6 months in and still not friendly?!? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-19-2009, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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6 months in and still not friendly?!?

So my rabbit, Whinnie, we've had for 6 months and she's never been friendly and still hasn't warmed up even remotely. We originally had her with our other bunny Jackie, who was very curious in becoming friends (maybe a bit aggressively, but nonetheless) and Whinnie would always run and hide or fight her and run. Eventually we gave up trying to bond them, after over a month. Through that process she was never social with us either.

Still when we approach her she'll run away and thump immediately. If she is in her cage she will lunge at us at any moment our hands go in her cage, she'll scratch our hands, sometimes bite and then sprint to the furthest corner and stare at us. If we don't move our hand she'll do it again and again. She grunts and growls while we do this. We can't even walk into a room or walk near her without her running or thumping. Gettng to the point where we can touch her is pretty much a victory and she just huddles down and runs at the first opportunity.

I've tried to take the advice of everyone on here and she's just not even remotely interested in anything we do. She'll take treats and turn and run, if I pretend to have a treat she won't stick around for any type of contact. If we sit on the ground with her, she'll just avoid us and play somewhere else.

We've always assumed that she would eventually warm up to us, but it's been a very long time, she's gone though life with and without another bunny, she had a custom cage that was very big and we thought she was being too protective in it, so we gave her a more open and visible layout so she would see us more instead of hiding under things or in corners, and she's still super protective. It seems that no matter what we do or how long we wait she's not even changing a little.

Is it possible that Whinnie is just never going to be friendly with any rabbits or any people? When we bought her she was with other rabbits and was fine, grooming them and snuggling with them, but the second she was with Jackie she ran, and even though Jack would ask for kisses or grooming Whinnie would resist or get up and move (and thats if Jack could even get close enough to touch her!). It just seems like after she left those rabbits she was with she'll never bond with anyone or any bunny again.

We're looking to get another bunny (Jackie died from complications from her spaying) and the adoption agecy said we need to fix Whinnie before they will give us a bunny b/c only fixed rabbits will bond. Do you guys think that fixing her will solve our problems? Maybe she's just very hormonal? Additionally, do you guys think that fixing her and bonding her with a fixed boy (they say grown girls don't bond no matter what) will yield the same results as when she was a baby with Jackie, even though she's fixed?

I hope you guys can give us some insight because it's really hard to have a bunny that you need to put oven mitts on to pick up or one that gives you bloody hands when you feed her everyday. It's hard to keep going when she seemingly hate us so much.


Last edited by kenworthyj; 10-19-2009 at 10:44 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-20-2009, 06:54 AM
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Yes, the rescue agency is right. Unfixed bunnies are extremely difficult to bond, AND unfixed females are moody and territorial and often very cage aggressive. I don't agree that grown girls will never bond, but they are correct that a spayed female and neutered male is generally the easiest option.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-20-2009, 01:57 PM
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I rescued a female rabbit that became very aggressive. I had her spayed when she was about 9 months old, and that ended her aggression. She was never friendly with me, but she bonded with another male that she was rescued with. I never went through the work of bonding. She managed to sneek into his territory, and that was alright with him. She would never let me pet her, but when I took in a pair of other rabbits, and housed them in a hutch and pen next to her, she then allowed me to pet her. I guess when she saw me pet the other rabbits she decided it was alright to be petted. The neutered male she was bonded to was very friendly and allowed me to pet him and pick him up.

My vet believes that rabbits should be spayed as soon as possible if they start displaying aggressive behavior. She believes that the longer aggressive behavior goes on, the harder it is to break them of that behavior.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-20-2009, 02:57 PM
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The lunging and grunting and such that you described sounds like cage aggression to me. I would recommend you get her spayed.

If she is spayed, it's possible that she could bond. Neutered males and spayed females are usually the easiest to bond. Sometimes two boys or two girls will bond. I would suggest you take your rabbit to the shelter for some 'bunny dates' and let her pick out her new friend for herself.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 01:50 PM
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it takes time...I have mine since a year ago.but now,he is really friendly with all of us.when we go to a room wich he is in,he jump and run to us.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 06:02 PM
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I agree with everyone else... Get her spayed!
And just a side note- You said "the second she was with Jackie she ran, and even though Jack would ask for kisses or grooming Whinnie would resist or get up and move". Although it looks cute, asking (or more like demanding) to be groomed is acually a way of showing dominance. When Whinnie refused to groom Jackie, she was probably telling Jackie that she didnt accept her being the dominant bun. Refusing to groom someone can really tick other rabbit off, so Whinnie was probably smart to run!

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-22-2009, 10:01 PM
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This was MY scenario when Acacia was a youngling. I couldt go near her or her cage without the aggression. So I got her spayed and within a year, all the hormones died down and she was tameable. It took ALOT of time, patience and rasiens/similar treats.. With the cage, we took away her kennel cage and built her a NIC pen in which I could get in and sit and she HAD to learn to deal with me being in her terf. I trained her to stand on my leg if she wanted her treat, that was the only way she would get it. Then I gradually moved to petting her head while she chewed her treat.
Now she's friendly with me and since I started seeing my surrent boyfriend, he LOVEs to go in a play with her (which is SO wierd since everyone prefers to see Akina because Akina at least acknowledges them and like the attention) So he gets in her pen and annoys her to no end. At first I kept telling him "Noooooooo!! Stop it! All my work and dedication will destroy her trust!!!!" But she actually enjoys it!! He takes all her boxes and then makes her toss her toys and jump over his legs.... Men, are such children eh?
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