Rabbit absolutely hates being picked up

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Shedua

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So my rabbit Mac has always been against being picked up and held but recently he's been especially stressed about it. If you try to pick him up he will struggle, and I mean REALLY struggle to get out of your grasp, to the point where I get covered in claw marks and he's huffing and puffing for breath. He will also now grind his teeth together very loud when you hold him, which I'm assuming is a sign of stress and not contentment. If you try to pick him up in a cornered space/trapped space, he will lunge and growl at you. This is becoming stressful for me because I need to pick him up every now and then to clip his nails, and also to put him in his room for the night when he won't go in on his own. Do you guys have any ideas of ways I could make it less stressful on him, or some kind of magical way to clip his nails without picking him up? Also since he isn't neutered yet, would neutering him help? Thanks!
 

Hermelin

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Neutering won’t help with the picking up.

How did you train your bunny to be picked up? How do he react when you touch him?

For now don’t pick him up, just use a travel cage or a box. Lay food in the box/travel cage and carry him to the cage while he’s distracted eating his food.
 

Shedua

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To be honest I don't think I did much to train him; when we first got him he was a couple months old and he wasn't very fond of it then either. I would pick him up for a couple minutes out of the cage he was originally in and then set him down and give him a treat. However the more often I did this the more aggravated he seemed to get so I just kind of stopped. But now he's like this.
 

Hermelin

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That might explain it. I have always trained the bunnies before I start picking up and handling them.

Start first slow with only touching him every where. He shouldn’t growl or attack and you will need to reward him. You should be able to touch stomach, paws, tail and so on.

If he likes a bit of cuddle you can do that first then you can touch him on other places. Just to calm him down.

Later on you will only lift the front body up in the air while letting the back leg stand on the ground. You can let him put the front legs up on your hand himself while he try to reach for the treats. You can pet him while he stands in that position.

After he’s used with getting front legs lift and he’s calm. You will go with lifting the whole bunny up a little off the ground and when he struggle let him down and when he comes back he get a treat. You can also give a treat before you lift and tell him you will lift him.

After some time he will be used with you handling, at least tolerating it and you will also have a better bond. Because you will have built it up the months you practiced.

One of my bunnies it took 1 year to teach him to be picked up. Only time I picked him up was one day every month to trim nails and the rest of the days I let him be. Until he was ready to be picked up and trusted me. When he rest fully in your arms while you sit on the ground let him have a treat to snack on. You will later on take him higher up. You can skip steps if your bunny tolerate more than. But you should train everyday little at a time with baby steps.

You will also need to read what your bunny likes. How they will want to be picked up and held. How he want to be positioned in your arms.

One of my bunnies it’s best picking up when she stand on the back legs. Up in the arms she should get a few scratches behind her ear. Another one need cuddles before being picked up and no fast movements, he like holding a treat in his month while being carried and get cuddles. The third one want to be able to move around in my arms and give kisses.

One of my bunnies was aggressive and struggled when being picked up, he growled, attacked and if that didn’t work he would scream really loud.
 

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