My bonded bunnies don't need me :(

Discussion in 'Nutrition and Behavior' started by Griffin Elfant, Oct 12, 2019.

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  1. Oct 12, 2019 #1

    Griffin Elfant

    Griffin Elfant

    Griffin Elfant

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    Hello all!

    I need advice....

    In the summer I bonded my girl Daisy with a male named Romeo. I did this because I was told rabbits are better and happier in pairs and wanted the best for Daisy. Prior to bonding, Daisy and I were very close. She and I were always together. She slept with me, she cuddled me all the time, she was also my ESA (emotional support animal). Since the bond, they are happy, however I feel left out. Daisy doesn't cuddle with me anymore doesn't care to be pet as much and would much prefer him over me (of course I knew this would happen) but I miss her and Romeo doesn't really care to be pet much either. I've lost a connection with them and would love to have more of one. I try really hard to spend time with them at their level I buy them toys and play with them but they don't care for me much. Anything I can do to make a better connection?

    Thanks,
    Griffin
     
  2. Oct 12, 2019 #2

    Hermelin

    Hermelin

    Hermelin

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    You can eat food and share with your bunnies. For example when you eat a banana you break it so they get a bit, or eating veggies/salad.

    My bunnies will often stay longer when they have food to eat and will often ask to be petted.

    You can also use the pellets, have their pellets ratio in the pockets and give them a pellet when they interact with you or let them eat from your hands.

    This will give them a positive experience being cuddled, so bribery works extremely well.

    Or I just have 3 extremely cuddly bunnies that love spending time with me and tolerate me picking them up and cover them with kisses.

    Can just tell you, food worked best with my bunnies. But it was after I figure out what they love, earned their trust. Then I later learned their weak spots to be petted
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019
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  3. Oct 12, 2019 #3

    Griffin Elfant

    Griffin Elfant

    Griffin Elfant

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    I'll def try the food thing! Neither of them like to be picked up!
     
  4. Oct 12, 2019 #4

    Hermelin

    Hermelin

    Hermelin

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    My bunnies didn’t liked being picked up in the beginning. But all my bunnies have learned and most of them enjoy it. They will often give kisses, fall asleep or cuddle while doing the bunny purring.

    But this it’s after building a bond and making it a positive experience. They built fast trust towards me and my family.

    But it takes time, also it’s quite normal when bunny get friends they don’t seek as much attention from you.

    But with bribery will help and make them build a bond with you
     
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  5. Oct 15, 2019 #5

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Imbrium

    Jennifer

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    I'm gonna be lazy and copy/paste from a post I made in another thread earlier tonight... it's my method for creating cuddle-bunnies that has worked on a wide variety of personality types. With a bonded pair, I spend individual time with each of them on a regular basis - a little "mommy and me" time. So far it's only half working on our current bonded pair, but that's only because Barnaby is terrified of everything! Every snuggle session I feel like I'm starting from scratch to remind him he doesn't need to flinch when my hand approaches. At the end of the session, he's happy, calm and relaxed... but the next day it's back to being afraid :(. He's a big Californian who was found abandoned in a park when he was 6 months old followed by 6 months in a shelter and I think he's got some PTSD issues from his former life.

    My method for 'breaking' a bunny (teaching them not to hate being snuggled) is to lie in bed with the rabbit's front end laying on my upper arm and my other arm snugly holding the rabbit in place (their back half on the "firm ground" of the mattress). I firmly but sweetly insist that they get loved on for at least a few minutes (nose-rubs, gentle petting, talking to them, giving kisses) - if I relax my grip so that they're no longer being hugged, rabbits unaccustomed to snuggling (or who have had enough for that session) will dig, nip or try to leave. The sessions are pretty short at first but increase in length and always end with a craisin or other bit of fruit to teach them that good things come from cuddling with your human.

    Harley Quinn was adamantly opposed to snuggling when we got her - she just didn't seem to understand the concept at all (she was 3 1/2 and had a previous owner who let HQ be the boss, from what I can tell). If I didn't hold her snugly, she'd ferociously dig at my arm - OUCH! These days, though, she really enjoys the snuggle sessions. If I move my arm so that I'm not holding her in place, she doesn't even think about leaving even though she very easily could. She'd rather sit there and tooth-purr as I stroke her little pink nose.

    It's not that you're forcing them to do something, it's that you're teaching them to understand how humans show love and affection. In some ways, it's like overcoming a language barrier (in this case, body language). Kisses, pets, snuggles and treats, then freedom! So far I'm 7 for 7 on being able to teach rabbits to enjoy a good snuggle in front of the TV. Sometimes, the rabbit I try to cuddle just isn't in the mood that day - you can tell 'cause they're looking around for a way to get the heck out of there, lol. If they're telling me they've got too much energy to lay with me, I let them go back to doing whatever they want.
     

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