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Help! Aggressive female needs to be picked up

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StellaBunny

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Mostly freezing my butt off with Stella... haha
So my bunny Stella is aggressive and hates being picked up. I'm thinking about getting her spayed, but I might not have the money because the vet has to make an appointment to guess how pricey it would be. So I booked the appointment, and then realized that 1.) the appointment was the day after I got braces and 2.) how the heck am I gonna get her out of the hutch!?!?
Does anyone have any techniques for picking up an aggressive bunny?
 

zuppa

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You can prepare travel carrier put some hay and snacks into it and place it open next to hutch, open the door and wait or tell her if she wants to jump in. She should and then you just close the door, voila
 

StellaBunny

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Mostly freezing my butt off with Stella... haha
OH MY GOSH! I was just out with Stella and i noticed there was some poop in her bathroom area so I decided to clean that up... I limit her pellets so that when I do need to clean it I can distract her with a snack, she lunged at me FROM THE OTHER PART OF THE HUTCH GRUNTING what do I do what did I do wrong?
 

SableSteel

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Nothing wrong... just sounds like an territorial female rabbit. Honestly, at this point I don't think you're going to make her enjoy being picked up before the vet visit, so instead you might want to make each handling session as short and unobtrusive for her as possible. If she is back into a corner facing you it should be pretty easy to pick her up. Remember - rabbits can't move their head upwards as easily as they can move it from side to side, so reach in your hand QUICKLY over the rabbits head and grab the base of her ears (preferably with your non-dominant hand - I usually like to have one ear in between my index and middle finger, and the other in between my middle and ring finger. The palm of your hand should be pressed flat against her forehead - you want your hand as low on the ear base as possible, so that if the rabbit were to try to pull away you won't be pulling the ears - and hold tight so she doesn't slip out). Once you have control of her ear base, you have control of her head, so she can't spin around and bite you. Use your other hand to reach under her and pick her up or slide her towards your body. All her weight should be on the hand that's under her body - you never want to put weight or pressure on the ears. Once you have her out of the hutch, tuck her head in your armpit and carry her like a football.

As a judge I have to deal with getting many, many aggressive rabbits out of cages and this is what I've found to be the safest for the rabbit, and the easiest for me - however it's much easier to have somebody show you than to try to describe it here - it's hard to emphasize in text how you are not putting any of the rabbit's weight on the ears (as the ears themselves are delicate), but rather gaining control by preventing the rabbit from moving its head from side to side.
 
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Milousmom

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If she really hates being picked up, I would suggest doing what Zupper said and just put a few pellets or her favourite treats inside her carrier and she should hop right in and you can close it up. My bun isn't agressive but now he'll just willingly hop into his carrier even with no treats inside because he thinks they'll be there lol.
 

StellaBunny

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Mostly freezing my butt off with Stella... haha
Ha! That's funny. I'll definitely try that, but I'm expecting to have to try to pick her up at some point to get her in, she always finds a way to wiggle out the door. Maybe it's because I chicken out because I think she'll get crushed by the door;)
 

zuppa

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If you are going to keep her you want to investigate why is she 'aggressive' there must be some reasons why and when you understand that you can try and train her to be less aggressive, from my side it looks like she's just defensive and trying to protect herself so you want to work on building bond and gaining her trust, as was said early you can put her on your eye level and sit next to her cage just doing something not paying attention at all, playing with your phone or reading etc, so she can just watch you and will see you are not dangerous. Do it a couple hours a day, for a week or two, then you will see changes, also never pick her up and let her approach you, don't enter her personal territory, don't put your hand into her cage etc.
 

StellaBunny

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Mostly freezing my butt off with Stella... haha
The problem with that is is that I’m in the process of convincing my parents to let her live indoors, so she doesn’t have a litter box, she just goes in a spot in her “bedroom” so I have to be in her personal territory every three days so that she isn’t living in her own poop
 

Hermelin

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You can still litter train her, myself find it easier to train my skittish + agressive bunny when he lives outdoors than when he lived indoors. But Toste was scared of humans so that wouldn’t be so weird

Toste would always attack me when cleaning his cage, giving him hay, water, veggies and food. So I pretty much invaded his space even though he wasen’t in the cage. He would still attack my hands.

When you train her, you just shouldn’t try to reach for her. Just ignore her like she’s air. You can handle stuff in the cage but that should just be minimum. If she attacks don’t move your hands or arms, just keep on doing what you should do. So have glows and good clothes, that will protect you from getting bitten. You can also try to let her have a treat/ play with something to distract her while you work with the cage. Best are to use both, she will associate you with something positive while you won’t be threat in her territory.

You can put up a run/pen around the cage which makes you not being in her space but still interact with her. You should let her come up to you and you should reward her with a bit of veggies or pellets. Then slowly build up the bond.

Can’t you have a litter box in the cage, myself have a store bought hutch it’s really tiny but it fit a normal litter box at the side. So my bunny Toste it’s also litter trained even though he’s an outdoor bunny that comes in during summer.
 

zuppa

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The problem with that is is that I’m in the process of convincing my parents to let her live indoors, so she doesn’t have a litter box, she just goes in a spot in her “bedroom” so I have to be in her personal territory every three days so that she isn’t living in her own poop
I have same problem but my girl is indoor. I never clean her cage while she's in I do what I've described invite her into a travel carrier and she stays there while I clean, then bring the carrier back to her door and she hops in. She was very defensive since I've got her she was 9 weeks it was more than a year ago, she trusts me more but she is still very territorial. She doesn't bite now but I have lots of scars from her, not like nibbling or love bites but proper bleeding wounds.
She had some bad experience with humans and small dogs in her past so was always nervous and defensive and attacked me every time, my other rabbits don't bite, just this one, she's in my avatar very beautiful blue girl. I think she's just trying to protect herself and her territory. Maybe spaying her will help they say spayed females are less territorial, we'll see
 
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Niomi

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I used to have a female that would attack me, especially when I put my hands in her cage. I got her spayed and she stopped attacking me, but I know it doesn't work like that for every rabbit. I also bought a carrier that had an extra door that opened at the top. It was easier to get her in and out with a pair of gloves.
 

Hermelin

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Thanks everyone. She's not a huge fan of hopping into the carrier, so I'm going to try the treats technique. But if I do end up having to pick her up, how can I stop her from hopping away?
If you are stilled forced to pick her up, then you have to take her with a steady hand. She will avoid you, until you both get a better bond and slowly trained her to get used being picked up.

You train with treats (positive reinforcement) and you do it in babysteps. What your bunny can tolerate and build up the training from there.
 

zuppa

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Thanks everyone. She's not a huge fan of hopping into the carrier, so I'm going to try the treats technique. But if I do end up having to pick her up, how can I stop her from hopping away?
Well mine wasn't a fan either I trained her step by step, you just need lots of patience and positive thinking. Some rabbits are not easy and they need some extra work.
 

zuppa

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Yeah and talk to her nicely let her hear your voice say good girl jump in there's something for you, put also some hay into it, maybe a piece of carrot ar fresh green herbs mint etc, do it regularly for I don't know how patient you are, maybe 5-10 mins, do it daily, you can leave it there and step back maybe she wants to explore when you are not around, you can put it without the door into her hutch so she can go in and out when no one see, be creative.
 

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