New baby Holland Lop...Cuteness overload! - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 05:50 AM Thread Starter
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Location: Everett, WA
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Talking New baby Holland Lop...Cuteness overload!

We just brought home our new baby holland lop bunny this weekend. He is 9 weeks old and really sweet as we got him from a great breeder and he has been handled since birth. It's cuteness overload! Everything he does is so adorable I can't stand it! :-)

I'm discovering how much I really don't know now though!

The first day, we left him alone in his new cage. The 2nd day, he sat quietly while being held and cuddled and petted by his new family members. He seemed very calm and quiet and happy so he got a lot of attention.

Today I waited to see if he would come out of his cage to me before I picked him up, and he did! But he has started some nipping so my kids have been a little afraid to hold him. I took him out and let him run around on the couch and he seemed to have a lot of fun running back and forth and hopping up on me. I had a kleenex box and a blanket out for him to tunnel in and play with and he did seem to enjoy that. He would run and play for a bit, then hop up on me and settle down while I petted and cuddled him then go play some more etc. During his play times, he was biting my clothing, occasionally getting my skin, but also nipping my unclothed skin too. Ouch!

Suggestions to discourage this? Or is this something he will grow out of? Am I overwhelming him? Those priceless snuggles I get make up for it, but it sure would be nice not to have to deal with bunny teeth holes and pinched skin!

I've seen discussions regarding neutering bunnies too but is this something advisable if he's not going to be around any other bunnies? I would hate to put him through that if there's really no benefit.

I really want to have the happiest healthiest bunny we can so I thought I'd ask here for some good advice for a new owner. I've been reading through the forums and apologize if this has already been answered. I just want to learn all I can.

I really don't know much about what toys or games bunnies like. Do they like interaction when they play or do they just run around and play with things on their own? How much time should they be let out? Is keeping him out for an hour at a time too long? I don't want to overwhelm the poor little guy. But I don't want him to be bored either!

So any advice you bunny experts have for me would be very appreciated. I've had/have cats, dogs, birds, mice, gerbils, hamsters, fish, chinchillas, guinea pigs and rats, but this is our first bunny.

Thank you!! I'll post a pic of him as soon as I'm able to!
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-12-2012, 09:03 AM
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Hello Congrats on your new addition!

I would try to figure out why he's nipping. Is he annoyed, trying to get your attention, or maybe just trying to invent what to him might be a fun game? I had a bunny once who would nip me lightly when I ignored him and he wanted attention.

It sounds like he's settling well into his new home, but remember that all this is still new to him, and getting a new home is a huge change. Watch him for any signs of stress.

Is he nipping mostly when he's handled? It may be his way of telling you to put him down. Most rabbits actually don't enjoy being picked up off the ground. They are a prey species, so in the wild the only time really that their feet would be off the ground like that would be if they where in the mouth of a predator.

If he's nipping randomly and it doesn't seem related to any one cause, such as when he's handled or petted, it may just be his way of getting your attention or exploring his environment. You could try gently discouraging him from nipping. Tell him 'no' and redirect his attention somewhere else. Maybe give him a toy to play with instead every time he starts getting nippy. My bunny that I mentioned never did outgrow his nipping. That's probably not what you'd want to hear, but I learned how to avoid his nips for the most part by watching his body language. Like I mentioned, mine nipped when he wanted attention, so if I made sure to give him plenty of attention during play time he didn't have any reason to nip me anymore.

Neutering is highly advisable. There is a huge benefit, even if your bunny never sees a female rabbit in his life. Neutering makes rabbits much better pets. When he gets older, and his hormones develop, if he's not neutered he could start to display behaviors such as excessive mounting/humping and spraying urine. Neutering usually calms aggression, especially cage aggression. Just in general, neutering seems to make them much better pets, and it eliminates the frustration of them wanting to breed all the time. Neutering also makes them much easier to litter box train.

What types of games they like depend on the individual rabbit. Since you just got him, you'll probably need to get to know him to know what he likes. Try different types of toys and see what he likes best. You can try toys he can toss around, things like box forts, toys he can chew, etc. Whether he likes interaction or not will depend on him, but I'd let him decide that for himself. Don't force yourself on him, but if he comes to you for attention then by all means give it to him.

I usually recommend at least a couple of hours a day of out of cage playtime. If you are worried about overwhelming him, just leave his cage door open and let him decide for himself when and if he wants to come out.

If you haven't already, check out the House Rabbit Society. It's a good starting point for researching about house bunnies.

I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of your new addition. Did you name him yet?


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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 09-14-2012, 06:15 AM Thread Starter
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His name is Chestnut (for his coloring). He is very entertaining! And he hasn't nipped me at all today since I took your advice about telling him no and redirecting his attention. After thinking about it, I think he was trying to tell me he needs something to chew on. So I will be getting him some chew toys, but so far the nipping has just been some nibbling on my shirt.

He loves running around on our big sectional couch. He'll hop up on the top and run/hop from one end to the other. And of course he loves to hop on and off of me too. He's so funny! He gets really hyper and he'll run and launch himself out of this little cat tent thing we have right onto my chest, almost like he's saying Boo! It cracks me up. Then he'll wear himself out and plop down and stretch out for a bunny time out. I don't think he could be any cuter if he tried! :-)

He's very curious about our cats too. I've been watching things very closely but so far it looks like he wants to play. Only 1 of the cats looks like he has any interest in playing. I'm just wondering if cats and bunnies can be play buddies? I don't want anyone to get hurt.

Thanks for the advice, I will definitely check out the house rabbit society. We are really enjoying having him. He's got such a big personality already!
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