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TonkstheBun

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hi, I have had my rabbit Tonks for two years. She was around 8 months old when I brought her home from the rabbit society. She has been spayed, has an extra larger dog cage, unlimited supply of hay, pellets recommended by my society, a cup and a half of Romaine lettuces everyday with a sprinkling of carrot or some other high sugar veg (she get like a table spoon), and a dog sized bowl of water. She get 1 hour min-hours out ofnthebcage while I do homework. Trust me I have tried every form of rabbit bonding you can think of up to driving 2 hours twice a week to work with a professional. She absolutely hates me. Like biting, thumping, charging. She had her teeth ground down yesterday and the vet hoped that would make things better but she was worse after it. The society wants me to run a full panel blood work with a price tag of $200-$275. I’ve looked at symptoms of tumors, infection, etc and she doesn’t fit in them at all. She has super high energy, she eats double the hay, eats all her food, drinks lots of water, I did a urine check and had her peed on news papers and her urine color was normal. Her poops are a perfect sphere, and they are the same size they have always been. There is absolutely no signed of anything being wrong except for the aggression. She’s literally evil incarnate I swear. Idk if anyone else has dealt with an issue like this. Let me know.
 

zuppa

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Two years, you're really patient then! What breed is she may I ask?
I have a lop girl in my avatar she's 3,5 months old and with me 1 month and a half, I wouldn't say she's very aggressive but I think she had some bad experience in her family and she bites if anything is not up to her or when she's unwell, she just bite my feet or through pj when I am sitting in my office chair and she's around, it really hurts I am all covered with scars, she bites when I am adding pellets into her bowl she hates when I am entering her space I don't feel safe when I have to, just expecting she'd cut me again, she's like a tigress! And she's very strong.

I truly hope that it will pass maybe after she's spayed or maybe just need more tome, I wouldn't say she hates me, no she likes me and she comes to me want me to pet her but I just don't know what is this biting maybe I just entering her space, she loves her cage and comes back there all the time maybe where she came from was not very safe, dog, smoke, noisy place nasty kids etc, I don't know but I still need to clean her cage and put pellets into her bowl, I am using funnel to fill her bowl through the bars because I don't want more bloody scars and wearing thick socks to protect my feet. In my own home! :))

Your situation is looking even worse, hope you'll be able to fix it with a little help of this forum, good luck!
 

TonkstheBun

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She’s an English spot mix, basically a mutt. Her mom was abandoned out side when the rabbit society found her and her siblings instead 2 days old. Then the mom died. So she was at the rabbit society for 8 months then came to me. She acts like I’m the worst owner ever, I have never hit or screamed at her. The icing on the cake is that she’s nice to my roommate and her rabbit sitter. She will let them pet and touch her.

I hope your rabbit gets better, it’s exhausting and emotionally draining to deal with a rabbit that hates you.


Two years, you're really patient then! What breed is she may I ask?
I have a lop girl in my avatar she's 3,5 months old and with me 1 month and a half, I wouldn't say she's very aggressive but I think she had some bad experience in her family and she bites if anything is not up to her or when she's unwell, she just bite my feet or through pj when I am sitting in my office chair and she's around, it really hurts I am all covered with scars, she bites when I am adding pellets into her bowl she hated when I am entering her space I don't feel safe when I have to, just expecting she'd cut me again, she's like a tigress! And she's very strong.

I truly hope that it will pass maybe after she's spayed or maybe just need more tome, I wouldn't say she hates me, no she likes me and she comes to me want me to pet her but I just don't know what is this biting maybe I just entering her space, she loves her cage and comes back there all the time maybe where she came from was not very safe, dog, smoke, noisy place nasty kids etc, I don't know but I still need to clean her cage and put pellets into her bowl, I am using funnel to fill her bowl through the bars because I don't want more bloody scars and wearing thick socks to protect my feet. In my own home! :))

Your situation is looking even worse, hope you'll be able to fix it with a little help of this forum, good luck!
 

Blue eyes

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One hour per day out of the cage isn't enough time to be out. That hour may not happen to be when she is in the mood to be getting exercise. If a rabbit feels like napping or lounging, they aren't going to suddenly change just because the cage door is open. You may be trying to interact with her when she isn't in the mood.

It is when a rabbit is active and willing that one should be trying to bond. When she is let out, is she in an x-pen or allowed to roam in a room? If you are the one feeding her her greens, use that to your advantage. Sit in an enclosed area with her when it is time to feed her the greens. Hand feed them to her. Keep doing this every day consistently. Gradually try petting her while she is munching on the greens. Be patient. Don't try to pick her up.

Any professional who wants to help you work on bonding with a rabbit should know that taking the rabbit away from its home is counter productive. The drive and the new environment will make a rabbit stressed and not behave normally. Any bonding is best done in the rabbit's environment.

Here are more tips on my site for bonding.
 

zuppa

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She’s an English spot mix, basically a mutt. Her mom was abandoned out side when the rabbit society found her and her siblings instead 2 days old. Then the mom died. So she was at the rabbit society for 8 months then came to me. She acts like I’m the worst owner ever, I have never hit or screamed at her. The icing on the cake is that she’s nice to my roommate and her rabbit sitter. She will let them pet and touch her.

I hope your rabbit gets better, it’s exhausting and emotionally draining to deal with a rabbit that hates you.
Thank you!

Sounds like there's something she has a problem with you especially if she's nice to other people maybe you're too soft and she starts acting like a home tyrant, I see it in my bun too, there was a situation like with hysterical kids you know especially public demonstration who's boss here, I think it's like psychological problem and need to be carefully analysed. I know you said you have it for two years I can't imagine living with this stress so long, hope you'll find out.

With my girl I have hope that she will get better maybe needs more time to feel safe here and also after spaying maybe she will change. She doesn't hate me, she is just seeking attention or demonstrates that she doesn't like when I am entering her space, but she uses violence and it is unfair. She also tries me maybe I will punish her probably she was punished before, she was very nervous when I got her, looked scared. Sometimes she's pushing me to do something just waiting how I'd react and I feel that I don't have to be too soft with her as she can get abusive. Maybe she needs to know who's really boss here.

You know, I only have rabbits about two months, my grandpa kept a few outdoor rabbits though wen I was 6-7 years old, but I had a dog a very strong dog Rottweiler she was zero-aggression dog despite on what people say about that breed, but she needed to feel that you are leader you decide and she has to listen, then she will do anything for you. I got this feeling with my lop girl too, she shows more respect when she knows that I decide and she has to listen, I just see it in her eyes. So I am going to take it slow and let her be in her cage/playpen and clean her cage when she can't see it just leave her alone for a while and she'll come to me I believe, she is nice I think just a bit defensive trying to protect herself.

Anyway, good luck with your bun hope you get some advise here, great forum here and tons of experience great source :)
 
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TonkstheBun

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I think you misunderstood. I let her out a MINIMUM of an hour. She usually has an open cage for a few hours. I’m a senior in college, every once and a while I just don’t have time for her to have hours on end. I've discussed this with vets and with my rabbit society. She gets a lot more run time then most rabbits do ever.

I’m not looking for bonding advice either. I have tried it all. I live 3 hours away from my society, when I lived by them we did bonding sessions in home. It’s got so dire that I had to travel so they could try and assess behavior. I’ve been trying the ‘feed from your hand’ method for two years. I’ve watching YouTube videos, talked with 3-4 different trainers at my rabbit society, Discussed it with the society owner, 3 different vets, etc etc. We have tried many methods and different approaches.

This is a two-year long issue. I’m looking to see if anyone has had this long going of an issue with their rabbit and of it finally cleared or they were able to find the source of the issue.


One hour per day out of the cage isn't enough time to be out. That hour may not happen to be when she is in the mood to be getting exercise. If a rabbit feels like napping or lounging, they aren't going to suddenly change just because the cage door is open. You may be trying to interact with her when she isn't in the mood.

It is when a rabbit is active and willing that one should be trying to bond. When she is let out, is she in an x-pen or allowed to roam in a room? If you are the one feeding her her greens, use that to your advantage. Sit in an enclosed area with her when it is time to feed her the greens. Hand feed them to her. Keep doing this every day consistently. Gradually try petting her while she is munching on the greens. Be patient. Don't try to pick her up.

Any professional who wants to help you work on bonding with a rabbit should know that taking the rabbit away from its home is counter productive. The drive and the new environment will make a rabbit stressed and not behave normally. Any bonding is best done in the rabbit's environment.

Here are more tips on my site for bonding.
 

TonkstheBun

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Yeah, the power struggle has been our biggest lead on this. The problem is she doesn't respond to the training and she gets even angrier if I try to set limits or boundaries. I have her snap trained on some things. She's not allowed upstairs so if she goes past the second landing I snap and she stops and comes back down. Same thing for furniture chewing. That's why it's so frustrating with the bonding issue, why can't she just train to be nice or let me be around her.
Usually, the spaying makes things a lot better!! I've read quite a bit about that and rabbits can have a complete personality change after it!! Thank you so much for the kind words!!
Thank you!

Sounds like there's something she has a problem with you especially if she's nice to other people maybe you're too soft and she starts acting like a home tyrant, I see it in my bun too, there was a situation like with hysterical kids you know especially public demonstration who's boss here, I think it's like psychological problem and need to be carefully analysed. I know you said you have it for two years I can't imagine living with this stress so long, hope you'll find out.

With my girl I have hope that she will get better maybe needs more time to feel safe here and also after spaying maybe she will change. She doesn't hate me, she is just seeking attention or demonstrates that she doesn't like when I am entering her space, but she uses violence and it is unfair. She also tries me maybe I will punish her probably she was punished before, she was very nervous when I got her, looked scared. Sometimes she's pushing me to do something just waiting how I'd react and I feel that I don't have to be too soft with her as she can get abusive. Maybe she needs to know who's really boss here.

You know, I only have rabbits about two months, my grandpa kept a few outdoor rabbits though wen I was 6-7 years old, but I had a dog a very strong dog Rottweiler she was zero-aggression dog despite on what people say about that breed, but she needed to feel that you are leader you decide and she has to listen, then she will do anything for you. I got this feeling with my lop girl too, she shows more respect when she knows that I decide and she has to listen, I just see it in her eyes. So I am going to take it slow and let her be in her cage/playpen and clean her cage when she can't see it just leave her alone for a while and she'll come to me I believe, she is nice I think just a bit defensive trying to protect herself.

Anyway, good luck with your bun hope you get some advise here, great forum here and tons of experience great source :)
 

zuppa

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Yeah, the power struggle has been our biggest lead on this. The problem is she doesn't respond to the training and she gets even angrier if I try to set limits or boundaries. I have her snap trained on some things. She's not allowed upstairs so if she goes past the second landing I snap and she stops and comes back down. Same thing for furniture chewing. That's why it's so frustrating with the bonding issue, why can't she just train to be nice or let me be around her.
Usually, the spaying makes things a lot better!! I've read quite a bit about that and rabbits can have a complete personality change after it!! Thank you so much for the kind words!!
You know, I'd give up. I had this feeling a couple weeks ago I just said her, you know hun I am in charge here I like you and you have to take me as I am and you have to listen or you'll have to go and find yourself your true love. There are many nice people outta there who love rabbits and more experienced than I and maybe it has to be just kinda chemistry and it doesn't work for us. I don't hate her, but if I feel she's not happy with me I'd let her go because I want her to be happy.

Or maybe get another bunny so she could switch attention from you (she sees you as a problem as I understand), maybe she needs more company or something, maybe she will change, and she's spayed. Maybe she's alone and gets too much attention? What if you'd try to meet other rabbits and see how she'll act?

I don't know if it is good idea though as I'm not very experienced with rabbits but switching attention is often works well with kids and adults when there's a conflict and you hate each other you focus your energy on each other, then you get another problem to solve together and your focus moves to it and you are working together on the problem and have no time to hate each other.

Okay, you maybe better don't listen to me I am just guessing, just don't panic you'll be fine
 
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Blue eyes

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I think you misunderstood.
If you have done all that, then it's something else. Please understand that we often get people on the forum that claim to have "tried everything" when actually they haven't even come close. It's often the case that they've either been doing things counter-productive or haven't tried any number of things. They just didn't know different. This does not seem to be the case with you.

I do heartily believe that just as certain rabbits refuse to bond with certain individual rabbits, the same can happen between rabbit and human. I think sometimes a particular rabbit may not click with a particular human. This may very well be what is going on here.
 

Blue eyes

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If it is -- as it sounds to me -- that this rabbit just doesn't click with you regardless of all of your efforts, then re-homing her (imo) is a legitimate option. Some may disagree but I don't see how it benefits either you or her to continue with the frustration.

She may blossom and be happier in a different home. You may be much happier finding a different rabbit to rescue.
 

TonkstheBun

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I read your page, it was the first training method we tried and it worked to a point then we hit a wall with no progression. We then tried doing a method where I put her in her travel carrier and letting her out on the couch and putting my arm down her back and kinda holding her a bit to assert 'dominance" because we thought there was a power struggle. This actually worked for a bit but then we just hit the wall where we completely stop making progress again. we tried the first method again and once we got to the petting stage, the petting wasn't worth the treat or food. We considered withholding food (still would have hay) and the only way to eat was to come to me and let me pet her. She didn't have pellet for two days and I felt guilty and it made her very mad (she was hungry, everyone gets crabby when hungry). We did force snuggles where I catch her and make her sit with me for 5 minutes then increase to 10 once shes started relaxing. I never even got to the 2-week mark before she started biting and ended up back to square one. The only other method the trainers have is to do a fear method but that's an extreme measure they don't usually try. So What now after all of this, surrender her back to the society. I feel bad giving up. Animals are supposed to go to their forever home, I don't want to be the asshole that gives up...

If you have done all that, then it's something else. Please understand that we often get people on the forum that claim to have "tried everything" when actually they haven't even come close. It's often the case that they've either been doing things counter-productive or haven't tried any number of things. They just didn't know different. This does not seem to be the case with you.

I do heartily believe that just as certain rabbits refuse to bond with certain individual rabbits, the same can happen between rabbit and human. I think sometimes a particular rabbit may not click with a particular human. This may very well be what is going on here.
 

TonkstheBun

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I mentioned this to Blue eyes too, I just feel bad giving up on it. I have always been a firm believer of adopting into a forever home. But it's been two years with no improvements. they told me getting a rabbit to bond with can actually make things worse since she will bond with another rabbit instead of me.

You know, I'd give up. I had this feeling a couple weeks ago I just said her, you know hun I am in charge here I like you and you have to take me as I am and you have to listen or you'll have to go and find yourself your true love. There are many nice people outta there who love rabbits and more experienced than I and maybe it has to be just kinda chemistry and it doesn't work for us. I don't hate her, but if I feel she's not happy with me I'd let her go because I want her to be happy.

Or maybe get another bunny so she could switch attention from you (she sees you as a problem as I understand), maybe she needs more company or something, maybe she will change, and she's spayed. Maybe she's alone and gets too much attention? What if you'd try to meet other rabbits and see how she'll act?

I don't know if it is good idea though as I'm not very experienced with rabbits but switching attention is often works well with kids and adults when there's a conflict and you hate each other you focus your energy on each other, then you get another problem to solve together and your focus moves to it and you are working together on the problem and have no time to hate each other.

Okay, you maybe better don't listen to me I am just guessing, just don't panic you'll be fine
 

zuppa

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I mentioned this to Blue eyes too, I just feel bad giving up on it. I have always been a firm believer of adopting into a forever home. But it's been two years with no improvements. they told me getting a rabbit to bond with can actually make things worse since she will bond with another rabbit instead of me.
Maybe giving her up will be good for her? I've got an impression that you are indeed putting so much effort and maybe she's just tired of all the bonding exercises and want to be let alone, I might be wrong I am pretty sure you want her to be happy and you feel guilty because feeling responsibility for her, but it is not bad to give her to other people! You don't have to feel guilty, it's life, just find her another nice family and see if she wants to go there.
 
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Blue eyes

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^ Yup.

No reason to feel guilty. There are always those ready to heap guilt on someone for not providing a "forever" home. But there are rare circumstances in which the kinder option is to re-home. I would just be absolutely sure that the rescue fully understands the situation. Some rescues have a policy of refusing to adopt again to someone who has returned a pet.

If your bun is not happy with you it is not from lack of effort on your part.

There was a hamster rescue (believe it or not) by me. I brought one home and went through all the bonding recommendations and kept in contact with the rescue. That hamster simply did not like me. We didn't click, try as I might. When I brought the hamster back, the rescue watched the hamster with me and agreed --"wow, he really just doesn't like you!" I switched him for another, older hamster, and all was good.

All that to say that some individual pets simply don't click with particular individuals. My current rabbit prefers my husband and son - the men in the family - over me, even though I'm the primary caregiver. (We got him because he was the one rabbit that my Sapphire would accept for a bondmate.)
 

Chrissy

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I think some does are really grumpy. I know it doesn't help your current situation but in the future I think bucks make better pets.
 

Zelda&Linky

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Oh crap, you really seem to have tried EVERYTHING! Huge respect to you for trying for so long! I surely would have given up earlier, you’re really resilient!

I am just in the process of force bonding with one of my buns (the other one is super bonded) and it works perfectly so far, but then he’s a real softie.

Seriously, if you’ve tried all you could, and you see you can’t do anything else for her, you have NO reason to feel bad for finding a different home for her. You could make a different bunny so happy in her place!

I guess you’d need a real bunny psychologist (like that cat psychologist from Animal Planet ;) ) to determine whether it’s just that she won’t click with you - on a personal level, and that’s it. Or whether she really has some serious psychological issue (but fixable) that she projects onto you - the owner.

Good luck! <3
 

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