New Rabbit- BONDING help

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daeyang

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So yesterday I adopted a neutered boy unknown age, he's large compared to my dwarf and I need A LOT of help for bonding.
My dwarf is a spayed female, who on regular basis can get quite aggressive.
Well this morning I put both rabbits in a neutral territory, one where neither rabbit has ever gone ( my back porch ) and when they were introduced my dwarf attacked my new rabbit and pulled out a ton of fur!! I stopped it and got bit HARD on my toe by my dwarf and my new rabbit jumped and gripped on to my leg as tight as possible; so I picked him up and held him tight and stared down at my dwarf as if she was a monster. The boy is as sweet as can be and only fought back when she took a bite out of him. No blood was drawn from either rabbits, just me. All night they were in a cage with a wall diving between them. My dwarf all night long was trying to dig and bite through the bars just to get to him and attack him. Today my goal for the day is too change and clean everything in their cage, but problem is my dwarf has taken complete territory of my WHOLE bedroom; what can I do? :bigtears:
 

JBun

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It sounds like you are trying to move too fast for your girl rabbit. Some rabbits will take to each other right away, but some you have to slowly work on and give them time to get accustomed to each other. I wouldn't even put them together for bonding attempts yet. Your dwarf sounds like she just needs some time to get used to a new rabbit being in her territory. I wouldn't even let them be so close since it is clearly upsetting to her. Plus it may stress your new rabbit since she isn't acting friendly towards him. They need to be in completely separate cages, and the cages will need to be far apart for now. You may even just want to start him off in another room until he gets used to being in a new home, and it will give your doe time to gradually get used to his new smell. After you've had him there for a week or two, you could try bringing his cage closer, like in the same room, but opposite sides. And when your doe seems calm about that, move his cage a little closer, and keep doing that until the cages are right next to each other. But you don't want to attempt bonding until she is calm with him around, with his cage next to her. Then you can start swapping food bowls and other personal items, so they can get used to each others scent. Then after a while of that, you can also start cage swapping. Then you can eventually get to bonding attempts in neutral territory. Bonding can be a very difficult tedious thing with some rabbits. And some rabbits just aren't a good match for each other, and other rabbits just can't be bonded with another rabbit, and just do better being on their own. So you may need to be prepared for the possibility that these rabbits won't bond with each other.

Try reading through trollers Conan and Xena blog, about his bonding attempts. He has a really difficult pair, so it will show you some of the things that he is having to try to bond his two.
 

agnesthelion

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Hmm, well I hate being a Debbie downer here but the fact that your female was trying to attack the male through the cage all night.....that would worry me. :(

There are some who believe that any two rabbits can be bonded. I believe that.....to a certain extent. I do think there could be some buns out there who are too territorial and too aggressive to be bonded. Im not saying that's your female....but it *could* be. But probably too soon to tell just yet.

The key thing is you don't want them to fight again. Even the fact that she is showing aggressive behavior through the barrier of the cage isn't a good thing at this point. Also, if you just brought the new bunny home yesterday, then starting bonding the next day is too soon.

What I would do is keep them in two seperate cages a few feet apart right now. Your female needs to get used to his smell and him being there. Not to mention that new bunny needs to get used to his new surroundings and now is probably scared to death so he needs some time to calm down as well.

In addition, it sounds as though you may need to work on your being top "bun" with your female. If she truly thinks she rules your world and seems to be aggressive with you too (I'm assuming since you said she has the tendency to and has kinda "taken over" your room) than that could hinder her bonding with the male. And believe me, it's easy to become a slave to a bun ;) lol. I have a headstrong male that challenges me everyday.

But you may want to start caging her a bit more. Reclaim your room, so to speak. Obviously give her free run and play time, but maybe reward her with good behavior, push her head down like a momma would do to a kit, say no, do not accidentally encourage bad behavior by giving in go her or petting her if she acts up.

In the meantime as I said, cage both separately. And then give them equal free run time out. Let each bun see the other put exploring your room. Is will help get the female to understand this new bunny has a right to her space too. You want to avoid letting her continue to take over the room as that will more bring out her territorialness with the new bun.

I would take things slow. Like, very slow :) Bonding is tedious and alot of work. My two took 30 days to bond and they were considered easy. But in light of how aggressive things started i woildmease into things. After a couple weeks, maybe move cages closer...but no interaction yet. Then start switching food bowls and toys. Then maybe see how things appear to be going and at that time try for another neutral territory date. But I would do a small space. Like a closet or bathtub. Keep it very short, like a few minutes.

Anyway, that's just my 2 cents on how I would start things if I were you. I admit bunny fights scare me! Haha. So I tend to view things from the cautious standpoint. I will share will you my favorite bunny article. I read it several times while bonding my two. In the article it also talks about stressing buns and the wear them down method. I'm not sure your pair would be ready for that yet but it's another perspective in bonding to consider down the road.

Best of luck! I know it's stressful and alot of work but it is worth it in the end :)

http://www.rabbitnetwork.org/articles/bond.shtml
 

Sweetie

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I agree with taking things slow. When I got Pudden, I wanted him and Sweetie to bond, but they fought and Sweetie attacked Pudden whenever she had the chance. That was in 2011, been that way for a couple years. Keep in mind also that Sweetie lost her bondmate in 2011. So I just left the bonding process alone and waited for Sweetie to let me know when she was ready to be bonded. This week that moment came. Sweetie went up to Kitty and sat next to her twice. So I tested it, grabbed Pudden and placed him on my bed with Sweetie and there were no fights at all. Had them outside together, again no fights. One day while outside, Sweetie humped Pudden and there were no fights. Today they had to see the vet, only one fight. I put them in the carrier together because I had to use the restroom for a minute or two, came back and Pudden was humping Sweetie. Well Sweetie didn't like it and they started to fight, I did stop it and they were very good with each other afterwards.

So take the bonding process very slow. Don't force anything with the two rabbits. When you feed them, feed your dwarf first to show the new rabbit that she is dominate one. That's what I do all the time and it has been working. Another thing is always have them in neutral territory while bonding when you are bonding them.

Just give your dwarf time to get used to the new rabbit being around.
 

JBun

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Haha, Lisa. Yeah, I was hoping you would chime in with that link, as I didn't remember it and don't have it saved.
 

ladysown

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suggestion.
to help her get used to his scent, daily switch cages on them. She goes in his cage, he goes in her cage. It will help her get used to his smell.

Sometimes you also need to tell rabbits to smarten up. a 'hey, stop that' with a bang on the cage sometimes will get their attention and they'll turn their focus to something else.
 

ladysown

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suggestion.
to help her get used to his scent, daily switch cages on them. She goes in his cage, he goes in her cage. It will help her get used to his smell.

Sometimes you also need to tell rabbits to smarten up. a 'hey, stop that' with a bang on the cage sometimes will get their attention and they'll turn their focus to something else.
 

daeyang

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Thank you; today they'll be in the opposite cage so they get used to their scent :)
 

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