Troubles With Bonding 2 Rabbits

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Jan 7, 2020
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Utah, USA
Hello, I am having some issues with bonding my male rabbit to a new female rabbit I brought home on foster -to- adopt basis. My male rabbit is 4 years old, and the only time he has been around another rabbit was when he was born, so he's a bit body language illiterate. The female rabbit was found at large so we're not sure about age, but she did have a litter of kits and then was spayed after they had weaned, about a month ago now. Supposedly, she had been getting along with a different male rabbit pre-spay at the foster's home, but once she was spayed she began to bully him.
Anyways, on their first initial meeting at the foster's home, they seemed to be ok with each other. They mostly ignored each other, but when they did interact it didn't lead to any sort of fighting. I felt it was a good sign that they would bond well.
However, it's been about two weeks now and it's almost like the female is getting more and more aggressive. They do just fine together if they are in a shared pen with a dividing piece between them, even laying next to each other, grooming next to each other, eating together, etc. They also do fine if put in a small confined space together, like a clothes basket or a carrier. But the moment they're put in a larger space with no barriers, she will bully my male into a corner and attack him if he moves. It hasn't been able to move past that.
I am unsure if I should just keep trying, if they need more time, or if she's just going to dislike him forever and I should try to find a different rabbit for him. Any advice on what to do would be appreciated. I have tried car rides, neutral territory, putting them on a washing machine, and nothing seems to improve their relationship further. Thanks!

Blue eyes

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Mar 20, 2012
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Arizona, USA
It sounds like things may be rushed. They could live in side by side pens for a few weeks. When they are put together, the space should be relatively small-- like an ex-pen (4' x 4'). If they do well there for several days (or longer, depending on how long the sessions are), then that space can be increased-- perhaps doubled to 4' x 8'.

The idea is to increase size gradually and in increments. Too much space too quickly often leads to disputes. It sounds like that is what was happening.

Take your time and don't rush things. (Also it's a good idea to keep the rescue informed of progress/ setbacks in case they end up not bonding.)
Sep 11, 2021
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Frankfort, IL
It took us almost a year to bond our 9 year old Dwarf rabbit with a 8 year old rabbit we adopted. Now they are best buds. They have a huge open area with lots of things to do but they are almost always together.

During the bonding process I built a divider with mesh screening so they could see and smell each other.


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