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Betta Bomb
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5,202 Posts
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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Betta Bomb
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5,202 Posts
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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