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Grumpy Bun hates me

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RoseCottageBuns

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hello, I have a 2 year old lady lion head, and she is really grumpy! I have tried everything, sitting with her for hours, gently stroking her, grooming her, talking , singing to her, getting her toys, playing with her. I am at a loss as to what to do. She shies away from me, does not ask for nose rubs, or come to me at all...I can call her occasionally , but that is only if she knows I may have a raisin for her. She glowers at me from the back of her cage and whenever I finish stroking her and put her back in her cage she flicks her heels at me. I have had her for a couple of years, she lost her little hubby before christmas and I am at the moment trying to bond her with a beautiful gentle male rex in the hope that this may cheer her up. She is pretty aggressive towards him too , and so I am not sure if the match will work, we are in the early stages. How can I get her to be happier? She hates me!
 

Stinkerbunnies

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Some buns are just naturally grumpy. Big Wig, my white and black one, is always grunting, flicking his heels, and thumping. Chan, however, is very sweet, and almost constantly clicking. Try to bond with HER. My bun stopped being so aggresssive after we spent hours cuddling. She might be better, or she's just naturally a grumpy bun. Was she this grumpy before? I'm sorry I don't have much information.

-Stinkerbunnies
 

Blue eyes

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whenever I finish stroking her and put her back in her cage she flicks her heels at me. She hates me!
Perhaps you can change the way you interact with her. If you are petting her and then place her back in her cage, she will come to associate that petting with "uh oh, now I'm going to be forced back in my cage."

Rabbits are smart enough to figure out those associations. The other potential problem I see is that you "put her back in her cage." That sounds like she is being carried and placed (forced) back in her cage. This is another bond-breaker - not letting bunny choose to go back in her cage. I don't advise forcing a rabbit back into her cage in this manner.

Better it is to coax or trick her into thinking that she is the one deciding to go back in the cage. This can be accomplished by either using treats or her daily pellet feeding to get her back in, or using an x-pen that you shrink in toward her cage door so that she soon has no choice but to hop in. This may seem forced, but she is the one actually hopping in of her own volition. Some have even had success using a command along with the treats so that bunny will hop into the cage at a certain command (like "cage time").

Reading up on bunny body language should also help. There are times of day when a bunny simply is not in the mood to be interacting. You can tell by her body language when she is in such a mood. Trying to force her to interact when she is not in the mood, is also counter-productive. Seeing when she is willing to interact will make your efforts more productive.

Here's a link on bunny body language:
http://language.rabbitspeak.com/

By changing the way you've been interacting with her (especially in regards to cage time) the more likely you will be able to change her opinion of you.
 

samoth

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My buck comes across as grumpy, but I've come to learn that he's just independent and doesn't like being pet all that often. He grunts a lot, but he's totally non-aggressive. It's just his personality (towards me; he's much more loving towards his bondmate). He's happy... just not a lap bunny. Maybe your girl would be happier with less hands-on attention from her human?

Blue Eye's comment about body language is spot on. My rabbits like their routine, and when they want attention/pets, they have a subtle way of showing it -- in their case, it tends to be in the later evening. If I try to pet my buck in the middle of the day when he's resting, I get growled at.
 

Aki

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She sounds like a pretty normal rabbit to me. Rabbits aren't cats or dogs and most of them don't really care for human interactions, which doesn't mean they can't get along very well with other rabbits. How much time outside of her cage does she get? Because your post make it sound like you just take her out to pet her and put her back after petting her, which would make her annoyance pretty understandable. If you hold her while petting her or handle her to put her in her cage or to take her out, it's no wonder she doesn't approach you, though. My rabbits will let me pet them without any problem, but their paws stay on the ground at all time and I never hold them or lift them if it's not an absolute necessity (so, almost never). Aki sometimes will jump on my knees if I'm sitting down, but I wouldn't put her there myself - she wouldn't appreciate it and wouldn't stay put.
 

RoseCottageBuns

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Thank you all for your advice. It is great to know there is so much knowledge out there. Yes , she does run around outside her cage and it is open all the time during the day for her to wander in and out, perhaps I shall just not lift her at all and see if that works. I also do a lot of lying down with my head at her height, not bothering her at all and just letting her wander around.That seems to work at times. I shall certainly think about how i interact with her re - cage time, and shall read up on bunny language... have looked at a load of advice before I cam here, but will see if there is something I have missed. Thank you all again for your advice :)
 

Ivythelionhead

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Maybe she's still missing her Bunny friend, also is she spayed? I assume she is if she was living with another bunny but just curious?
 

pani

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If she's not spayed, she may be frustrated, and that could cause her grumpiness. That being said, some buns are just plain grumps. I've had my Clementine for 4 years, since she was 8 weeks old, and apart from when she was teeny tiny she's always been a bit of a grump. She's gotten a little more affectionate over the last year or so, to the point where she'll often chin my fingers and sometimes give me a lick (if she's in a really good mood), but there's definitely no cuddling or real love coming from her.

She is bonded with my nethie, and does adore him, though.
 

RoseCottageBuns

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Yes, Violet is spayed, and perhaps she is still missing Mister Bunny ( took ages to think of that name for him!). She was with him for a couple of years, but I guess it may take her a while? She too was very sweet and friendly when she was little. I shall persevere, and resist picking her up, as maybe that is the one thing that she hates more than anything. Thanks again for all the help :)
 

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