Help on holding Flemish Giant

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Wooditkar45

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I have a 6 month old male Flemish Giant. I've had him for just over 2 months now. When I first got him, the lady I got him from pulled him out of his cage and held him under her one arm as she was petting him with the other while we talked for a good while. He seemed completely comfortable being held by her, no squirming or anything.
I've had him for over 2 months now. He's a really sweet boy and loves being pet and I give him lots of attention every day, when I sit on the floor he will even hop over and lay down right next to me. I've watched many videos and read many articles on how to properly pick up rabbits and hold them but he wants nothing to do with that! When I try he immediately freaks out and kicks and squirms and scratches me.
Do I need to just give it more time? Do I keep trying? I don't want to make him feel scared and uncomfortable or nervous or anything. I plan on getting him neutered in a month or two, will this help? Any comments or suggestions would be much appreciated! Thanks!
 

sungura

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Rabbits don't like being picked up. It's like a big hawk carrying you away. They are prey animals and ate best left on the floor. I coax my Flemish in my lap while sitting on the floor and pet her that way
 

Azerane

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When I bought Bandit, he was perfectly fine being held by the breeder, but any time I tried to pick him up and hold him, he would struggle and fight and kick and scratch. I think it did take ac couple of months for it to get to a point where we were both comfortable. I can imagine it's a bit more difficult with a flemish because they're so much more rabbit. But whenever Bandit fought it, I was determined not to let him win. He would squirm because he didn't want to be picked up, but if I stopped at that point, he would have learned that squirming and scratching etc got him what he wanted. So when he did that, I made sure I held on to him securely until he stopped doing that, and I would pet him a couple of times before putting him down again. It takes practice, but you have to be confident in your ability, otherwise your rabbit won't feel safe.
 

Wooditkar45

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Thanks Azerane, I will go that route and cross my fingers...and wear a long sleeved shirt! Haha he's got me pretty good a couple times with them nails.
 

Channahs

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I have a big boy too, not quite as big as a flemmie, but still. When I pick him up, it's normally from a loaf position. I'm right handed so his head is always pointed towards the left. Believe it or not, this matters to my rabbit. Also another thing that matters is that his feet are firm on my arm. Here's how I pick up mine. Practice the moves and imagine the bun in front of you.

1. Place your right hand on his rump, and your left hand on his chest. Hug and pet pet pet (to get him used to this position). Slide your right hand down the right side and up under the back feet, slide your forearm all the way up under the bun while also supporting his feet on your upper forearm and tuck his butt into the crook of your right elbow. Use your chest and neck for support. While leaning into the bun at the same time as if to give him a hug, slide your left hand up around his front half and then up and over the back (pointing toward your right elbow). Be sure to use your upper body too. Hold on and lift while tilting the bottom slightly down so that the head is above the tail. Be sure to use your chest and chin to support him as well, those flemmies are heavy! My guy is at about 8 lbs as of now and his parents were 11 and 12 lbs. Keep those nails trimmed! If worse comes to worse and he's just a no holdem rabbit, there's always the burrito. Or you could train him with treats to go inside of a carrier for vet visits.
 

Channahs

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Meant to add but didn't in time: CONFIDENCE! Is the key. That's the best thing I've read on the subject.
 

OakRidgeRabbits

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Keep trying. You and your rabbit need to be comfortable with handling for a number of reasons, but most importantly, so that you can enjoy each other's company.

Don't be afraid to contact the breeder and ask for tips or help. Most breeders will be happy to help you.
 

bunnyman666

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I love big, big bunnies. Trigger (Great Bunny bless his soul) was a floor rabbit; however, I would carry him like a baby with his head on my shoulder and those big, goofy feet straddling me on my side. It took a long time for him to get to that point. Channas and Azerane are spot on about confidence.

My girl Trixie lets me pick her up, put her high up in the air, blow a soft raspberry on her belly, then she gets snuggled in hug fashion on my shoulder. But she is admittedly the strangest rabbit I have ever known. She also loves to play kill the doo rag, which is also not quite normal behaviour. I will probably NEVER have another rabbit who trusts me so much.

But lots of lovins, pettings, and other means of bonding will go a very long way to your rabbit trysting you enough to let you pick your little man up. Good luck.
 

woahlookitsme

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Another tip is if you can holding your hand over his eyes will help. I would do this right before scooping mine and it really helped
 

bunnyman666

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The whole thing is to do everything you can do to bond yourself and big Mr. bun bun.
 

Azerane

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I just wanted to also add that you should perhaps experiment with different techniques until you find the one that's most comfortable for you and your bunn. There are some correct methods of picking up a rabbit that Bandit simply doesn't like, so I use other methods. Find what works for you :)
 

Wooditkar45

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Thanks everyone for the comments, I really appreciate it!
I have kind of attempted trying the covering his eyes thing but it's so hard to do because of how big he is...he is only 6 months old but he's got to be over 12 lbs already and still growing! I love him though and he gets along great with my cat and dog! They even like to visit him in his pen. His name is Woody by the way.ImageUploadedByRabbit Forum1411398067.608485.jpg ImageUploadedByRabbit Forum1411398082.933902.jpg ImageUploadedByRabbit Forum1411398105.469463.jpg
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