“Just Like Humans, Some Animals are Just Jerks.”
by Emily Gooden
(Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia)
Who's in Charge?
My sisters and I have an enquiry for anyone able to answer about rabbit bonding, and would be grateful for any response!
Here's some background information:
Momo is a three year old Netherland Dwarf cross Lop mix, Naga is a 10 month old Mini Lop Mix, and Pabu is a 7 month old Netherland Dwarf cross Lop Mix. They have all been desexed, and all live in separate cages, although we are looking for a hutch for Naga and Pabu to share. They all live in a large fenced in rabbit pen in the backyard, where they are allowed to roam during the day in schedules that mean no interaction happens between Pabu and Naga with Momo.
We are relatively new to rabbits, with Momo being our first, and therefore are unsure about how to go about rabbit bonding as none of us has much experience.
Momo is a quite the jerk to all other rabbits he has met, and does not take kindly to any other animals aside from humans.
We have attempted to bond him with two separate rescue female rabbits, one of whom died due to dental complications after a year of attempting, and another who did not bond with Momo (not from lack of effort on her part), but managed to bond very easily with our other rescue male rabbit Pabu, who is the same breed as Momo.
The female that died, Appa, we attempted to bond with Momo over a year, but only managed to get to the level where he was comfortable with her resting around half a metre from him.
We used all the suggested techniques, yet nothing seemed to work overly successfully. This is when we bought Naga, an incredibly friendly and sometimes overbearing lady whom Momo immediately hated, despite her attempts of friendship.
It got to the stage that Naga was experiencing depression from lack of companions, so we rescued Pabu, where they experienced instant love upon meeting and bonded in as little as three short dates.
Momo seems to be a very dominant rabbit and has a hard time sharing things with a pretty impressive temper, and upon meeting both female rabbits he attempted to rip chunks of fur out of them, and continuously attempts to attack our other male Pabu through cage bars.
After watching our bonded couple of Naga and Pabu, my sisters and I are deeply invested in finding Momo a suitable partner as we believe he would be a much happier rabbit for it, but are unsure how to go about it.
As the Simpsons famously said, “just like humans, some animals are just jerks.” We are unsure if Momo is just a grade A jerk, or just incompatible with certain rabbits.
We are unsure as to why he is so aggressive to other rabbits, as he was our first bunny and not a rescue, and is desexed. He shows no aggression to humans, only having bitten my sister once when she was cleaning his cage, and when he was unwillfully detained by a friend of the family.
Are there any techniques or tips that would help this situation?
We would love to add another rescue bunny to the family, but we don’t want them to be rejected by Momo and left on their lonesome, like Naga nearly was.
Thank you for any advice you can give us!
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