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Bunny not bonding😭

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Firered

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Hi!
I’m having trouble bonding with my new rabbit Zoe😭I got her from a different breeder at 10 weeks(She is almost 5months old now)and she acts like a pet store rabbit still. She lets me pet her but she is not much on interaction and I just don’t know what to do. I have another rabbit, Tyrone and he is 9 months old(I got him at 10 weeks) from a different breeder who you can tell interacted with the bunnies more. Zoe was kept outside and even though it was for a short period, I don’t think she received much affection from her owner other than feeding. Tyrone on the other hand is the most affectionate, loving bunny ever. He follows me around and will jump in my lap etc. I know they have different personalities but I would of thought she would of warmed up by now. I try to get her out a lot to just give her love but it just seems to not work for her and she can’t relax. Any suggestions? I also got my daughter a bunny from the same breeder as Tyrone and he is a sweetie pie just like my Tyrone. Is it male/female thing? Help The golden bun is Tyrone, white is Zoe and the cutie brown and white bun is my daughter’s bun Gizmo❤We are a bunny family
 

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The bunnies are adorable!!!
Is Zoe spayed yet? That might be part of the problem. However, is she was not handled very much from birth it might be hard to break those tendencies. A lot of bunnies are not super affectionate like others. My 7 month old bunny Theo was returned to the breeder from a family with 2 kids. I suspect he was mishandled because he did not like being picked up or handled that much. It did get better with time. Also, I think once they start to mature they enjoy affection more. When they are young they just wanna bounce around and play.
 

Firered

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The bunnies are adorable!!!
Is Zoe spayed yet? That might be part of the problem. However, is she was not handled very much from birth it might be hard to break those tendencies. A lot of bunnies are not super affectionate like others. My 7 month old bunny Theo was returned to the breeder from a family with 2 kids. I suspect he was mishandled because he did not like being picked up or handled that much. It did get better with time. Also, I think once they start to mature they enjoy affection more. When they are young they just wanna bounce around and play.
Hi! Thanks for your response and neither is spayed/neutered yet. And I will definitely look you up on Facebook!!’ I hope she warms up. She hates to be picked up too.
 
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Thank you so much! That should definitely help. It took a while for my bunny to want to bond with me. It definitely matters where they came from.
 
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Preitler

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Actually, being tolerant to being handled or picked up is more the exemption than the rule. A really big part of that is genetics, there are huge differences depending on the breeding line, and what the breeders focused on. Holding one of my rabbits needs some experience to not lose some blood, and one of my senior does still doesn't like me to even touch her after 7 years - that's just the way she is. A neighbours angoras on the other hand are completly different, she once shoved as many as I could hold in my hands while sorting through her herd and those rabbits didn't mind the least.

You can train a rabbit to being picked up, start short and low, like putting her on your lap while on the ground, and let her hop off by her own, followed by a small treat. Treats are great :D

Spaying changes some things, and for a pet bunny imho the pros outshine the contras. But from my limited experience - only one of my does is spayed - it didn't do much about their character.
 

JBun

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I agree, it could just be more a temperament thing than not receiving the proper socialization. Some rabbits are just more nervous or shy than others, and with these it can take a lot of patient gentle work with them to help bring them around and learn to trust you. That means hours and hours just sitting with her, not forcing interaction, definitely not trying to pick up and hold her. It could take some time, but you will see her start to build that trusting relationship with you.



 

Firered

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Actually, being tolerant to being handled or picked up is more the exemption than the rule. A really big part of that is genetics, there are huge differences depending on the breeding line, and what the breeders focused on. Holding one of my rabbits needs some experience to not lose some blood, and one of my senior does still doesn't like me to even touch her after 7 years - that's just the way she is. A neighbours angoras on the other hand are completly different, she once shoved as many as I could hold in my hands while sorting through her herd and those rabbits didn't mind the least.

You can train a rabbit to being picked up, start short and low, like putting her on your lap while on the ground, and let her hop off by her own, followed by a small treat. Treats are great :D

Spaying changes some things, and for a pet bunny imho the pros outshine the contras. But from my limited experience - only one of my does is spayed - it didn't do much about their character.
Thank you! That makes sense
 

Firered

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I agree, it could just be more a temperament thing than not receiving the proper socialization. Some rabbits are just more nervous or shy than others, and with these it can take a lot of patient gentle work with them to help bring them around and learn to trust you. That means hours and hours just sitting with her, not forcing interaction, definitely not trying to pick up and hold her. It could take some time, but you will see her start to build that trusting relationship with you.



Thanks for that. I will devote more time with her. ☺
 

Blue eyes

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The presence of other rabbits can affect how they behave as well. Are the 3 rabbits housed and kept separate? Is the male neutered? Are you planning to bond any or all of them? Females can be particularly territorial and often don't appreciate the presence of other rabbits in their perceived territory.
 

Firered

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I just have the two, my daughter has her with her. I keep them separated but their cages are next to each other. She has gotten very territorial 😳I put my hand in the corner of her cage to flatten out her pad and she grunted and charged at my hand. BUT, as long as I stay out of the corners and run on her she is fine. Wow...boys are way easier lol. Thanks for your reply
 

Firered

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Actually, being tolerant to being handled or picked up is more the exemption than the rule. A really big part of that is genetics, there are huge differences depending on the breeding line, and what the breeders focused on. Holding one of my rabbits needs some experience to not lose some blood, and one of my senior does still doesn't like me to even touch her after 7 years - that's just the way she is. A neighbours angoras on the other hand are completly different, she once shoved as many as I could hold in my hands while sorting through her herd and those rabbits didn't mind the least.

You can train a rabbit to being picked up, start short and low, like putting her on your lap while on the ground, and let her hop off by her own, followed by a small treat. Treats are great :D

Spaying changes some things, and for a pet bunny imho the pros outshine the contras. But from my limited experience - only one of my does is spayed - it didn't do much about their character.
I’m so freaked out about the spay/neuter to my buns. I’ve heard a lot of stories of anesthesia killing them.
 

Blue eyes

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Your female is approaching that hormonal period which could also explain some of the irritability/grunting/cage aggression behavior. It can make them more stand-off-ish as well.

Hormones can affect different rabbits to different degrees. Her behavior indicates that she would benefit from a spay. (Females do better being spayed as far as long-term health anyway, but some benefit even more if it helps calm down that irritability.) Females benefit from being spayed. Males aren't as critical IF they are the only bun in the household. Since this isn't the case, it would be recommended to neuter him as well. Otherwise, his hormones may cause him to become over-amorous toward her. That can then lead to tussles between the two.

There is always a minor risk with spay/neuter surgery -- even with dogs and cats. The key is to find a rabbit savvy vet. Using a vet that performs many such surgeries on rabbits will significantly decrease any risk. The following links from the House Rabbit Society should help. The first is a short video explaining why one should or should not spay or neuter:

Then this 2nd link is for an article that explains how to find a rabbit savvy vet (along with other info like why spay, what to ask a vet, and what to expect):
 
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