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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Rabbit biting

My Flemish Giant rabbit who is about 2 months old is nibbling or biting. Anyone have suggestions on how to get her to stop. I am starting to be afraid of her.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-30-2011, 11:47 PM
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In my rabbit, nibble/bites are his way of saying 'pay attention to me'. A quick rub/pat when he gets near me and starts inspecting my feet is usually enough to divert the escalation. If he does manage to catch me, even if it doesn't hurt I pull away sharply and say 'Hey' loudly. He's learning slowly and has started to dig instead of nip.

A little more info on the situation would help in knowing why your rabbit is nibble-biting. Such as, when does this usually happen? Does she grunt, lunge, or box? Is it your hands? Other part of your body? Do you routinely feed her treats from your hands? What is your response when she bites? Are we talking full on, heavy-bruising breaking skin bites or a nip?


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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 06:42 AM
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you might want to repost this in the rabbit forum you will probably get more help!

But like barkingpup said they can nip when they want attention, like being pet, or if you are in their way and they want you to move. What is your flemish body language like when she bites? Does it come across aggressive? I would practice pointing your finger and saying NO loud and firm and then turning your back (bunnies do this when they are mad at each other) and ignoring her until she stops or for a short time.

My bunny has started catching on to the finger near the face and NO and now wanders off and behaves much better! Practice and patience is just needed! Hope your flemy gets better!


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 11:59 AM
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Could be a mixture of things. 2 months seems to be too young for hormones but females get SO bad when hormones kick in! Rabbits are sexually mature at 3 months, so you may want to look into spaying. It sounds early but some experienced vets are doing it at this age.
Is she kept in a cage? Where's the door located on the cage? It should be on the side. Never come down on a bunny from the top, it scares them. Rabbits are seriously territorial about their surroundings. You might see her chinning things (that means she is "owning" them by rubbing her scent on them) and she may be seeing you as a smaller-than-her bunny (heirachy wise) and trying to take control.

First and foremost, you want to rule out any health problems. It's a slim chance but if she's spunky enough she may be hiding an illness and biting at you to keep you from examining her. If you're concerned about her eating and pooping habits, have her looked at by a vet.

If it's behavioural, which it sounds like, then coming to terms with learning bunny sign language is Number 1! Here's a link which might help you
http://www.mybunny.org/info/bunnytalk.htm

Last edited by Purple-Hops; 08-31-2011 at 12:02 PM. Reason: bad link
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 12:11 PM
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I think a little bit more information would help here - in what situations is she biting? Is it when you are petting her, doing stuff inside her cage, when she wants attention, or when you are sitting in her way? Is it when you try to pick her up or something like that? Does she seem upset or does she do it when she's content?

Depending on the situation she could be biting for a lot of different reasons, and we'd need to know the reason to help give you advice on how to get her to stop.

I'll mention though that like others have said, I had a rabbit before who would nip me if I was in his way and he wanted me to move, or if he wanted attention and I wasn't giving it to him. He never broke the skin but it still use to startle me when he did it.

A have a rabbit now who gives me what I call "love bites". She's a sweetheart of a rabbit and likes to lick me, and once in awhile while she's licking me she'll gently bite my skin. It doesn't hurt, but it can be startling.

For now, until you give us more information so we can hopefully help you better, try not to be afraid of her. Animals can sense when we are afraid and she'll play on that if she can. Remember that even if she does bite you hard, it will only hurt for a short time and it will heal. It sucks to get bitten, but it's not the end of the world. Don't let her know you are afraid of her. If she's being aggressive, you don't want to teach her that her aggression gets her what she wants.


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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 12:12 PM
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Oh and I moved your topic to the rabbit section - you should get more responses here


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 08-31-2011, 08:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Great advise from all!

Yes, I was a bit vague as to when she does it. It isn't a hard bite she has not broken skin yet. Its just a little unsettling when she does it. We allow others to hold her and would hate for her to actually bite and break skin of a guest. I may just need time to adjust to her like she does to us. She usually scratches first then does the little nibble thing. She is kept in a large cage during the day while we are at work and allowed to roam the house when we are home. She isn't doing it aggressively, maybe she is trying to tell me something in bunny language. Can anyone recommend good reading material or give me some links to other forums? I do love my little Zoe and want to get to know more about her.

Thank you again everyone for all the pointers and tips
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 12:54 AM
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Holding is a biiig nono for most bunnies. Especially strangers (Hamm went nuts when the groomer tried to pet him). Do you mean scratches as in kicking and squirming or 'digging' at the floor/pants/socks, etc?

www.rabbit.org

The House Rabbit Society

And I go here: rabbitsonline.net
for my forum.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 07:03 AM Thread Starter
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scratching

Its like a little dig kinda thing. It almost appears to be a nesting thing then the nibble happens.

We have held her since we brought her home and she is so far okay being held and touched. I tell guests to get on the floor and let her come to them so far it works okay. No nibbles on others. Mostly just me she nibbles on. Is it maybe a form of affection?
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-01-2011, 09:33 AM
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It may be affection.

She does the digging and then bitting when you are holding her? She might be annoyed and is trying to tell you to put her down. One of my rabbits does that when I put him on my lap to cut his nails, when he's had enough he gets annoyed and starts digging at my pants & will sometimes nip at them. It's his way of trying to get me to put him down.


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-02-2011, 10:32 PM
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I think it might have something to do with being picked up. Unfortunately for as cute as bunnies are, most hate to be picked up. I've had Acacia for nearly 5 years now and I want to pick her up and snuggle her every day bc she's so cute but I cannot She hates it and it makes her mad.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-02-2011, 01:03 AM
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My flemmie nibbles my clothing, shes trying to groom you. What you can do to stop it is whistle sharply or make a small EEK noise, it'll let her know in a bunny way that that hurts you.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-04-2011, 01:35 PM
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I have this same issue with my female bun Speckle, she usually does it if I hold her for too long/ hold her in a way she doesn't like or if she wants me to move and sometimes she does it out of love. Sometimes she likes to groom me and sometimes that includes a love bite lol.


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