Occasional aggressivity

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BrooklynBunny

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Hello, new to the board and to bunnies!

We recently rescued a palomino bunny who had been abandoned (dumped at night on the local school's step in her cage). We'd never had a rabbit before but she charmed us and we decided to keep her. We took her to the vet, and she's young and in good health.

Chopper is toiled-trained was very sweet the first few days, probably scared too. Since then she's been gaining in confidence - especially since she had her nails trimmed -- and in occasional aggressivity: the nips have become more forceful and there's been thumping and lunges. It seems to happen around 10pm.

She spends the day in her cage (which is pretty spacious) and is out a couple of hours in the morning and 2-4 hours in the evening. We feed her timothy hay and fresh veggies -- going by the book. She also has chew toys but still loves going after the couch.

Could the occasional aggressivity be related to her being young? Will spaying help?
 

funnybunnymummy

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Spaying is never a bad idea.

However,her aggressive behaviour may be out of fear and not aggression at all. Gus was like that when we first got him. He hadn't been handled much, if at all, and was very skittish and, if we cornered him, he'd lunge, box us with his front paws, and sometimes nip. But once we gained his trust and got him used to handling (it's takenthe better part oftwo years! :p), he's become awonderful addition tothe family. Give her some time to settle in. Let her approach you, not vice versa. Once she's a little more comfortable and you've developed some trust, you should be able to work on the handling.

Oh, and welcome to RO! :)

Hope that helps!

Rue
 

Nancy McClelland

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Second the spaying. Commander Bun-Bun was pretty much the same when we rescued her. She hadn't been socialized or taken care of at all. It took time and neutering, but, she was the best bunny you could ever want.
 

BrooklynBunny

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Thanks, this is useful. She's actually friendly most of the time. Sweet, playful, loves to be petted. She was giving us bunny kisses pretty fast.

The problems began after a few days, and they do seem concentrate in the evening. Her mood turns on a dime from friendly to aggressive, and the thumping begins. We just put her back in her cage.

Speaking of which: we really can't let her loose when we're at work but she's out roaming the apartment when we're around. So she's out of the cage 1-2 hours in the morning, then 2-4 hours in the evening (we often work late), as well as most of the weekends; at those times we leave the cage open so she can have a nibble or use the bathroom. Is that enough in terms of uncaged time? I've never had a caged pet before and am feeling guilt, but I've been told rabbits are actually ok with it.
 

missyscove

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As long as she has plenty of room to move around in her cage (can she stand all the way up, and take a few hops before she reaches the end?) that should be plenty of time out of her cage for her to get exercise.
I agree that spaying would likely help. Rabbits are crepuscular and so are more active at dawn and dusk which may contribute to her behavior.
 

BrooklynBunny

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She can take a few hops in the cage and can stand up but not fully extended -- she's not a small rabbit. She likes going up and down the hallway when loose, but isn't a big runner either. The two things she seems to like most are hanging out and exploring (especially climbing).

I think spaying will be our next step.
 

juliew19673

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HI and welcome to RO! Sounds like you and Chopper are getting to know each other - lol!

You seem to have the right insight into "Chops" mindset; you just need to figure out a schedule. She may need more attention.

Every bun comes with their own quirks, you just need to figure out the conversation they trying to have with you. Best advice is to sit with Choppers but do not touch until she does, Buns need to feel in charge of this interaction.

Post a photo if you can and hoping you the best.
 

BrooklynBunny

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We just got Chopper spayed yesterday. She's recovering right now, still very woozy. She isn't eating much -- a bit of hay, some carrots tops -- so we're feeding her some herbivore critical-care stuff. Otherwise snoozing, laying down in her cage. We hope she gets better soon.
 

BrooklynBunny

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We were absurdly proud of the fact that before the operation, she jumped into the tech's arms and went on to charm the pants off the entire clinic's staff!

I'm at work but my partner stayed home to look after the bunny, and I'm told Chopper's staging a come-back: she's been eating hay and lettuce, and has bopped out of her cage.
 

BrooklynBunny

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I'm at work but my partner stayed home to look after the bunny, and I'm told Chopper is staging a come-back: she's been eating more hay and lettuce, has been grooming herself and even bopped out of her cage.
 
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