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Disciplining Bunny

4557 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  FunnyBunny
ARG! Hoddy Toddy is such a pain sometimes. OK I love him to death anyways, but I just CANNOT get him to stop eating the carpet. I'd say he's just completely impossible, except he's become REALLY good at one command: "back!" When I say that and point to his cage he'll even run from across the room and hop back in, turn around and look at me. So I know it's possible to train him! Any tips on how to STOP something? He really can't be tearing up the carpet ... besides the fact that he's ruining the poor carpet, he shouldn't be eating it for his own sake!

I've tried clapping loudly to startle him, and saying NO! He'll look up for a bit, then normally just gets right back at it. I've tried saying NO! and sort of giving him a little shove in another direction, but then he just hops right back and will sit there for a moment, before returning to chewing the carpet.

Help! Ideas? Any bunnies out there successfully trained to stop their bad habits?
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I have no idea.. i never even thought of trying to train our rabbit.. we've been fairly lucky that she doesn't like to eat carpet.. altho shes never left alone long enough to see if she likes it.. most of her playtime is in the kitchen where there is no carpet. Would it be possible to give your rabbit playtime elsewhere?
If not, i think the first thing you need to figure out what tone of voice your saying "back!" in.. since its obviously getting his attention. I sometimes stomp my foot, or kick something to get our rabbits attention she shes being particularly bratty. I read somewhere that rabbits Thump to warn others of danger.. so in theory if you stomp your foot (which is difficult on carpet which is why i will sometimes kick something or knock on something) it should get his attention that 'hey, thats not a good idea!' But then again.. rabbits are stubborn little things.. and well.. sometimes prevention is just the best way to go about things. Does he have other toys? What kinds of things does he like to play with?
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You should see the rug in our back bedroom from Penelope.
How about putting a throw rug down for him to play on?

What do you guys think of a water bottle? I was told to use one while bonding if they get into a fight. Maybe that would help? Don't soak him though. He could get a cold.
Sometimes if Smudge is being really bad or destroying something with out letting up at all (hehe... you should see my bedroom! My moms always like "Why is this so ripped up?" And Im always like "Erm.... I dunno..." Smudge is a bad lil' bunny! ;) ) I just spay him a little with my hermit crabs spray bottle. Nothing hurtful or anything, just enough to annoy him, cuz buns hate water! Or Ill just make a loud noise, but I have to keep coming up with new ones befor he "gets used to" the old sound. XD
Not all bunnies hate water! Actually, my weirdo little Zeus LOVES playing in water.

Anywaaays, just keep in mind that in the meantime while your trying to train him, that you should be really careful because if he swallows any of the carpet pieces it could lead to inpaction. If theres something that my bunnies like to play with that I know can be dangerous to them (for example, wires!), I make sure they can't get to them. My rabbits know what "no" means, if I tell them it they'll stop doing something for awhile, but then go right back to it when they think I'm not looking - so I just make sure they can't get to the things I don't want them playing with.
Lol, we tried the spray bottle thing with hoppity, it had no effect on her at all, she didnt even twitch or anything.. but it does work great on the dogs. All you have to do is touch the squrit bottle and the dogs will both go lay down :giggle:
Has anyone tried clicker training? It involves a lot of redirecting behaviors you don't like with ones you can accept. I just started reading up on it but haven't tried it out yet. When they do something correct you click and immediately give them a treat. I haven't found any treats Molly is interested in enough to start. Maybe her treat would be the head rub. What I have read has to do mostly with tricks but it should work on behavior training too I would think.

Spraying water on their body is another suggestion.
I have also put down cardboard in the corners so Penelope cannot rip the carpet up. It seems like she liked to start in the corner and pull it up.
If I could teach her to lay a laminate floor it would not be a problem.
I just put stuff in the way of places they like to tear up. Matty used to love getting into my hall closet because I keep the food in there and there's no door. I tried putting a cardboard box in the way, but that didn't deter him, so I tried different things until I found old tiles propped on the wall and against the food bag keeps him out. If he can't get to it, he loses interest. Bunnies do absolutely love to tear up carpet, though. I have cheap no-pile type carpet in my rental house and both bunnies still find a way to get a hold of loose threads and tear the corners to shreds. I don't particularly care cause it's not my house XD which is terrible, I know, but just covering the area with plastic works. For example, there was a corner of my room that both buns really liked to dig at and pull the carpet, so I moved the plastic litterbox over the spot and now they just dig in the box, which is okay. Try that?
Thanks so much for all your advice! I'm definitely going to try the spray water bottle idea because I've read that somewhere else, too. I'm not so sure about the clicker thing ... I've never seen one and I doubt Hoddy Toddy would have the patience for that! Haha. I've bought him lots of toys but he's not really thrilled with any of them ... His favorite thing to do is eat. If he can't eat something it usually stops interesting him. He'll only play with his toys after he's eaten his food and if he's super bored. He just sort of rearranges them around his cage - he doesn't take them out of the cage or carry them around with him at all. His favorite toy I swear is a coconut I put in the corner of his cage. He just scratches and tears the hairs off of it and sometimes will roll it around.

Well! Let me tell you what I've done to tackle this problem ... I've been pretty frustrated, and wondering how to stop this bad behavior since nothing I've tried so far has worked! After lots of thought, I realized I've been trying to train him NOT to do something - and previously he's only been trained TO DO something. I decided this was the reason he hasn't caught on at all. So! I started training him to stop whatever he's doing and hop over to where I'm sitting on the floor - no matter where - when I say "come!" And it's been working! He's so excited to get a treat it doesn't matter what he's doing he'll run on over to me! And then afterwards he usually forgets what he was doing (being bad) and hops around to find other amusements. Hurray! So far so good ... except now he gets "come!" and "back!" confused sometimes. He just starts running back and forth between me and his cage and will stand up on his hind legs in the middle and look back and forth until he decides which is the right place to go. Hahaha, it's pretty funny.
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