Different behaviour when bonding and when not?

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jastas

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Hi there!
First time posting...but here goes!
Our family recently gained 2 minilops (brothers and both neutered) and also a British Giant (boy, neutered). They are both about 7 months old, and we are trying to bond them. The bonding sessions in our bathroom are going well, and are peaceful once they are back into their own territory (2 separate fenced areas with some view of each other but with a barrier between of 2 inches). However, if the barriers are removed and the fences allowed to touch, that's when the aggression begins. We are hoping they will all go into a specially made large hutch still being constructed. Is what is happening a largely territorial issue, not present because the bonding sessions have been on neutral ground? And if so, how should we go ahead from here?
Cheers,
Jas
 

Blue eyes

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Are you saying you are trying to bond 3 neutered males? Are the two brothers already an established, bonded pair and the 3rd is the newcomer OR are they all new to each other?
 

jastas

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Ah, sorry! Yes, it is an established pair and one newcomer. The minilop brothers were all we were getting originally, before my son decided he'd like one too. The established pair and our large bun seem to get along well on neutral territory, but once back in their pens...
 

Blue eyes

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Bonding groups isn't always possible. It totally depends on the individual personalities of each bun. Neutral territory, as you've noticed, is key. Their separate pen areas are clearly claimed by each (the pair and the single) as their territory that needs to be defended. Hopefully those areas are not part of the area you were hoping to have them share later on.

One option that some have used is to swap the buns when they are separated by putting the pair in the single's space and putting the single in the space of the pair. This may (or may not) help.

You can read more about bonding Groups & Trios if you scroll down on the following link:

Another possible option is to keep the pair in their own space and away from the single bun, and likewise with the single bun. In other words, don't bond them all together but keep the single bun as a single bun. If this option is chosen, it would be best to keep in completely separate areas.
 

jastas

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Thanks for that. Thankfully, the new hutch and run is new to all of them but we had wanted them to be bonded before we moved them in. Their spaces where they are in now could be cleaned and reconfigured to suit them all as a trio, but I'm not 100% confident that that is where we are at yet. They can tolerate each other for about 30 minutes a session, but we haven't been game to try for longer as of yet. We have been swappong their possessions about, but will try the physical swap. Is the key to moving ahead now to try for longer sessions?

Really appreciate the advice!
 

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