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Bonding Troubles.

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livayah

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Hey! I am currently re-bonding 2 previously bonded neutered male lionheads (Finn and Rey) and everything was going great! They were grooming each other, lying down next to each other but in the past session Finn keeps whimpering and running away from Rey whenever he comes near. Finn is very skittish anyway and it took ages to bond with him myself. I was just wondering what it meant and how to make him more comfortable in his environment?
 

Mariam+Theo

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Do you know if Rey has hurt Finn in any way during the last session? I would check for bites, limping, etc. Is there any humping? If Rey is humping Finn constantly, Finn might be getting annoyed and just wants to stay away from him. I would offer them both treats when they get near each other, so they realize that being around one another is a good thing.
 

Blue eyes

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Hey! I am currently re-bonding 2 previously bonded neutered male lionheads (Finn and Rey) and everything was going great! They were grooming each other, lying down next to each other but in the past session Finn keeps whimpering and running away from Rey whenever he comes near. Finn is very skittish anyway and it took ages to bond with him myself. I was just wondering what it meant and how to make him more comfortable in his environment?
Could you provide some further information? How old is each rabbit? When was each one neutered? What /when do you mean by they were "previously bonded"? How long have you been trying to "re-bond" them? How are you bonding them (eg. daytime bonding sessions? how many? how long? where are they housed when not bonding? side-by side or apart? what size is bonding area? is it a place either has been before?)
 

livayah

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Could you provide some further information? How old is each rabbit? When was each one neutered? What /when do you mean by they were "previously bonded"? How long have you been trying to "re-bond" them? How are you bonding them (eg. daytime bonding sessions? how many? how long? where are they housed when not bonding? side-by side or apart? what size is bonding area? is it a place either has been before?)
They are both around 8 months old and they both got neutered 5 weeks ago. I got them both together and housed them in the same cage (a huge wooden structure that is open 24/7) until their hormones kicked in and they started fighting and they have been separated ever since. That was March. They were in separate cages but Finn used my room as run during the day. Reys cage is also in my room and they could see each other through the cage doors and would fight immediately until about 2 weeks ago. We started bonding last Thursday and have made amazing progress. The only problem is that Finn does keep running away from Rey. They have been together the past few days all day, from around 10am to 8pm. They have not been fighting like at all (surprisingly). Rey is trying to prove that he’s the more dominant one in anyway he can, constantly humping Finn. Since i posted the og post they have both groomed each other and have flopped near each other and shared food but Finn is still running away from him sometimes but he has calmed down a lot from the other day.
 

Blue eyes

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It sounds like they are making good progress-- even though it has only been 5 weeks since their neuter.

My only suggestion at this point would be to provide a hidey area that will only fit one rabbit. This will give Finn a place to go whenever he needs a break from Rey. Otherwise, he may eventually "have enough" of the pestering and lash back.
 

zuppa

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5 weeks is just too soon, it is great that they have no fights but humping can be also dangerous. I would separate them for 3 more weeks to avoid injures. In my experience i had one newly neutered boy (9 weeks ago) added to a bonded group of neutered young rabbits (interesting that one of them was neutered same day as this new one but he calmed down earlier, around week 7) and first day went well then he started humping everybody, looked like he befriended one which is super submissive and calm, but he kept humping him as well. I didn't want any serious conflicts if others will start going back after him or if he'll get his genitalia damaged while humping their heads and removed him from group for another month. This is individual, but I've got a few young rabbits neutered this year and can tell, 8 weeks would be minimum to keep them separately, it was 3 months in two cases, and I find that if you have them completely separated so they can't see or smell another males they become calmer sooner, they are much more relaxed then as well and you can use that time for bonding with them and training them, it will help you to understand them better individually.

As for your rabbits were previously bonded in your situation they were still babies when you've got them and it was just baby bond because all babies get along until they are 3,5-5 months, so they were not bonded this simply doesn't count like bond at all.

So I would separate them for a few more weeks and would keep them individually so they don't see each other, also I would restrict free roaming for Finn, I would limit their territories for that period of time so they can forget each other and you can start bonding in a neutral territory where they both were never before, also with their smells removed with white 5% vinegar from all things, toys etc.
But if your Finn is super submissive providing hiding places could work as well if you are 100% sure that he will not lose his patience when you are not supervising, it can lead to serious damages so honestly I wouldn't risk. I would just wait 3 more weeks it's not too long, sometimes can take a bit longer.

I mean, why risk if it's just a few more weeks?

Good luck and please keep us updated
 
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