PLEASE Help! My bunny doesn’t like me

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Thorsmum

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Hello,

I’ve had my rabbit since he was around 10 weeks or so (March this year) He’s male and he lives indoors. The first week he stayed in his very generous size play pen area and then after that we have let him free roam apart from when we go to sleep or go out the house.
FYI he was neutered beginning of June.
My rabbit lets me hand feed him, have pets(when he wants me to) but he hates being picked up and becomes very distressed. If we pick him up and even try to give him a treat he will refuse. He will then run away and hide when we put him back down. I understand some rabbits do not like being picked so this isn’t a major issue although it is a bit heartbreaking.
The main issue is that when he is out and about we lay on the floor try and interact with him but he just isn’t interested. He just wants to go and hide somewhere round the living room or alternatively, he will be trying to chew something. I have bought him so many toys interacting and good for gnawing and I’m struggling because I feel like he is unhappy. Does he need a friend? Or is it something me and my partner are doing wrong :(
 

John Wick

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"I have bought him so many toys interacting and good for gnawing..." -- unsure if I'm understanding correctly, but it sounds like he is not using the toys you have bought him? If he is, ignore this bit-- if your rabbit isn't acknowledging it as a toy, it doesn't matter that you or the store call it that unfortunately. He doesn't perceive them as things to engage with, even if he is "supposed" to interact with those particular toys. Some rabbits are a bit more 'niche' and it can take some trial and error to figure out what kind of things entices them. For example, some rabbits like things to toss, some like digging or chewing anchored things (i.e. things that don't move), and some rabbits like pushing and pulling things like blankets. You can also allow the rabbit to expend energy via foraging, so stuffing boxes and paper tubes full of hay, pellets, or treats to encourage 'playing for food'.

You acknowledge that he allows you to pet him when he wants, and that can carry over to general interaction too. Sometimes a rabbit may want its space, especially if it is during the day and they are just trying to find a calm place to sleep. This should always be distinguished from a rabbit who is hiding due to being ill, and it also hiding/running out of fear/anxiety. It's contradictory, but assuming your rabbit is healthy, sometimes the best way to grow a secure relationship is to be in his space, but ignore him, so he knows that your presence does not always mean being poked/prodded. Rabbits are prey animals, so by nature, huge predators like humans are not something they want constantly around at baseline. You and your partner are really big creatures and he is new! He doesn't know your intentions, so building trust via ignoring (and also being the provider for his food) can do a lot over time.
 

Blue eyes

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Agree with @John Wick . Just wanted to add that since you got your rabbit so young, his pre-neuter days would have been affected by hormones so his behavior from then could be from that. You can do 'everything right' and still have a grumpy (hormonal) bunny. Now it's been just a month since his neuter so the same can still apply. It can take hormones a full 6-8 weeks after surgery for hormones to fully dissipate. So again, some of his standoff-ishness could be due to lingering hormones.

Give him some time. Only in these next weeks (and the following months) will he finally be coming into his adult personality.
 

Button

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Try looking up “how to bond with your rabbit” on YouTube. I prefer Lennon the bunny or 101 rabbits or the bunny lady.
 

JBun

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I would also suggest to spend some time with your bun in a smaller area like a bathroom or if your bun has an xpen, sit inside there if there's room. But don't pick up your bun to move him there. Then you just sit and read or do stuff on your phone/tablet/laptop(I would suggest having no charging charging cords attached). This makes you less threatening and will give your bun time to become curious and learn to trust that you are are safe.

The smaller space is like you would do when bonding two rabbits. You sometimes need to limit the space to keep the bun in close proximity so he will better have a chance to form a bond with you. Some rabbits when give a lot of space, instead of choosing to interact, will instead exhibit the more natural rabbit behavior of hiding and avoidance.


 

2Bunns

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All bunnys are different just like people,
Bambi loves to be fussed and cuddled and is glued to me 24/7. She gets so sad without me.
Nugget however might come for a few seconds of tickles, he might if he feels like it just come over to nip then walk off. Other times he craves attention. But he likes to lay on his own and do his own thing when it suits him.
 

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