Bonding Rabbits, one is awkward??

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sdauman

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So I haven never bonded two rabbits, so I am by no means an expert.

I have had my neutered male, Wolfie, for over three years now and he's over 3 years old. He has shown that he really wanted a buddy, and me and my best friend accidentally bonded our rabbits over the summer. Unfortunately, there was no way we could keep them together, and since then I've been working up and trying to find a buddy with him, and then Creature was born and there was no way I was not getting him.

Long story short I have the two of them, Creature is probably around 3-4 months and will be neutered as soon as he's old enough. Wolfie seems to be vey excited but awkward and tries to play with Creature by chasing him or play lunging at him. It seems aggressive but he's not.. One question I have is Wolfie will sometimes slowly (for him) go to bite at Wolfie but he holds his mouth open and shows his teeth a little?

Also Creature is a drama KING and will run and grunt and thump away whenever Wolfie chased him (understandable). Lately though Wolfie has been a lot more patient and been focusing more on food and they have been less than a foot away for at least five minutes without any issues (Creature was obviously still quite alert but he sniffed near Wolfie and was fine). Finally Wolfie will go to sniff back at him and Creature throws a TANTRUM as if Wolfie were chasing him at top speed. He also has run in circles as if he were trying to get away from Wolfie while Wolfie just sat there. Creature slammed into Wolfie as well.., and then kept running. I've been having them out at small, supervised increments of time now that Wolfie has calmed down a bit so creature can chill too. Should I keep doing that? Or am I just traumatizing creature? Any suggestions or comments or tips would be appreciated!!
 

JBun

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I've never known a rabbit to lunge in play. Are you certain the chasing and lunging isn't out of fear or aggression? And holding the mouth open showing teeth is aggressive as well. As is circling and slamming into the other rabbit. Creature is still a young rabbit and is likely reacting quite a bit in fear of your older rabbit. I think you may be misinterpreting your rabbits behavior. All of what you describe sounds to be aggressive and fearful behavior.


You really need to keep them separated and wait until your other rabbit is neutered, plus 6-8 weeks for hormones to fade, before making any attempt at proper bonding. If you don't, you risk your hormonal male causing problems and a serious fight breaking out, which could result in very serious injuries.



 

sdauman

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I've never known a rabbit to lunge in play. Are you certain the chasing and lunging isn't out of fear or aggression? And holding the mouth open showing teeth is aggressive as well. As is circling and slamming into the other rabbit. Creature is still a young rabbit and is likely reacting quite a bit in fear of your older rabbit. I think you may be misinterpreting your rabbits behavior. All of what you describe sounds to be aggressive and fearful behavior.


You really need to keep them separated and wait until your other rabbit is neutered, plus 6-8 weeks for hormones to fade, before making any attempt at proper bonding. If you don't, you risk your hormonal male causing problems and a serious fight breaking out, which could result in very serious injuries.



Agh okay thanks for letting me know. The thing that’s just baffling is that the older rabbit flops near him, right now the younger on is running around my room while the other one is in his dog pen enclosure and creatures been binkying, and Wolfie is now flopped against his edge? And creature will rest about a foot or two away from where Wolfie is and lay down too?

Im just going to wait until Creature is ready after his snip
 

JBun

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Flopping down near each other on opposite sides of a pen panel, actually doesn't necessarily mean rabbits are relaxed with each other or like each other at all. When they don't like each other, flopping down on opposite sides is a way they claim their territory, and kind of a competition on insulting the other rabbit, Wolfie is basically saying 'I don't care one bit about you, and don't you dare cross this line'.

(from language of lagomorphs)
" Note: If rabbits don’t get along they may play a little game one could call “I’m happier than you are.” Usually when a rabbit flops near another it shows how comfortable it is with the other, but with rabbits that are not good friends it can actually be used as a mild insult. When used in this way it means something similar to the “I don’t care about you” insult described later, but more like “I’m happy and you’re a miserable excuse for a rabbit, so there.”

If they can reach each other through the pen bars, you should have an inch or two separation so they can't bite each other. Rabbits have been known to cause serious nose injuries through cage bars.
 

Catlyn

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If they can reach each other through the pen bars, you should have an inch or two separation so they can't bite each other. Rabbits have been known to cause serious nose injuries through cage bars.
True! You might just get off easier if they decide to do less to one another.
Lümi was a curious little one for Storm even when they didn't really like each other. Their enclosures were opposite from one another, but they still shared the same freeroam room as it was the only one we had over there. Storm would lounge by his portion of the wall and if Lümi got close enough to poke his lil rat nose through, Storm would oftentimes raise his tail, grunt and nip at the other's nose. He didn't like it, and Lümi had a permanent nose cut from it. For the same reason, Storm has a scar-line right under his chin.
In my case, it wasn't really too serious as i believe they might've shared a lingering emotion of their short successful bond, and Lümi wasn't directly hostile to Storm.
But from what you described, they don't have real reason of liking eachother. Better keep their pens far enough so that no nose could poke somewhere it shouldn't be in yet.
 

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