Humping during bonding

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by Alyssa and Bugs♡, Jul 29, 2019.

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  1. Jul 29, 2019 #1

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    I've been bonding for a month and a half. A couple weeks ago, right before I was going to move them in together there was a fight. I believe Evie humped Bugs yet again and he didn't like it. I took a break from bonding and I've been back at it for a few days. She still is incredibly humpy. While Bugs doesn't attack her when she does it, he certainly doesn't like it. I don't want them living together until she stops completely for this reason. Aside from the humping, they seem very happy being around each other, groom each other very often, share meals, snuggle, etc. Is there a way I can stop her humping? He doesn't nip/bite her at all when she does it so she's just going to continue to do it because he's not telling her to stop. I've tried pressing her head to the ground and yelling "Evie no!" Yelling her name seems to work but I'm not always going to be there to tell her to stop. I've considered the spray bottle but I'm not sure it would be effective. Should I give it a shot? I would like to get them bonded within the next couple of weeks so I have time to cement and be sure they'll be okay together before school starts back up again.

    She humps both head and rear end and I only stop it if I see him getting angry. He humped her a lot in the beginning but he has stopped completely. She was humping his head earlier today and he made a noise that I've never heard before. It sounded like a cat hiss but deeper. I think it was a grunt but from the pressure of her being on his lungs it came out weird. Am I correct in thinking this?
     
  2. Jul 30, 2019 #2

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    I would advise against the spray bottle because I don't see how you could spray just her and not him. It wouldn't do any good to have him get sprayed too or he will start to associate bad things (being sprayed) with her humping him. So far he tolerates her but that could change if he starts getting sprayed whenever she does that.

    That said, I do know that humping the head is a bad thing and should not happen...normally does not happen with bonded pairs. Occasional normal humping isn't unusual with bonded pairs. But head humping is a no-no. I'm afraid I don't know what can make her stop that beyond what you've done so far. But I would definitely be wanting to stop that type of humping.
     
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  3. Jul 30, 2019 #3

    sandra.ess23

    sandra.ess23

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    My two bonded rabbits are brother and sister still will hump each other once in awhile. Especially the girl and especially from the front. They never get violent towards each other. At first I would stop her, because I thought it might hurt him but he doesn't seem to mind. I also have never read that head humping is bad. I always thought it was just a way of establishing dominance in the relationship.

    this may give you some insight!
    https://rabbit.org/hop-on-board-perspectives-on-rabbit-mounting-behavior/
     
  4. Jul 30, 2019 #4

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

    Nancy McClelland

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    Normal bunny behavior, but keep an eye on them as it can lead to fighting sometime and there is no cheap vet visit.
     
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  5. Jul 30, 2019 #5

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    It wouldn't be just for her, if he humped her (which isn't likely) he would be sprayed too. I don't think it will that work for her just because she doesn't seem to mind being wet. She will put her paws in the water bowl and not even bother licking them afterwards.

    Should I get her off of him immediately or should I let her hump him? I feel like by letting her do it she's going to think that it's okay to do. She only seems to hump him when he's laying/sitting down. I may just try and get him to tolerate it.

    @sandra.ess23 thank you for that link!
     
  6. Jul 30, 2019 #6

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    Just confirmed he hates it and they will fight if she does it. She humped from the backside this time and he tried everything to get free and when I got her off of him he lunged at her. I put my (unprotected) hand in the way so he couldn't get to her and all was well after he realized I wasn't going to let him bite her. I have to figure out how to get her to stop.
     
  7. Jul 30, 2019 #7

    Rita jones

    Rita jones

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    Maybe your not going to get them to bond properly
    As far as I know no one can bond two rabbits that don't make a good match you may need a different doe that's not so dominant not all rabbits bond sorry if it's not helping but it's true
     
  8. Jul 30, 2019 #8

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    Bummer that they are being difficult. If one rabbit is excessive in humping, even a tolerant rabbit will eventually get to a breaking point and lash back. Be extra careful if they do that head mounting because the bottom rabbit could cause serious damage if he decides to bite back (on that tender area).

    From what you are describing, it sounds like they were doing well but that her persistent mounting is now causing the boy to retaliate? Is that what is happening?
     
  9. Jul 30, 2019 #9

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    That describes it perfectly. They for the most part act like a bonded pair. He absolutely adores her and wants to be next to her all the time. The humping is the only thing that has and is continuing to hold them back. She does it in empty rooms, the pen, the tub, etc, so it's not specific to a location.

    After there's a fight, I don't have any sessions for a week or so. In that time when he can't snuggle up to her, he will chew the cage bars when he's not even in the pen to get to her. He will do everything he can to see her. He will just seem to miss her a lot, despite having multiple fights and issues.
     
  10. Jul 30, 2019 #10

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    Maybe this suggestion (from @sandra.ess23 link) would work in your situation...

    "Another option is to give the rabbit that is usually the receiver of the mounting lots of places to hide that are small, so only one bunny can fit in. If they like to be out in the “open” use a very low table (cut off the legs) where “underbunny” can stretch out but there is not enough room for “overbunny” to get in any mounting behavior."
     
  11. Jul 30, 2019 #11

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    Evie does it where he can't get away to go somewhere safe. He isn't the type of bun that will run away when mad. When she does it, he gets angry and acts completely different to how he usually is. I'm attaching a picture that I took during today's 5 hour session. 20190730_091300.jpeg
     
  12. Jul 31, 2019 #12

    Orrin

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    I'm watching this thread with interest. We have a neutered buck and and a spayed doe, brother and sister. The doe has been passive and tolerant of her brothers incessant chasing and attempts to hump. Usually, they would settle down and be snuggle buns for most of the day; but, along about evening the buck would start chasing. Fortunately, I made plenty of hidey holes and tunnels where the doe could find refuge. That would help.

    Finally, my vet suggested a spray bottle, something that my wife wanted me to use, all along. Reluctantly, I tried it. Being very careful to not hit the doe, I'd firmly say "NO!" and squirt. It helped. The buck quickly caught on. He didn't stop, completely, but usually a "NO" would slow him down.

    Now, the cheese gets more binding. We put another sister in an adjacent room to heal from a spay procedure. All three buns can see one another through gates. Of course, they are curious; but, all of a sudden our previous passive doe, the perpetual victim, has gotten aggressive. She has reached her limit and will no longer tolerate the buck's attentions. She will lunge and him and they'll go to it tooth and nail, circling one another in a perfect doughnut. So far, no bloodshed. The buck usually backs off.

    But, our previous "victim doe" now lunges at the recovering doe through the fence. I wonder if there is some jealously and the makings of a rivalry. In a few days the healing will be complete and we will take the newly spayed one back to her regular pen and sidekick. I hope her old pen-mate accepts her after a ten day absence.
     
  13. Jul 31, 2019 #13

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    Just wanted to suggest that you proceed with caution. It is very likely that the "old pen-mate" will not recognize her at all. She will smell completely different than she used to -- not only from being at the vet, but also from being in proximity to the other rabbits.

    For this reason, it is usually best to treat them as if they are meeting for the very first time. Better to go slow and have success than to have them start tussling because a "strange" rabbit was suddenly placed in the pen w/ the old pen-mate.

    One thing you could do to help the process is to start blending odors beforehand. Over the next couple days, use a blanket or something from the pen-mate and rub it all over the girl. That will help her smell more like him. Then put the blanket back with the pen-mate so he can begin to get used to her scent that may have rubbed onto the blanket. Likewise, put something in her pen that smells like the former pen-mate. You could even refresh this process a few times over the days leading up to their new re-introduction.

    Good luck!
     
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  14. Aug 1, 2019 #14

    Orrin

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    Blue Eyes, you have confirmed my worst fears. It is also something we experienced, earlier, and the "pen mate" was the victim in that case. When she came back from her spay it was as though she was a complete stranger to the other adult rabbits. We paired her with one of her kits and never were able to get her former pen-mates to accept her.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
  15. Aug 1, 2019 #15

    Orrin

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    So far we have at least one happy outcome. Last evening the nuisance buck did not pester his sister once. Not once did he try to hump her. After months and months that is a huge relief!

    Squirt bottle, third bunny as a distraction, a doe's newly discovered assertiveness... in all likelihood all of it figured into the equation.
     
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  16. Aug 1, 2019 #16

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    Things seem to being well for my two also! She humped him once yesterday during the 6 hour session and he took it for a couple seconds before hopping away. They acted like nothing happened after. They've been together today for 2 hours so far and no humping whatsoever!
     
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  17. Aug 1, 2019 #17

    JetFalcon

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  18. Aug 3, 2019 #18

    samoth

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    I can't comment on the bonding part (mine were kind of pre-bonded), but my buck grunts all the time. It's kind of like a gutteral "grrrrrrr" sound. He does it when he gets annoyed, but he also does it when I have treats or bring dinner... it's become a catch-all communicatory utterance for him now.

    I'm not sure how common it is in rabbits, but as often as I hear it, I wouldn't worry too much about it as long he's not visibly upset or in pain :)
     
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  19. Aug 4, 2019 #19

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

    Alyssa and Bugs♡

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    She's humping more frequently now, mostly on his head. She honks as she does it and will chase him when he runs but that hasnt escalated to a fight yet. He can tell when she's about to do it and most of the time he gets up. I did sessions in the bathtub all last week and today I started using the pen today because they were doing amazing in the tub. I'm trying to finish up bonding this week and cement next week. How do I get her to stop humping the front? I pull her off of him immediately but I don't know if I'm going about it right.
     
  20. Aug 4, 2019 #20

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    When the bonding is "finished" or "cemented," unfortunately, is not up to our time schedule but depends on when (or if) the buns decide they are bonded. As long as they still need monitoring, they aren't bonded.

    You've got a tough situation. Either you continue to keep her off of him until she gets the idea (which could take months), OR, at some point, you just let her do what she wants and see if he'll learn to live with it. Both options will require your continued monitoring. Once you have a full week or two where you have not had to intervene in any way whatsoever and they have not had any tussles whatsoever, then, that would be the sign you are looking for -- but it won't mean that you (or they) are done. If this happiness is happening with sessions, the next step would be 24/7 togetherness. If it's happening with 24/7 togetherness, then there is real potential (but still not fully established).

    Once they have been together 24/7 for a couple weeks with absolutely no intervention and no tussles, then they should remain in that situation another couple weeks (given their history) to try to 'cement' the bond.
     
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