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Bunnies won’t bond!

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raven123

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I’ve been bonding my bunnies for about almost 2 weeks now and my bunnies just don’t seem like they are compatible. When I was first putting them together when stress bonding or in the bathtub they were pretty ok and wouldn’t have many scuffles. But now it’s when they are together in the bathroom, they started having a scuffle or two and each day they’ve been having more and more scuffles and I don’t know what to do because in the second step which was the bathtub they were fine but now in the bathroom they aren’t, I even try going back to the bathtub and think they are ok and level it up and they still aren’t ok, I don’t know what to do.
 

gelliebean

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It can take a really long time. I've heard some people on reddit months to bond their rabbits. Don't give up!
A few helpful tricks can be putting them more in a small crate (could also be something like a laundry or storage bin) and you can gently shake or rocks the crate so they get stressed. The easiest way to bond rabbits is to put them in stressful situations so that they cling onto each other. Sounds mean but this is what a lot of people and rescues do.
You can also take them for a car ride in the crate together since the car is usually very stressful for them. Or while they're in a small pen together make loud noises, sudden movements, toss towels near them. Pretty much anything to stress/scare the crap out of them.

Just keep in mind, you probably don't want to overdo it. Rabbits are mentally fragile and too much will quite literally kill them. Try short bonding sessions 1-3 times a day. 5-10 minutes of stressing them out, let them relax for an hour and see how they're doing. When they're being calm and friendly towards each other, pet them so all of you can have a grooming trio.
 

gelliebean

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Some good signs of bunny bonding are turning their back towards each other, licking each other, ignoring each other. I would also keep a dustpan (or something like that) when doing bonding so that if they fight you can quickly put the dustpan between them.
 

Blue eyes

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Did I read elsewhere that you are planning on moving soon?

If so, then I'd separate these buns for now totally. There's no point in continuing if they are "getting worse" because even if they suddenly do better, that will all be set back when you move locations.

Moving actually provides an ideal place to begin bonding. It will be totally neutral space for both of them. Just be sure their new space is not too big.

I see that you started with stress bonding. I find this method questionable at best (though seems to be popularly promoted on the web). I have found that it only works (if it works) with two rabbits that are already easygoing and inclined to get along. But I have seen it do more damage than good in bonding. It provides the human with a false sense that the rabbits are "getting along" when, in fact, they are only doing so while under that stress.

Here's an article that discusses stress bonding in more detail:
STRESS BONDING - what does it mean? : CottonTails Rabbit & Guinea Pig Rescue
 

raven123

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Thank you so much, I do want to get them bonded before I move though because I do only have one playpen and I wouldn’t have enough room to divide them evenly. We are finalizing buying the house on the 28th and moving in a little bit after so I do have a couple more weeks and time to prepare and get them bonded. I have researched a bit on 24 hour bonding and I am thinking of doing that because of what many people have told me about how it can help better and be less stressful on the rabbits instead to have these kind of “dates” in the bathtub or while stress bonding.
 

Blue eyes

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Yes. My website describes the immersion method:

However I fear you may still have the same problems once you move. If you can start today with the immersion method and have success almost immediately, that would give you 3 weeks before the move. They should remain in the same location for a couple weeks minimum after they show perfect compatibility with no scuffles whatsoever. So if you can reach that perfection in the next few days, then it may work.
 

JBun

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Sometimes the slow method of bonding, isn't the right fit for some rabbits. For those rabbits, prolonging the process with repeated dates and the following separation, can actually cause any progress that is made in a date to backslide, and things that were looking promising can deteriorate.

That's when the fast method of bonding can sometimes work better. Not always, some rabbits just aren't at all compatible, but it might be worth considering giving it a try. As always, it's essential to be cautious and watchful when attempting to bond rabbits which ever method is tried. And extremely important to know the signs of aggression escalating into a potential fight, so you can intervene and stop the bonding process before that occurs.
 

raven123

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I have decided to do the 24 hour bonding now and so far since I have been sitting with them, we haven’t had any scuffles. They are cautious about each other but I saw Skylar grabbing some hay out of the litter box Hermione is using. Right now i just have two water bowls for them and two litter boxes.
 

Halndallas

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My 2 bunnies, which are brothers would not bond for two years, and often injured each other if they got together. I came home one day and they had tore down the gate that separated them and now they are together 24/7, they constantly lick and kissi each other. Don't give uo hope!
 

raven123

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My 2 bunnies, which are brothers would not bond for two years, and often injured each other if they got together. I came home one day and they had tore down the gate that separated them and now they are together 24/7, they constantly lick and kissi each other. Don't give uo hope!
Thank you so much, that gives me hope and I hope my bunnies bond well!
 

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