Carrying a rabbit?

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CaitlinT00

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So I've been in a dilemma lately with how to move Bella up and down the stairs. I have wooden stairs and she's used to carpeted floors so whenever she's on any non-carpeted floor she just slides around- so I don't like the idea of her using the stairs. She also absolutely hates being picked up and I sometimes struggle with even holding her for longer than a minute (last time she bit my neck :(). My last option is using her carrier which she also hates and hides from, and I feel so bad whenever I put her in it. Now I don't have to bring her up and down the stairs, but I tend to spend a lot of time on the bottom floor, and I would love to bring her down with me rather than leave her alone upstairs. Any advice on how to get her to like being picked up or at least her carrier?
 

Lala7

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I used to have a rabbit that would always bite if I held her. Other than that, she was very friendly towards me and enjoyed my company and loved being pet (wasn't too friendly with strangers though. Unfortunate but funny story, there was a really annoying girl over at my house and I told her not to touch the rabbits. Of course she didn't listen and ended up with a bloody finger). Besides strangers, my rabbit was very friendly besides the part where I had to pick her up. So since nothing worked, I would simply grab the skin on her back (you grab a very thick section of skin otherwise it can be painful. You could probably youtube or google to see how it looks) and gently lift her while supporting her bottom and holding her as close to me as possible. Some people say this hurts them, but from my experience with many rabbits, I did not see them experiencing any pain. Grabbing by the ears is DEFINITELY a no-no, but I've always seen that they are fine with the skin on their back.
However, if you stop petting your rabbit on the back and only pick them up that way, they will stop liking being touched on their back. But if you keep petting them regularly they should be fine. So just keep that in mind.
I once adopted an adult rabbit and it was very obvious to me that her previous owners never touched her besides to pick her up that way, but she was still very friendly. Whenever I'd try to pet her she would literally slinky away from me from under my hand. She wasn't fearful, but uncomfortable.
Oh and also, you must be very gentle but firm when picking them up this way because they can kick. I once had one rabbit break off an entire nail this way, and I've been scratched too. But experience helps and I never have problems anymore.
Some people will disagree with me, and if you are uncomfortable picking them up this way, definitely disregard my advice and don't do it. This is my two cents and if people disagree with me, I am totally okay with that. But for me this is the only thing that works with difficult rabbits. If youre not confident this way, it is safer not to do it because you can end up doing more harm than good.

Another idea though, you could try to make some sort of little rugs and put them on the stairs for your rabbit to be able to walk on without slipping or anything, and them remove them when it isnt needed. Just an idea
 

Lala7

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I used to have a rabbit that would always bite if I held her. Other than that, she was very friendly towards me and enjoyed my company and loved being pet (wasn't too friendly with strangers though. Unfortunate but funny story, there was a really annoying girl over at my house and I told her not to touch the rabbits. Of course she didn't listen and ended up with a bloody finger). Besides strangers, my rabbit was very friendly besides the part where I had to pick her up. So since nothing worked, I would simply grab the skin on her back (you grab a very thick section of skin otherwise it can be painful. You could probably youtube or google to see how it looks) and gently lift her while supporting her bottom and holding her as close to me as possible. Some people say this hurts them, but from my experience with many rabbits, I did not see them experiencing any pain. Grabbing by the ears is DEFINITELY a no-no, but I've always seen that they are fine with the skin on their back.
However, if you stop petting your rabbit on the back and only pick them up that way, they will stop liking being touched on their back. But if you keep petting them regularly they should be fine. So just keep that in mind.
I once adopted an adult rabbit and it was very obvious to me that her previous owners never touched her besides to pick her up that way, but she was still very friendly. Whenever I'd try to pet her she would literally slinky away from me from under my hand. She wasn't fearful, but uncomfortable.
Oh and also, you must be very gentle but firm when picking them up this way because they can kick. I once had one rabbit break off an entire nail this way, and I've been scratched too. But experience helps and I never have problems anymore.
Some people will disagree with me, and if you are uncomfortable picking them up this way, definitely disregard my advice and don't do it. This is my two cents and if people disagree with me, I am totally okay with that. But for me this is the only thing that works with difficult rabbits. If youre not confident this way, it is safer not to do it because you can end up doing more harm than good.

Another idea though, you could try to make some sort of little rugs and put them on the stairs for your rabbit to be able to walk on without slipping or anything, and them remove them when it isnt needed. Just an idea

Id also like to add, you can try to get her used to the carrier by leaving it in her regular space and putting treats in there. Let your rabbit start exploring and for the first few times dont pick up the carrier when she goes inside of it. Then once she is used to it you can pick it up and give her treats. After that try to do the same thing until she begins to realize that a carrier isnt a super dangerous place.
 

Katie94

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I would definitely recommend the carrier method Lala7 mentioned I had a similar problem needing to transport my indoor bunnies to their outside run during summer. I started to leave their carrier permanently in there living space with hay and newspaper and they love to dig and lay in it now. When I put the carrier in front of one of my rabbits he now jumps in on his own. I think he learnt to associate the carrier with going outside. I’d be cautious of carrying especially on stairs as if they were to wriggle out of your arms it’s quite far to fall and they generally don’t like it at all. I only hold my bunnies to do things like nail clipping and health checks and even then I try and sit on the floor the whole time just in case.
 

Niomi

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I have a rabbit that hates being picked up. I put him in a little cat bed, and I pick him up with the bed. I pull the sides of the bed around him so he look a bit like a hot dog in a bun. He feels more secure with the bed and he doesn't complain.
 
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I use the "scoop and cuddle" method. I scoop him up under the tummy with one hand and put my other hand on his side and snuggle him close. He may try to kick but it really minimizes the scratch. I pick him up at least once a day and usually give a small treat so he gets a reward. He was only 7 months old when I got him but spent most of his life in a cage. I have had him for almost 5 months now but for the 1st 2 months i cried almost nightly because I thought he hated me. ( he probably did) but with daily sitting and talking he is now sociable and friendly.
 

CaitlinT00

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Thanks everyone for the advice! Today for the first time Bella actually went in her carrier on her own after I left it open in the room (completely surprised me too- i thought she was hiding from it somewhere in my room lol) but of course with our luck- today was the day I ended up taking her to the vet instead of letting her explore other parts of the house.. not sure how she's going to be next time i pull the carrier out
 
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