "Scoop Method"
I basically just get my waist aligned with whatever surface she is on and scoop her from the side, and hug her against my body. I just did this and what happened was she instantly started to run. I changed my hand position to go on the outside of her body and supporting her upper body.

2. Under the bum and against the chest
This is the recommended method of picking up rabbits from Lennon the Bunny. I've tried this but Reese is to big to pick up like this I feel. She generally runs before I can get her off the ground.

3. By the arms under the bum
This one is similar to the 2nd one. Except I pick her up similar to how I would a cat but I support her bum. I generally will sit criss cross in front of her with a blanket on my lap and scoop her against my chest. Once I have her I cradle her like a would a baby but with her feet down. (Not on her back)

If any of you have suggestions on what to do differently I am willing to try anything!

Thank you so much!
Reese's Mom
I’ve had Ben for over 12 months now (he is a mini lip and sounds about the same size as Reece). I’ve tried to “train” him to be handled as he hates to be picked up too. What happened is he trained me and I now use treat’s to get him to follow me to another room or get him in his carrier. I never try to pick him up now. At night he jumps on the back of the couch and rests his head in my shoulder for head rubs and kisses - he’s a big smooch. I also get my local vet to do his nails and we are all happy with that arrangement 😉
 

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