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Question about bonding

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Juste

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So today was our first date day! Its been 6 weeks after spay/neuter. They lived all this time in side by side cages. I did swap their cages from time to time.
Date was in a bathroom. At first Diva looked scared and was siting in the corner. And Floki was eating from the moment he saw foodπŸ˜„ then after some time they began exploring their surroundings. And Floki damanded to be groomed,which Diva did. Then she flopped! And they spent time laying next to each other. I wasn't expecting it to go so smoothly πŸ˜„
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Now they do get equal out of cage time in my room where their cages are.
So would it be ok to let them both out in the same area to play?
 

helena

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So today was our first date day! Its been 6 weeks after spay/neuter. They lived all this time in side by side cages. I did swap their cages from time to time.
Date was in a bathroom. At first Diva looked scared and was siting in the corner. And Floki was eating from the moment he saw foodπŸ˜„ then after some time they began exploring their surroundings. And Floki damanded to be groomed,which Diva did. Then she flopped! And they spent time laying next to each other. I wasn't expecting it to go so smoothly πŸ˜„
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Now they do get equal out of cage time in my room where their cages are.
So would it be ok to let them both out in the same area to play?
It should be okay, just keep them in your sights at first until you know they will do well together. They are soooo cute!!!!! 😍 😍 😍 😍
 

Blue eyes

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I would say it's a bit risky to let them out together in the same play area so soon. It's only been one meet and that meet was in new and neutral territory. The play area is not neutral and has the potential to cause issues.

Going slow and taking your time is always better than rushing and risking that they get into a scuffle. Once they scuffle, it will be an uphill battle. So I'd suggest taking your time. Give them some more bonding time in that neutral space before taking them to their shared areas.
 

JBun

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I would wait too. Don't rush it. You want to really cement that bond before moving them to territory that they see as theirs. Rushing things is often how squabbles break out. But that definitely is a good first date, so just build on that.
 

Juste

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Thank you all 😊 i though that probably it would be too soon to let them in their shared teritory. Just when i saw how now they try to be closer to each other through the cage bars, trying to groom 😍
 

JBun

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I would try at least a few more extended dates and if they are perfectly happy together with no issues at all, you can always move things up. You just don't want to rush things if they are still sorting out issues and working out the hierarchy in their relationship. But I've had rabbits that it was pretty much love at first sight, and I only had to do a few dates before moving them together in their permanent space.

When you do that, remember that it's important to neutralize their permanent area as much as possible, and even rearrange things so it's like a new place to both of them.
 

Juste

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I would try at least a few more extended dates and if they are perfectly happy together with no issues at all, you can always move things up. You just don't want to rush things if they are still sorting out issues and working out the hierarchy in their relationship. But I've had rabbits that it was pretty much love at first sight, and I only had to do a few dates before moving them together in their permanent space.

When you do that, remember that it's important to neutralize their permanent area as much as possible, and even rearrange things so it's like a new place to both of them.
Thank youπŸ™‚
 

Juste

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I do have another question, as i read that baby rabbit bond may not last when they grow up.
So if rabbit is neutered will he still be changing his behaviour growing up?
Diva was spayed quite late, so i got to experience all her teenage hormonal moodiness πŸ˜„ Floki was still a baby when he was neutered, so his character still can change?
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Yesterday i took them to kitchen, was thinking that maybe its time to give them a bit more space to run. But apparently the floor was too cold and slippery, so they came and sit on my laps😁 firs time i got to hold them together πŸ₯°
 

Blue eyes

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If they are both fixed and then bonded, they should remain bonded. Neutering young doesn't mean he will change later since those hormones won't be there to influence his behavior.
 

Juste

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I don't know what happened, everything was going so well this week...but i took them to bathroom and Floki was pushing his head to Diva and she just didn't want to groom him. So he started to hump her. She of course wasn't having any of it and run off. But he was chasing her and keep trying to hump her.. then they kinda began cirkling one another and got in a bit of fur tugging πŸ˜•
 

JBun

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Ok, so these are normal dominance issues they need to sort through. Some chasing, humping, and nipping(not actual aggressive biting) will happen. It's when it escalates that you need to intervene. If the humping becomes excessive, pull the other rabbit off and try to distract with food or something. If the chasing escalates into circling or becomes excessive, immediately intervene. Circling can escalate into a fight. If one rabbit has it's tail raised, possibly ears pinned back, and is jumping or running around the other rabbit, intervene as it can escalate. It's essential to understand the signs of aggression and what escalating aggression looks like, so that you know when to break things up and when to stop the bonding before a fight breaks out.

Intervene doesn't necessarily mean stop the bonding though. You are just stopping the behavior from escalating into a fight. Then it's always good to distract with food, head rubs, etc. Some amount of minor scuffling is going to happen as they sort out who's in charge. And you have to let it happen to some extent or they will never sort out their hierarchy, and therefore never bond. But you also have to know when it's escalating into a possible fight and when to stop the behavior and possibly the bonding.

Bonding rabbits together - WabbitWiki (contains some of the signs of escalating aggression and a bunch of links for bonding rabbits)

Even with these beginning signs of aggression it can still work as long as it isn't allowed to become a full out fight, and the buns start showing signs of settling down and not continued escalation. I had two neutered brothers that did the circling, tails raised, ears pinned, some minor chasing, some minor nipping, during bonding. I stopped the escalation of aggression, they started settling down, and they eventually sorted things out, and lived happily together in their family group for years. So it can work if it's done correctly.
 

Juste

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Ok, so these are normal dominance issues they need to sort through. Some chasing, humping, and nipping(not actual aggressive biting) will happen. It's when it escalates that you need to intervene. If the humping becomes excessive, pull the other rabbit off and try to distract with food or something. If the chasing escalates into circling or becomes excessive, immediately intervene. Circling can escalate into a fight. If one rabbit has it's tail raised, possibly ears pinned back, and is jumping or running around the other rabbit, intervene as it can escalate. It's essential to understand the signs of aggression and what escalating aggression looks like, so that you know when to break things up and when to stop the bonding before a fight breaks out.

Intervene doesn't necessarily mean stop the bonding though. You are just stopping the behavior from escalating into a fight. Then it's always good to distract with food, head rubs, etc. Some amount of minor scuffling is going to happen as they sort out who's in charge. And you have to let it happen to some extent or they will never sort out their hierarchy, and therefore never bond. But you also have to know when it's escalating into a possible fight and when to stop the behavior and possibly the bonding.

Bonding rabbits together - WabbitWiki (contains some of the signs of escalating aggression and a bunch of links for bonding rabbits)

Even with these beginning signs of aggression it can still work as long as it isn't allowed to become a full out fight, and the buns start showing signs of settling down and not continued escalation. I had two neutered brothers that did the circling, tails raised, ears pinned, some minor chasing, some minor nipping, during bonding. I stopped the escalation of aggression, they started settling down, and they eventually sorted things out, and lived happily together in their family group for years. So it can work if it's done correctly.
And here i was thinking that it will be love at first sniffπŸ˜… thank you for info.
 

Juste

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This bonding thing is frustrating 😁 Floki mostly chase Diva, there's some nipping. And they both pushing their faces to each other to be groomed. Today they were having a little fight and Floki plopped down on his back next to Diva and pushed his face to her..i think rabbit do not expose their belly on i fightπŸ€·β€β™€οΈ so she actually is grooming him after that.
 

JBun

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Both pushing faces in to get groomed is them sorting out the grooming hierarchy. Yes, flopping on his back does mean he's comfortable, and it's a good sign that she went ahead and groomed him.

I agree, bonding is frustrating... and stressful. But the end result of two bunnies smooshed up together cuddling, is heartwarming to see.
 

Juste

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That just looked strange how he mid fight plopped on his backπŸ€”
So is it normal that only Diva is grooming him, and he doesn't so that to her?
 

JBun

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Yes. It means they are sorting out the pecking order when it comes to who has to groom who first. So it's a good thing that one of them gave in. Rabbits have to decide who is going to be 'top bun'. If neither give in, the bond won't work because you have two dominant rabbits that will continue to fight for being in charge. For a bond to work, at least one bun has to decide they are ok being subordinate.

When you say mid fight, you don't mean they were actually fighting but just squabbling correct? Because if things are escalating to a real fight where actual biting is happening, bonding has to stop immediately.
 

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