the rabbit destroys the relationship of his owners

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Katherine

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Hi! I'm new here and I really need some help with my free-roaming bunny. He is 6 months old (was taken home when he was three months) and he is doing everything to become re-homed..

We have just moved to our own flat and decided to get a pet in the face of a rabbit (which I have been thinking of for a long time). Not to mention the fact that he gnawed on the wallpaper and even the walls corners (I was ready for this), but he really makes us sick by peeing on our new sofa and bed. We have already litter trained him and he does his business in his litter box mainly (sometimes he has some accidents), but he REALLY wants for some reasons to pee on our sofa! We don't allow him to jump onto it, but when we leave the living room (even for 5 minutes) he immediately starts going to the sofa, jump on it and then do his nusty deals over there. And when he hears that the door is opening he immediately jumps down and pretends that nothing has happened. That makes us so mad at him!

We love him and he has a lot of attention and toys, but he always trying to pee on our lovely sofa and bed, and the fact that we now have to wash it everyday really disappoints us. We are about to give up with him living in our home because it has become his home and we are just here to tidy after him and pet and feed him. I will really appreciate your advices and help because I love him and don't want to give him someone else..
 

WhiteBunnyEcho

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Even if you can’t find a solution to him not being on your sofa, that’s no reason to rehome him. Many rabbits do well simply being confined to an exercise pen as their homebase when you’re not able to supervise them. That’s what I have to do with my rabbits because they are very destructive and I can’t watch them 24/7.

i’m not sure how to deter the peeing, but maybe putting a blanket or couch cover on it so it makes it easier to wash? You could even put a baby gate so he isn’t allowed in your living room at all unless supervised.
 

Bababbit

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I'm no rabbit expert, but it sounds to me like having this rabbit is not making anyone happy. It's in their nature to chew, in fact they need to to keep their teeth from over growing. Do you have stuff for him to chew on?

Unfortunately I don't have any tips for the peeing issue. But try not to put complex human emotions on him, he may be intelligent, but he probably doesn't get a devious thrill out of peeing on your stuff, he wants to go there, so he does, even if he knows you don't like it.

You also have to keep in mind that at six months, he's basically a 'teen', and you know what they're like.
 

Preitler

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About the couch issue - that seem to be a quite common problem, there are already some threads on this topic here. Use "couch" as search term and select "search titles only".
I would block it off for some time, or putting something slick, like a plastic sheet, on it while you are away. You can't train a rabbit like a dog, the have no sense of doing something wrong. And as mentioned, puberty is raging, it might get better with time. Neutering him, if he isn't already, might also help.

Chewing is something they like, but giving them something good to chew on can help keeping them from eating up the house, like fresh branches and twigs (mine don't touch dried stuff)

If a rabbit is "destructive" most likely it's just the bunny proofing that isn't perfect.
 

Blue eyes

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Is he neutered??

If not, those hormones are likely the main source of his "forgotten" litter habits and excessive destructive chewing.

This is the common age when new rabbit owners decide to "rehome" their rabbit when all's that's needed is a neutering.
 

Katherine

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About the couch issue - that seem to be a quite common problem, there are already some threads on this topic here. Use "couch" as search term and select "search titles only".
I would block it off for some time, or putting something slick, like a plastic sheet, on it while you are away. You can't train a rabbit like a dog, the have no sense of doing something wrong. And as mentioned, puberty is raging, it might get better with time. Neutering him, if he isn't already, might also help.

Chewing is something they like, but giving them something good to chew on can help keeping them from eating up the house, like fresh branches and twigs (mine don't touch dried stuff)

If a rabbit is "destructive" most likely it's just the bunny proofing that isn't perfect.
Thank you for your advices, especially about plastic sheets. We will definitely try this!
 

Katherine

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Is he neutered??

If not, those hormones are likely the main source of his "forgotten" litter habits and excessive destructive chewing.

This is the common age when new rabbit owners decide to "rehome" their rabbit when all's that's needed is a neutering.
Thank you for you answer! Yes, he was neutered by the age of 4 months. He used to have an Idea toilet habits but then he learnt how to jump on a furniture...😅
 

Katherine

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Even if you can’t find a solution to him not being on your sofa, that’s no reason to rehome him. Many rabbits do well simply being confined to an exercise pen as their homebase when you’re not able to supervise them. That’s what I have to do with my rabbits because they are very destructive and I can’t watch them 24/7.

i’m not sure how to deter the peeing, but maybe putting a blanket or couch cover on it so it makes it easier to wash? You could even put a baby gate so he isn’t allowed in your living room at all unless supervised.
Thank you for your answer! We put blanket on the couch and change it when it becomes dirty so it is OK for us to change it after his accidents. But the main problem is his couch behaviour.. He is a very territorial bunny and even can pee near a new guest, but the fact he is trying to make the couch like "His couch" is pretty annoying 😅 we don't want it to be his toilet. We love him, but for my boyfriend who used to have only cats and dogs it is very weird and hurting.
 

JBun

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You may need to work on reclaiming 'top bun' status and your couch as your territory and not his. This would require some pretty consistent effort, and of course patience. You'll need to understand rabbit body language and how they show each other who the boss is. Right now your little bun seems to think he's the boss and you're the ones sharing his territory.

Some techniques will be similar to what you would do to help a rabbit with aggression issues. One thing especially is claiming his space. So if he hops up on the couch, gently but firmly usher him off with a firm tap to the bum. But not only that, move to sit in the space he had just been in, then make sure to give him a good glare after. This is bunny language for 'I'm the boss and if I want your spot, you better move'. Right now you're essentially in a pissing match for who's in charge, and your little bundle of fluff seems to be winning :p



 

Jilly beans

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I understand completely besides the fact that they are slightly boring. Sleep all day and destroy everything at night . You gotta keep good spirits laugh it off and be consistent . you have to block that couch off and the bed ! slow down and figure out a way it can end on positive notes , Gillian stays in her area its not what I wanted but it’s where we are at and now things end positively. If I let her out she pees on my bed and I get mad and gently put her back and its like she forgets where the box is for a while it’s EXTREMELY frustrating not to mention the only time she hangs out with me is if I give her treats ( no wonder there often fat ) it’s the only time you actually have a pet , except for the 2 days of stinkin laundry can’t complain or your man thinks it’s his turn forever etc…….girl you are not alone lol 😂 everyday I say a wanted a pigeon!! Lol hang in there I think ,HOPE it gets better
 

JBun

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You have to find a way of keeping your rabbit in accommodations that make it manageable and an enjoyable experience of having a pet rabbit. Not all rabbits are well suited to free roam. It's certainly ideal and would be lovely, but for some rabbits and owners, it's better for the rabbit to have a designated enclosure and only be allowed free roam when strictly supervised. Far better that you find a comfortable arrangement for all, then to continue something that ends up making you regret having a rabbit and consider rehoming.
 

Katherine

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You have to find a way of keeping your rabbit in accommodations that make it manageable and an enjoyable experience of having a pet rabbit. Not all rabbits are well suited to free roam. It's certainly ideal and would be lovely, but for some rabbits and owners, it's better for the rabbit to have a designated enclosure and only be allowed free roam when strictly supervised. Far better that you find a comfortable arrangement for all, then to continue something that ends up making you regret having a rabbit and consider rehoming.
Thank you so much for your help and advices. We really appreciate it and it is very helpful for us because we often allow him to sit where we have just been in. So he really may think he is the boss 😑 We will work with it. Thank you again! 🤗😂
 

Katherine

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I understand completely besides the fact that they are slightly boring. Sleep all day and destroy everything at night . You gotta keep good spirits laugh it off and be consistent . you have to block that couch off and the bed ! slow down and figure out a way it can end on positive notes , Gillian stays in her area its not what I wanted but it’s where we are at and now things end positively. If I let her out she pees on my bed and I get mad and gently put her back and its like she forgets where the box is for a while it’s EXTREMELY frustrating not to mention the only time she hangs out with me is if I give her treats ( no wonder there often fat ) it’s the only time you actually have a pet , except for the 2 days of stinkin laundry can’t complain or your man thinks it’s his turn forever etc…….girl you are not alone lol 😂 everyday I say a wanted a pigeon!! Lol hang in there I think ,HOPE it gets better
Thanks! I hope your bun will get alone with you better! 🌝😁
 
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