Just checking I'm doing it right

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toyabrooke

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Hello everyone,

We have had our little Netherland Dwarf Horatio almost a week now, and we are very excited to say there has been no problems with anything with him. He has a bit of a broken nail which is healing up well (we think it must have just happened some time ago with the breeder), and his little limpy leg is perfect now after some exercise (pretty sure it was just sleepy after a 5 hour long car ride). I am just checking though that I am doing all the right things in regards to toilet training, as Poe my other bun bun stil hasn't taken to it resulting in my lovely mummy coming in to rescue and help train him.

So here is what I so to promote using his puppy pads:
He has a tray in his crate lined with pads that I put a few poops and some soiled pads there to show him that it's his toilet. After the first night I saw he went a few other places (in his house, beside the water bowl), so I cut little pads to put there. He now goes on those little pads in those spots and a little bit on his tray (not as frequently as the other spots though). When he is out, I have 2 trays in a small area to promote him to use them when he needs to go. He has made a few mistakes on the carpet but each time I pick him up and put him in his tray, pet him for a bit and then let him hop back around. He has gone in them a few times just on his own, but I also try to put him in them every 10 minutes or so (so far that hasn't promoted him to use it more).

He isn't crazy active, so I don't think having a smaller area to run around in bothers him much. He is out about 4-5 times a day (maybe 3-4 on busy uni days), ranging from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours as we have had no issues with skiddish-ness in a small pen (plus he just isn't like that with his calm personality. I know he would love to explore the study and the apartment but I really want to get him a little bit better trained before he does. I have also never seen him hop yet (he does mini binkies, but hasn't yet hopped up on top of his house or onto anything when he is out, or done big hops in the air), so I am trying to take advantage of that while it lasts and toilet train him as fast as possible - soon I won't be able to restrict his area as much!

He hasn't shown any signs of pooping in his trays on purpose, but he mostly does his poos in a pile rather than spread them out (there are a few, but not too many), so hopefully once he learns where his toilet should be he will learn to do that there as well. He has hay next to his tray in his crate to tempt him there more often, but he does like to poop while he eats.. so that is a hard one.

So I hope I have been going about this the right way... I am very much trying to groom him into a very clean apartment bunny to match his OCD owner! :p

T
 

ZRabbits

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Sounds like you have everything under control. And starting out in a small area and gradually building once you feel he's toilet trained is the best for both of you.

As Horatio gets to know you and his area (it's only been a week) you will see his confidence level grow and he will be more active.

K:)
 

ZRabbits

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BTW, I don't use pads, but take their litter box out of the crate. They all know their litter box and will go there to do their "business". When I take them out of their crate, I place them right in their litter box. They now know where it is.

Neville now 12 weeks old knows the routine. He is now going to his litter box and doing his "business". Not a great aim yet, but he's got the routine down.

Bunnies learn quick if you keep the same routine consistent.

K:)
 

toyabrooke

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Thanks Karen! Yeah I guess you are right, I keep forgetting he hasn't been with us long because of how comfortable with us he is already! He does a few laps of his little pen and will dart into his house and then straight back out... and then in a few minutes I will give him a rub while hes grooming or hopping around and he will flop right down and lay there for as long as I pat him! It is so funny to watch :p Such a sleepy bunny.

I have been taking his tray out for a few times so I might continue to do that so he learns that his tray inside is where he needs to go because right now all his good times have been in the play area only trays. I know the puppy pads are quite an uncommon use for rabbit litter training but we have met a few others here that use the same thing! In fact Ray's breeder used them as well, so he knows what they are at least which is a big plus.

With Poe I just kind of gave up and let him have the study because he was very active all the time, so I could never really be on him as much with his toilet training. That and if you picked him up and put him somewhere he didn't want to be (such as the tray), you would hear about it! Ray can be plopped anywhere though :p

Glad I have been going about this the right way this time!

T
 

ZRabbits

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I never heard of puppy pads or allowing your bunny to roam 24/7 so I'm learning as well.

It's what's best for you and your bunny. Now we have Willard who doesn't like the big space to run. He's more content in the smaller area in the kitchen. We found out through trial and error. Now he's very content in his crate and the time we have him in the kitchen. Plus he loved the temporary outside run we did yesterday.

So each bunny is different. They go at their own pace and you IMHO have to accomodate them and their way of taking in new stuff.

It's all observation. It's all trial and error. And what works for you might not work for someone else.

All bunnies are individuals. The best part IMHO is learning what an individual your bunny really is.

K:)
 

toyabrooke

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I defiantly agree. I don't think Ray will ever be one of those house free bunnies - He loves his little crate and isn't bothered by staying in there while I am out or while I study. He loves to have a stretch and be active, but then he will go right back to laying down watching the world go by :) I have also read that Netherland Dwarfs prefer smaller spaces because of their size, so that might also be a factor.

Our Dudley has my old room all to himself. He is the size of a dog though with all his wool (those photos I poster a while back were when he was younger... he is giant now!), so he doesn't run around much and mostly just sleeps or makes sure nothing is on his special bed (i.e my old bed!). Poe would also needs a free lifestyle but I would never trust him being out 24/7. He would wreak a lot of havoc I'm sure.

Bunnies are so much like people - I love how they all differ so much. Hopefully my little Ray Ray doesn't grow out of his baby ways too much, it's so nice to be around such a little calm darling all the time :)

T
 

toyabrooke

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Okay so now he is going in his house SPECIFICALLY to pee there! There is a cut off little bit of pad there which yes he is going on (plus a bit of blanket in with his aiming skills), but I'm not sure if he knows he is going on the pad to go to the toilet... or if he just likes going in his house.

What should I do? Keep the pad there and then just put all the soiled little bits of pad from around his crate into the actual tray I want him using? So far he goes anywhere in his cage but the actual tray! The other places do have little pads, but still! I don't know if that is just coincidence.

I suck at toilet training!!

T
 

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