I decided not to vote because I have two bunnies that are complete opposites. Dunkin absolutely 100% dislikes being picked up and held, but he is still affectionate and will give me kisses. Amber is totally fine with being held and hugged, but I wouldn't go as far to say she craves it. She prefers being on the floor exploring.
We have 10 bunns...
-2 LOVE attention but despise being petted or held.
-2 LOVE to be held and hugged but are young and have not been neutered yet...
-1 likes to be pet on his schedule...but refuses to be held and will kick and bite.
-1 likes to play with me but hates to be held unless we are scratching her ears
-4 can take or leave cuddles...as long as they come with craisins!
Of our bunns almost all loved to be pet and cuddled until they hit their terrible teens! Then they wanted nothing to do with us...Daphne just turned 3 and has finally decided he likes being petted and only petted...no kisses, no cuddling...when he was young he was so lovable!
Besides...it is the people who believe that their bunn will be the same cute and lovable furball that are the most disappointed when the bunnhitsits teens and they give them up because their bunny isn't fun anymore.
Advanced warning is better...if they turn out to love being handled then great...but if not then they aren't surprised when it happens...this is a great forum...but there are lot of people who regard rabbits as rodentsand cheap disposable petsand don''t bother to research them or their care...
It really depends on the bunny, 1 out of 7 of mine likes to be cuddled. I always tell people their rabbits will probably not be cuddly and look for affection because lot's of new owners are dissapointed when their rabbit doesn't come running up, jump in their lap and lick them like a dog. Some rabbits are like that, but most aren't.
I didn't vote as there isn't a choice for "likes being petted but not picked up". My rabbit loves attention and being petted but doens't like being picked up. He'll sit for hours next to you while you pet him though.
I'll add that hugs must be sitting down haha. my buns afraid of heights, scratches me up. I have to put him in his little travel case to take him anywhere. hugs are fine as long as I'm not 6ft up in the air lol he sits on my shoulder if I'm laying in the recliner
One of my bunnies will does not even enjoy being petted.
Another only tolerates being petted on her head. She will growl or bite if I pet her body.
The other two tolerate petting, if they're in the mood for it.
Neither one of mine like to be picked up. Little Bunny will tolerate it. Chase on the other hand, the vets and vet tech's hate to pick her up. She gets so stressed she will actually bite you. I use the carrier to take her anywhere. But we have a pattern where if I want her somewhere, I just shake the treat container and that works great.
Little Bunny tolerates pets but doesn't seem to really like it. I try to pet her for a few minutes a day hoping she will enjoy it but so far it hasn't worked. Chase likes pets, but she won't come up to me if I am laying on the floor. I have to go to her.
Both of the bunny's love to be talked to. They will sit next to me and listen to me talk to them forever. If I am on the computer or sitting on the couch. Chase will come and stand up next to me like hello talk to me. And then she will sit and listen and watch me.
I just think it depends on the rabbit. The Little Bunny will grunt and box me if I try to hand her toys to throw. I don't know what the issue is but she hates it.
Recently I got a little black rabbit off Craigslist that is so into human contact. He's not even looking for food. I was really surprised that from day 1 he would just let me pick him up and hug. He also keeps running around me, hops on me when ever I'm squatting down. Wish I knew how he became that way. He's over a year old and intact.
Most of my rabbits tolerate being picked up and will tolerate hugs. When I had my English Lops they didn't like being picked up or hugged very much at all! But my Mini Rex don't really mind it, nor does Magic, my mix...Savannah is pretty bratty and Willow can be at times - but your best bet with them is to just hug Willow! lol.
I would say that rabbits don't instinctively like being picked up. Cats and dogs, for example, are carried around by their mothers. Rabbits on the other hand would only get picked up by something that wanted to eat them.
That's not to say they can't learn it's a good thing though. It depends on the socialisation they've received (and partly their personality) as to whether they it's something that they view as a good thing or a bad thing.
Liking people and liking being picked up can be two totally seperate things though.
I agree with others, it's varies greatly from rabbit to rabbit. My two lops that I handled from the day they were born now LOVE attention and seem to enjoy being held so long as they're in the mood. They used to kick and fight when they were younger, but once they got to be about 2.5 months, they began to enjoy it.
My dutch tolerates being held, but it took lots of positive reinforcement. She used to HATE it. And with past rabbits, I had one that would flop in my lap and sleep, one that seemed to enjoy being held and never protested, and 2 who just seemed to tolerate it, but never seemed happy to be held.
Marley doesn't like being picked up unless you can really support her (but 12lbs of mush is hard to hold! ).
Dolla doesn't mind, but rather be running around.
Domino doesn't mind.
Louie tolerates it very well and can be cuddled. Though, after you put him down he'll give you feet flicks to say he didn't appreciate it. (he's over it after a treat or two!)