Is a rabbit right for me?

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lilac

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Hello!
I'm considering getting a pair of rabbits, and I've done tons of research, but I'm still unsure of one thing: are all/most rabbits sort of ''aloof''? The things I want from a pet are affection and trust (which, of course, you have to work to achieve) and I don't mind if the pet shows affection in a different way than, say, dogs and other ''clingy/lovey'' animals. However, when I was looking into this, some sources said rabbits are extremely affectionate, and others said not to expect affection from your rabbit at all.
Are your rabbits affectionate? If so, how do they show affection, and how long did it take for them to start trusting you?

Thanks! :)
 

JingleBellTheBunny

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Jingle bell will lick my hand and snuggle up to me sometimes! She also likes to hop onto my lap when I'm sitting down. The only thing is that she hates being picked up. It only took a few days for her to warm up to me! Hope this helps!
 

Preitler

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Dotty (free range house bunny) sometimes let me touch her for a second when distracted with food. In rare times, when I get the right moment, I can pet her for a minute. She isn't skittish or so, just doesn't like being touched. Like her mother, 7yo now, still doesn't like me touching her. Dotty isn't really my pet, but my male rabbits cuddlebun, and to me both are more room mates than pets, they are more independent than pets. Which is totally fine for me, I don't want it any other way. He is way more inclined to being pet than she is, and sometimes comes up for cuddles.
They are not shy, are all over my feet whenever I try to do something in the kitchen, cope well with the dogs I foster now and then for days or weeks, always show too much interest when I chop wood or work with the chain saw...
"Aloof" is the wrong word, I would say, they just have their own things to mind.

Personalities differ a lot, individually and between breeds - my neighbours angoras are the sweetest fluffballs I know, completly ok with being handled, and just different in character than my local farm meat mutt rabbits.

Best thing would be to get to know rabbits first hand before getting one, they are not everyones pets. It took me quite some time to figure them out.
 

Madelyn L.

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Some rabbits take a few months/years to completely warm up with you, others can bond in just a few days. My bun took about a month to trust and love me. Now he jumps all over me and loves getting petted. I’ve taught him some tricks too.
 

Apollo’s Slave

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My current bunny will tolerate being stroked for a little while, some days will sit on my lap and lick me, other days he will hop away as soon as I’m near. He’s too busy building his bunny empire to spend all his time with his human (duh!). I can also pick him up when I need to but when I put him down, with his character, it does often warrant in a growl, lungs and possibly a bite. Though once I give him a few seconds and some treats, he’ll bounce back to being his normal non-aggressive self!

His previous bunwife however, absolutely love being the centre of attention and would be stroked for hours on end, lick me so much that I could actually feel her saliva (kinda gross, but you know), she’d circle my feet and was always looking for trouble! It took all of two weeks for her to get comfortable!

I would say have a look around at a few rescues and find some bunnies that suit what you’re looking for! I chose both my buns because of their personalities that I wanted when I got them! I got my boy because I was looking for a bunny who was happy to be single and when I met him I knew that he’d have that character! I then got my girl because I wanted a bun to even out my bunnies grumpiness! You’ll often find that in bunny pairs too - one lazy, less-interested bun and another energetic “I’m always the life of the party” bun
 

Blue eyes

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As others have said, it all depends on the individual rabbit. Just don't make the common mistake of thinking that it will help if you start with babies. This isn't true at all because early interaction simply isn't going to change their innate character.

The following page explains some of the common myths surrounding pet rabbits. It may help offer a broader perspective of life with rabbits (it's from my website):
 

lilac

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As others have said, it all depends on the individual rabbit. Just don't make the common mistake of thinking that it will help if you start with babies. This isn't true at all because early interaction simply isn't going to change their innate character.

The following page explains some of the common myths surrounding pet rabbits. It may help offer a broader perspective of life with rabbits (it's from my website):
What age would you think is the best to start with?
 

Blue eyes

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Any age after being neutered or spayed... that could be from 4 or 5 to 6 months of age or older. Once they are fixed, their personalities are evident. Then you can meet the individual rabbits and see which you are drawn to (and which are drawn to you).

Almost every one of my rabbits has been from a rabbit rescue (different than generic shelter) for just this reason. If you are looking at getting 2 to start, you'll have the added advantage with a rescue as they often have already bonded pairs. Believe me, as a newbie to rabbits, you won't want to have to deal with a bonding process. Those can be most frustrating and sometimes simply don't work out. If you list your state, we can find some potential rabbit rescues.
 

LizzyMayHarvey

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My Flemish Giant is super affectionate.❤ I think like most bunnies she doesn't like being picked up but she loves sitting next to me and I could pat her for hours and she gives me bunny kisses, and today she hopped on my lap for cuddles (although it was under her terms). But she is also extremely sassy and if I don't have food for her or am annoying her in any way then she totally snobs me and turns so I have to talk to the tail!😂 You can't really generalise rabbits though as my mini lops would rather not be around me unless I'm bringing them food but if you manage to catch them then they will sit still in your arms.
And as already mentioned you don't really shape their personalities when they are babies. We got our Flemish Giant as a baby and she was the same as she is now from day one. We never changed her personality with handling her or anything.
Sometimes different breeds are more or less friendly as well. But just remember again that every rabbit is an individual.☺
 

Diane R

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lilac

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Thanks, guys!
I think in a few months I'm going to be visiting the rabbit rescue near me to meet the buns they have and hopefully I'll find a nice pair. 😊 Meanwhile I'll be researching a bit more just to make sure I have everything down.
 

Preitler

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In the meantime, I suggest reading the book "Watership Down". It's fiction with rabbits as protagonists, not 100% accurate, but it's the best book I know to get the idea across that rabbits are different and individuals, and that there is more going on in that little heads than what meets the eye.
 

zuppa

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I totally agree that it is just common opinion that babies are best start and you can bond with them more quickly. You get 2 months old baby and you enjoy sweetness and all until they are hitting their teens so that's about 3,5 months for boys and maybe 5 months for girls. Then you have completely different rabbit sometimes and it can be very disastrous. Some rabbits will calm down by one year or after neutering, but they will never be babies again, so you have a couple months of joy and then you will need to take actions to fix teenage problems, many people just give up on rabbits after that and simply rehome them.

My most affectionate rabbits are Peter and Linxy.

Peter was 2 years old when I bought him with all his stuff from people who got bored of him. He had health issue then and we spent much time together fixing it. He loves me a lot and he has changed a lot since when I adopted him. It is second year he is with me, he is now neutered and bonded with a girl.

Linxy was 5 months old when I adopted her, nearly two years ago. Same reason, people didn't have time for her anymore. She was a bit grumpy first but warmed up quickly and once I was sitting in a chair next to her playpen and she just jumped on my lap, 70 cm high playpen it was. She is very caring girl, she grooms me a lot, licking my face and fur, she is very affectionate and very active bun.
 

HalaBuns

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Firstly, it’s so great that you’re doing your research before making your decision. So many people don’t and then the bunny ends up on the street or in a shelter.

I have 2 of my own bunnies and 1 foster boy. They are all rescues and all affectionate in their own way 🥰

My 2 girls love being stroked. But most of the time I will be expected to go to them and do it 💁🏼‍♀️ Which is totally fine ☺. Sometimes they’ll hop onto the bed for a cuddle though, it just depends on the day.

My foster boy thinks I’m the best thing in the world though. He binkies over to me when I walk in and wants to be stroked constantly. I do believe that this could be because he needs a friend and I hope he will one day, but even if he had a partner I think he would still be a very affectionate little bun.

They have very strong personalities, so it will really be down to the bunny and their background. If they have been treated badly, they may (understandably) take a while to learn to trust. Or equally, they may immediately be grateful to be out of that situation and with someone who is showing them love.

I’m pleased you’re going to a rescue. These little rescue buns get off to a tough start in life and will love you forever for giving them a safe, loving home.
 

Maki_p29

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I second going to a rabbit rescue to choose a bunny! Also petfinder.com is a good online resource to adopt one. It helped me find my bunny and a local rabbit rescue online.

In the description of the bunnies if it’s done by a rabbit rescue they usually will list details about each rabbit, their personality and life story/situation they came from. Also most rescue bunnies are neutered/spayed already, so no need to worry about surgery. They also have bonded pairs of bunnies too.

Of course if there is a bunny you have your heart set on and things don’t go well at meeting them in person the first time, most rescues have many bunnies looking for a home so they can always introduce you to more than one rabbit your first visit.

The place I got my bunny from had at least 40 different rabbits all over the place with many volunteers. I did meet a few other bunnies that day but after meeting my bunny and seeing she liked me too ( my bunny is very sassy and can be bristly especially with ppl she doesn’t know, but for some reason when she first met me she let me put her in my lap and licked me once, *then flew out of my lap very sassily with spring action* and looked back at me. The rescue owner was surprised since I was the only visitor my bunny let me put herself in my lap and or lick. The deal was sealed <3 <3 <3.

My bunny was abandoned in the woods and attacked by a Hawk and survived it. The Rescue did a lot of work with her to get her rehabilitated and healed up from her injuries both physical and emotional. So she is very particular, doesn’t trust easy, skittish, very sassy and will try to test the boundaries. Definitely unique! (Not your typical bunny at all, very few rabbits survive a actual attack from a Hawk)

But despite how she came to me she’s really warmed up a whole lot. She knows she can trust me and that she in a place that loves and cares for her. She binkys everyday and likes to binkey around my feet almost every time I walk into the room when she’s out to play. She likes to big flop next to me and get pets and gentle belly massages. She also gives many kisses and chins to me all the time. She likes to watch me at all times (even from her cadge she’ll lay down and turn her head to look at me directly no matter where I am in the room, every time).

Underneath her sassy and rugged exterior she just wanted to be loved and be a nice bunny but didn’t exactly know how. So I’ve had to do a lot of training and give her a daily routine/structure in her life and she’s gotten a lot better. It was 4 years ago when I adopted her. And a long road but we have a lot of fun and good memories daily.

Hope you find a good furry friend. A rescue is a good place to start. You can always let them know you’re a first time bunny owner. They can pare you with a bunny meeting your needs/expectations. Most likely they will provide information for owners on how to properly care for your new friend. Best to start things off slow. And let your bunny come to you since they are naturally prey animals, they feel less threatened this way.
 

Asgardian

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I’ve only had mine for 3 weeks, but he would sometimes hop on the couch and snooze next to me if I watch TV and fall asleep. He will also follow me to different rooms and wait outside the door. If I’m engulfed in a TV show or work for extended times, he’ll try to grab my attention. He definitely doesn’t like me touch him all the time like a dog would, but I can see that he does want attention, affection and love!!

I feel extremely blessed, and find it so rewarding. I never force him to do anything, and I really think that’s where his trust comes from with me.

I hope that helps! Good luck :)
 

peanutdabunny

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Hello!
I'm considering getting a pair of rabbits, and I've done tons of research, but I'm still unsure of one thing: are all/most rabbits sort of ''aloof''? The things I want from a pet are affection and trust (which, of course, you have to work to achieve) and I don't mind if the pet shows affection in a different way than, say, dogs and other ''clingy/lovey'' animals. However, when I was looking into this, some sources said rabbits are extremely affectionate, and others said not to expect affection from your rabbit at all.
Are your rabbits affectionate? If so, how do they show affection, and how long did it take for them to start trusting you?

Thanks! :)
Hiii! It totally depends on the breeder If you want a really affectionate rabbit go to a good breeder. Heres an example of one.
I got my bunny from a rescue, (he was bred for meat but then the place ended up closing so they gave rabbits away for free, then the rescue picked up a bunch) He can be sweet at times, but is definitely not a cuddle bun. If you watch that breeders youtube videos you can see that she is a very good and ethical breeder. I know it might be controversial to like breeders but she free roams her rabbits (yes all of them) and she spends a lot of time with them. She gives them tons of toys and they are treated like pets. They even have a bunny garden! So yes breeders can be good.
 
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lilac

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Hiii! It totally depends on the breeder If you want a really affectionate rabbit go to a good breeder. Heres an example of one.
I got my bunny from a rescue, (he was bred for meat but then the place ended up closing so they gave rabbits away for free, then the rescue picked up a bunch) He can be sweet at times, but is definitely not a cuddle bun. If you watch that breeders youtube videos you can see that she is a very good and ethical breeder. I know it might be controversial to like breeders but she free roams her rabbits (yes all of them) and she spends a lot of time with them. She gives them tons of toys and they are treated like pets. They even have a bunny garden! So yes breeders can be good.
I actually have looked at that breeder as they aren't too far from me and they seem great! :)

I have nothing against breeders and I think they are a great place for some people to get rabbits, I just prefer getting a rabbit from a rescue because there are so many bunnies in rescues and I'd like to do my part to give some of those bunnies a good home! 😊 I don't mind if they aren't super affectionate, and I will be meeting the bunnies to find the best match for me!
 
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