Rabbits hold grudges. For this reason, it is best to avoid allowing them to get in an all-out fight. You need to determine, however, whether their behavior is actually fighting or playing as some of the behaviors overlap. Rabbits will nip at each other to get the other's attention.
Often you can stop a fight before it begins, by separating or distracting your rabbits at the first sign of trouble. If a fight occurs during or shortly after the bonding process, you may need to start over from scratch. If your bonded rabbits are fighting, you may need to bond them a second time.
Aggressive rabbits are also a risk to their owners as well – never put your hand in between two fighting rabbits, as you can easily become injured. Separate them with something solid, like a board, and keep them apart.
If negative behaviour occurs, separate the rabbits and begin the introduction process again. Rabbits who repeatedly fight are unlikely to be able to bond and different companions should be sought for them. The whole process can take from a couple of hours to a couple of months.
A broken bond
Bonded rabbits usually get on well over long periods of time. It's not uncommon for rabbits to occasionally scuffle, even in bonded pairs, but if they are having proper fights and pulling fur out that's usually a sign that their bond has broken.
Rabbits apologize by touching heads. Bonded rabbits rarely fight, but it can sometimes happen. If the rabbits groom each other after touching heads, then the apology has been officially accepted. Rabbits are usually keen to make amends, but can be stubborn about doing so.
It is normal for rabbits, neutered and not, to mount and hump other rabbits. There is a point where mounting should be stopped, though, as it may lead to fights. Rabbits mount other rabbits to communicate. Largely, this communication is centered on rabbits determining a social hierarchy.
Rabbits take the protection of their home and territory seriously. If they feel that another rabbit is attempting to steal their territory, they'll fiercely defend it. Another common cause of aggression is establishing dominance. Like all pack animals, rabbits live by a strict hierarchy.
If the bunnies show any signs of aggression, try: A laundry basket on top of a dryer that is on. The backseat of a moving car. The noise is slightly frightening to the bunnies and they may snuggle up and draw comfort from each other creating positive memories of each other.
A rabbit's main defense is their ability to run away and hide as quickly as possible. However, cornered rabbits are also able to use their claws, teeth, and strong hind legs to attempt to fight off predators and defend themselves.
An easy way to tell which of your rabbits it dominant over the other is to watch them grooming one another. Typically, the dominant animal will groom far less frequently, and for far shorter periods of time than the other. You will often see the dominant rabbit thrusting their head towards the other one.
Sit up and raise their front paws like a boxer. Bare their teeth. Use their back legs to thump the ground loudly, or. Move away while flicking their back feet at the source of the threat.
Rabbits can bite, claw or swat at each other potentially inflicting great harm. For this reason, all bonding must be supervised. A good way to have your rabbits become acquainted is to place their pens/cages next to each other. By keeping a bit of space between them, you can avoid fighting.
If your rabbits are having trouble getting along, pet them together for 10-15 minutes at a time. It's also a good idea to end each bonding session with 5-10 minutes of head scratches and petting side-by-side to make sure you end on a positive note.
This aggression is hormonal and indicates a normal desire to defend their territory and ward off any rivals. This behaviour can often disappear by the end of the summer and may not reappear until the following spring. This behaviour should be reduced by neutering (males) and spaying (females).
If your rabbits are mounting each other a lot, instigating fights, stop them, place them side by side. Pet them together and talk to them quietly. Do not let much chasing ensue. If they are persistently aggressive, separate them to prevent injuries.
Rabbits will decide their dominant and submissive status among themselves. You cannot assign these roles to your pets. Just be aware that a submissive rabbit may not stay this way forever. Look out for displays of dominance that could lead to serious problems among your pet rabbits.
Circling is part of a rabbit's courting behavior and is sometimes accompanied by a soft honking or oinking. Circling can also be a way to ask for food or attention from human companions.
Chasing is one of those behaviors. One rabbit will chase the other to claim dominance during the bonding process. This is expected behavior that should not be discouraged. If a chase goes on for longer than 30 seconds, interrupt the rabbits, so it does not turn into a fight.
Depending on the severity of the offence, a rabbit can hold a grudge from hours to several days. Sometimes, a simple stroke on the forehead or an apologetic treat can remedy a miffed bunny, but if your rabbit is truly offended, they can sulk for quite some time!
Offer a treat
The easiest way to apologize to a rabbit is to offer them the treat. For many rabbits, this will immediately get you back into their good graces and they will no longer hold a grudge against you. However, even for rabbits who refuse the treat, the act of giving them something yummy doesn't go unnoticed.