Help needed.. bonding two male bunnies

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Hello!

I have two male bunnies. Angel is 2 years and spayed, and Teddy was spayed over two months ago. Teddy's age is around 7 months, but I am not sure because we had to rescue him from a bad home...

While teddy was still a baby they were living together in the same cage. And yes, I am aware that a baby bond is not a real bond..

Anyway, now I'm not able to bond them again and I need help!!

I am using a neutral area, my guestroom, where they meet once a day..

What happens is that Teddy is always licking Angel's face and eyes, then he is trying to mount Angel, then chasing him, biting, mounting and they end up running in circles. Angel doesn't really allow Teddy to mount him and runs away. This goes on and on until they run in circles trying to hump each other and biting until it becomes a huge fight and I have to separate them to avoid bloody bites (it has happened twice that Teddy bit Angel so he started bleeding). When Teddy is the one starting, I can hear a very low, but constant grunting noise coming from him.

Angel sometimes goes after Teddy too, in the same order, but it's mostly Teddy who is starting.

It seems they can never seem to agree who is boss...

What can I do?? I don't have space for two cages, and if they can't live together then I have to give Teddy away.. please help me!
 

Mariam+Theo

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Try stress bonding or bonding in a smaller space. Take them on a car ride in a carrier, or put them in a laundry basket on the washing machine. That will be stressful and they should huddle to feel safer. Putting rabbits in a difficult situation may help when bonding. I don't know if you have watched videos for bonding, but below is a great one, along with a great link:
https://rabbitsindoors.weebly.com/bonding-bunnies.html
 

Hermelin

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Sometimes you also need to accept the bunnies won’t work together. Myself knows stress bonding would never work on my bucks.

I have failed miserly trying to bond my doe to one of my bucks. Turned out the bucks worked better with each other than with her.

Often space, many hiding places and maybe let them live next to each other for a longer period can help with building their bond.
 
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Sometimes you also need to accept the bunnies won’t work together. Myself knows stress bonding would never work on my bucks.

I have failed miserly trying to bond my doe to one of my bucks. Turned out the bucks worked better with each other than with her.

Often space, many hiding places and maybe let them live next to each other for a longer period can help with building their bond.


I have already tried stress bonding, and it has no effect unfortunately.. this morning Teddy escaped his cage while I was in the toilet, and I came out to something that reminded me of a horror movie. It was fur everywhere and Angel was terrified and stressed out.. it's sad to say it, but I don't think I can ever bond them.. do you think Angel will be happier alone, instead of being next to a bunny he is very scared of?

I have had angel since he was 3 weeks, he's like my baby, and he has been alone for almost two years. We are very bonded and my heart bleed every time Teddy hurts him and terrifies him.

I would love for him to get another companion, but I don't see how Teddy can ever be his perfect companion
 

zuppa

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What a beautiful video very informative thanks for sharing.
OP, I guess you should interfere before they start fighting, if Teddy grooms Angel a lot that would be actually good sign and your supervising in short should be encouraging good communication and not letting them to go to a fight. Some humping and fur flying is okay but you need to be there and keep it under control. Don't stop session on fight, take them both on you so they are there nose by nose and pet them together and give them positive ending so they remember that it was nice laying on your lap next to each other and getting pets they will remember it was good.
From your comment I see that Angel is your baby and Teddy is a bad guy I think you should rethink this attitude if you want them bonded, try not to be biased and be fair to both, don't give them a chance to be bad or escape you surely can control that. It is up to you if you think that Angel would be happier as solo just go for it, you don't have to push yourself or wait until something horrible happens, you are boss you can stop this bonding anytime and keep just one rabbit, you don't have to feel guilty for it.
If you still want to bond them well you need to decide all by yourself which way you want to go, if you decide to try again you need to prepare yourself well maybe watch more bonding videos and focus on supervising, plan your sessions, start small, combine different techniques if needed, don't let them fight and always end your session on a positive note, pet them together at the end of each session, talk to them nicely, all you need is time and focus, and a dustpan and glows and a spray bottle and some food/ greens they can share maybe. It can take time. Some rabbits can't be bonded as said above so there's no guarantee so it's all up to you you can stop it anytime you feel that was enough.
As you said above you just don't see Teddy as a perfect companion for your Angel so if that is your decision maybe you've had enough and just got tired and want to stop it, that's fine too don't push yourself.
 
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Thank you for your answer!
Honestly, the first time I read it I was a bit insulted that anyone could think I haven't loved Teddy equally and wholeheartedly, as I have with Angel.. but that has passed! I really appreciate your reply, it really got me thinking.. yes, it is up to me. If I want to make it stop, I have the power to stop it, give Teddy away, and my life would be easier. But it would also be missing something.. I love Teddy very much and I don't know if my heart can survive giving him away.

Teddy has been a really hard rescue case, a lot of aggression towards everyone.. but I have also seen a lot of change!

The bunnies started off in a bad place. I have read so many places that I should just let the bunnies go in circles and let the hair fly.. but I'm not so sure if that's really good in my case. Angel for example is very soft and sweet and sensitive, compared to Teddy who is very brave, rough, but also very loving.

Today I followed my instincts, and I did this:
1. I needed to try this with love and not stressing my bunnies, so I sat down in front of their cages, and had them both in my lap, cuddling until they didn't want more, and put them back in.
2. I let them out one by one to run, so they could get some energy out. Also making real progress with Teddy and his aggression.
3. I prepared the bathroom to be the new neutral area to start bonding in. If they struggle moving past bad experiences then I don't think it helps them to be in the room where these bad experiences started. Maybe they need a new place, to start building trust.
4. After setting up the bathroom with food, a spray bottle and a protective glove for me, I brought them in.. and today was.. wow!! It really gave me some major hope! Since non of them wants to give up the dominant role, I followed what it says in the link.. so when Teddy mounted Angel, I pet Angel and said "you are a good boy!!", and then stopping Teddy after around 8 seconds. For sure not allowing any bites, running in circles or grunting/flipping tail. I only sprayed with water once. They ate salad, licked each other, looked around the new area, and finally snuggled together side by side with the feet out and everything!!
5. I ended the session after they got up and ate some more. The whole thing lasted around 45 minutes!

So now I have more hope, and my fingers are crossed - maybe I can keep giving them these good experiences every day until they can live together

Until then I think I will start swapping their cages every evening, to make them less terretorial and so they will get used to each others smell. What do you guys think?
 

Mariam+Theo

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Thank you for your answer!
Honestly, the first time I read it I was a bit insulted that anyone could think I haven't loved Teddy equally and wholeheartedly, as I have with Angel.. but that has passed! I really appreciate your reply, it really got me thinking.. yes, it is up to me. If I want to make it stop, I have the power to stop it, give Teddy away, and my life would be easier. But it would also be missing something.. I love Teddy very much and I don't know if my heart can survive giving him away.

Teddy has been a really hard rescue case, a lot of aggression towards everyone.. but I have also seen a lot of change!

The bunnies started off in a bad place. I have read so many places that I should just let the bunnies go in circles and let the hair fly.. but I'm not so sure if that's really good in my case. Angel for example is very soft and sweet and sensitive, compared to Teddy who is very brave, rough, but also very loving.

Today I followed my instincts, and I did this:
1. I needed to try this with love and not stressing my bunnies, so I sat down in front of their cages, and had them both in my lap, cuddling until they didn't want more, and put them back in.
2. I let them out one by one to run, so they could get some energy out. Also making real progress with Teddy and his aggression.
3. I prepared the bathroom to be the new neutral area to start bonding in. If they struggle moving past bad experiences then I don't think it helps them to be in the room where these bad experiences started. Maybe they need a new place, to start building trust.
4. After setting up the bathroom with food, a spray bottle and a protective glove for me, I brought them in.. and today was.. wow!! It really gave me some major hope! Since non of them wants to give up the dominant role, I followed what it says in the link.. so when Teddy mounted Angel, I pet Angel and said "you are a good boy!!", and then stopping Teddy after around 8 seconds. For sure not allowing any bites, running in circles or grunting/flipping tail. I only sprayed with water once. They ate salad, licked each other, looked around the new area, and finally snuggled together side by side with the feet out and everything!!
5. I ended the session after they got up and ate some more. The whole thing lasted around 45 minutes!

So now I have more hope, and my fingers are crossed - maybe I can keep giving them these good experiences every day until they can live together

Until then I think I will start swapping their cages every evening, to make them less terretorial and so they will get used to each others smell. What do you guys think?
Wow! That sounds amazing! I'm so happy we have been able to help you!
 

zuppa

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Hi, I am so glad you had a good day this time and I think that happened because you were prepared and focused and weren't afraid to learn, well done!
If you want to swap their cages it might work as well you see your situation and see what is best, good luck and please keep us updated
 
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Thank you so much for your support and all the tips!!

Day two has also been a success!!

Did the same as yesterday, and it really works!

Looking forward to see how this will go now :D

I'm thinking to keep doing this for some days, to make sure they get a lot of really good experiences before putting them in another room/pen
 

zuppa

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Great, I am very happy for you all take your time and keep us updated :)
 

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