How to get my newer rabbit to like being rubbed

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Bella-Sophia

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I have a newer bunny. She is a fighter. Never hurts anyone she just tries to defend herself. Anyways she doesn't like to to be rubbed. She will let you for a few strokes but that's about it. She isn't skittish and she responds to most of what I say to her she's just stubborn. Some days she charges at our hands if she thinks we are going to pick her up. Again I say she has never hurt us. Her claws dont even leave a mark. I just want her to be more comfortable and more affectionate like other people's bunnies. I know they each have their own personality but is there anything I can do to make her more comfortable??

A few things I do:
We share space.
She has a huge gate with a mat floor for her pen.
I feed her snacks from my hands... some days she will sit with me and eat others she snatches it and sits with me
I allow her to free roam my entire home (shes potty trained for the most part)
Sometimes when she acts mean I hold her to.get her to calm down. I just recently started this. I'm hoping it helps.

Any advice would be AMAZING. Please help
 

Popsicles

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She isn't being "mean". If a rabbit is being aggressive they are either scared or territorial. If you are having big problems with territorial behaviour getting her spayed might help. Punishing her by holding her will only make her like you even less, and make her consider being held as a bad thing, which isn't great when she has to be held for health checks and nail clipping. If she charged at you when your hands go near, its because she doesn't like you invading her personal place. Let her come to you when she wants pets, not all rabbits want cuddles all the time. If you do need to put your hand into her area, try and do it when she is distracted (e.g. try cleaning her out while she is eating breakfast).
At the end of the day, not all rabbits will be cuddly, so you'll need to find other ways to spend time together if she doesn't like it. You could try training and learning some tricks together, or just hanging out by sitting close together can be enough for some bunnies. Every one is an individual.
 

Bella-Sophia

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I spend time with her daily. She's my baby bad and all. We do watch TV together as odd as that sounds. She was just up here crawling all over me and the sofa. It's not like shes never affectionate i just don't understand why she lunges at my hand one minute but crawls all over me the next. She's ok with petting when snacks are involved mostly.

I don't hold her as a punishment I hold her to get her to realize I'm not trying to harm her. After a while she walks around or sits with me. Once she is in my arms she's normally very tame.
 

Popsicles

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You say she lunges at you because she thinks you’re going to pick her up... And then you pick her up to teach her you “aren’t trying to harm her”. You literally do the thing she is scared of you doing. Holding them won’t teach them you aren’t scary, because they don’t want to be held. If a prey animal is picked up in the wild, it means they are about to die. Very very few rabbits like to be picked up, and it is only really done when necessary. She is probably tame in your arms because she is scared and knows she can’t do anything to protect herself at that point.
Like I said, take it slow and stop picking her up. If she is very territorial consider getting her spayed.
 

Bella-Sophia

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I said she lunges when she thinks I'm going to pick her up but honestly she lunges when my hands are too close. I just said picking her up but keep in mind prior to recently I NEVER pick her up unless it was necessary. I may have been thinking faster than typing which happens.

So the whole picking her up thing was maybe three times so I don't see that as being a major issue with Ms.Bella. anything else to help because that's not a big thing.
 

Popsicles

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Like I said, not all bunnies like cuddles. That’s something you’ll have to make your peace with if she isn’t keen on pets, she might like it more as she gets older and mellows out.
 

Hermelin

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Have you ever noticed what situation that make your rabbit attack/ lunges your hand.

Territorial, too fast movements, food, when you get close towards an area on the body and so on.

I have a rabbit that always attacked my hand in the cage, fast movements and getting too close to his stomach. But he no longer attacks me know except when he get startled. Try to avoid does situation or build up that it’s nothing scary.

Punishment to a rabbit often do not work for them. It’s better to focus on positive reinforcement, it will help you to bond with your bunny. Building trust and getting the rabbit to become a more safe individual, that’s what you should be focusing on.

But if she attacks for territorial behaviors, getting her spayed can help you.
 

Bella-Sophia

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Hermelin,
Yes it does seem to happen more when she is startled. I will definitely try to work on the trust but any suggestions on how?
 

JBun

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It may just be you've startled her and she is lunging before she realizes it's you. It could also be that she has poor eyesight(possibly poor hearing as well) and that's why she's getting startled easily. You could try talking to her as you approach, loud enough that you know she's heard you. You could also try approaching more slowly and making sure your hand isn't at the front of her face or above her in her blind spot. So make sure she's heard and seen you before your hand gets close to her.
 
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