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Bonding Question: Lots of Humping!

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BrittsBunny

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OKAY so I brought home Aura, my new adopted bun, home May 8th. Wrangler and Aura have been getting along very good, but there has been a lot of humping from the both of them - especially from my male (whom is fixed). I know that some humping is normal, but really, it seems like they do it quite often :?Wrangler has been humping Aura's head (poor girl), as well from behind...I know I know it's a dominance thing...but will this behavior be a permanent thing? I have also been kind of confused, because the rescue said that 95% of the time, the females are the one's that primarily hump? Guess Wrangler makes up the other 5%!
 

elrohwen

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Yes, the humping will diminish with time. The idea is that one bunny will become dominant and do all of the humping, while the other one accepts it. At that point, it can stop, or happen occasionally, and it's fine.

My two ran into the problem where both of them want to hump. They've been living together 24/7 for more than 3 weeks, but still have issues every so often because they can't decide who is allowed to hump and who isn't, so it can take a while for them to work it out.

Let them hump, as long as they are humping the correct way (don't allow face humps) for about 20 seconds or so. If the humpee seems upset by it you can intervene, but you really want to let them do it as much as possible so that they can work it out. Definitely separate if someone is getting mad enough about it to start a fight.

Some bunnies do hump forever, even once firmly bonded, so it is a very normal thing, but the franticness will decrease.
 

BrittsBunny

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elrohwen wrote:
Yes, the humping will diminish with time. The idea is that one bunny will become dominant and do all of the humping, while the other one accepts it. At that point, it can stop, or happen occasionally, and it's fine.

My two ran into the problem where both of them want to hump. They've been living together 24/7 for more than 3 weeks, but still have issues every so often because they can't decide who is allowed to hump and who isn't, so it can take a while for them to work it out.

Let them hump, as long as they are humping the correct way (don't allow face humps) for about 20 seconds or so. If the humpee seems upset by it you can intervene, but you really want to let them do it as much as possible so that they can work it out. Definitely separate if someone is getting mad enough about it to start a fight.

Some bunnies do hump forever, even once firmly bonded, so it is a very normal thing, but the franticness will decrease.
Thanks so much for responding! That's good to know info! As for today, I have seen no humping whatsoever...though I am sure they are still going at it behind my back :rollseyesThen again, I have barely been home today. Anywho, I'll just let them be yet keep an eye on them.
 

Flashy

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Can I also suggest you keep an eye on your boys little boy bits because I am coming across more and more boys who hump through dominance and end up with inflammed or sore willies due to the continuous rubbing of the humping, so I would suggest checking that.
 

elrohwen

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Wait, so you're leaving them home without supervision? I really really would not recommend that for this early of a stage in their bond. They should only have bonding sessions while you are there and paying attention to their every movement. After a few sessions when you can trust them more, you can start running to the bathroom or something, but they still need a lot of supervision at this stage. Fights can break out instantaneously and cause very severe injuries.
 

BrittsBunny

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elrohwen wrote:
Wait, so you're leaving them home without supervision? I really really would not recommend that for this early of a stage in their bond. They should only have bonding sessions while you are there and paying attention to their every movement. After a few sessions when you can trust them more, you can start running to the bathroom or something, but they still need a lot of supervision at this stage. Fights can break out instantaneously and cause very severe injuries.
Umm yes of course I am leaving them home without supervision. I have a job and I am in college (taking a summer course at the school). Believe me, I have been staying home as much as possible with them. I have also been sleeping in the same room as them!
 

BrittsBunny

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Flashy wrote:
Can I also suggest you keep an eye on your boys little boy bits because I am coming across more and more boys who hump through dominance and end up with inflammed or sore willies due to the continuous rubbing of the humping, so I would suggest checking that.
Oh wow didn't even consider that; definitely will be making sure everything is A-OKAY "down there." Thanks for the heads up ;)
 

elrohwen

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Perhaps your bunnies had an instant bond, but generally it is not a good idea to just move two bunnies in with one another without any other bonding. Did you read all of my post? It should be done in short steps with bonding sessions done while you're at home. Leaving them together 24/7 right away is asking for a very severe fight (bunnies can die from getting into fights).

I assume they've been together for a few days now, so you might be in the clear, but lots of humping can mean that they haven't sorted out their dominance issues yet and a fight is brewing.

They really should be in separate cages until you have done enough bonding sessions that you know they won't fight while you're gone.
 

elrohwen

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Also, I should add that humping from both bunnies can easily bring on a fight if they are left unsupervised. I moved my bunnies in together while there was still humping from both of them (but only very occasional humping). After two weeks of living together they got in a fight. It wasn't bad, but that's only because I was there to break it up.

If your bunnies have to be unsupervised every day, I would do many supervised bonding sessions until they can figure out which bunny is the humper and which is the humpee or they may turn on each other very seriously. It may only be a matter of time.
 

BrittsBunny

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elrohwen wrote:
Perhaps your bunnies had an instant bond, but generally it is not a good idea to just move two bunnies in with one another without any other bonding. Did you read all of my post? It should be done in short steps with bonding sessions done while you're at home. Leaving them together 24/7 right away is asking for a very severe fight (bunnies can die from getting into fights).

I assume they've been together for a few days now, so you might be in the clear, but lots of humping can mean that they haven't sorted out their dominance issues yet and a fight is brewing.

They really should be in separate cages until you have done enough bonding sessions that you know they won't fight while you're gone.
I've read every single response and I appreciate your concern.

The thing is, the rescue where I got Aura told me that my bunnies should NOT be separated whatsoever; for at least about a week to 2 weeks. If you separate them, the bond may get broken and then serious fights will occur. This happend to a couple of their adopters. Everything was going great, but they let the two roam free too soon, and everything went downhill from there. Since I've had Wrangler by himself fora little over a year and a half, he's already established his territory...if I had just let them immediately free roam, Wrangler could have gotten mean with Aura. I am just sharing with you what the rescue shared with me...and this is just a rabbit rescue, so I imagine they know a thing or two. They didn't say anything about them being in separate cages.


 

BrittsBunny

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elrohwen wrote:
Also, I should add that humping from both bunnies can easily bring on a fight if they are left unsupervised. I moved my bunnies in together while there was still humping from both of them (but only very occasional humping). After two weeks of living together they got in a fight. It wasn't bad, but that's only because I was there to break it up.

If your bunnies have to be unsupervised every day, I would do many supervised bonding sessions until they can figure out which bunny is the humper and which is the humpee or they may turn on each other very seriously. It may only be a matter of time.
Okay but isn't that the reason why we have bunny dates? To see who's suitable for who? Wrangler met about 6 or 7 females, and it was Aura that turned out to be the one. They both adored each other. I have no seen nor heard any humping the last couple of days, so I assume that they worked things out. I could be wrong though. But again, I am just going with the information the rescue shared with me.
 

elrohwen

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Bunny dates aren't the end of the road. After dating you need to do bonding sessions where you introduce them in neutral territory for increasingly longer periods of time. It generally does not work to just put them in the same cagea and leave them.

I think you got very lucky and it seems that they worked things out themselves without needing to fight it out. Instant bonds are extremely rare.
 

BrittsBunny

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elrohwen wrote:
Bunny dates aren't the end of the road. After dating you need to do bonding sessions where you introduce them in neutral territory for increasingly longer periods of time. It generally does not work to just put them in the same cagea and leave them.

I think you got very lucky and it seems that they worked things out themselves without needing to fight it out. Instant bonds are extremely rare.
Well they aren't in one cage...they are in a pen. I guess each is entitled to his/her own opinion. I've never owned 2 bunnies before, and I'm going to go with what the rescue told me. I know that bunny dates aren't the end of the road, but it's a good indication whether they are going to get along or not. It really just depends on the bunnies and their personalities.
 

elrohwen

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They're your bunnies and you can do whatever you want with them, of course. I was just warning you that humping from both bunnies can lead to fighting and because the standard bonding steps weren't followed a fight is perhaps more likely. You asked about it and I warned about the potential dangers.

Dating is a good indication of whether they will get along *after* bonding sessions are done. It's not generally a sign that they should move into a cage or pen together. But that is already done so the steps don't matter now as long as they don't have a fight. They're still in a precarious place in their bond, IMO, since they have not been together long.
 

Flashy

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I think there are two ways to bond, one involving bunny dates and one involving moving them straight in together (this is what is recommended by a lot of rabbit specific rescues in the UK). Both options have their place and work for some rabbits, but neither method works for all bunnies. I personally find that being aware of both methods, and then adjusting and morphing them to suit what you see from your bunnies works the best.

It is important though, that if you move them in together straight away, they have 48 hours constant supervision as a minimum (i.e. during the day and overnight), and they should only be left when you feel confident they won't fight. Even then, having supervision at dawn and dusk, the critical times, can be beneficial.

I'm glad that what you have done has worked for your bunnies :) I also hope you have no little boy injuries or problems and that things are settling down for you now.
 

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