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AshleyM03

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This is my baby bunny boba who I adopted recently, he’s a Dwarf Papillon and he was born in mid April! Please send me any advice on how to take care of/train such a young rabbit. It’s been a little discouraging how skiddish he is and I want to gain his trust/love. Also I’d love some potty training tips, in his pen I’m currently putting shavings he potties on into the litter box to help him learn that’s where he goes.
 

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CrazyChickenGirl

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It will help with litter training if the pen only has shavings in the litter box. Like this, my bun Dune only has hay in his litter box (and in his feeder of course, but he can’t go to the bathroom on that).BEF75900-AD7E-4015-A627-20B3BBF73160.jpeg
To bond with him just sit on the floor in his pen and read, do schoolwork, or anything else to keep you entertained while you just sit there. It will take time, but eventually it will be worth it.

Also he’s a pretty cute bunny!
 

White Rabbit

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Opps didn't see you posted twice haha. Cute bun, Ill post the bonding links again here. It just takes time. Slow and steady wins the race, don't stress yourself.

You will get a lot of different answers on this depending how people house their bunnies. Indoor, outdoor, a combo, etc. My bun is an indoor/outdoor combo who i just finished potty training and was rather easy using my method. First off whatever method you end up choosing, find where you rabbit goes to the bathroom, going off mine they seem to like to pick corners, move your litter box to the corners it pees/poops in. If you need to make two for now make two.
For me I use a combo. I use So Phresh brand(any brand should work) softwood(kiln dried so it's safe) on the bottom, as it absorbs the most, I then use the same brand Aspen as it has a stronger odor smell keeping away the urine smell, but it doesn't lock in moisture as well as the soft wood. That goes in the middle. I then top it with hay as rabbit's love to eat where they poop/pee but know not to eat the soiled hay. You could also put a feeder or a hay box by their litterbox so they can eat and poop without wasting hay. My bun will not poop/pee in its cage with wood bedding, or it's dig/rest box i made and will only poop in it's litterbox. Just follow where it goes and it should make it so much easier. Ill post what I use and how my set up is below.
These are the woods I use.
3084377-center-1

2355593-center-1


This is how the litter set up looks with all the mixed woods and hay. I have to change it every 2 days. You can see the soft wood doing it's job soaking up all the pee, while the aspen wood stays dry covering the smell.
20220620_125948-jpg.61136


Her old cage attached to her pen, she will not poop/pee in, as she understands it is her "room."
20220620_130012-jpg.61134


I started like this with two litterboxes(made from shoe boxes lol) and once she got the hang of it, i turned the other one on the left hand side into a dig/chill box and got a permanent plastic litterbox(posted above)
bunny-litterbox-jpg.61137


So you can use bedding and have them not use it as litter but actual bedding it just takes some work and mostly covering all your rabbits pee/poo spots with litterboxes so they get the hang of it. You can do pure litter mixes or litter and hay mix to see what your bunny prefers. Hope it all goes well. :)
 

LassieBunBun

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Your bun is so cute! Like people said, be patient because it takes time but it's well worth it! Sitting on the floor while they play will help them see that you're not a threat and eventually they'll come to you, let them explore you and it also helps if you talk to them gently and spend as much time as you can with them.
 

Blue eyes

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One thing to bear in mind with young rabbits is that they are like different creatures than their adult counter-parts. They don't train as easily, are unpredictable, and early handling -- contrary to popular myth-- is not going to make them more handle-able as they age. I say this not to discourage you, but so that you are prepared for a journey of patience.

For bonding with him, let him (not you) be the one to set the pace. Don't hold him or force petting on him. Let him have the opportunity to come up to you. Some of those links above explain how to sit in an area with your bun and let him approach you. When he does, ignore him. Yes, ignore him. This is how he learns that you are "safe."

For litter training, again, this may be a challenge with a young rabbit. They train more readily when older. Those young ones that happen to potty train will often forget that training once those hormones kick in. In the meantime, keep him off of carpet or places he can have accidents where removing the smell will be a difficult task.

Having housed rabbits for decades now, I've tried just about every type of litter setup. The one that I have found to be the undisputed winner (in my opinion :) ) is pellets of wood (different than shavings) that are then topped with hay.
They not only work great at odor absorption but also are inexpensive.
Here's more on that:
 

AshleyM03

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One thing to bear in mind with young rabbits is that they are like different creatures than their adult counter-parts. They don't train as easily, are unpredictable, and early handling -- contrary to popular myth-- is not going to make them more handle-able as they age. I say this not to discourage you, but so that you are prepared for a journey of patience.

For bonding with him, let him (not you) be the one to set the pace. Don't hold him or force petting on him. Let him have the opportunity to come up to you. Some of those links above explain how to sit in an area with your bun and let him approach you. When he does, ignore him. Yes, ignore him. This is how he learns that you are "safe."

For litter training, again, this may be a challenge with a young rabbit. They train more readily when older. Those young ones that happen to potty train will often forget that training once those hormones kick in. In the meantime, keep him off of carpet or places he can have accidents where removing the smell will be a difficult task.

Having housed rabbits for decades now, I've tried just about every type of litter setup. The one that I have found to be the undisputed winner (in my opinion :) ) is pellets of wood (different than shavings) that are then topped with hay.
They not only work great at odor absorption but also are inexpensive.
Here's more on that:
Thank you so much! It’s been really weird taking care of such a young rabbit and hearing that they’re just very different than adults is very comforting, I’ve been able to potty train adults but he’s definitely been a trouble maker. I’ve started the ignoring him and letting him come to me tactic and it’s slowly but surely working. Do you know if it’s a good idea to get him neutered as he gets older? I got him from my boyfriends family who is very against doing that simply because they don’t find it natural but I want to know from a more factual standpoint if it’s a good or bad idea. I don’t have any other rabbits, I’m considering getting another in the future but I’m uncertain. Also he started laying down in front of me more after ignoring him!
 

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AshleyM03

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Opps didn't see you posted twice haha. Cute bun, Ill post the bonding links again here. It just takes time. Slow and steady wins the race, don't stress yourself.

You will get a lot of different answers on this depending how people house their bunnies. Indoor, outdoor, a combo, etc. My bun is an indoor/outdoor combo who i just finished potty training and was rather easy using my method. First off whatever method you end up choosing, find where you rabbit goes to the bathroom, going off mine they seem to like to pick corners, move your litter box to the corners it pees/poops in. If you need to make two for now make two.
For me I use a combo. I use So Phresh brand(any brand should work) softwood(kiln dried so it's safe) on the bottom, as it absorbs the most, I then use the same brand Aspen as it has a stronger odor smell keeping away the urine smell, but it doesn't lock in moisture as well as the soft wood. That goes in the middle. I then top it with hay as rabbit's love to eat where they poop/pee but know not to eat the soiled hay. You could also put a feeder or a hay box by their litterbox so they can eat and poop without wasting hay. My bun will not poop/pee in its cage with wood bedding, or it's dig/rest box i made and will only poop in it's litterbox. Just follow where it goes and it should make it so much easier. Ill post what I use and how my set up is below.
These are the woods I use.
3084377-center-1

2355593-center-1


This is how the litter set up looks with all the mixed woods and hay. I have to change it every 2 days. You can see the soft wood doing it's job soaking up all the pee, while the aspen wood stays dry covering the smell.
20220620_125948-jpg.61136


Her old cage attached to her pen, she will not poop/pee in, as she understands it is her "room."
20220620_130012-jpg.61134


I started like this with two litterboxes(made from shoe boxes lol) and once she got the hang of it, i turned the other one on the left hand side into a dig/chill box and got a permanent plastic litterbox(posted above)
bunny-litterbox-jpg.61137


So you can use bedding and have them not use it as litter but actual bedding it just takes some work and mostly covering all your rabbits pee/poo spots with litterboxes so they get the hang of it. You can do pure litter mixes or litter and hay mix to see what your bunny prefers. Hope it all goes well. :)
Thank you so much for the help!! I’ve already been using soft wood shavings for his pen but I didn’t know the trick with aspen to keep it dry, that’s a really good thing to know. I’ve stuck to changing his pen every 3 days for the moment since he’s so little right now, as he gets older I’ll do it every two. But I’m going to try using aspen, with my older rabbits they used to make such a mess with just the soft wood shavings so I hope it helps. Also do your rabbits have a tendency to dig? Mine does and I was wondering if it would be a good idea to make him one eventually just for digging and such. Also here’s a little picture of him just chilling out, he’s started flopping in front of me more.
 

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AshleyM03

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Also I just wanted to say thank you to everyone in this thread. You’ve all been so helpful and friendly and it’s very much appreciated. I’ve been really anxious as a first time baby bunny owner and youve all done so much to help. It’s been a really fun experience starting to use this forum ☺️💛
 

White Rabbit

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Thank you so much for the help!! I’ve already been using soft wood shavings for his pen but I didn’t know the trick with aspen to keep it dry, that’s a really good thing to know. I’ve stuck to changing his pen every 3 days for the moment since he’s so little right now, as he gets older I’ll do it every two. But I’m going to try using aspen, with my older rabbits they used to make such a mess with just the soft wood shavings so I hope it helps. Also do your rabbits have a tendency to dig? Mine does and I was wondering if it would be a good idea to make him one eventually just for digging and such. Also here’s a little picture of him just chilling out, he’s started flopping in front of me more.
Anytime! :) We are all here to help. Yes my bun is an indoor/outdoor girl and she loves to dig, so I made her a dig box out of cardboard for now and will be making it out of wood when i can. It looks like this. I used a box, then another box to make a top so stuff wouldn't go flying everywhere. I have since added dirt and sometimes find her in there rolling in it. I had to make a face since sometimes stuff would go flying everywhere haha.
Started like this
bunny dig box.jpg

Ended up like this so stuff wouldn't go flinging out as much, still does but not as bad.

bunny dig box 2.jpg

You could also put cold tiles and other things incase it's warm day(even inside or if the AC ever dies, so the box becomes a "chill box" so they can just relax and cool off.
 

Blue eyes

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I’ve already been using soft wood shavings for his pen but I didn’t know the trick with aspen to keep it dry, that’s a really good thing to know. I’ve stuck to changing his pen every 3 days for the moment since he’s so little right now, as he gets older I’ll do it every two. with my older rabbits they used to make such a mess with just the soft wood shavings so I hope it helps

Could you show a photo of his entire setup (rather than just a close up)? Yes, wood shavings make a mess. They get tracked, stick to fur, and require frequent cleanups. This is why so many of us prefer the wood pellets. They don't get tracked. Even better is that they don't require clean ups every 2 days. With one adult rabbit, the wood pellet litter setup will last a full week with no odor. :D

As for neutering a male, that depends. If you have intention of getting him a bondmate in the future, then, yes, absolutely get him neutered. If you think he'll remain a single bun, then you could take a wait and see approach. If hormones cause him to have undesirable behaviors (spraying urine, aggression, losing potty habits) then it would be advisable to have him fixed. But not all rabbits have noticeable behavior changes from hormones. Hormones seem to affect different rabbits to different degrees. If his behavior isn't being negatively affected when that time comes, and you intend to keep him single, then neutering isn't a must.
 

AshleyM03

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Here’s a photo of his entire set up so far, I just moved the litter box in and stopped setting wood shavings on the floor and put them just in his box. As for getting another rabbit for him I’m undecided and I’ll see as he gets older. Sorry the photos aren’t super clear but I tried to get them from different angles.
 

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Blue eyes

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Thank you for the photos! That is most helpful!! :)

So he's not quite 3 months of age. For now, that cage will suffice, but as he grows, it'd be a good idea to consider an ex-pen to surround his current cage. (I'll post a link below) I can see the effort you've put into trying to provide what your rabbit needs.

Unfortunately, those kinds of cages tend to come with inadequate supplies. :( The hay feeder is not adequate. It is too difficult for bunny to get the hay out. Plus it is too small. I see you added hay there on the litter box, which was a wise move! However, there still isn't enough hay. Bunny should have a pile of hay the same size as his him available.

The litter box itself might be doing ok at the moment but it is also too small. It should be large enough for bunny to stretch out fully inside of it. It is too small for him to do that now and will be even smaller once he's fully grown.

Water bowls are generally recommended over bottles. They drink more naturally and drink more from a bowl. The bottle seems to be hanging too low.

I suggest clicking on the links below for some examples and suggestions. The first link... scroll about halfway down to see how your current cage can be improved as bunny gets older and is consistent with litter training.

The next links show how to setup a larger litter box:
 
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