Rabbit Bonding Battles

by EvilMomthra
(Roanoke, VA)

Perfect Pals?

Perfect Pals?

Perfect Pals?
The Domination Circle

I need advice.

7 years ago we adopted a very abused and damaged (mentally) bunny we called her Ninja.

She was a Netherland dwarf. She had snuffles. She bonded immediately with our bun Wolf. He was a Japanese Harlequin. He had e-cuniculi. He was also a rescue.

We fought his disease for 14 years but finally lost the battle to old age and the spread of the parasite.

Ninja broke. She was never the same and her illness became progressively worse.

After Wolf's passing we tried to adopt a companion for her. We adopted what we thought was a docile older bunny named Daisy.

Total failure.

Daisy was just fat and not old. She is a very aggressive, young bunicidal maniac. She is the most loving, sweet, beautiful full sized lionhead in the world until she sees another bun. She is also a rescue, but unlike Ninja or Wolf, she has never been abused.

Turned out she was only 4 months old when we adopted her. So, we adopted another rescue named Eli. He was also abused. He is a mini Rex, guesstimate 3 years old.

He bonded with Ninja, she tolerated him. But he gave her the company she needed. We kept our house divided with baby gates. Our bunnies have no cages. They are free roaming in their separate domains.

We just lost Ninja. Her illness progressed greatly in the past month and despite extremely aggressive medical care we lost. Her body started to shut down on Wednesday and we had to put her down. (Excuse my spelling, I am still crying).

Eli had been separated from Ninja for three weeks now - her treatment would not allow them to be together.

We tried to put Eli with Daisy. She tried to eat him.

How can we bond these two without bloodshed and live in a home not divided?

Eli is very docile and acts frightened and lonely.

Any advice is appreciated.

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Jun 03, 2016
Bonding Agressive Buns
by: Kerry

I can truly understand the heartfelt pain you must be feeling right now in trying to do the best for your bunnies in any way you can, so I will endeavour to give you the best help I can, and also point you in the direction of some good pages to help you fill in the gaps as to what you can do to help Eli.

It doesn't sound like Daisy has spent very much time in the company of other rabbits and this means that she doesn't necessarily know what to do in a 'social' situation. But this is not to say that she can't learn.

However, patience is going to be your key element here, and it has been known for bonding to take up to 6 months to a year when rabbits have no idea what they are supposed to be doing.

You are the one in control here and getting very strict routines in place (including bonding areas and timing sequences) off to a regimented start will be the key to your success.

Rewarding any good behaviour with a small treat during bonding sessions will also enhance the recognition between allowable behaviour and linking it with something good happening. Daisy will get to know that, for example licking Eli's fur for a few seconds will get her a reward of a piece of apple (or something else that she really loves).

Association training with a clicker may also be something to look at, as some rabbits respond better to a clicker than to a voice command.

The important thing to remember is that YOU must stay calm, confident and in control at all times.

Some pages of information that may help are here:






Good luck in your quest to get these two bunnies bonded, but by the sounds of things you are a very observant, and loving bunny carer, and it shouldn't be long before Eli and Daisy are truly together and providing you with many, many more years of bunny rabbit bliss.

Thank you for your wonderful story and I hope there are other readers out there that may be able to share their insights and experience with you.

All the very best,
Kerry :)

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