Ellie runs away ?

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trisho

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So.. over the past month, my bunnies and I have def gotten closer.
Whenever I walk up to their enclosure, they gather to the wall closest to me and will gladly let me pet them. They've also started running to me when I crinkle their treats bag and will climb all over me when I lay on the ground nearby.

Though whenever I let them free-roam in my room, after doing a couple zoomies and binkies, my Ellie settles on my bed on top of my pillows. Whenever I approach or get up to retrieve something from my nightstand, she runs away from my direction with the speed of light.
She doesn't seem frightened or anything because she comes right back.. but she zooms out, does a u-turn, and hides behind a little box by the night stand.

There's a couple things I think it could be:
she might be assuming that I was going to pick her up and put her back in her enclosure, thus ending play-time. And she doesn't want that, obvi.
she could also just be playful but I'm not entirely too sure if bunnies run away as a sign of play.

I just want to make sure she's not genuinely frightened of me; there are no other indications that she is so I doubt this is it.
I'd appreciate feedback :)

Thank you!
Take care all!
 

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Blue eyes

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she might be assuming that I was going to pick her up and put her back in her enclosure, thus ending play-time. And she doesn't want that, obvi.
she could also just be playful but I'm not entirely too sure if bunnies run away as a sign of play.
If you routinely pick her up to put her back in her enclosure-- stop! That would definitely explain that behavior. You are training her to not like your approach. This is not the way to get her (or any other rabbit) back in her enclosure. Here's more on that (scroll down):

On the other hand, if she is not normally picked up to be put back in her enclosure, then, yes, she could be playing. Some rabbits do seem to play in that way.
 

JBun

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She might see your bed/area as your territory, and when you approach is concerned she is encroaching on it when she's not allowed, so is running away when you are walking towards her because she thinks you are coming to chase her off your area, but then realizes you aren't chasing her away and comes back. This is how rabbits will behave with each other, with a dominant rabbit telling a subordinate to move out of their space, usually with a little bum nip.

If this is why she's doing it, over time she should realize that you aren't coming to chase her off your space. You could also speed up the process by approaching a little differently. When humans walk towards something we usually walk directly and somewhat quickly, towards it. This type of movement in the rabbit world, can seem like an aggressive move of a dominant bun. Next time, try slowing down your movement and moving sort of in an arc where you stay more to the side of your bun and bed, and aren't approaching so directly. Rabbits see best out to the side, that's why you often seeing them cocking their head to the side to look at things. So approaching where they can see you better should be more comfortable for them. You could also try walking a few paces, then stop for a second then proceed again. This would look more like how a rabbit moves.
 

Preitler

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I would say it's a reflex, she's just a little jumpy. Some rabbits are that way, movement or attention in their direction triggers something ancient. It's not even the same as being skittish, which I would define as being stressed and wary of anyone. When my current herd of 9 youngsters (7 weeks) is out in the garden and I come around the corner at least 2 will bolt, but turn around pretty quick to see if I bring treats. They are not scared, no thumps or so, it's just a deeply ingrained reaction. Ignore it, don't take it personally. I think it can get better the more everything you do becomes normal background noise, keep acting normal, patience.
 

trisho

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If you routinely pick her up to put her back in her enclosure-- stop! That would definitely explain that behavior. You are training her to not like your approach. This is not the way to get her (or any other rabbit) back in her enclosure. Here's more on that (scroll down):

On the other hand, if she is not normally picked up to be put back in her enclosure, then, yes, she could be playing. Some rabbits do seem to play in that way.
Thank you for your response! Yes, I avoid picking her up altogether to get her back into her enclosure. Usually, I'd just shake a bag of treats and they'll come running by their own will.
 

trisho

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I would say it's a reflex, she's just a little jumpy. Some rabbits are that way, movement or attention in their direction triggers something ancient. It's not even the same as being skittish, which I would define as being stressed and wary of anyone. When my current herd of 9 youngsters (7 weeks) is out in the garden and I come around the corner at least 2 will bolt, but turn around pretty quick to see if I bring treats. They are not scared, no thumps or so, it's just a deeply ingrained reaction. Ignore it, don't take it personally. I think it can get better the more everything you do becomes normal background noise, keep acting normal, patience.
that actually makes a ton of sense! thank you!
 

trisho

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She might see your bed/area as your territory, and when you approach is concerned she is encroaching on it when she's not allowed, so is running away when you are walking towards her because she thinks you are coming to chase her off your area, but then realizes you aren't chasing her away and comes back. This is how rabbits will behave with each other, with a dominant rabbit telling a subordinate to move out of their space, usually with a little bum nip.

If this is why she's doing it, over time she should realize that you aren't coming to chase her off your space. You could also speed up the process by approaching a little differently. When humans walk towards something we usually walk directly and somewhat quickly, towards it. This type of movement in the rabbit world, can seem like an aggressive move of a dominant bun. Next time, try slowing down your movement and moving sort of in an arc where you stay more to the side of your bun and bed, and aren't approaching so directly. Rabbits see best out to the side, that's why you often seeing them cocking their head to the side to look at things. So approaching where they can see you better should be more comfortable for them. You could also try walking a few paces, then stop for a second then proceed again. This would look more like how a rabbit moves.
that's very likely and makes a lot of sense!
my other bun, Juno, rarely gets on my bed. she might put a paw on the edge and sniff, probably considering hopping on, before turning away, Ellie's a more rebellious type so I totally see her doing just that. Thank you for your response!
 

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