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Please give your opinion on bonded/bonding pair behavior!

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Zeddy

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Hey there!

In December last year, I adopted my first ever bunny; a 1 year old, Netherland dwarf mix, neutered male from a shelter. His name is Zed. I was originally going to keep him as a single bunny for a few years, as I'm studying online and therefore am home the majority of the day, every day.
But after having him for a few months, I found that he doesn't really benefit from human interaction as much as I'd hoped - So I started looking around for a friend for him.

Last month I went and adopted a 7 month old, Netherland dwarf mix female - spayed. I named her Zoe. She was extremely cage-aggressive, but the shelter assured me this was just due to her small living space - and as my buns free-roam my bedroom, and part of the hallway during the day, it was assumed that the aggression would go away once she had more space to roam on. (which turned out to be incorrect, haha).

I started letting them meet in a neutral area, after about a week of living side by side (but without being able to touch), and the first week and a half of bonding, was a nightmare. They fought constantly - Zoe hated all of us, and would do nothing but lunge and growl. Zed got annoyed with her behavior and started biting her as well.
But I stayed persistent and kept following all the advice I could gather online - and finally we had a breakthrough, when Zoe started grooming Zed doing a bonding session.
After that I started letting them spend more and more time together, and once they had spent 2 full nights together without getting into fights (there was 1 incident with some fur-pulling, but it didn't escalate from there), I decided it was time to move them into their bigger, and more permanent space.

Now, they've definitely gotten way closer these past few days they've spent in my room together. They both groom, flop and cuddle together, and there's been no more nipping or fur-pulling. Zoe has also harshly reduced her aggressive behavior, and I've been allowed to pet her for the first time ever, which of course melts my bunny-lady heart.

BUT just today, Zed has spent almost all evening, trying to hump Zoe.
I'd like to add that there was no humping whatsoever, during the bonding sessions. Zed did seem to come out the dominant bunny, but I was still surprised I saw no humping, or attempts at humping, in those weeks.

But as said - now he's trying to get on her. She doesn't let him - she moves away whenever he tries - but he'll continue to follow her around the room for quite awhile.
So far I haven't seen her displaying any anger with this - I've both seen her do binkies as he chases her, and she also goes looking for him when he stops the pursuit - But should I worry about this sudden obsession of his? I can imagine it can get frustrating for her if he keeps going.

Please let me know your opinions on this situation, and if you have any tips and tricks, please send them my way!

Zoe to the left, Zed to the right
 

zuppa

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I don't know any tricks honestly but just wanted to say you're super patient hopefully you'll get there sooner or later, good luck with that.
 

JBun

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As long as she isn't getting irritated or fed up with him bothering her, I wouldn't worry too much about it. With her binkying off and coming back to look for him, then she's obviously handling it well and doesn't seem to mind I would just continue to keep an eye on her behavior and make sure she isn't getting too irritated with him, and also watch to make sure his behavior settles back down. It does sound like it's continuing to progress well and they are both getting used to one another.
 

Zeddy

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As long as she isn't getting irritated or fed up with him bothering her, I wouldn't worry too much about it. With her binkying off and coming back to look for him, then she's obviously handling it well and doesn't seem to mind I would just continue to keep an eye on her behavior and make sure she isn't getting too irritated with him, and also watch to make sure his behavior settles back down. It does sound like it's continuing to progress well and they are both getting used to one another.
Thank you very much for your answer!
Would you say I should just leave them be (while keeping an eye on them of course)? I know it's important for them to work out their relation, in their own bunny-way - though Zed reacts well to voice commands, and I have told him to stop a few times, as I thought the chasing became a bit too obsessive - but is it again just better to let them do their thing, as long as she isn't showing signs of displeasure?
 

Lionheadloady

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I would say to let them be and check in on them every 30 minuets or so. They will work it out and maybe try to distract them with toys or treats and playtime.
 

Zeddy

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I would say to let them be and check in on them every 30 minuets or so. They will work it out and maybe try to distract them with toys or treats and playtime.
Thank you, I'll try and leave them to it then, as long as no one's turning unhappy. I appreciate all the advice!
 

JBun

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Yeah, I would leave them too and just monitor. Unless he is incessantly trying to hump her and you think it might be too much and lead to a scuffle.
 

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