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Which is the best combo for a rabbit pair?

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DJ_Bunny

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I have a 10 month old Dutch male. I would like to get a "friend" for him. I am wondering if it is better to pair him with a male or female. DJ (The dutch male) is neutered and the friend would also be "fixed." I will appreciate any help I can get. (I have to have them "fixed" because I adopt them from the local Humane Society and it's required to have them "fixed.")

THANKS!
DJ's mom
 

Carolyn

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Greetings DJ_Bunny,


Rabbits tend to bond easier with the opposite sex, although female and female have been known to work too. Best to keep two males away from bonding together.

Since all rabbits have unique and individual personalities, I'd say the best way for you to pick a mate for your little one, assuming you have the time it takes to work on bonding them--which requires A Lot of time and attention at first, I'd take the rabbit you'd like to find a mate for to the shelter with you, go into a separate room and bring one rabbit in at a time and see how the two get along. Let your rabbit pick its partner.

It would be very wise of you to research all you can about bonding two rabbits before you decide its for you and your bunny. As I've stated in a different post, rabbits found in the wild are more often found on their own. People think they need another rabbit, but they don't. They need to be involved with what's going on around them, but that doesn't mean that they have to have a mate to be happy.

Upon the early stages of bonding two rabbits, the rabbits have to be introduced in a mutually-agreeable place. You can't just drop the mate in the cage of your rabbit and assume all is well. I've known many people who have woken up in the morning to find one rabbit dead from the stress of the fighting, or torn to pieces from a fight. When rabbits fight, they do so until they're tired. If they're not done fighting or one's not done bullying, when they're rested and full, they'll start fighting again. You really have to pay close attention and watch them carefully before you can trust that both rabbits are comfortable.

-Carolyn
 

DJ_Bunny

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Carolyn,

Thanks for the advice! I keep hesitating on getting the other rabbit. As I said, my first bonding attempt with a pair of rabbits in the past, wasn't pretty! I ended up in the Emergency vet! The first rabbit had attacked the new rabbit and his guts were hanging out of his belly! I thought they were OK with each other, but the female (the first rabbit) was a good actress!

Thanks for replying to my message! I think it's one more sign to just keep DJ as King DJ! Maybe he doesn't need a Queen!

OH! I do intend to house them in their own cages! I have no desire to watch rabbit wrestling!

Thanks again!

DJ's mom
 

Carolyn

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Hi DJ's Mom,

Believe me, I've been where you are in trying to figure it all out with Tucker. I felt that I was depriving him and he was living a lonely life.

I've spoken to a lot of people about it and read up on it in any rabbit book I can find. For me, it was best not to change the way things were. Tucker was established and he knew the routine. I was thinking about getting him a companion for 2 years of his early life. Being a house rabbit, and considering all the 'cocoa puffs' JUST HE leaves around--WOW! Also, trying to keep an eye on him, even though the place is bunny-proofed, is a juggling act as well.

Wild rabbits dig a hole in the ground and that's their domain. They generally don't shack up. They're most active at dawn and dusk. Rabbits catnap all day long. Even on weekends, when I'm home during the hours when I'd normally be at work and Tucker's free to roam, he just sleeps.He could really care less about running around until the late afternoon, which is the time I come home. Here I was thinking he was missing out an all this fun, but all Mr. Lazy Bones was doing all day was snoozing.

Rabbits seem to pick one person or rabbit to love and that's the one that gets the rabbit's full attention. If you have two rabbits bonded, they're more apt to care less about you being in the room, which is fine if you never have time for them and take the proper steps in bonding them. Tucker will groom me, cuddle up to me, follow me like a dog, and communicates with me in all kinds of ways. There's a lot to be said for having that kind of relationship with a rabbit.

I didn't realize that you had such a traumatic experience when trying to bond two of your rabbits. Yikes! What a sight to see! I don't have to tell you anything about that.

You have to do what's best for you. It's not my call to deter or encourage you to get another companion for your rabbit. I just want to let you know that you're rabbit can live a perfectly happy life without one. Does Tucker get lonely? Probably sometimes, I suppose we all get lonely sometimes, even married, but we get over it. Every night he shows me how happy he is by his kisses, his racing around here, his binkying, and the way he shakes his hears and his head when I correct him, shaking me off.

Good luck in your decision.

-Carolyn
 
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