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JingleBellTheBunny

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Hi! So, in the spring/summer I want to start harness training bullseye. I want him to be able to run around my yard without slipping under my fence or going into the neighbors yard. Bullseye hates being picked up, does anyone know how I would get the harness on safely? Does anyone know where I can get a harness for him and which type I should get? if anyone could share stories of harness training, I'd be very grateful!
 

Mac189

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As someone who has had several harness trained rabbits, it is something I generally recommend against except in extremely unique cases. I have one rabbit that walks cheerfully on a leash and enjoys excursions and another that I would not put on a leash right now for any reason, the trust and predictable behavior isn't there yet between us and likely never will be given his temperament. If your only goal is for him to safely play in the yard, I would instead fix the areas of the fence he can escape through so that he can enjoy the space in his own way without having to be on a leash.

Rabbits generally don't like being on a leash, it's very unnatural to them and can trigger them into thinking they are being chased. If you are leash training, it is all about trust. Rabbits only can be successful on a harness if they trust you as the constant to turn to if they get scared and run TO YOU to be "beamed up" if they get uncomfortable or want to be done. A rabbit that hates being picked up will likely hate harness work because being picked up is the only way to make a rabbit go anywhere against their will and is the only way to keep them safe if the area you are walking in is no longer secure.

I can absolutely talk about safe harnesses and the training process, however, I am not certain from what you've said that leash training is something that would be a positive for you and your rabbit right now.
 

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Bunnylover14

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Also it is better to get a harness like the one above then a harness like the one in the picture since if you get the one in the picture your bunny will be more likely to get injured.


EDIT BY MODERATOR: The information on this post is incorrect. This H-style harness is the recommended style of harness for safety. The style in the above post (vest with velcro) has safety concerns and is not recommended.
 
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Mac189

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I have this harness and it is great! If you want to buy a harness make sure to buy one with a elastic leash.
I'm actually going to say that that harness, in my opinion, possesses both a safety and a security risk. The velcro around the middle can easily come undone and how the bunny is only secured around the neck, which is VERY dangerous. Additionally, it doesn't take most bunnies very long to figure out how to slip out of that kind of harness, which is another huge safety issue. I've also found that most bunnies (although not all) find that kind of vest very restrictive and uncomfortable, which often leads to unnecessary stress to an already charged situation.
 

Mac189

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The one I have is specially designed for cats, to only place pressure on the chest and has no neck loop. It is very different from the blue one above and gently tightens to my chosen amount in the event that she pulls on the harness. I've tried and used a lot of harnesses and it is the only one I feel safe walking Willa with.
 

Mac189

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Mac189

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I've seen some with more mesh and support across the front, which I would prefer, although Willa doesn't tolerate them.
 

Mac189

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If you pursue leash training you will likely try out quite a few harnesses before you find something your rabbit likes, but safety must always come as the first priority.
 

Blue eyes

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If your only goal is for him to safely play in the yard, I would instead fix the areas of the fence he can escape through so that he can enjoy the space in his own way without having to be on a leash.

Rabbits generally don't like being on a leash, it's very unnatural to them and can trigger them into thinking they are being chased. If you are leash training, it is all about trust. Rabbits only can be successful on a harness if they trust you as the constant to turn to if they get scared and run TO YOU to be "beamed up" if they get uncomfortable or want to be done.
Very well put!
 

Hermelin

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It’s better to set up a run for your bunny than harness training. For me the bunny need to be able to be picked up and be calm when I approach them. Otherwise no harness for them.

For example my bunny Odin I will let him run loose in the yard because I know he won’t run away and when he get scared he run into the house, the door is always open when he run loose or jump up onto me. I can perfectly walk next to him and he will be calm. I have no problem walking Odin on a harness or have him loose because he will seek contact when scared and love being picked up. But my other bunnies we don’t have the same trust and there a large risk they would get hurt. Specially my bunny Toste that easily get startled by things that move.

I don’t have a fenced yard but Odin never walk outside the yard and I’m always an arm reach near him but he’s a relaxed bunny.
2F2815A6-8E12-43CD-ADE7-F42C6588FE1E.jpeg

Out in the forest and it’s time to flop and rest. He have a harness and leash on.
5FEE5454-E11E-45F8-A9D5-5A17C7513BF2.jpeg

So it’s really important to think from your bunnies personality and what they can handle.
 

Bunnylover14

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Also it is better to get a harness like the one above then a harness like the one in the picture since if you get the one in the picture your bunny will be more likely to get injured.


EDIT BY MODERATOR: The information on this post is incorrect. This H-style harness is the recommended style of harness for safety. The style in the above post (vest with velcro) has safety concerns and is not recommended.
I'm sorry if this is incorrect. It is just what I heard and I read a article that said that the one in the picture has safety concerns. I have never had any problems with the vest with velcro so I just posted what I had read in the article. Sorry!
 

Bunnylover14

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Also Lennon the bunny recommended the one I have so I thought It was probably a fairly safe vest. Though Lennon the bunny could be wrong.
 

Blue eyes

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Also Lennon the bunny recommended the one I have so I thought It was probably a fairly safe vest. Though Lennon the bunny could be wrong.
The videos by Lennon the Bunny are done, as far as I can tell, by a gal that is basing all experience on her one rabbit. While she does have quite a bit of good info, she also has some info that reveals limited experience. However, the popularity of her videos has her now being sponsored -- which means, basically, that she is being paid to promote products and items. This, in my opinion, can be a conflict of interest and could encourage the promotion of products not on their merit, but on their potential for profit.

Anything with velcro has the danger of doing just what velcro eventually does-- cease to have grip. Hence the danger.
 

Ashrocks92

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Ok what harness to get him we have a leash we got a harness at a pet store it's 2 big for him tho cuz he slips out
 

Diane R

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If you want your bunny to spend time outside under your supervision, secure the fence. The safest and best thing to do would be to set up a large safe run. Harnesses are not safe and don't allow bunnies to exercise naturally.
 

Ashrocks92

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If you want your bunny to spend time outside under your supervision, secure the fence. The safest and best thing to do would be to set up a large safe run. Harnesses are not safe and don't allow bunnies to exercise naturally.
Ok he a inside rabbit
 

Mac189

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Ok what harness to get him we have a leash we got a harness at a pet store it's 2 big for him tho cuz he slips out
The most fun and safest option for both of you will likely be some kind of exercise pen instead of a harness and leash. Things can go wrong incredibly quickly with a harness and you will have to be on alert to changes in the environment all the time. In a run/play pen you can lie down in the grass with your bun and take a nap or read a book and just hang out. The pen can be equipt with all kinds of toys and will be much more fun for your rabbit to just enjoy his time with you.

I very seldom take my leash-trained rabbit out on a harness, but I use my play pen set up every day that I can. It's safe, easy, and her more flighty bond can always be with her. I consider harness work to be best for unusually confident, trusting rabbits and owners who are extremely alert, calm, and aware of the slightest change in their rabbit. It is very unusual that all of the pieces fall into place, especially when a play pen is just so much easier for everyone.

My current play pen is two metal, 36" inch tall, 8-panel dog runs that I clipped together. I got them at Petsmart and I feel very comfortable with my rabbits being safe in there.
 
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