Rabbit Bonding Nightmare!!

by Samantha Pearcey

Putting on the Riz!

Putting on the Riz!

Putting on the Riz!
Riz Eating on Silver
Playtime with Box

'Silver' is my lop eared dwarf rabbit and a right little madam!

She's 2 years old and has enjoyed being an indoor rabbit all her life.

Unfortunately, her best friend, sister and companion sadly passed away just before Christmas 2014.

I searched high an low for another companion for Silver and eventually found 'Riz', a wonderful Continental Giant!

Riz is very vocal, she runs in circles around the living room all the time groaning and moaning! Its very funny!

But Silver gets very moody about this and bites her. Then Silver bit Riz so badly that there are now two deep slashes on the inside of her thigh showing flesh! I was terrified!

I took them both outside, making sure they were on equal ground, and they began to bond.

However, Riz sprays Silver which then makes her mad and the chasing starts. Madness, chasing and spraying and strong smelly peepee everywhere!

They are now getting along but only in small doses. They sleep separately and therefore love and appreciate each others company after hours apart.

But now BABY Riz is bigger than Silver! She still likes to cuddle Silver and slowly creeps up behind her just to get a quick snuggle!

But Silver likes her own space much more than Riz and she gets tired of the over excitedness EVERY time they are together. Silver shows her displeasure by circling Riz and spraying her with smelly scent!

I'm tired of all this and I am not one to give up at all, but I'm getting there slowly and would really appreciate any tips or advice to help me and the rabbits out or make the situation better.

I would be very grateful for any comments.

Many thanks ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

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Mar 31, 2015
2 things
by: Anonymous

I'm new to rabbits and bonding and have two males who were recently bonded, but still adapting to one another (and one to a new home). I'm told same sex bonding often takes longer and two females can be tough (as two males have been...6 weeks later). Also, I was wondering if your buns had been spayed b/c I know that helps with the spraying and also is best for bonding.

Mar 17, 2015
Thank U Soooo much!!
by: Sam pearcey

Iv written to many sites and Never got a response! While I was reading ur info a Light Bulb went up lol. What u said about Silver grieving an 2 not reprimand her so much ect....I honestly didn't even think she would remember or be thinking about her bff, who's no longer hear? She was practically her mum! I'm making more effort with her now and also giving her 1 to 1 with myself every other day an she's suddenly started lickingmy face or aanywhere when I sit on the floor with her! But if Riz gets my attention Silver bites her! Lol she never used 2 be loving 2wards me? I'm more Confident than I think as every1 tells me I'm doing good job, but u always doubt urself doing better?
Thank u again
I love ur site/webpage
Really pleased with all ur advise!!!!
Silver n Riz thank u also :-)

Mar 17, 2015
Thank U Soooo much!!
by: Sam pearcey

Iv written 2 many sites and NEVER got a respons! So we thank u so much 4 ur Advise It made sense everything u said about Silver grieving! I really didn't think shed remember? Its like a light bulb appeared while reading ur comments lol. Iv been praising her A lot recently as she's become more loving 2wards ME? She never comes 2 me but recently she's been licking me every time I sit on the floor with her, but if I give Riz attention she bites Riz!! Lol Riz is 8months btw and still very loud and energetic! Silver likes a quite life, Im learning 2 not jump 2 conclusions and take a step bk from the situation and 2 not blame myself, every1 tells me I'm good with them and look after them its purely confidence which I know iv got,
Thank u again ♥♥♥♥

Mar 03, 2015
Grieving Process
by: Kerry

Hi Samantha,

Thank you for your wonderful story (if not a little frustrating for you right now), and your lovely pictures of your adorable bunnies.

You haven't said how old Riz actually is but Silver is only two so I don't think this is an age thing. (Some older buns can get quite grumpy with younger playmates - just like Grumpy Grandads & Grandmas do lol)

It may be that Silver is still grieving the loss of her sister. Animals don't always cope with grief in the same way that we do, but their sadness is still there and it is still stressful and upsetting to them.

Upset bunnies can be really naughty and completely change their otherwise quite good behaviour patterns. This can manifest in peeing or pooping everywhere, chewing stuff they shouldn't, biting and generally being really grumpy and in a bad place. Bad vibes man!

If Silver is misbehaving you may be reprimanding her without realizing that she is actually experiencing a deep sadness of her own. Maybe her process in dealing with the void that her sister has left her with has made her deal with any new alien situation with anger and frustration. It's a normal reaction to loss.

But it's great that you have found Silver a new bunny friend. Companionship is the best thing when you are sad. It also helps to fill the void that you feel when something we love has gone. Just as it would be for us if we lost someone close to us. We call on friends and family to help fill the void.

Silver doesn't agree with this at the moment but she will and she'll love you all the more for sticking by her.

Fill that upset feeling she has with your love (Riz is trying to do that too). It's a wonderful starting point. You are doing everything right, don't worry.

A great tip would be to extend more love, I mean loads of love and attention on Silver when she is being good and especially when she is showing her niceness to Riz. When she does this (and only when she is doing this), give her treats, strokes and love when she is being loving to Riz and completely ignore when she is being bad.

When Silver is playing up. Remove her from the situation quickly and smoothly. Don't say anything and don't fuss her. Then walk away.

Keep doing this.

She will soon associate her being good and nice to Riz with rewards on all levels and will learn to be a loving happy bunny again.

Be kind to Silver - she has lost her sister. Imagine if you had lost a member of your family, you would still be grieving too, right? :-(

It sounds like Riz and Silver are lucky to have such a loving caring human such as you! Thanks so much again Sam, for your lovely story.

I'm sure many of our readers will appreciate it too and may even have gone through similar things.

Come on guys and gals - help Sam out here - any further tips and suggestions for her?

What do you think? Is there another reason for Silver being so disagreeable?

Warmest love & gratitude

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