Was I too optimistic?

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by Tinto, Feb 11, 2019.

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  1. Feb 11, 2019 #1

    Tinto

    Tinto

    Tinto

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    Last night, woken up again at 3:30 a.m. by my rabbit... Before going to bed I try to spend time with him, but he usually doesn't care about me and I get tired and sleepy much earlier than he. It has been over one and half month since I brought him home. At first he was curious, he seemed to enjoy my presence even despite some caution. Now he probably got used to the new environment and seem not to like my presence in his area.

    Last night I got seriously sad about the situation and I need to write it down. I bought Tinto when he was around 3 months old because I was longing to have a rabbit, although I was wishing for a baby rabbit. But since there weren't any available I thought about this cute buck, that remained there and most probably nobody was ever going to buy him as he was growing older. I felt sorry for him and I didn't want him to be or remain lonely. (If I hadn't bought him, perhaps nobody would have...) And now, he seems pretty comfortable being alone, spending time by himself by chewing on something or just sleeping... ;(

    I could easily go bankrupt if I continue caring about him as I do now, buying various toys just in order to make him like me or get his attention. I know I have to be patient but sometimes I am about to regret to have bought him... Is this going to be better??? Or will I lose my job after sleepless nights, being waked up at midnight?? :(
     
  2. Feb 11, 2019 #2

    Whit1838

    Whit1838

    Whit1838

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    I'm a newbie rabbit mom also. We adopted Zeus, a 4 year old netherland dwarf, in the beginning of January. He didn't like me and I was afraid of him ( because he is so small and fragile... i'm used to large breed sturdy animals.) He was more interested in my 95lb dog than me.

    I've slowly been winning him over by hand feeding him one blueberry in the morning and one in the evening when I change out his hutch supplies. Now he runs up to me expecting his treats and allows a few pets. He likes me for the food... but it's a start.

    Have you tried this out?
     
    Alyssa and Bugs♡ likes this.
  3. Feb 11, 2019 #3

    Hermelin

    Hermelin

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    What I have noticed with rabbits are that they easily get routines.

    I know how it is with sleepless nights, had that for 2 months with my doe before I just made her an outdoor rabbit.

    Have you tried letting your rabbit get out and run before you go to bed, or let him play with something. So he gets tired.

    My indoor rabbit have gotten the routines to play in the cage for 1 hour ( running around and binky) and then be quite until I wake up. Then he will start chewing on the net and throwing toys around. So I go up from the bed and let him out in from the cage, a bit like a wake up clock forcing me to go up.

    What whit1838 takes up about hand feeding it’s the best way to win a rabbits love. Toys are more for them to chew, play and distract them. Not really for bonding.
     
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  4. Feb 11, 2019 #4

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    Rabbits aren't supposed to be sold until at least 8 weeks of age. Getting one at 12 weeks of age is still very young. In fact, he's now only 4 and one half months -- and may be getting hormonal. Hormones can make a rabbit's behavior unpredictable. You still haven't had him long enough to see what his personality will be like because that simply won't be evident until after he is an adult (or neutered).

    What this means is 1.) you would not have been any better off getting an even younger rabbit. Everything would have been the same...just one month delayed.
    2.) His being stand-off-ish is pretty normal for a rabbit approaching hormones and/or adulthood. You'll need to be patient to see what his true personality will turn into.
    3.) There's no need to despair because whatever behavior you are seeing now has little to do with what he may become as an adult. Right now he's too young to predict what he'll be like.

    In the meantime, you can still work on bonding with him. I agree with Hermelin that toys are pretty irrelevant to bonding. Much more important is just spending time in his presence. You don't have to be interacting with him. In fact, in the early times here, it is better to just sit in his area and let him get comfortable around you. You can be on the computer, or reading, or watching TV, but if you are doing so in his presence, that is allowing him to begin bonding. Eventually his curiosity will get the better of him and he will approach you.

    Is his cage in your bedroom? I keep our rabbit cage in the main living area of the home. This keeps us from being awakened in the middle of the night if a rabbit does get active. Loading up their hay right before bed can help. Also, since you say you have lots of toys, make use of them in this way: remove most of them and just before bed, put a couple in the cage. After a couple nights, remove those and replace them with a couple others you have. By rotating the toys, they can seem new and generate more interest. (If he has them all in his cage right now, you could remove them all and then start with a couple new ones. These "new" ones could simply be an empty TP tube stuffed tight with hay or a paper bag opened with hay inside.)

    Just bear in mind with all this that he's in his adolescence so it is too soon to see what he will ultimately be like for his adult years. Be patient.
     
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  5. Feb 11, 2019 #5

    Tinto

    Tinto

    Tinto

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    Thank you Whit, Hermelin and Blue. Your advice is so precious and I appreciate it so much. I will have to improvise and try different methods to find out which of them work. Indeed I was trying just to spend time in his playpen, but oftentimes he either didn't come up to me, or he was biting my sleeves. I try to hand feed him which usually is no problem, but once the treat is over, he goes his way...

    Last night he was biting and chewing something again, not too loud but still I woke up. He stays out of the cage practically during the whole time, so I don't know if it has any sense to fill the cage with hay just before sleeping.

    But this morning I experienced a funny thing, I wanted to wipe the window frame with a towel and Tinto started to play with it. He really seems to enjoy this simple thing. I'll see if he will still be interested in it later.
     

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