The best way to gain your rabbits' trust is by simply spending lots of time being near them, while allowing your bunnies to approach you in their own time. By sitting quietly with them in a safe enclosure, you'll show your rabbits that you aren't to be feared and that you can be trusted.
Let her explore you first, and learn that you are not a threat. Give a few small treats as you are getting to know each other. Eating is a social activity for rabbits and eating together builds trust. Small portions of carrot, apple, herbs, or oats are offerings a rabbit will appreciate.
We usually tell our adopters that we expect the average bonding is going to take about two and a half weeks.
If your rabbit got spooked and is showing signs of fear, you can comfort your rabbit to help them calm down. By gently talking to your rabbit and petting them, you can let them know there is nothing to be afraid of. If that doesn't work, you can also use treats and toys to distract your rabbit.
Any fast or sudden movements, loud noises, unfamiliar smells or larger creatures – including their owners – can trigger a fear response. 'We're predators from a rabbit's point of view,' explains clinical animal behaviourist Rosie Bescoby, who runs animal behaviour consultancy Pet Sense.
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.
Giving a shy rabbit a treat when they approach you is a form of reward training. You give them positive reinforcement for their curious and brave behavior. You'll help your rabbit associate you with getting their favorite treat, making it more likely your rabbit will approach you again in the future.
Most rabbits love being pet. Many will calmly sit with you for long periods of time while you give them a nice massage. Petting is a great way to calm an anxious rabbit down and to bond with your pet rabbit.
Keep them in a cage or small exercise area until they become more familiar with your home. Be sure to have his cage stocked with all the comforts of home - litterbox, food dish, water supply, solid place to rest, toys and a big hay pile.
Bunny Sweet Spots
The nose, face, cheeks, and ears seem like safe areas to try. Under the chin might or might not be a problem area, depending on the rabbit. The back is likely safe. The belly, feet, and rear end seem like no-go areas.
Scare them away. Lights, shiny aluminum pie tins, and motion scare devices can be enough to ward off rabbits, at least for a time. Dogs and cats running free in the yard are a great deterrent, too.
Most rabbits love to be cuddled and stroked when approached in the right way. Few like being held or carried as being so high up from the ground makes them feel insecure, however, many will happily sit on your lap or snuggle up next to you for a cuddle.
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.
It is common for rabbits to be offended and hold grudges against people. The most common sign that a rabbit is upset is when they give you the cold shoulder, ignoring you and refusing to take any treats. Rabbits holding a grudge will also flick their feet and people and urinate in places they normally wouldn't.
Bunnies must chew to keep their teeth healthy. Offer Floppy lots of fun playthings to keep her amused. Many household items can be upcycled into great, inexpensive, bunny toys. Stuff fresh hay or herbs into a paper bag, or crumple up pieces of paper and toss them to your adorable pal.
Rabbits typically run away from people because they are afraid or angry. The rabbit has learned from past experiences that humans will chase them, pick them up, or trap them into a small cage.
If they are not given enough attention, rabbits can exhibit destructive behaviors or become severely depressed. They are social animals that need the company of others in order to be happy. If you take the time to give your rabbit lots of attention every day, you'll be rewarded with a lovable and happy companion.