Bring healthy rabbit treats, such as carrots and celery. Hold out the treat and say "[your Rabbit's name], come.” Give the rabbit a treat and verbal praise if it approaches you. This will positively reinforce the rabbit's actions.
As he grows used to this, he'll soon start to appear as you call – even when there may not be a treat involved. 'In this way, it's easy to build up your bunny's confidence and teach him to come when you call,' says Michelle. 'Rabbits are very intelligent animals and will learn quickly.
They also lose much of their depth perception at close ranges, seeing in two dimensions (instead of the three that we are used to). Their vision also isn't as sharp as humans' vision. This grainy vision is why it's so easy to startle your bunny – they might not always recognize your shape.
Because rabbits are social animals, they require daily interaction and attention. They aren't happy languishing in a cage day after day. For several hours daily, they need time outside the cage, to socialize, exercise and explore. To be comfortable with their people, they need frequent, gentle interaction.
While rabbits cannot understand human language, they can be trained to understand what we say through gestures and verbal cues. Rabbits understand words using cues. These can be conscious cues, such as verbal commands and gestures. These can also be unconscious cues, such as body language and tone of voice.
Welcome, and as an FYI, rabbits say “hello” by going nose to nose just like cats do. And the one that lowers its head first so that its chin touches the ground thinks they're the boss.
Rabbits will remember the people that they spend a lot of time with, and this includes their owners and caretakers. As prey animals, they have neurologically developed with a strong long-term memory for places and routines. You can use these associations to help strengthen your rabbit's memory of you.
Rabbits are often very shy and can take a while to warm up to new people and trust them. It might seem like they are aloof or skittish animals by nature. However, if you give them time and teach them to trust you, you'll start to notice your rabbit choosing to stay with you and become more affectionate.
Why do my rabbits seem to ignore me? Rabbits are a prey species so they instinctively avoid drawing attention to themselves. The mistake many first-time rabbit owners make is to impose themselves on their pets – to a rabbit, even a hand reaching overhead can feel like a predator approaching.
Getting a rabbit's attention is best done by using verbal commands and saying its name. Not only does this alert it to your presence, but it will grab its attention. A rabbit that is bonded to and comfortable with you will acknowledge its owner more easily.
Most of the time rabbits won't come out to play because they are scared or shy and need time to learn to trust you. However, other reasons your rabbit might not be coming out include boredom, depression, illness, old age, and even sleepiness.
Move slowly and talk quietly around rabbits so as not to startle them. They're more likely to be relaxed in a quiet and calm handling environment. Picking rabbits up when you're close to ground level is less likely to scare them, and is also safer, as it helps prevent them from being dropped from a height by accident.
Licking: Licking is a way bunnies groom each other. If your bunny licks you, it's a sign of affection as you'll often see pairs of bunnies grooming each other this way. A bunny lick is a sign of a bond.
Contrary to popular belief, most rabbits don't have very sensitive ears. While most rabbits aren't necessarily going to enjoy an ear massage, they don't mind when their ears are touched either. It's a neutral area for rabbits.
Licking means “I love you, I trust you.” Lunging may occur when you reach into your rabbit's cage to clean, give food, or to take your rabbit out – a sign of disapproval.
When a rabbit nibbles or bites you softly it is often accompanied with licking, which is a sign of love. He is trying to groom you and is simulating the grooming process (however, you have no fur to build up knots in so it results in just a little nibble of the skin).
Nudging, head butting or rubbing against you is rabbit body language for loving attention. 'Give them a stroke or cuddle, or what you know they enjoy', says Rosie. 'Rubbing their faces against you is a way of sharing their scent profile, and showing that you really are friends.
Rabbits need a contrast of light and darkness. A rabbit that lives in constant light can experience stress. In addition, their eyes can be damaged, and they'll gain weight. Provide a dark area for your bunny to sleep and relax within.