Picking up this little guy on Friday the 29th

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EllieBelle

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Hey every bun!! My heart is so full of joy I literally cannot contain it. I am picking this little guy up next week. 8 days away and counting them down like a maniac! He was not old enough to leave his mom so I am trying to wait patiently but I cannot wait to get him!!! He is a Black Otter Netherland Dwarf... I am naming him Rembrandt for a variety of reasons... the first being that Netherland Dwarf Rabbits originate from the Netherlands, so I thought it would be fitting to give him a Dutch name! Also, I am an avid art lover and work at an art museum that houses a- you guessed it!- a Rembrandt in our permanent collection. BUT also, yes there is a third reason 🙃 I thought Rembrandt would be a fitting name because the artist Rembrandt was known for this technique called chiaroscuro which is an extreme contrast of light and dark; and given the color contrast between the dark black and light tan, I thought it would be perfect!! I will call him Remi for short. I have researched bonding bunnies pretty much since I got Ellie back in 2017 but just didn't feel quite ready for it. Now I feel much more prepared and I think Ellie does too! I have a bunny bonding plan in place but I know what happens to well laid plans... I know there are a lot of knowledgable bunny lovers on here so if you would like to drop some words of wisdom, feel free. I would greatly appreciate it! I should add that Ellie is a spayed 5 year old lionhead mix, and Remi is a male and will be 8 weeks old when I get him. I plan to get him neutered as soon as my vet opens up for neutering services. I will share my bunny bonding plan with you all, please let me know what you think/ any advice you have! Thank you all in advance 😍😍


PRE-BONDING:
Put Remi in spare room in an xpen.
Give him his own food and water, own litter box and toys
Open the door so Ellie can go check him out if she wants to
Put 1 new stuffed animal in Remi's pen and 1 new stuffed animal in Ellie's room

After a few days, take the new stuffed animals and switch them
See how the bunnies react to the stuffed animals
If either starts grooming the stuffed animal, that is a good sign- they are becoming accepting of the other bunnies scent in each other's area

Can switch their litter boxes and see how they do
Or you can even switch their living areas to get them used to each others scent

BONDING:
Put on thick gloves and have something to separate your bunnies in case a fight breaks out

Only introduce them in a neutral area- maybe the living room??!
Do NOT put Remi in Ellie's room to meet her for the first time, she will get territorial

Bring out food to bring down anxiety and stress levels
Eating together is a good way to bond

Can put them in the same carrier and drive them around- stressful situations can force a bond quicker/ cuddle sessions

Do not allow biting or fighting of any kind

Circling, mounting
Never allow one bunny to mount the other 69 style

Good signs to look for:
Grooming themselves or each other
Ignoring one another
Laying down/ flopping
 

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Mac189

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Man, you've put a lot of thought into this and I'm impressed! I hope it all goes to plan! Rembrandt is a wonderful name for a bunny! That is so cute! Both of mine are named after historical figures and it's such a fun inside joke! He is one really cute little bun!
 

Eve84

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Hi 👋,
Here in Germany you get the advice that they should not smell each other.
If they smell each other but can’t get to each other, they can’t sort out the hierarchy/ rank which makes them get upset with each other before they even have met each other.
Makes pretty good sense to me.

Also when you put them together there will be some fights and hunting you can’t avoid that they need to clarify who is gonna be the boss, how can they clarify if they can’t fight and hunt and won’t know who is strongest?

So you will have to let them sort it out and only go in between if they run in very small circles and keep biting each other and won’t let go - but never go in between with bare hands!

There will be shreds of fur etc but that is all ok.

If you go in between before they sorted it and separate them the bond will be broken! If they smell each other but can’t get to each other you might not be able to bond them - the bond is successful once they sleep next to each other, eat next to each other etc.

And distract them with food every now and then

Good luck 😉
Eve
 

Mehidk

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Remi is SO handsome!! 8 days seems like forever! I wish you all the luck with bonding Ellie and him.
 

Blue eyes

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Your bonding plans show you've already done some research. That neutral area should be some place that your current rabbit has never stepped foot (paw) ;) . If she's not been in the living room, then that can work. Once bonded, the place they will then live should also be as neutral as possible. (If it is in her old place, then the area should be re-arranged and wiped down with vinegar to make it as unfamiliar as possible.) I'd encourage you (if you haven't already) to see some of the videos on the following bonding site. I found them most helpful to see these live and in process (some easy, some difficult, and even one that wasn't going to work out).

There really isn't much point in allowing them to interact until 6 weeks or so after he is neutered. He will come home from the vet smelling totally different and the female won't recognize him by smell. So even if they went so far beforehand as to actually seem "bonded," it would still be necessary to start from square one once he's healed from the neuter and those hormones have had time to dissipate.

I do not think fighting should be allowed. Fights can turn deadly within seconds. Here is an example (from above link) of the type of injury that can occur when fights are allowed.
1590175496571.png

Regarding the idea of taking them for a stressful car ride, you may want to consider the following article (again from the same site as above):

Good luck with your future bonding. Hopefully they will accept each other.
 

zuppa

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I would second that I would start bonding/prebonding only when he is fixed/healed, there's no need in swapping stuff now, it can actually cause stress to your girl, even she is spayed she can react on his smell even if you hold her after him and smell like other rabbit. It depends on her how she reacts, sometimes it can change your first dramatically. There was a tread with similar situation free roaming girl and a baby, she was always very sweet and friendly and suddenly became very territorial and started biting her humans. I hope you will have no problems with that, I see you are so well prepared already and done lots of research.

I have to thank Blue eyes for posting pics with injuries I wanted to start a thread myself posting pics of injuries on sweet bonded babies after their first ever fight, I have myself rescued a few boys with holes in ears, huge scars around their eyes, thankfully eyes were not damaged but it happens as well. I've seen bitten genitalia on both males and females it's not funny at all and can happen really quickly. So every time someone starts a thread about getting a new baby to bond with their older rabbit, I feel bad because I usually comment and kill all the joy with my warnings, but it's not because I am a grouch or had a bad day it's just really happens too often and you don't know when you get a baby you don't know personality and habits and when they will become hormonal, they can have a fight over using toilet properly or something you never know.

New owners would rarely believe that sometimes I feel they just hate me for ruining their dreams so it might be handy to have a thread shoving some some evidence.

Again, hopefully your bonding will go smoothly you look well prepared I wish you best of luck and keep us updated :)
 

EllieBelle

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Your bonding plans show you've already done some research. That neutral area should be some place that your current rabbit has never stepped foot (paw) ;) . If she's not been in the living room, then that can work. Once bonded, the place they will then live should also be as neutral as possible. (If it is in her old place, then the area should be re-arranged and wiped down with vinegar to make it as unfamiliar as possible.) I'd encourage you (if you haven't already) to see some of the videos on the following bonding site. I found them most helpful to see these live and in process (some easy, some difficult, and even one that wasn't going to work out).

There really isn't much point in allowing them to interact until 6 weeks or so after he is neutered. He will come home from the vet smelling totally different and the female won't recognize him by smell. So even if they went so far beforehand as to actually seem "bonded," it would still be necessary to start from square one once he's healed from the neuter and those hormones have had time to dissipate.

I do not think fighting should be allowed. Fights can turn deadly within seconds. Here is an example (from above link) of the type of injury that can occur when fights are allowed.
View attachment 48019

Regarding the idea of taking them for a stressful car ride, you may want to consider the following article (again from the same site as above):

Good luck with your future bonding. Hopefully they will accept each other.
This is SO SO HELPFUL. I had no idea that after neutering he will come home with a different smell! So I'm definitely picking him up on the 29th and he will have his own room. Do you suggest I don't introduce them at all until after he is neutered or just halt the bonding plan until after he is neutered? & I agree. I honestly had no plans of doing any type of stress bonding; I've seen some pretty awful videos on YouTube and I wouldn't think stressing your bun out at all would be beneficial in any way. Some people have said it can force the bond which doesn't sound healthy either. I just added that in there because I had read it a few times while doing my research but it doesn't sound practical. Thank you so much for sending the video links, I will be sure to watch them.
 

EllieBelle

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Man, you've put a lot of thought into this and I'm impressed! I hope it all goes to plan! Rembrandt is a wonderful name for a bunny! That is so cute! Both of mine are named after historical figures and it's such a fun inside joke! He is one really cute little bun!
Thank you so much! What are your bunnies names?!
 

EllieBelle

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I would second that I would start bonding/prebonding only when he is fixed/healed, there's no need in swapping stuff now, it can actually cause stress to your girl, even she is spayed she can react on his smell even if you hold her after him and smell like other rabbit. It depends on her how she reacts, sometimes it can change your first dramatically. There was a tread with similar situation free roaming girl and a baby, she was always very sweet and friendly and suddenly became very territorial and started biting her humans. I hope you will have no problems with that, I see you are so well prepared already and done lots of research.

I have to thank Blue eyes for posting pics with injuries I wanted to start a thread myself posting pics of injuries on sweet bonded babies after their first ever fight, I have myself rescued a few boys with holes in ears, huge scars around their eyes, thankfully eyes were not damaged but it happens as well. I've seen bitten genitalia on both males and females it's not funny at all and can happen really quickly. So every time someone starts a thread about getting a new baby to bond with their older rabbit, I feel bad because I usually comment and kill all the joy with my warnings, but it's not because I am a grouch or had a bad day it's just really happens too often and you don't know when you get a baby you don't know personality and habits and when they will become hormonal, they can have a fight over using toilet properly or something you never know.

New owners would rarely believe that sometimes I feel they just hate me for ruining their dreams so it might be handy to have a thread shoving some some evidence.

Again, hopefully your bonding will go smoothly you look well prepared I wish you best of luck and keep us updated :)
Thank you so much for your feedback @zuppa I am here to learn as much as I can so really I will not take anything said in regards to how I care for my bunnies etc. personally. I am certainly not an expert no matter how much research I may do; there is always more to educate myself on. I always have an issue with people who are not willing to listen to wise words because it means they're set in their ways and that just isn't the way life is. Every situation is different, every bun is different.
 
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