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Why is my rabbit hissing, running away, hiding etc?

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BenjiB1243

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Hello,

I have owned my Netherland Dwarf rabbit for over two years now, and he seems to still run away, hide, nip, hiss, etc. Even with me spending loads of time with him. He’s been neutered and I have two cats, two dogs, and no other bunnies if that could be the issue. He used to live in my room, but he started to chew my baseboards and hiding under my bed, so I moved him out into my front room which is out where a lot happens. His enclosure is about 5 feet by 5 feet, and he has a cage attached to it. Where he eats, drinks, and goes to the bathroom. His other part of his cage (his corral), is used for running around, laying down, etc. I really miss him not liking to spend time with me, and I don’t know what to do so I’ve resorted here in hopes someone could help me.
 

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Hermelin

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That seem to be a scared or nervous bunny behaviors. How did you try when interacting with your bunny?

For me it work reading my bunnies signals and have treats on me. If my bunny don’t want to be pet and run and hide or just stay out from arms reached I will let them be. I can try giving a bit of treats and try to cuddle. Myself have a nervous bunny that’s scared of humans and things that move fast. So he’s also scared of cats and dogs. While the bunny I’ve had since a kit have no fears, he would serve himself on a silver plate without knowing what’s coming.

The scared bunny I mainly focus on reading his signals, desensitize his triggers and spending a lot of time in a controlled area. In the beginning I always had different treats in my pockets. So I could him them every time I saw him and he later learned things. He’s still nervous around humans that move and can growl, bite and attack if triggered. But it becomes a rarley habit when I read his signals and now what trigger him to feel unsafe. Myself had have him for 2 years also, I just accept that it will always be a part of his personality. But I can cuddle with him after working with him nearly every day since I got him.

Understanding rabbit behaviour | rspca.org.uk

Rabbit Body Language

It can also be he’s nervous with all the pets around him but it should be easy for you to notice.

Make sure your bunny have many hide spot where he can hide if he feel nervous, it will creat a calming place and a safe zone.

Start with sitting in his area and just give treats, test what triggers him to become scared for example hand movements and so on. But don’t touch him if he don’t accept, if he runs away, just sit at your spot and let him come to you and explore, give treats when he comes back.

Treats can be the normal food you give like the leafy greens and pellets. I always used feeding time as a bonding time with my bunnies. Eating from the hand will help them associate you with something good.

A short video on how to bond and the approach you can do:
 

BenjiB1243

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Hi,
Has he been neutered long (usually rabbits don’t have aggresion to humans for their emotions) , has he always behaved like this?
He could very likely be scared of the dogs and cats that could translate to aggresion and hiding.
He got neutered not long after we got him, probably 3-4 months after we picked him up. He was always content, and chill, and for some reason the past 6-8ish months have been him hissing, biting, and unjustly acting mean. Most of the time, I can’t even pick him up without him biting me and hissing or running away. Even when he somewhat lets me pick him up, he still hisses when being touched.
 

JBun

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How does he act when he's in his pen? Does he run around, binky, and play, or is he sedate and act nervous? Are your other pets allowed to come near his pen ever, or ever in his view? Any other changes that have occurred, any changes in eating habits?
 

BenjiB1243

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He runs around sometimes, he occasionally lays down (I call it flopping) and his eating habits havent changed. Rarely the new kitten I picked up a month or two ago goes inside of his corral, but their usually chill with each other. The other pets in my house don’t do anything to him. They do their own thing.
 

JBun

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I would suspect it has to do with the change of territory. All of the activity might be making him feel insecure. Those are typical defensive indicators he's displaying. Have you tried bringing him back to your room to see how he reacts?
 

BenjiB1243

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I would suspect it has to do with the change of territory. All of the activity might be making him feel insecure. Those are typical defensive indicators he's displaying. Have you tried bringing him back to your room to see how he reacts?
I let him stay in my room for just over a night, and he hid under my bed the entire time. I moved him out into the front room so that I could actually see him from time to time. It’s really difficult to remove him from under my bed, so I don’t let him in here anymore.
 

Lucas the Bun 💕🐇

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I let him stay in my room for just over a night, and he hid under my bed the entire time. I moved him out into the front room so that I could actually see him from time to time. It’s really difficult to remove him from under my bed, so I don’t let him in here anymore.
I think it would be really beneficial to add a hidey house / hut
with 2 exits or more you could go with a card board box and cut 2 or more exits/entrances, or even putting some fleece covering the cage
or a store bought one like this, or one made out of C&C grids in the vid


(but I would use zip ties with the connectors)
 
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BenjiB1243

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I think it would be really beneficial to add a hidey house / hut
with 2 exits or more you could go with a card board box and cut 2 or more exits/entrances, or even putting some fleece covering the cage
or a store bought one like this, or one made out of C&C grids in the vid


(but I would use zip ties with the connectors)
He has a little hidey hole built into his cage, it’s rather small though.
 

Lucas the Bun 💕🐇

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A two hole hidey hut (you can use a card board box) is ideal (a rabbit has an instinct to have 2+ exit)
in case a predator blocks the other. ☺
So I have a suggestion I would take out the plastic hidey in the cage.
My reasoning it can get slippery and I think your bun would have more space to lounge around. And add sometype of hidey in the run area or put a fleece on top of the cage and use that as a hidey.

Here are some ideas
 
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