Help with bonding!

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selbert

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I currently have a little doe bun (a mini lop) and she's booked in to be spayed on the 11th. I'm eager to get her a companion and an add in the paper caught my eye of a girl desperately in need to re-home her 6 month old house bunny before she has to leave the country. Now this bun is a boy and hasn't been neutered, but he is adorable and would make a lovely companion for Orelle. Now would it be possible to bring him home, but keep him in a separate cage and take him for lots of exercise until I book him to be neutered. Then introduce them together? Though this cage may have to be in the same room would this be an issue? I was thinking they might get used to each others smell and get chance to say hello without any babies being born! Any help would be greatly appreciated.:brown-bunny

Selina xx
 

Sindri27

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Hi you could get the other bunny and do what you mentioned however there are things to think about like what if you cant get them to bond? Would you be able to have space for them to live separately? I am in a similar situation I have a neutered male and got a female back in Aug she is now spayed ( It hasn't been a month yet) they are not bonded yet. I cant keep the female in the males room because he is very territorial so they have separate living areas until they are hopefully bonded. You need to watch out if you do keep them caged in the same room and let one out for exercise. I tried this and they fought threw the cage. I tried putting them side by side over the past few months and my male still tries to fight my female threw the cage if the cages are too close this is in our main living area not even in his bunny room. I am scared that they may not bond but I do have the space for her to live alone if I cant get them bonded so like I said it something to think about. Best of luck!
 

selbert

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Hi thanks for the help, all I can do is hope they don't fight! I do have space to keep them separated but I'm hoping it won't come to that! Could you keep me up to date with how your buns do with the bonding? This is the first time I've bonded a pair and it would be nice to know how it goes!
 

Sindri27

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Hi did you get the rabbit you were wanting to get? If so I hope they get along. I can keep you updated on my bonding process. This will also be my first rabbit bonding as these are my first rabbits. I don't know if it is a breed specific thing but I do have netherland dwarfs. My boy rabbit is very territorial of his bunny room. So I know my process could take along time.Last night I had them in the living room in their cages side by side then I decided to let my male out and he went right over to my girls cage and was attacking her threw the cage. I had to put her back in her bunny room. I am a little scared of how it is gonna go and if I was near a bunny rescue place or any place that would bond my rabbits for me I would do it. I am not sure if I can mention other sites here but I will say that binkybunny.com has a bonding section and bonding information that might be helpful to you. I also went and watched a lot of bonding videos to get more ideas. I also swap bunny blankets and toys to get them use to each others sents you can do that as well. I have been doing that since August. Best of luck with your situation and I will keep you updated. I will start bonding Dec. 1rst.:)
Sindri
 

selbert

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I haven't brought him home yet but I'm hopeful that they will be a good pair. Oh dear, I hope your buns get along! I've read up on a few sites and think I know what to do, but I never thought of watching videos thank you! I'm excited to hear how it goes for you! When I get the little boy I'll let you know how it goes!
 

selbert

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Hi I've just brought the new bunny home and they seem to be love at first sight! So far it's the boy in the cage with my girl free range and they've been rubbing noses and seem to be fairly fond of each other so far. Hopefully when they're both neutered and hormones have subsided they will be best of friends :)
I look forward to hearing how yours do next week!
 

Blue eyes

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Sindri, it's fine to mention other sites. We are all here to help each other with our rabbits.
Since you are both new to bonding, I thought I'd mention a few things.
First off, the importance of neutral territory cannot be over emphasized. The place you choose to do introductions needs to be someplace that neither rabbit has ever been before. That's just so important and I learned that the hard way. I have had my share of difficult bonds and several that just would not work. There's little worse than seeing 2 bunnies going at each other, fighting, and tearing fur.
Be sure to read all you can before ever beginning the bonding process. A severe fight could set things back. The following 2 sites are both worth checking into. They describe 2 different methods for bonding. One takes a slow and gradual approach. The other has a different approach. That site has videos that I found most helpful. There are videos of bonds going well, bonds going not so well, and even one that isn't going to work.
[FONT=&quot]http://www.rabbitnetwork.org/articles/bond.shtml[/FONT]
http://www.cottontails-rescue.org.uk/matchups.asp


Hormones can be a huge downfall. Some boys take a full month (or more) for their hormones to fully dissipate after neutering. So don't rush that first intro.


I wish you both luck.
 

Sindri27

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Thanks for your information Blue Eyes. Congrats on your new bunny Selbert. Your rabbit interactions sound better than mine. It seems like a good sign. =) I plan to have my first bonding session in our bathroom in the tub they have never been in our bathrooms in the house and I figure those are good small areas to work in. I will keep you updated.
Sindri
 

Sindri27

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Well the first bonding session was a total disaster. my rabbits are Usagi (male) and Kilala (female). I put them in my bathtub and all Usagi wanted to do was attack Kilala. I wore gloves and had a big metal strainer I would try to block him with. I also used a vacuum cleaner for a noise distraction but he was not afraid of it. poor Kilala she was so frightened all she wanted to do was get out of there. It didn't last long because Usagi was pulling her fur out. Yesterday I decided to put them in a cardboard box and set it on the dryer first. Usagi tried to attack Kilala while I carried them to the dryer. I would lightly move the box around so he would stop. I set them on the dryer and after about 10 seconds Usagi was use to it and tried to attack Kilala. I then moved them to the tub first putting her in first then him. They sat apart from each other. Usagi groomed himself I petted both of them and he relaxed then he explored the tub it is a jetted tub so he was checking those out while Kilala just sat there. It was like that for about 10 minutes. I petted them both off and on. I was thinking to myself I should end this now because you should end on a good note. At that time Kilala decided she wanted to move around and then Usagi started to attack her and she then jumped out of the tub so that ended that. So I am feeling bad about this because all it seems to do is scare my little girl and I hate putting her threw that. After the first time she was also scared of me. I don't like that either. So yea its not going so great. Hopefully you have better luck. I am still a bit surprised because I have had her since August and they have had lots of side by side cage visits item swapping litter box swapping and I figured he would be use to her by now. So I am not sure if I am ready to go threw this again today. I will keep you updated. Did you get your rabbits spayed and neutered as of yet? How do they seem to be liking each other?
 

Blue eyes

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Well the first bonding session was a total disaster. my rabbits are Usagi (male) and Kilala (female). I put them in my bathtub and all Usagi wanted to do was attack Kilala. I wore gloves and had a big metal strainer I would try to block him with. I also used a vacuum cleaner for a noise distraction but he was not afraid of it. poor Kilala she was so frightened all she wanted to do was get out of there. It didn't last long because Usagi was pulling her fur out. Yesterday I decided to put them in a cardboard box and set it on the dryer first. Usagi tried to attack Kilala while I carried them to the dryer. I would lightly move the box around so he would stop. I set them on the dryer and after about 10 seconds Usagi was use to it and tried to attack Kilala. I then moved them to the tub first putting her in first then him. They sat apart from each other. Usagi groomed himself I petted both of them and he relaxed then he explored the tub it is a jetted tub so he was checking those out while Kilala just sat there. It was like that for about 10 minutes. I petted them both off and on. I was thinking to myself I should end this now because you should end on a good note. At that time Kilala decided she wanted to move around and then Usagi started to attack her and she then jumped out of the tub so that ended that. So I am feeling bad about this because all it seems to do is scare my little girl and I hate putting her threw that. After the first time she was also scared of me. I don't like that either. So yea its not going so great. Hopefully you have better luck. I am still a bit surprised because I have had her since August and they have had lots of side by side cage visits item swapping litter box swapping and I figured he would be use to her by now. So I am not sure if I am ready to go threw this again today. I will keep you updated. Did you get your rabbits spayed and neutered as of yet? How do they seem to be liking each other?

Hi Sindri,

I can't recall if both of your buns are fixed?
I would suggest that whenever you have a bonding session where fur is actually being pulled that you stop the session. That is too much. If, on the other hand, your boy tried getting to your girl and you were able to prevent it, in that case you can wait it out a little until you see them ignoring each other (good sign) and end the session on that good note.

Also, if he is really just intent on attacking her, (and does pull fur), then it would be a good idea to give it a break for awhile. Give them at least several days (or longer) to forget it. Right now, the 'attack mode' memory is too fresh and won't help with bonding. I was advised in a similar situation to keep them utterly separated and out of each other's site for 2 weeks before trying again.

What you describe is very similar to a fairly recent bonding attempt I went through. (This after prior successes with other buns). I'll post separate below on that.
 

Blue eyes

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(I just looked back and saw that both your buns are fixed.)

I wanted to add that reading your experience was so similar to one of mine. But it my case it was my current girl who wouldn't accept the incoming male. I looked back and found the bonding journal I kept during that time. For 2 weeks I was working on bonding them. I did do some things differently than I had with any prior bunny bondings. I had never before done this, but this time I had begun swapping items from one cage to the other to 'mingle scents.' I also traded them in their cages too. I am convinced now that this was a very bad idea. I think this idea is fine for 2 bunnies that are already predisposed to get along. But for the two buns I had that were not, I think switching things only increased the territorial-ness and further aggravated my girl.

It is very upsetting and nerve-wrecking to watch 2 bunnies be aggressive. I watched the tension increase between the two buns with each bonding session (though it took awhile to realize it when one is always looking for any of those 'positive' signs). I so wanted it to work out, especially because the boy was such a sweetheart.

I do have the journal if you think reading it would help or give insight. It was during the 2 week separation time that was suggested by the rabbit rescue that I made a personal decision that I did not want to put myself nor the rabbits through further bonding attempts. It was a rescue I had a relationship with and they had no problem trading out that boy for another. Mocha, the replacement boy, won my Sapphire's heart and they are now quite the couple. For their bonding, I used the method from cottontails rescue (that I linked earlier).

I realize your girl is not from a rescue and is yours for keeps. In that case, my own opinion would be that it would be a good idea to separate the two of them for 2 full weeks before attempting the bonding again.

I sincerely hope you can have success after they've had time to forget. :goodluck
 

selbert

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Oh no that sounds like a bad start! But I've heard that sometimes it can take a while. Have you tried swapping their cages altogether? Your little buck sounds like he doesn't want anyone in his space! I wish I had some years of wisdom and quick trick to help you but I'm a newbie to bonding. I've read about using a spray bottle filled with water to stop aggressive behaviour, could try that? Lets hope he just gives up and loves her!
 

selbert

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Blue eyes, much better than anything I could have said! I really hope the bonding works!
 

Sindri27

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Hi Thanks for your information it was very helpful I had already replied to this but I guess I got timed out. Anyways I am going to take a break and probably try again next week. Like your experience Blue Eyes I think trading items might not be a good idea anymore its never helped the situation. I have noticed when they have had cage side my side visits Usagi was really agitated. Kilala has never been like that when she gets his items or was next to him she was just curious and has never shown signs of aggression. Given their personalities I was thinking they would be a good match. As for the use of a water bottle I will try that next time I used the vacuum but of course that didn't work. The metal strainer was a bigger help. I think I will move the bonding session somewhere else as well. Blue Eyes I am glad you were able to go back and get a rabbit that was a better fit for your bunny. I initially wanted to do that but the only rescue near me was over 4 hours away and I just decided to get Kilala. Thanks for your support guys I will let you know how it goes. Thanks again!
 

Sindri27

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Hi I wanted to give an update. A couple of days a go I decided to try something. Usagi and Kilala's rooms are right by each other and there is a hallway. I had an extra window screen from when my house was built a few years ago. It fit perfectly in Kilala's doorway. I put it there and now her and Usagi have short visits threw the screen. He cant bight her threw it and he has only tried twice. They check each other out and then run away and come back. I do this for awhile like 10 to 15 minutes. I have done this 4 times now. Once yesterday Kilala tried to groom Usagi threw the cage. It was cute, of course she only got to lick screening. I think I will do this for a while like 2 more weeks and then reintroduce them in a new bonding area. I wish I had thought of this first.
Oh and how are your bunnies doing? Is your boy feeling better from his neuter? It doesn't take long before they want to be rambunctious again. When does your female get spayed?
 

selbert

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That's great news! I'm so glad to hear they're getting to know each other :)
It's going well! He's back to his old self, grooming my doe, sleeping side by side (cage separation still!)
Though she's been marking her territory, AKA pooing around the cage and by her favourite places! So I've got her in the cage and Dope outside, he's completely litter trained now!
I'm sure this behaviour will stop after she is fixed next week :)

:brown-bunny
 

Imbrium

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I realize your girl is not from a rescue and is yours for keeps. In that case, my own opinion would be that it would be a good idea to separate the two of them for 2 full weeks before attempting the bonding again.

I've always heard 3-4 weeks if you separate to reboot. Two weeks may be enough in many cases, but if it's not then you've wasted that time and will have to start the full separation over... though from more recent posts, it sounds like a separation may not be necessary at all.

The screen idea sounds like a great one - I'm glad you found something that works! Hopefully that and using neutral territory will be enough to get your bunnies on the right track. When my girls' bond broke for the first time, I took them to my next door neighbor's house and we set them up in a playpen in her kitchen where we could watch them while we chatted - that did the trick. The second time, I took them out on the lawn in a playpen and the neutral territory also got them back on track.
 

Sindri27

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Selbert sounds like your rabbits are doing great! Imbrium I liked using the screen too but I think I may stop that and do a total reboot like you had written about that way they forget each other. I really want this bonding to work this time. I know this is gonna be a slow process because I have other animals 2 cats and 2 dogs which Usagi gets along with in the living room but he hates them in his room. I know that transitioning to his room is going to be the toughest step. So with that in mind I think I will stop using the screen. I will try to wait 3 weeks but I will at least wait 2. hehe What I don't like is having to divide my visits with the rabbits in two. I cant wait till they are both in the same bunny room and can also have evening living room time with me. I may try taking them to a different house as well that sounds like a nice idea too. Anyways thanks for the input and supports you guys.:bunny24
 

selbert

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That sounds like a good idea! I really hope it works out next time round! Keep us updated in a few weeks! Can't wait for the pictures of them cuddled together :)

:brown-bunny
 

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