Scared rabbit needs taming - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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Scared rabbit needs taming

Hi, we have had a male rabbit for 5 months now and Wednesday last week we got him neutered. We have had him since he was young so we have been able to train him myself, to be a loving housepet where he jumps up on the sofa and snuggles etc...

Anyway, the Sunday before his neutering we bought a female rabbit (about the same age) we hadn't introduced the two rabbits yet at all. She looked like she hadn't been handled a lot so as soon as we got her home we started to spend lots of time with her, sat next to her doing nothing, letting her come to me to trust me. And all this effort had worked as after that she let me stroke her all the time and wasn't that scared of being picked up. But a week or so after we neutered the male we moved her cage from another room next to his cage. (You keeping up? lol) so they were side by side. Of course all the male wanted to do is get to the female as much as possible but we prevented this.
2 days passed and it was all going fine and both rabbits allowed me to stroke/pick them up until the male rabbit managed to jump from outside right through the top of the female’s cage. This obviously shocked the female and she got a bit distressed. We tried to pick her up after that to console her but she was having none of it, sprinting round her cage as fast as possible, not letting me get near her. We left her for a bit to calm down and then went back, but she was still the same!
This had annoyed me as we put a lot of hours getting her to trust me. Anyway a couple days passed and we thought it would be a good idea to get her spayed. (To calm her down) So we did last Monday. We have spent more hours just sitting with her not doing much and yes she has got a bit better where she will let me stroke her sometimes, but when we try and pick her up (to give her medicine) she always runs away and makes it really difficult.

Question is how we can get her to trust me again. She did before the male rabbit scared her, can we still do it?

Sorry if this bored you we just needed to tell you all the information, hope you can help me
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 08:10 AM
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While you're giving her medicine, you can't really expect her to trust you. You're picking her up and putting gross stuff into her mouth. Even rabbits that normally tolerate being picked up well will learn to run away from you when you've got medicine.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 08:13 AM
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Well most rabbits don't enjoy being picked up. I have 3 rabbits and they all hate it, although they will come up to me and hop on my lap for me to pet them. Since rabbits are prey animals, they feel the most comfortable with their feet on the ground.

It sounds like you're doing things right. I would just keep interacting with her on her level to get her to regain trust in you. Let her come to you for attention, instead of forcing it on her. You want to make it fun for her instead of stressful. Maybe offer her a treat if she comes up to you and allows you to pet her?

Kudos to you for getting them both fixed! Remember that it can take a couple of weeks for them to start calming down after the surgery.


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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 02:09 PM
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Kudo's for getting them fixed ^^
The male crashing from heaven into her territory is what distressed her and she was only acting to defend it from anything else with her aggression towards you. When I had Acacia spayed (she was such a little brat) it took her months to finally calm down!! But I think this also had something to do with her up-bringing as well!! It sounds like since your lil girl was scared of people first, also, just be PATIENT!! I know it may get frusterating sometimes but if your anxiety emanates out of you she will react to that, so if you get irritated leave the room for a few minutes to calm down for both of you.
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-17-2010, 06:27 PM
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Its great that you got them both fixed! Thats more than alot of people will do.


Like the others said, she wont be very trusting when you give her meds, but here is a tip to make it a little better: My boy Smudge was on alot of meds over the summer, from surgeries and an eye problem. What I did was wrap him in a bunny burrito, so he felt secure, and I would just give him a little squirt of meds at a time. Inbetween squirts, he got a dried papaya treat. When he figured out that meds = treats, and would get very excited and run right up to me as soon as he saw the syringe! He got to be pretty enthusiastic about his meds LOL



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"For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear.They are not brethen, they are not underlings; they are other nations caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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thanx for your replies, I guess the key here is to just be patient with her. Also get more treats, what treats do you suggest as I have bought some and both rabbits didn't like them
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 06:02 AM
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I tend to stay away from processed ones from the pet store for "all small animals" and most "for rabbits" bc theyre blocked with sugar and bad ingredients and preservatives! Oxbow and Martins sell a half reliable line or you can give raisens. Thats what mine get and they get a shreddie square like once a week as a special super treat! Get dried papaya (my drugstore sells them as chewable pills without added sugar) but again, try to avoid the preserved ones which contain sugar and other strange chemicals.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-18-2010, 09:01 AM
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My guys love papaya tablets, raisins, craisins, and small pieces of fruits or veggies.

When introducing a new treat or food, you might have to give it to them a few times before they decide they like it.


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