Rabbit personality

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Jan 20, 2017
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So, I saw a baby rabbit at a pet store( I know) and fell in love with her. There were a bunch of them actually. She was the only one that came up for pets and licked my hand and her litter mates. She is only 4 - 5 weeks old ( again I know). Is a friendly baby rabbit destined to be a friendly adult rabbit? I know people say their personalities change, but is it not a good sign that she is so friendly now? She is a Dutch. Any thoughts? Thanks
Everyone is going to have a different answer to this question, so I'll just sum it up. It depends. When their hormones kick in, they may act like a totally different rabbit. I know people that say their rabbit went from a very sweet rabbit to a very aggressive/timid one. My rabbit, on the other hand, was a very sweet boy from the start. He was 8 weeks old when I brought him home, and I believe because he has grown up with my family that may have something to do with it. He is an angel, even with his hormones before his neuter. It just depends.

On another note, a rabbit 4 weeks old is way too young to be sold. It may even be illegal depending on where you live. You should look into reporting them (and the breeder the pet shop got them from). Hopefully, someone else knows more about this process. At 4 weeks, a bunny needs their mother's milk. Be very careful about introducing new foods.
Thanks Alyssa and Bugs for your feedback. I did not purchase the bunny yet, I'm just wondering it. And I agree she is too young to be away from her mom, which I told the girl at the store, to which she responded, "oh no, if they are eating hay and pellets it's fine". Plus, I'm not sure she is a girl, because it is probably too early to truly tell. Of course if I do get her, she will be spayed by 6 months. I just want her to stay sweet and friendly, but there is probably no guarantee with such a young bunny.
No guarantee. A rabbit's true personality isn't apparent until it is older (past hormones and/or fixed). What it is like as a baby seldom has anything to do with what it will ultimately be like. It may be similar to what it was as a baby or it may not. There's no way to predict that.

As Alyssa explained, 4 weeks is quite young. I would advise against getting such a young rabbit. It may end up costing you in lifetime vet issues or worse. This is what Dana Krempels, PhD says:

Sadly, many baby rabbits are weaned too young to be away from their mothers. Instead of being allowed to nurse for a full, normal eight weeks, they are taken away while they are still "cute" and marketable--often as young as four weeks. This can spell death for many of them.

Without mother's antibodies, complex organic compounds and proper pH environment her milk provides to help protect the baby's intestines, these babies are highly susceptible to over-proliferation of foreign bacteria. One of the most common culprits of runny stool in baby rabbits is accidental infection by the common human intestinal bacterium, Escherichia coli. This is transmitted from humans to baby rabbits during handling, since these bacteria are all over us, not just in our intestines. Handling an unweaned infant rabbit without properly washing and disinfecting one's hands is a good way to transmit these opportunistic pathogens. Even a loving kiss on a too-young baby rabbit's lips can kill. Until a young rabbit is at least eight weeks old, she should not be taken from her mother, as mama's milk affords protection against E. coli and other bacteria until the baby's own immune system can handle them.

Do you already have a rabbit(s)? From you avatar, I assume you have at least one already? Are you looking to bond an existing rabbit with another? Getting a baby is not the recommended way to attempt to find a bondmate. But I won't go into that unless needed.
I'd advise it's too young to buy a rabbit.
About the personality - baby personality isn't a real good indicator of adult personality imo. Usually there's a few things you can tell - a mean or scaredy baby will usually continue to be mean or scaredy. But a lot of rabbits are friendly and curious as babies that grow into less friendly adults.
As the other ones says you can’t really know how she will be when she get older. It might be easier to make her tame and bonding but after hormones kicks in, it all can change.

I have two rabbits that was the most cowardly and scared rabbits as kits but both are extremely cuddly and seek human attention. So if you want to know a rabbits personality better get an older one or just hope everything goes well.

You shouldn’t buy so young kits because it can have many complications for you and the rabbit.
I don’t know if it is true but I’ve heard that the Dutch bread tends to be more outgoing. My Dutch acts more like a dog than a rabbit! Lol! I love how he follows us around and jumps in our laps but I have no idea if that is truly a characteristic of the breed.

I get what everyone here is saying about her being too young. That said, it’s unlikely she will be returned to her mother. If you are truly up for it, she does need a good home. Just know the complications you may face.
Rabbits... ALL RABBITS... can be friendly young and as adults. Your question poses several interesting points.

I have a rabbit farm/ amateur rescue with over 200 rabbits (350 with Easter coming up) so I have quite a lot of experience with this. Wish I had all good news, but here is my two cents worth...

I have found any rabbit, when given enough positive attention, will be a good rabbit. Friendly disposition comes from the amount of attention they get almost daily. A friendly rabbit who is ignored for a month, only getting food and water, no petting, will withdraw. Within 3 months, it will be evasive and possibly hostile. A rabbit who is abused in some way, constantly scared, like with barking dogs they think will eat them, will become hostile.

Breed has a lot to do with adult temperament. Look up lop rabbits and their calm, snuggly, disposition. This is from years of breeding for just that personality. Flemish Giants are reportedly like giant lap dogs, always wanting attention and super friendly. I have one Flemish doe that will tear the door off her cage if she doesn't get petted every time you walk by.
I also have a flemish giant doe that will run away, box, or even try to bite if you get close enough to her. She was not handled enough growing up and will likely never be a true snuggly bunny.

I have Netherland Dwarf bunnies the same way. Some great, some evasive. It all comes down to how they are treated and how often they get that positive reinforcement.

I would agree with other on the age issue. Under 6 weeks, you are pushing your luck as so many things can go wrong just int he transition from their mother, to the store, to your home. Bunnies CAN be weaned at 4 weeks, but it is better to let them wait until at least 6 weeks.

I hope this wasn't too drawn out and I hope you find that perfect bunny to add to your family.
Hi everyone!
Thanks for all the advice and sharing your experience with me. I actually have quite a few rabbits. I have successfully bonded all of them into pairs or trios, except for one male neutered English lop that I would like to find a friend for. None of the rabbits I have now came from a pet store. I even volunteer at a rabbit shelter every week. But most of the bunnies there are already in bonded pairs, groups or are male. I actually was considering getting a velveteen lop from a breeder and having my guy meet a few of her girls. I just happened to go into this pet store yesterday, not in my town, because we were in the area and I needed some cat food. Well, once I saw her, it is hard for me to forget her, even though I know it is not an ideal situation. It's a Petland and they have horrible reviews and people say they sell sick pets that die. So I probably won't get her but it breaks my heart. And as an aside, I actually have had luck bonding babies to adult rabbits, maybe I have just been lucky.
And as an aside, I actually have had luck bonding babies to adult rabbits, maybe I have just been lucky.

Have those bonds remained through hormones and were the babies then fixed and then the two put back together -- in other words, did the baby become an adult and still remain bonded?
Hi Blue Eyes,
Yes, in each case it was an adult male and baby female, they were bonded pre spay, and the bond continued post spay. I have also witnessed the same thing in the shelter but with other combinations. In my case there was no separation except the day of the spay.
I just want to say as a breeder. I would never sell a rabbit that young, however that being said, my does either quit producing milk or stop feeding between 5-6 weeks if they stop at 5 weeks then the babies stay with mom until 6 weeks then they get separated into their own cages and I make sure that they are eating hay and pellets but I keep them up until 7 weeks old. But if I think they are too small to be sold I keep them until I think they are big enough, which could be until 8-10 weeks just until I think they are big enough. When they get to the store they get separated to boy and girl pens. And being close with the manager there I know that if there are any issues going on, then they will call me as soon as they find out.

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