Bonding troubles.

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by Squiddy, Nov 24, 2018.

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  1. Nov 24, 2018 #1

    Squiddy

    Squiddy

    Squiddy

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    for about a month I’ve been Turing to bond my rabbits Coco and Domino. Coco will groom domino, but domino will attack her. He used to leave her alone but as time goes on he will lunge at at her and attack her if given the chance. He is becoming more and more agressive towards her. Coco does not fight back either. I don’t want to get rid of either of them, but I expected them to bond quickly since the first time they met went well and they were grooming eachother from the get go. I’ve done cage swapping for a month now..I’ve tried stress bonding multiple times. Car ride, in a crate on top of the washing machine..nothing works! I don’t really have proper space for a second bunny. I have one massive cage and a XL dog crate I swap them between. ( they both get 5 hours of run around time out side of the cage a day ) but I still felt bad for the one that has to stay in the dog crate. I don’t know what to do at this point! Domino is becoming more and more aggressive towards coco and I don’t know what to do at this point. Any tips on where to go from here? Do I contiune to cage swap? Do I try a more extreme stress bonding method? ( Domino will however not attack coco while on top of a running washing machine. He will stuff his head under her stomach and cover his face. )
     
  2. Nov 25, 2018 #2

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    If I recall, you got Coco first? Later you got Domino? Did Domino come from a rabbit rescue? Do they know you are trying to bond him with another rabbit?
    Do you know how long it has been since Domino's neuter?
     
  3. Nov 26, 2018 #3

    Squiddy

    Squiddy

    Squiddy

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    I got domino first. He’s been neutered for around 3-4 months. I’ve had coco for around 2 months ish. I adopted domino from a pet store where he was returned and I got coco from someone who didn’t know how to care for rabbits.
     
  4. Nov 27, 2018 #4

    JBun

    JBun

    JBun

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    It sounds like you are doing the slow method of bonding. It could be this isn't the right approach for your buns and it's resulting in friction because the bonding process is too prolonged. It can be like each new day you are starting the bonding process over in the buns eyes, as some buns forget quickly any relationship progress they made the day before. So when you separate them each day, it halts their progress and they essentially are having to start all over the next day, and are not moving on in their relationship and forming their hierarchy.

    Sometimes for some rabbits, it's best to do the fast bonding method and get the rabbits together as quickly as possible so they can get their relationship sorted out right away and be able to just settle in, and not have to keep working out who's going to be the boss, which is what can happen when the slow method is used and they are separated each day.

    So if you decide to try the fast method, you may be able to just go right at it. Or because of the friction they have now, you may need to take a break from bonding for several weeks, even to the point of keeping them in separate rooms with no contact so they can forget each other and any negative feelings that might have developed. Then give it another go with the fast method after you feel they've had a sufficient break from each other.
    https://www.cottontails-rescue.org.uk/information/bonding-bunnies/
     
  5. Dec 1, 2018 #5

    Bassetluv

    Bassetluv

    Bassetluv

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    I'm curious to find out what the 'trigger' is for the aggression, since it sounds like both bunnies initially got along well. You've mentioned that your male is neutered; is your female spayed? (If not, then I'd suggest that as the next step, with a few weeks' separation while she recovers.)

    It sounds like you might have to go back to basics of bonding. My last two rabbits were a male and female, spayed/neutered. I had the female first, but she was highly territorial, so when I introduced the young male, I couldn't put them together for a while. I had the male neutered when he was old enough (female was spayed before I got her) and since they would be sharing a room, I set up two cages side by side. They could see one another and smell one another, but couldn't interact. I left them like that for a couple of weeks, letting one rabbit out at a time, and with cages close enough together so they could 'almost' touch noses. When I finally decided to try and bond them, I allowed the female the run of the room, but had the new male on a harness and leash. If the female acted aggressively toward him (lunging, grunting, baring teeth...and she certainly did) I quickly removed him from the line of fire. After a few days, when I noticed that Anna's lunges weren't quite so severe, I let Yofi (my young male) off leash in the room. HOWEVER, I was prepared to intervene. I had a broom in my hand, and at the first sign of aggression from Anna (ears pinned back, focussed on Yofi) I got close enough to thwart her advances. As soon as she began to lunge, I forcefully put the broom down in front of her and said, 'Anna, NO!', blocking any attempt she may have made toward Yofi. I did this several times, and noticed that after a while Anna's lunges were less forceful, and she was beginning to hold back. She understood that her actions were not welcomed, and after a couple of days of this, the lunges became quite a bit lessened. Within two days she had stopped, and by day three, both bunnies were getting along enough to tolerate each others' presence. By day four, they were completely bonded.
     
    Alyssa and Bugs♡ likes this.

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