REBOOTING a bonding after 4 full months apart........THOUGHTS ?...

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K1marie

Lionel and Murphy
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So my buns are both close to 16 months old now - neutered at 6 month, failed bonding attemps for the following 6 months, and I have had them living completely separated in different areas of the house since NYE. Beginning in May I am going to introduce them again. Where I left off was Murhpy the Holland seemed like he was game to bond, Lionel the Lionhead was either insecure or just aggressive and wanted no part - though he always got the worse of the hair pulling and nips. It figures right, cuz Murphy LOVES to be "groomed" by us and our cats and Lionel didn't really care about being "groomed" bc he is an active busy body and doesn't sit still! It was always on neutral ground - though they had spent their life up until then in cages right next to each other - very used to eachother scent and sight. . I know the rule has always been NEUTRAL NEUTRAL NEUTRAL... It will now need to introduced somewhere outside the house cuz between them both, one or other has their scent somewhere in my house. I am thinking of starting out with ONLY 5 minute treat dates - and not even letting them interact to begin - just "see" each other? Should I try to hide their scent somehow to start? Also, I'm actually going to be "fostering" another male (un neutered 1 yr old ) and I will have him by the time I try to bond mine again) I wonder if having his smells around is a positive thing or will just add confusion to the bonding. I could have him in the general area where I will bond them if it would possibly push my current two together..
 

bunnylove2024

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Sorry its a little late! Yes, you should try the 5 min sesions... If it didn't work before, short session are best to start. Good luck with them and the new one!
 

Dayle

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I'm going through this EXACT thing with my lion head brothers. They loved each other in the litter and were always together and we loved them both so we took them both. They were inseparable when they were young, then puberty happened and the both became little a**holes. So we separated got them neautred waited a few months after and now we're re bonding. I'm a few steps ahead of you so this may be helpful. Also, in my situation (dont come at me) we do "bunny swaps" one is free roam and one is in the cage, we swap in the morning, when we get home from work and before bed. (A lot of swapping, kinda anoying) so both their scents are all over the house and they technically share 2 litter boxes (one in the cage and one out) anyhow I started my bonding sessions in the bathtub which is a neutral area and help stop the dreaded tornadoes charging or chasing because I can't get traction, I would put them side-by-side and if they moved I would put them side-by-side again to the rescue sessions to rub each other's scent on each other. Then I put them in the bathtub together with some preferred treat of both of theirs sped along the bathtub bottom. They would snack away and sniff each other and if one nipped at the other I would clap my hands or make a loud noise which would stop that aggression most often, if it did not stop that aggression I was wearing oven mitts (protection for you) and I would separate the rabbits and immediately put them side-by-side again restricting any potential to fight. I started with 5 minute sessions and when they did well I went up to 10 minutes and when they did well I would have been 15 minutes and then after I was at 20 minutes sucessful in the bathtub I moved to the whole bathroom (I would mop the floor with a deodorizer like pinesol, let the floor dry then do a bond) I would start with a 10-minute bond in the bathroom then 20 then 30 then 40 then 50 then 1 hour. Once that was successful we move to the living room which was very stressful because there's a lot of territorial things there the litter boxes the food the water Etc. I organize my living room in a way that if they did get into a fight they could not get behind something I couldn't reach, preventing me from breaking up a fight. This is where I would start from 20 minutes again an increased by 10 minute increments until you're up to 3 hours then you should technically be good to go.

When I'm doing my bonding sessions I have stayed at one time block for a couple of different bonding sessions before moving on to a longer time block. You need to gauge your rabbits and see how they're doing they may be doing better than my rabbits did or they may be doing worse you'll find when you switch environments you'll be taking a step back in the amount of time they will hang out which is perfectly normal. You want to break up any potential fights as soon as possible to prevent too big of a set back. I understand any rabbits can be bonded unless it's a particularly special case some bonding may take one month some bonding may take a year. I have been working at bonding my rabbits for about 2 months now and I am having success we are at the living room stage and they have hang out with each other for about 2 hours. They still have tiffs and are learning to trust each other. They're also learning that they only get treats and preferred foods when they're being good with each other as you may already know rabbits are very food-driven.

GOOD LUCK!
 

K1marie

Lionel and Murphy
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I'm going through this EXACT thing with my lion head brothers. They loved each other in the litter and were always together and we loved them both so we took them both. They were inseparable when they were young, then puberty happened and the both became little a**holes. So we separated got them neautred waited a few months after and now we're re bonding. I'm a few steps ahead of you so this may be helpful. Also, in my situation (dont come at me) we do "bunny swaps" one is free roam and one is in the cage, we swap in the morning, when we get home from work and before bed. (A lot of swapping, kinda anoying) so both their scents are all over the house and they technically share 2 litter boxes (one in the cage and one out) anyhow I started my bonding sessions in the bathtub which is a neutral area and help stop the dreaded tornadoes charging or chasing because I can't get traction, I would put them side-by-side and if they moved I would put them side-by-side again to the rescue sessions to rub each other's scent on each other. Then I put them in the bathtub together with some preferred treat of both of theirs sped along the bathtub bottom. They would snack away and sniff each other and if one nipped at the other I would clap my hands or make a loud noise which would stop that aggression most often, if it did not stop that aggression I was wearing oven mitts (protection for you) and I would separate the rabbits and immediately put them side-by-side again restricting any potential to fight. I started with 5 minute sessions and when they did well I went up to 10 minutes and when they did well I would have been 15 minutes and then after I was at 20 minutes sucessful in the bathtub I moved to the whole bathroom (I would mop the floor with a deodorizer like pinesol, let the floor dry then do a bond) I would start with a 10-minute bond in the bathroom then 20 then 30 then 40 then 50 then 1 hour. Once that was successful we move to the living room which was very stressful because there's a lot of territorial things there the litter boxes the food the water Etc. I organize my living room in a way that if they did get into a fight they could not get behind something I couldn't reach, preventing me from breaking up a fight. This is where I would start from 20 minutes again an increased by 10 minute increments until you're up to 3 hours then you should technically be good to go.

When I'm doing my bonding sessions I have stayed at one time block for a couple of different bonding sessions before moving on to a longer time block. You need to gauge your rabbits and see how they're doing they may be doing better than my rabbits did or they may be doing worse you'll find when you switch environments you'll be taking a step back in the amount of time they will hang out which is perfectly normal. You want to break up any potential fights as soon as possible to prevent too big of a set back. I understand any rabbits can be bonded unless it's a particularly special case some bonding may take one month some bonding may take a year. I have been working at bonding my rabbits for about 2 months now and I am having success we are at the living room stage and they have hang out with each other for about 2 hours. They still have tiffs and are learning to trust each other. They're also learning that they only get treats and preferred foods when they're being good with each other as you may already know rabbits are very food-driven.

GOOD LUCK!
Thank youso much for sharing your experience. As you saw in my original post - I was at it almost 6 months straight (AFTER they were neutered) before I decided to try the "reset" and completely separate them. Originally their cages were next to each other and I did switch them as you did (free and locked up....and they went back into each others cages) Once they stopped the territorial pooping - I was hoping they were ready. Unfortunately, during my attempts , when they started to scuffle - my lion head made the first aggressive move, but my lop would then grab on to my lion head pretty quickly and my lion would even start to scream (trust me I IMMEDIATELY broke it up - but there really was no "warning" it was about to happen). The reason I said it went on for 6 months is bc I would separate them 2 weeks in between and try again. This time, I will start out with them only laying next to each other and follow your technique....lots and lots of baby steps. So much so , It will hopefully become a routine they learn as I go along. They are both REALLY great house rabbits, I cannot see keeping them both if it doesn't work bc they deserve to be free for as much of the time I can give them - not plt that time up - UGH!!
 

zuppa

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(I would mop the floor with a deodorizer like pinesol, let the floor dry then do a bond)
I would suggest using white vinegar instead of pinesol, it cleans, kills bacteria and deodorizes perfectly even 5% vinegar. And it is safe using around rabbits, you don't need to rinse it with water just spray and wipe dry.
 

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