Declan and Young Stanley - Bonding Time

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RossB

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Hey everyone!! Hope you are all well! :)

I've just got to the time where Declan (make ages 4 and a half, neutered years ago, he is a very laid back and chilled out rabbit, but also quite nervous and timid sometimes.) and Stanley (Male 6 months, neutered late august, 5/6 weeks ago) can finally start bonding. after a few dates now, mainly good, couple not so good. (my fault I push forward to quick)

Declan lost his beautiful Marnie a few months ago they where in a extremely strong bond, and we could tell he needed someone to love. so we got his a little brother.

currently they are in a date in a small pen in the spare (Neutral) room. Declan will keep Grooming Stanley, and Stanley will keep laying his head down for more. and every so often Declan will go nip Stanley's bum.

is the bum nipping anything to worry about? and is it a concern that Stanley is very bossy demanding grooming, but hasn't groomed Declan once? Stanley humped Declan on 1st and 2nd meetings, but no humping since, is that normal?

Any advise on my questions, or in general would be greatly apricated!

also underneath I've put a brief run down of the dates


Before dates - swapping there living spaces over to get used to smells, and occasionally in pens side by side
1st - in living room pen, Not completely neutral, my mistake, was okay, not great not terrible, Stanley humped Declan a lot, Declan wasn't too appreciative.

2nd- in neutral room, no real interactions, until Stanley humped Declan, Declan wasn't bother at all by this, but both seemed at ease. No humping since this date.

3rd- in neutral room in small pen, very positive, first grooming from Declan to Stan, both played with toys a bit

4th- repeat of the 3rd

5th- downstairs (I moved them to early, learnt my lesson) was going well, ate dinner next to each other, Declan groomed, then a bit of a bicker, I had to interfere. separated the pen in to 2 halves and left them next to each other.
between 5th and 6th, had them out in the living room pens separated

6th date- upstairs in a small pen, Declan grooming and nipping Stan going well but Stanley demanding grooming, not really showing affection. after a hour Stanley and Declan chased each other in a small circle after a nip (only one or two tiny circles, was over as quick as it started) then Declan groomed Stanley. Then Stanley flopped next to Declan. Declan groomed and then Stanley went back to a normal position whist receiving grooming.

7th- went from the neural pen to the majority of the neutral room. Didn’t seem to interested in each other, but Staley did a couple of binkys. Declan nipped Stan’s bum a few times and Stanley hopped off, but nothing major

8th- weren’t interested in each other at first, Stanley did one binky, after a little while Declan nipped Stan’s bum a few times, Stanley wanted grooming but Declan didn’t. Then they had a small bicker, so I stopped the bicker, and ended the session.

Does this seem to being going well? or not so well? I've never bonded 2 boys
Thanks everyone :)
 

JBun

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Declan does sound like he's getting a little upset with Stanley not reciprocating the grooming. But Stanley isn't reacting to the nipping so far, which is good. And Stanley binkying and flopping means he's feeling pretty chill about the bonding.

So they are still sorting out the hierarchy issues. As long as Stanley continues to not react to the nipping, and Declan doesn't escalate, It seems like they'll probably sort it out given time. But you do want to continue to closely supervise. And especially if any circling occurs, break that up immediately as that can quickly escalate into a full out fight.

And watch letting them out into a bigger bonding space, as that can sometimes set off territorial issues and fights. I would suggest monitoring them closely when you do let them out, to make sure there aren't any signs of this kicking off and things possibly escalating. If they seem to do better with each other having the larger area, I would continue with it.



 
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RossB

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Thank you! :) do you think its going positive though? it seems up and down, between dates would u leave them in the pens next to each other? it would be in living room (not neutral)
 
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