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lunging when brushing

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Mindy10

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So Bloosom has started to lunge at the brush now when i brush her. I have to brush her because she is long fur and i dont want it to get matted. I know it might hurt sometimes so Im sure thats why she does it but It scares the heck out of me!! I dont know if im supose to stop when she does it or keep going. I had a dog that would lunge at my hand when i brushed her but I would keep brushing her. Any suggestions?
 

Watermelons

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Maybe try different brushes so it doesnt hurt?

You want brushing your bun to be a fun bonding experience, not punishment.

You can try tapping her on the nose when she does lunge, but honestly its not fair for her to have to sit there and put up with it if its going to hurt. I would find ways for it to not hurt so she doesnt have to feel like she needs to defend herself.
 

OneTwoThree

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Watermelons wrote:
Maybe try different brushes so it doesnt hurt?

You want brushing your bun to be a fun bonding experience, not punishment.

You can try tapping her on the nose when she does lunge, but honestly its not fair for her to have to sit there and put up with it if its going to hurt. I would find ways for it to not hurt so she doesnt have to feel like she needs to defend herself.
I've never heard of this before, can you explain what you mean? or what this does?
 

Mindy10

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I use the wire cat brushes so I think thats why it is hurting her. I see that it does pull on her but when I use the brush you told me to use it doent get the tangles out. Maybe some lionhead owners with puff balls like mine will have some suggestions
 

Watermelons

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Watermelons

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Wire slicker brushes dont hurt unless you drag them through a matt or push too hard and they drag along the skin.

A good combo is a slicker and comb. When you reach a matt or small tangle hold it at the base near the skin and work it out with a fine tooth comb or flea comb. There are also combs out there that are designed to cut through matts safely. Slickers should never be used to work out matts, but to help prevent them.
 

OneTwoThree

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In my opinion and experience, rabbits shouldn't be disciplined, they simply wont understand why you're hitting them. Positive reinforcement works wonders, my Lady had mats under her chin and neck last week I found from her shedding and me not brushing, and I was was able to get them from that sensitive area by offering 1 sprig of parsley/mint/romaine at a time until it was done. She got to eat yummy veggies at a time that wasn't the norm, and I got all the mats out without stressing her. Win Win :D
 

Tarotknits

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I agree use treats and try different brushes. They make a brush called the furminator for small animals and its supposed to be great and very easy on the skin and fur. You might could try that too.
 

JimD

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OneTwoThree wrote:
In my opinion and experience, rabbits shouldn't be disciplined, they simply wont understand why you're hitting them. Positive reinforcement works wonders,
IMO......I don't think I would recommend actually hitting or swatting a bun.


And I agree that in most cases positive reinforcement usually works, but there are some buns that just don't see it our way sometimes. They'll take the positive and get the understanding that they've won the battle.


I had two such buns.
Both were adopted at 4-6 months and were VERY cage/possessions aggressive.
One (Binky) would even chase after me and once bit me on the ankle to the bone. I had to wear heavy leather gloves to even feed her or change her litter pan.
Her nickname became "Chainsaw".

Nothing I tried worked with Binks. I was to the point of wanting to return her.

One of our more tenured members and founders of the forum (Buck Jones....RIP my friend) suggested trying a different approach.
"When she attacks, gently (but firmly) hold her head down and say 'NO!'in a commanding voice. You got to let her know that you're in charge and are the one calling the shots. Let her know you are 'The Big Kahuna'."

As much as I doubted that it would work, I decided to give it a try.
I was amazed that it actually worked. It took a lot of time and patience.
After she started to understand, I would also reward her if she behaved.
She never got to the point of being a cuddle-bun, but was converted from being an attack rabbit and would tolerate me messing with her stuff.

There are several members herethat have had to deal with aggressive buns, and different methods work for different buns.

And PLEASE understand....I'm not saying that Mindy's Blossum is one of these cases....and I would definitely try positive reinforcement first.

One of my first questions to Mindy would be,....Is Blossum spayed?
(I'm surprised nobody has asked that yet)


Some light reading from our Library....
http://rabbitsonline.net/view_topic.php?id=12319&forum_id=17
 

Mindy10

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No she is not spayed. That is my next step. She will be 6 months old next month. She is not aggressive any other time. I can crawl in her cage and lay down and pat her. I can change her box and give her food with her right there and she wont lunge at me. It is only when the brush comes out. Sometimes She lets me brush her and I think when I pull to hard thats when she does it. I do noticed if I hold her head to the ground and pat it while im brushing with the other hand she is pretty calm. just sometimes I need to hands so I can hold the hair with one and brush with the other so I dont hurt her. Thanks for all the advice. Mindy
 

JimD

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It doesn't sound like you've got an aggressive bun......just one that doesn't like to be brushed.

Spaying her probably won't make too much difference with her aversion to being brushed.

All of mine HATE to be brushed and it's a battle when it needs to be done.
Luckily mine are all short-haired and that makes it a lot easier on all of us.
I think I have every kind of brush available.....everything from the soft bristled baby brush on up to wire grooming brushes.

My MooShu has the most fur issues and is quite adamant about NOT being brushed.
I get down on the floor on my knees, and with my knees together I get her head between them. Works for about 5 seconds at a time. Takes FOREVER, but it get done. Lottsa thumps and heel-flicks afterwards. But we get TREATS, too!!!:biggrin:
 

MiniLopHop

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I'm sure you have seen pictures of Houdini and all his fluff. He's an angora so he's got long hair all over. He also hated the slicker and I was afraid I was hurting him. I switched to a rake instead:

http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3931204

It looks sharp in that picture, but it is not, the ends are rounded. When I pulled each over my skin I found the slicker to be much sharper.

I start on the bottom layer, lifting the hair and slowly working my way up to the top rather than trying to get all the way through it in one go. That way you don't have to push as hard. If I run into a mat I use the technique described above, to hold and work it out with a comb. The comb I use I got from a cat show that is made for grooming faces, but before I used just a man's black comb that all the hair cutting places use. The smaller teeth are good at getting the small tangles before they become mats.

The biggest secret is that I let him do most of the grooming himself. I have a fan blowing through the room that he LOVES to sit in front of. It's on the other side of NIC panels so it's safe and they can get out of the breeze any time. The fan works much like blowing out the fur. I took him to the rescue Christmas party and met a couple of his siblings. Their parents had a horrible time keeping the fur dematted without constant brushing, at least every other day. I only brush him down once a week and he has lovely fur. I have never had a mat that I had to cut, even after vacation when he wasn't brushed for three weeks.

Good luck :)


 
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