Quantcast

Do rabbits growl when playfighting?

Help Support RabbitsOnline:

Isaac12

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Messages
16
Reaction score
1
Location
Canada
I can’t tell if they’re playfighting. They seem to be less aggressive then before since I started bonding so I’m beginning to think it’s play fighting but I can’t tell. I watched some videos of rabbits playfighting and it looks like my 2 rabbits are doing that but they are also growling at each other and I haven’t seen any of the playfighting rabbits do that. Any helps appreciated
 

Preitler

Loony bunny guy
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
1,395
Reaction score
976
Location
Austria
I have never heard of, or seen rabbits "playfighting". When they fight, or whatever they do, they mean it. Well, when just hitting puberty at 3-4months they aren't too serious about it, but that doesn't last.

I would say, there are some dominance and hierachy sorting behaviours, like humping, short chases, fur plucking that are signs of tensions but not yet a fight. If they can't sort it out with those more ritualistic behaviour it can escalate quickly.

How old are the rabbits, and what genders?
 

Isaac12

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2020
Messages
16
Reaction score
1
Location
Canada
I have never heard of, or seen rabbits "playfighting". When they fight, or whatever they do, they mean it.

I would say, there are some dominance and hierachy sorting behaviours, like humping, short chases, fur plucking, they are signs of tension but not yet a fight. If they can't sort it out with those more ritualistic behaviour it can escalate quickly.
Yes that’s what i meant, not really playfighting just the fighting that can help them sort who’s dominant[/QUOTE]
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Preitler

Loony bunny guy
Joined
Jul 19, 2015
Messages
1,395
Reaction score
976
Location
Austria
The things I mentioned are not fighting, and sorting out a hierachy is not the same as bonding - it can end with one scared, depressed bunny permanently in a hidy house.
If they are equally pigheaded, that can be a problem too.

Females and males are somewhat different in that regard, females escalate gradually and are more concerned about hierachy, if males don't get along the objective is to drive the rival away, which doesn't work in captivity, that can escalate to a serious fight quickly. Like, in seconds.
On the other hand, my does full out attack other does of another group that invade their territory on sight.
Anyway, once they fight they will remember it, and bonding might get much more difficult, if not impossible.

Can't say much about how neutered rabbits act, but hormones have a huge impact on all that.
That's just general talk though, you don't give much information to go by.
 
Last edited:

JBun

Jenny - Health & Wellness Mod
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Sep 10, 2012
Messages
8,862
Reaction score
3,344
Location
Utah, , USA
Yes, rabbits don't play fight. It can either be minor squabbling to sort out dominance issues, where minor nipping may happen but no actual full on biting should. Or it's real aggression and fighting where full on biting and serious injury can occur. If it's minor dominance issues but not actual fighting, the bonding could possibly still be sorted out if done correctly. If they are actually fighting and biting, bonding should stop immediately.

If these are the rabbits you've been trying to bond since August, part of the problem you may be having is that the bonding process is being drawn out for too long. Sometimes when rabbits see each other too infrequently, this can cause them to forget the other rabbit and any progress they've made in getting to know each other. So the next time you put them together they're back to where they were and you aren't moving the relationship forward, so they aren't able to sort out their hierarchy issues. With bonding, you usually either need to be doing one or more sessions a day(depending on how the sessions go), or for some rabbits the fast track method works best where the rabbits are put together in a neutral area, always supervised, until they are bonded. If you don't seem to be making progress towards the rabbits getting better being around each other, this could be the reason why.

This link below has info on some of the signs of aggression to look out for if bonding needs to be stopped, as well as info and links on the bonding process. If you haven't done a lot of research on the bonding process, I would suggest doing so. It's important to go about it correctly or what has the potential to be a bond that works out, might not if the right approach isn't used.
 

helena

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2020
Messages
236
Reaction score
174
Location
Iowa, USA
Play fighting is for predators. Cats, dogs and such. They are probably not playfighting as they are prey animals.
 

zuppa

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2019
Messages
2,165
Reaction score
1,510
Location
NULL
What age and gender are your rabbits, are they both neutered?

In my experience growling would be like a warning that they don't like it, I see it mostly in females when they are trying to say that they don't like my or other rabbit's actions. It sounds like the one who growls maybe is getting annoyed of the one who keeps showing dominance (maybe) and (her) growling is like a warning that she is going to fight back next time. (She) is being defensive I would say.

I would recommend separating them. And check if their genitals are alright, not bitten.
 
Top