Bonded pairs and success rate?

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Pigglebread

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I'm still thinking about finding a wifey bun for my little guy this year, still to early though because he was neutered not too long ago. My biggest thought and main concern is separation if it doesn't work out. I want to take him to the shelter for bunny dates and see who he goes best with but I'm scared things won't go well if they fight I may have to house them forever separate which I know I just can't find the accommodation to do so in my living situation. So if I find a really good mate I need it to be a forever bond.. What are your bonding experiences like? Have you ever had to break previously bonded pairs or is it normally once bonded it stays that way?
 

agnesthelion

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When I adopted my male I had an agreement with the rescue center that I could bring him back if the fighting was too intense/they wouldn't bond. It's an unpleasant reality to some people to talk about but for me it was needed. I too did not want to house two buns seperate forever either. No one wants to bring a pet home thinking you may "return him/her" but in this case I view it as being realistic and responsible if it's something you are honest about upfront.

With that being said there still is no way to guarantee bonds won't break along the way. However, I think there are things to do to help odds work in your favor.

Both buns should be fixed (sounds like you know that :)) M/f bonds generally are easier/are stronger than same sex bonds.

I also think (these are just my own theories after having a bonded pair) that consistency with rabbits help bonds stay intact. In other words, no changing homes, locations, new pets in and out etc. Also, plenty of human interaction. I would never just lock a bonded pair in a cage day in and day out for the risk for them getting stir crazy and fighting may occur.

Also, always have two seperate cages in case. And when you bring the new bun home, don't feel the need to rush things. Sometimes bonds happen in a few days, sometimes it's months.

And, research and understand bonding and have a realistic expectation of bonding. Even if a bonded pair may experience trouble that doesn't mean they are broke up forever. You just may need to rebond down the road.

I think if you have a good understanding of all these issues, have altered buns, go with a m/f pair, then your success rate is very high.

I've had a very enjoyable and highy successful experience in bonding. Some on here may call it lucky, but I also was EXTREMELY worried about the decision to get a second bun and I researched a lot and took it very seriousy so maybe that's why the success as well ;)
 

lyndym

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I am going through bonding at the moment as well! I had two happily bonded rabbits that were with me since they were quite young, and I bonded them after they were both fixed. They went pretty easily, took about a month and a half or so. I had them in separate cages right next to each other (but with a little space so they couldn't nip in between bars) and I had them trade places every day to get used to each other's scent and so neither would claim ownership over any cage or litter box. They got supervised together play time in small areas like bathrooms. I think what really helped them out in the end was my boyfriend and I took a trip to Tahoe and brought them along for the ride. After coming home, they were able to share everything and their bond never broke for the two and a half years. The girl of that pair passed away in December, and I just got a new girl, Aurora, about two and a half weeks ago. She and my boy Doc are in separate cages, just like I had before. I'm being more cautious this time around because Doc is obviously way more familiar with my apartment than Aurora is. They've been out only separately, though I might try putting them together in the bathroom or something this weekend.

Best of luck to you!
 

gmtstars

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I bought a book at the rabbit society store here in San Diego, and it says to put them in there travel cage, strap them in the car snuggly and then drive a little wreck less in an empty parking lot.

I know!! Sounds crazy right? I will take a picture of the page for you :)

They say if you drive a little wreck less it will cause them to "seek" one another, thus bonding.
 

Pigglebread

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I bought a book at the rabbit society store here in San Diego, and it says to put them in there travel cage, strap them in the car snuggly and then drive a little wreck less in an empty parking lot.

I know!! Sounds crazy right? I will take a picture of the page for you :)

They say if you drive a little wreck less it will cause them to "seek" one another, thus bonding.

Wow that does sound interesting:happybunny:, lol
 

missyscove

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I'm on what is my 3rd bonded pair. My first pair ended up in an argument and we never got them bonded again. I had them to where they could be okay together out of their cages but then had to go back to college and my mom was afraid of leaving them together. My second pair I adopted as a pair and Sherlock died about 2 months later. I took Watson with me to a local rescue for some bunny dates (Where in CA are you? If you're in the LA area I can definitely recommend Bunny Bunch). Watson and Cricket were bonded and living together within 2 weeks, but I put a lot of time into it.
Car rides can be great for bonding. Watson and Cricket rode home from the rescue together. The stress of being in the car (or on top of the washing machine in a carrier) makes them more interested in snuggling a friend.
Definitely read up on bonding ahead of time.

I've had to take them to the vet about once a week recently for Cricket's respiratory issues and I always bring them in together so I don't risk breaking their bond to eachother.

You could always try fostering a bun and see if you can bond them and if it doesn't work out, then it was just a foster. Many resuces are okay with the idea of bringing one back if the bond doesn't work out. The shelter I used to volunteer at had that policy for all their animals that if you brought them back you could swap it for another animal and a lot of people would say "oh we would never do that" and I'd point out that we want everybody to be happy. If you bring your new dog home and your exisitng dog hates it, no one will be happy.
 

Pigglebread

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I'm on what is my 3rd bonded pair. My first pair ended up in an argument and we never got them bonded again. I had them to where they could be okay together out of their cages but then had to go back to college and my mom was afraid of leaving them together. My second pair I adopted as a pair and Sherlock died about 2 months later. I took Watson with me to a local rescue for some bunny dates (Where in CA are you? If you're in the LA area I can definitely recommend Bunny Bunch). Watson and Cricket were bonded and living together within 2 weeks, but I put a lot of time into it.
Car rides can be great for bonding. Watson and Cricket rode home from the rescue together. The stress of being in the car (or on top of the washing machine in a carrier) makes them more interested in snuggling a friend.
Definitely read up on bonding ahead of time.

I've had to take them to the vet about once a week recently for Cricket's respiratory issues and I always bring them in together so I don't risk breaking their bond to eachother.

You could always try fostering a bun and see if you can bond them and if it doesn't work out, then it was just a foster. Many resuces are okay with the idea of bringing one back if the bond doesn't work out. The shelter I used to volunteer at had that policy for all their animals that if you brought them back you could swap it for another animal and a lot of people would say "oh we would never do that" and I'd point out that we want everybody to be happy. If you bring your new dog home and your exisitng dog hates it, no one will be happy.

Yes I'm definitely reading lots on the bonding process right now and I live in the valley, the closest shelter I see is Sacramento and POSSIBLY Richmond. They allow dates at both I believe, I'll have to ask on the returning a bun if the bond doesn't work out though and swapping for another. I have a second cage that's small enough for bonding time and I could re design my nic cage to be split in the middle for interactions until the bond would be complete by then removing the wall between them.
 

missyscove

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Does "the valley" mean the Central Valley? I grew up in the San Fernando Valley which is "the valley" to us valley girls.

You'll definitely need a second cage or pen to house the second rabbit in while you bond them. Cricket lived in the ex-pen while Watson lived in the dog crate. I actually bonded them almost entirely in my bedroom (plus some car rides) which was his territory, not neutral territory, and I was most concerned about her entering his crate which he saw as his territory most of all.
 

BugLady

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I've only dealt with bonding one pair, but it has been great!
I took my bun Rascal to a shelter for some bunny dates. The first few dates did not go so well, but with Appledot they mostly ignored each other. Figured that was better than fighting so I took a chance.

Once I brought them home I set them up in neutral territory, but kept them together at all times. The neutral territory was my bedroom, so I could be there if they started fighting. They have never fought, but they did have a "poop war" for about two weeks. Poops all around each litterbox in big perimeters.

After a few weeks they went back to the main living area and things have been smooth ever since (and they're fine with sharing litterboxes).

As the months have gone by, they have become much more snuggly, and they like to follow each other around and cause trouble together. They also spend plenty of time on their own, too, flopped over and relaxing. They share their food wonderfully, and sometimes groom each other. It's not like true love, but like good friends.


Everyone has different experiences and gets different advice on how soon to keep them together 24/7. At the shelter, they told me to keep them together unless they fight, and not even bother with keeping a barrier between them.
 

Pigglebread

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Does "the valley" mean the Central Valley? I grew up in the San Fernando Valley which is "the valley" to us valley girls.

You'll definitely need a second cage or pen to house the second rabbit in while you bond them. Cricket lived in the ex-pen while Watson lived in the dog crate. I actually bonded them almost entirely in my bedroom (plus some car rides) which was his territory, not neutral territory, and I was most concerned about her entering his crate which he saw as his territory most of all.

I'm pretty much right to the left of Sacramento 40 minutes away.
 

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