Rabbit bonding help

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Daisyb

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Hi. I’m in the process of bonding my rabbits. It all seemed to be going well. They groom each other, share food and water happily, sleep next to each other. However the younger one who is the dominant one doesn’t allow the other rabbit in the litter tray if she is in there. She bullies her away and this occasionally leads to her chasing her for 10 seconds and biting her before the cook off or I intervene. I’m stuck on what to do because I know they’re capable of really loving each other but there’s this big hurdle we can’t seem to pass and I don’t want my older rabbit to be badly injured. They are both neutered.
 

JBun

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If you're doing the bonding in a small pen/area, I would remove the litter box(and any other objects that are causing territorial behavior) and put down a waterproof floor covering and an absorbent layer(plus some hay for them to munch on) while doing the bonding. This removes the point of contention. If they're in a normal size area or room, I would just add another litter box, or more if needed.
 

Daisyb

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If you're doing the bonding in a small pen/area, I would remove the litter box(and any other objects that are causing territorial behavior) and put down a waterproof floor covering and an absorbent layer(plus some hay for them to munch on) while doing the bonding. This removes the point of contention. If they're in a normal size area or room, I would just add another litter box, or more if needed.
Hi! Thanks so much for your quick advice! I’ve been slowly expanding the space and it’s now a really decent size. I’ve put two down and she kicked her out of the one she has gone to. It’s really weird! Same with the house I added today as well.
 

JBun

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I've found with bonding, if one tactic seems to be causing problems, that I probably need to make changes as to how I'm doing things. So if this set up and bonding situation is causing issues, you may want to consider making some changes. Something like reducing their area again if a larger area is causing more territorial behavior and problems. Some rabbits just need more time to get used to one another, before you can expand their space too much. Or it could be the opposite. They may need a much larger area and more space away from one another, and just need space and time to get used to one another.

I would try the smaller space first to see if that helps, then if it doesn't seem to or makes it worse, try the larger area. Rabbit personalities vary, so what works in one bonding situation, may not be the right technique for another pair of rabbits.
 
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