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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I just got my new best friend on Saturday (29th) from a pet shop in town and the person who helped me advised me to leave her in her cage for a couple of days before taking her out so she would get used to it but as usual, I didn't listen :/ now she hates going in her cage when I am away or when I have to sleep and she keeps doing the toilet on my bed.

I read a LOT about rabbits before I got her about body language and stuff and she nipped at my fingers a while ago and licked me a couple of times (I think? I'm pretty sure) which is apparently a really good sign but she runs away from me all the time when I try to pet her and and doesn't let me pick her up. She eats food out of my hand a lot though and jumped up on my lap a few times when I was just sitting next to her and does that side floppy thing which is supposedly good too.

She keeps doing these mixed feeling things and it's hard for me to get a grasp on whether she likes me or not. I hope it's just because I haven't had her for so long that she isn't responding to me much and is running away from me a lot because it would make me sad to think she was so scared of me and hates me forever :/ (Sorry if this is really long but I would really appreciate some help)
 

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Betta Bomb
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Animals in pet shops generally are not socialised, nor are they when they're bred in mills. Pet stores and mills only churn out animals for money- its up to you once you pass the money to ensure it gets the right socialisation. You really should have left her alone while she got used to moving in. Female? Are you totally sure? How old is she? I got Acacia at about 4 months old and it was then she was a little demon from **** and I literally couldn't even touch her without nearly scaring her to death until she hit 6 months when she was promptly spayed. I suggest spaying not only for super duper territorial and hormonal based aggression as well as reduce her chances of cancer therefore prolonging her life.
It's important that you are able to hand feed her at this stage, talk to her so she learns to trust you, offer her treats (not sugary ones which she will spoil on and possibly get ill on) and only when she gives the cue touch her head. NEver come in from above- that is how the predator gets them. Come in from the side at her level and talk to her, when she nips NEVER scold her just get up and move away. Ignore it. If you yell or hit her she might never trust you. Her running away from you is only natural for her as a prey species, she is not used to you yet so she does not know whether to bolt or chill. Acacia STILL runs away from me half the time, I let her be. Some bunnies will love affection and crave humans, some prefer to go it alone and come for attention when its their idea.
Congrats anyway :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
She is a female and the person at the store said she was around 7 weeks old but she looks pretty big for 7 weeks but I could be wrong. I never go to her from above and I don't mind when she nips at my fingers. I do offer her treats like carrots but she doesn't seem to like them even if I just leave them in her cage. I don't mind if she isn't the kind of rabbit that loves to have you hold and cuddle her, I would just like it if she came to see me and talk to me or sit on my lap but from the way she is being I can't see that happening ):

Also, I read that you should pick your rabbit up and hold her against you hard so they know you are the boss and you won't hurt them but I would rather not because it doesn't seem like a nice thing to do and she really doesn't like being held, mostly by me for some reason as my aunt just waltzed in the other day and picked her up with no fuss, same with my sister :/
 

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I have a rabbit who doesn't like carrots - you'll have to experiment with her to see what she likes and what she doesn't like. 7 weeks is very young though, be careful you don't feed her too many new foods too soon. The House Rabbit Society doesn't recommend that you introduce veggies at all until rabbits are 12 weeks old. Rabbits can have sensitive GI systems and you don't want to make her sick.

Most rabbits aren't the kind of rabbits who love to be held and cuddled. Most rabbits don't enjoy being picked up.

You haven't had her for long. You have to give her some more time. It's normal for rabbits to not immediately love someone. You have to give them time and earn their trust first. With one of my rabbits, he was neglected before I got him, it took him over a year just to feel comfortable enough with me that he would take treats out of my hand. Some rabbits will come around sooner than others, depending on their personalities and their past, but this is not something you can rush.

As for helping to form a bond with her - sit down with her and talk to her gently. Don't go after her, wait until she comes to you. Take things on her terms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I see. I would love for her to like me but I will wait, even though it is disheartening. I would hate to spend so long with her and getting nowhere and then she never warms up to me. So many people tell stories of their rabbits being so nice to them after a couple of weeks and it's so sad that mine hasn't turned out this way but, I have only had her for 3 days! So there's still time xD
 

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I see. I would love for her to like me but I will wait, even though it is disheartening. I would hate to spend so long with her and getting nowhere and then she never warms up to me. So many people tell stories of their rabbits being so nice to them after a couple of weeks and it's so sad that mine hasn't turned out this way but, I have only had her for 3 days! So there's still time xD
Very few rabbits bond to humans that quickly. Just be patient and let her come to you on her own :). Offering tasty treats doesn't hurt, either :lol:.
 

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She sounds pretty normal to me: I don't think she "hates" you at all. :)
Keep in mind that pretty much every rabbit hates being picked up and held. You also shouldn't decide whether or not she likes you based on 3 days... Give it a few weeks. It sounds like she is just playing hard to get right now, but she will warm up to you eventually.


And I would definitely suggest getting her spayed. Once they hit 6 months, they really are the Devil's spawn LOL :rolleyes:
 

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So many people tell stories of their rabbits being so nice to them after a couple of weeks and it's so sad that mine hasn't turned out this way but, I have only had her for 3 days!
Imagine the surprise, shock, anxiety, etc, that you might feel if you were taken from the only home you knew, and placed with someone who was a giant compared to you; you didn't understand their language, their movements, habits and you were placed in brand new surroundings - everything smells new, your food might be different. Anyway, I'm sure you get the point.

Oliver came to me about 3 months ago, and I can tell you with certainty that while I think he likes me, (and the term like is very subjective), he prefers to hang out on his own. He's not certain that I'm not a predator and to convince him of as much will take a long, long time - years is what I'm thinking.

If I could tell anyone anything about getting a bunny it would be that your commitment to them, well, it better be able to withstand being ignored, nibbled on, poor litter box habits and on and one with all the negative stuff. I mean, bunnies are so much work and often it doesn't seem that what you're receiving in return is really worth it... and who knows, to you it might not be. For Oliver, I always just tell him it's a darn good thing that he's cute. Honestly, he doesn't provide me with too much, yet, and he may never, but that's something that I've come to terms with over the last few months. What I can tell you is that for whatever reason when I'm house hunting (I'm preparing to buy a house), he's one of the first things I think about; is there a space for him, would he like this yard, etc. I don't even know why I think about these things so often other than to say that I think he deserves to be happy. I guess that's kind of the way I feel about all my pets, whom I lovingly refer to as my babies.

Anyway, sorry for the long post but I do think you need to be prepared for a long courting with your bunny. In my limited experience, it definitely takes time to win them over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I understand it takes a long time for a rabbit to feel comfortable with you and I have been impatient but I know she will warm up to me eventually. She eats out of my hand and when she is lying down she seems to like it when I pet her (when she is lying on top of her boxy house thing) because she does that tooth purr thingy and when I sit near her she sometimes comes up to me. She bumps her nose into my hand sometimes, I read that that is a good thing? Anyway, we seem to be making progress. :)
 

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No no no no no!! Going back to my sensitive trust issue, DONT grab bunny swiftly and hold her tight! This will alarm an especially nervous bunny and it will definitely prolong bonding.
What I can offer as advice as your aunt and sister picking her up is simple body language and aura. If you ever heard the dog whisperer talking about calm-submissive demeanor it applies to bunnies too. If you react the way bunny wants you to (retreating) when she nips or grunts or punches at you then she will learn to associate the behavior with you leaving her alone. Dominance being key here, if she is annoyed at whatever you're doing and knows you will leave her alone [queen bunny!] then you will not solve it with picking her up and hugging her tight. What you should try to do is take a deep breath sitting with her and then calm yourself down. Without thinking too much into her reaction, rather gently cup your hand over her head covering her eyes. As a strategy of defense she shouldn't move. Truly dominant bunnies sit on top of subordinates. Do not apply pressure enough to hurt her or make it uncomfortable and speak to her constantly. Only cover her head for a couple seconds each time.
The bunny trance is ineffective so don't let anyone tell you its cute and to flip your bunny.
I recommend your sister and aunt stop grabbing bunny. Most bunnies resent the idea of being picked up and it should be restricted. Bunnies are not cats or dogs and are prey species, they need to be treated as such.
 

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4 months ago, I was in the same spot you were. I'm new to bunnies, had done my research, and my bunny just seemed to "hate" me, even though the people at the shelter said he was a sweetie.
AND Cheeto is neutered and was hand-raised at his shelter (his mom was surrendered pregnant.) He still acted the way your rabbit did.
I was heart broken because I loved him so much already, and after three weeks, he still hadn't come around.
I thought I was stuck with an evil rabbit.
Mind you, it takes a TON of patience; you need to devote hours at a time to just talk to your bunny, then start putting your hand in front of her to see what she thinks, if she runs away, respect that and go back to talking. Once she seems mildly comfortable, lay on the ground and wait. Seriously, it could take hours, but be patient. She WILL come to you, rabbits are naturally curious.
4 months of doing that, Cheeto is now letting me pet him and he likes to run around my feet; he's still not 100%, some things make him nervous, but he seems to be getting better everyday. You have to understand that you may not get a rabbit that is always be what you want; Cheeto will run away flicking his feet when he's in a mood, and won't talk to me for days randomly--so you just gotta love the bun you have.
Just hangout with your new buddy, you'll learn a lot about her, and she will learn that you're not going to eat her. =)
 

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When I first got my Flemish Giant, she was a bit of a handfull to handle and socialize. I couldn't even pick her up until a month or so later. Taking your time to let your bunny know your scent and trust you is all it takes. I can pretty much pick all 20 pounds of her up anytime any which way.
 
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