Building trust towards other people.

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Dec 9, 2017
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I own a little buck named Toste, I’ve been working with him getting used with being picked up, pet on the stomach and back which would before trigger him to attack and growl. After two months I have a calm bun which I can pick up and do the purring noise which rabbits do when comfortable, when he’s picked up. And he also stopped attacking in the cage. So I no longer get new bruises and wounds.

He’s still jumpy and full of energy, he’s no longer as scared before among humans but everyone must be careful handling him. If I’m not around.

I wonder how I can get him be better used with other humans more, because I want the other in my family to be able to take care of him without being scared of him. I’ve just started with introducing him to my brother and let my brother cuddle with him. But no one in my family can pick him up.

He was first a small child’s pet before he moved home to me, so he distrust humans. So I really need tips on how to help him get less scared around humans and kids. Because I’m out of ideas right now and he have come far during these two months.
You can give your family treats such as fruits and veggies, so that when he sees them he will realize that they are not going to hurt him. Make sure everyone is calm when they are around him, which means no young kids.

Congratulations on training him so well! I would love to know how you trained him to like being picked up.

Is he neutered? If he isn't that could be why he is territorial and acting the way he is.
Thanks for the tips, I will try it with my family. Toste it’s neutered.

How I train my rabbits to get used being picked up, I just find what my rabbits like and start slow from there. For example Toste love cuddles before food but when hyper food it’s the only treat for him. While my other rabbits prefer treats before cuddles but cuddles works on them when they have calmed down.

First it’s only the petting part until they get used being touched and pet every where (stomach, back, under the paws and so on). Then liftning the front legs/body while the back body it’s still on the ground or just lifting one paw, short intervals and use positive reinforcement, the rabbit is supposed to stay still and calm.

Then it’s just the last step which it’s picking up, letting the rabbit have good support and distract with treats and petting, start low then high. So everything with picking up it’s good, when the rabbit get scared let him down carefully and jump around and wait until he come back again. Little like trying to make your rabbit get used with everything in their own tempo and learn it’s not dangerous.

Toste still have far to go before he will be perfect on picking up, because he will after a time start wriggling but if I give him a treat when I see the signal of him start to wriggle. I just give him a treat and he will stop moving and stay still.

Often I only need to scratch his cheeks or behind the ear. Because he know if he is still he might get a treat or scratching his cheeks which he loves.

That’s how I train my rabbits to be picked up and Toste it’s the fourth rabbit I’ve been doing this on. Been training him every day for two months but only spent 10-30 min everyday on training him.
Wow! Thanks for sharing that with me! I will be using this method, and hoping it works for my rabbit.
Theo (my rabbit) loves food over everything! I pick him up occasionally and he is very calm, yet starts wiggling a lot. He loves to be pet everywhere besides on the belly, paws, and chest. He doesn't seem to mind me touching his belly whenever I put on his halter though. I'm really hoping this works for him because nobody has been able to pick him up for forever. He is very wiggly for other people and i'm afraid they will drop him.
I hope your rabbit gets used to other people! Thanks again!
Hope everything goes well with your bunny. Toste have started to love cuddling with my brother so it’s going the positive way.

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