New young bunny chewing very hard and biting shoes and pants

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Otto & Dover

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HI Everyone

I just got a new bunny last Saturday and he is really wild acting. He is a continental Giant who is 4 mos old. I know he hasn't been handled much so he was naturally scared at first but after just 1 day he has warmed up. I have him in a very large dog crate so after the first day I let him out so he can run around and get used to us. He is allowing us to pet him and doesnt seem scared but yesterday he started coming up to me and chewing on my shoes very firmly and biting the hem of my pants. It hurts so I say ouch loudly but he doesnt seem to care. Also when I open his cage door to feed him he tries to escape and I have to push him back. He doesnt seem to care and pushes past me. Is it possible he is so scared he is being aggressive or could he just be a juvenile going through puberty and just a rowdy bunny. He lets us pet him and doesn't act scared like your average scared bunny. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

JBun

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Trying to get out when you open the door would be a normal thing for a rabbit to do that wants out of somewhere. So that's not too unusual. Rabbits are usually pretty determined to get their own way.

The biting at your shoes and pant hem could very well be hormonal and him wanting to mate, or it could be a behavioral issue where he is trying to get your attention for some reason and thinks this is an acceptable way to do this. If it's hormonal, check to see if his testicles have descended. If they have and you want to get him neutered, you would just need to find an experienced rabbit vet to make an appointment with for the surgery.
https://rabbit.org/vet-listings/

If it's behavioral, what I would do is teach him this isn't an acceptable behavior to get attention. I would try loudly thumping at him(making sure not to step on him while doing it) and turn my back to him, as this would be how a fellow rabbit would show disapproval. If that isn't enough to stop the behavior I would claim his space by nudging his butt getting him to move over an arms length so I could take his spot. This essentially tells him that I'm the boss and he has to move when I tell him to. Just make sure he's not going to be aggressive thinking he's the boss, and turn around and try and bite(maybe wear a thick sweatshirt or thick coat and gloves when trying this one). If these don't work there are other things that can be tried but I would try these first.

So you want to teach him to get your attention the appropriate way. So if instead of biting he nudges you or lowers his head, it's important to acknowledge him and reward the desired behavior as the boss bunny would do(which is what you want him to see you as). Give him a little head rub to acknowledge him, or a big head rub if you feel so inclined.
 

Otto & Dover

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It does sound hormonal. Are you planning on neutering him?
I wasn't going to neuter him because my son shows in 4H and you cant have them altered. I may rethink that decision if he is always this way. My little Holland lop didn't act this way and still doesn't.
 

Otto & Dover

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Trying to get out when you open the door would be a normal thing for a rabbit to do that wants out of somewhere. So that's not too unusual. Rabbits are usually pretty determined to get their own way.

The biting at your shoes and pant hem could very well be hormonal and him wanting to mate, or it could be a behavioral issue where he is trying to get your attention for some reason and thinks this is an acceptable way to do this. If it's hormonal, check to see if his testicles have descended. If they have and you want to get him neutered, you would just need to find an experienced rabbit vet to make an appointment with for the surgery.
https://rabbit.org/vet-listings/

If it's behavioral, what I would do is teach him this isn't an acceptable behavior to get attention. I would try loudly thumping at him(making sure not to step on him while doing it) and turn my back to him, as this would be how a fellow rabbit would show disapproval. If that isn't enough to stop the behavior I would claim his space by nudging his butt getting him to move over an arms length so I could take his spot. This essentially tells him that I'm the boss and he has to move when I tell him to. Just make sure he's not going to be aggressive thinking he's the boss, and turn around and try and bite(maybe wear a thick sweatshirt or thick coat and gloves when trying this one). If these don't work there are other things that can be tried but I would try these first.

So you want to teach him to get your attention the appropriate way. So if instead of biting he nudges you or lowers his head, it's important to acknowledge him and reward the desired behavior as the boss bunny would do(which is what you want him to see you as). Give him a little head rub to acknowledge him, or a big head rub if you feel so inclined.
Thanks for the tips I will definitely try them!
 

Blue eyes

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. He is a continental Giant who is 4 mos old. I have him in a very large dog crate... Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Just saw photos of your bun on your other thread. It doesn't look like that is a very large dog crate. He's only 4 months and he's really already too large for that size crate. He should be able to take a full 3 hops across one length (or lay fully outstretched 3 x end to end).

You may want to consider switching him to an ex-pen for a cage. That will provide more room for him. A litter box would also come in handy and make clean-up a lot easier than dealing with all those loose wood shavings.

If you use those shavings in a roomy litter box, the shavings could be topped with hay. That would be a way to provide a sufficient amount of hay (more than the current hay rack). A good goal is for a rabbit to eat its body size in hay every day. So if you opt for a hay rack (as opposed to putting it directly in a litter box), the rack should be the size of the rabbit.
 

Otto & Dover

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Just saw photos of your bun on your other thread. It doesn't look like that is a very large dog crate. He's only 4 months and he's really already too large for that size crate. He should be able to take a full 3 hops across one length (or lay fully outstretched 3 x end to end).

You may want to consider switching him to an ex-pen for a cage. That will provide more room for him. A litter box would also come in handy and make clean-up a lot easier than dealing with all those loose wood shavings.

If you use those shavings in a roomy litter box, the shavings could be topped with hay. That would be a way to provide a sufficient amount of hay (more than the current hay rack). A good goal is for a rabbit to eat its body size in hay every day. So if you opt for a hay rack (as opposed to putting it directly in a litter box), the rack should be the size of the rabbit.
That cage was just for a few days while it was cold out. I was preparing his outdoor hutch for him. I live on the coast and we don't usually get this cold for more than a day or 2 so I didn't have his hutch prepared for that. I use aspen shavings for his litter and then Timothy hay and straw for bedding. Thanks for the tips
 

samoth

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Both of my house rabbits nibble on the bottom of my pants on occasion. Even if it's not hard, they'll put a hole in them pretty easily.

My solution was to not wear nice pants in the house.
 

Augustus&HazelGrace

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I've noticed that some of my buns don't like certain material, one doesn't like fleece clothing and the other doesn't like raised lettering on my shirts, I like to believe that they think it is hurting me so they try to take it off. So I just don't wear that type of clothing around them anymore.
 

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