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Marathon Bonding Experience

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Slerpflerf

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Boy 1: ~2years neutered: March 1st
Boy 2: ~6 months neutered: 1st October

We took in Boy2 as a temporary thing, we planned to neuter and vaccinate him and then ask a shelter to help us find him a home. But we ended up deciding to try bond them, as he seemed to be a good personality match for boy1.

Dates have been in the bathtub, Because they are both very energetic (binky zoomies all the time- which isnt good for bonding as its easy to mistake as aggression) Dates are mixed good and bad.
First hour is usually "defensive aggression". Nipping at each other when the other moves too suddenly etc. But then they mostly settle down to cuddle. They need me to intervene if someone is being pushy about getting grooms, but are fine with a few pets.

They do circle each other. Normally a loud NO is enough to stop them, but they do need to be slid away from each other/distracted from when they both get too rambunctious.
They aren't escalating from the circling to a tornado or anything. Sometimes one will slip and the other assumes its being cuddled so they will both stop and snuggle in to each other.

They eat together, groom themselves and each other, cuddle , flop on each other and sleep side be side .
So I think they are on track to being firm friends, they just need to iron out the dominance issues they are having.

My main problem is that they seem to reset at the start of every session, so progress has been very 1 step forward 1 step back.
I need to keep dedicating a large chunk of time to let them settle in and honestly I think separating them is just stalling the process.
I was thinking of attempting marathon sessions with them instead- my plan was to get them to spend 12 hours together overnight, so I can see if they will get past this weird impasse we are at.

And if we get through the night to set up a pen in neutral territory to monitor them for the rest of Saturday, and break up any (Hopefully minor) fights they might have.

However, Im wondering how this would work logistically- I need to eat/ pee/etc And I have other rabbits that need food and water too, but I've been told you cant leave them AT ALL while marathon bonding?

The last time I marathon bonded (which is years ago now) I had some one else to keep an eye on them.
 

zuppa

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However, Im wondering how this would work logistically- I need to eat/ pee/etc And I have other rabbits that need food and water too, but I've been told you cant leave them AT ALL while marathon bonding?
The last time I marathon bonded (which is years ago now) I had some one else to keep an eye on them.
12 hours isn't that much time, maybe you can eat well before starting and have some ready food like sandwiches salads etc in your lunchbox, you can have a boiler nearly to make some tea or soup I think you can survive for 12 hours. For pee/etc I don't know there are mobile toilets or something you can use a bucket perhaps (even filled with wood pellets?), but if you are going to do it in or near your bathroom just keep the door open?
 
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