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newbie210
25-08-2008, 06:36 PM
Hello,

First of all, I am new to this forum! I did a couple quick seraches and didn't find the exact answer to my question, but I aopologize if I am rehashing something that has already been covered at length.

We adopted a 3 month old Netherland Dwarf almost three weeks ago. She is not spayed. We currently keep her in an 18x48 wire bottom cage for the night time. Every morning she gets 2-3 hours of play in our outdoor screened in porch. After her play time she goes into a wire "play yard" that is 48x48. She sometimes gets an additional hour or two on the porch again in the adternoon. The porch is large probably 15 feet wide by 30 feet long. She is litter box trained.

Everything is going well, but she really doesn't like to be handled. We don't disturb her in her night time cage other than to take her out for her free run in the porch. To get her into the play yard I begin setting it up, and then when she comes to explore I shut the gate behind her. If I couldn't trick her back in there I don't think we could ever get her back in a cage. When she is out on the porch we always sit out there with her. She'll come over and sniff us and lay down near us (maybe 1-2 feet away). She sprawls out and gets completely relaxed. But she won't let us touch her or pet her! We are trying to give her time to get to know us and understand that we mean her no harm. We offer her a wedge of carrot when she is out, and she will come right up to us and take it from our hand. If we try to pet her while she is eating it she either lets go and runs off, or if I let go of the carrot she'll pull it a bit away and finish eating. She runs around the porch and jumps and does the binky. She just won't let us groom/pet her.

Any suggestions? Are we giving her too much freedom??

Thanks for any advice!

hurricanhoney
25-08-2008, 06:38 PM
Hello and welcome to the forum. :wave:

Deelove
25-08-2008, 06:56 PM
Hello, welcome to the forum. Some times it can take time for them to come round. An awful lot of rabbits don't really like to be handled either.

You say she's in a wire bottom cage? I don't really rate them as they can cause sore hocks, however if she doesn't like her cage she may have come to associate you trying to handle her with having to go back in it.

I've created a page on my website about interaction and someone had a good tip about using a puppet on there. You might find it helpful.
www.walduck.plus.com/interaction.html

luvabun
25-08-2008, 07:02 PM
:wave: Hiya, it sounds like she has a good life and is just enjoying it being a bunny. Being petted by humans isn't natural or normal and some take to it better than others (e.g. one of mine, Kiki, is very skittish and it's only 1 year on that I may be allowed a breif nose rub or stroke). Enjoy the binkies :)

newbie210
25-08-2008, 07:46 PM
I am glad that we aren't doing anything obviously wrong!

A previousposter commented about the wire cage. Since she is litter trained we have towels in there for her to sit on, and then newspaper underneath the towels to support her. She chews the paper a bit, and drags the towels around until she gets it all just so.

We'll keep letting her out as much as we can, and sitting quietly. When you read on the internet, and even some posts here, it seems as though the buns have the capacity sfor such affection... Maybe if we have her spayed in the next couple of months, too.... Hopefully, over time she'll let us stroke her soft back a few times before scampering off!

:love:

amyhhh
25-08-2008, 07:57 PM
Sounds like you are doing the right thing spending time sitting quietly with her so she starts to trust you more. I would keep feeding her treats by hand like you are doing so she associates you with nice things! Also perhaps try to give her things that she can't just run off with - mine run off with a piece of carrot (so i can't nick it back off them i think :D) but if i put a nice little pile of carrot tops or their favourite hay they will stay munching it beside me. Lots of rabbits love being stroked on their heads or noses or behind their ears (Hector loves it!) so try giving her gentle strokes on her head while she is munching. Good luck! She sounds like a lovely happy bunny!

XMissySJx
25-08-2008, 08:00 PM
i run a bunny boarding, and to be honest i can tell when someone brings round a bunny thats been spayed! because they are so much easier to handle etc, it does make life alot easier, i think its just her hormones are getting in the way, my female, Jelly, she used to be a demon!

she would bite, scratch, kick, and even hiss at me! now shes still got her cheeky personality, shes not a placid bun, but she will hop on my lap, and even groom me, so it does make alot of difference.

perhaps get some vetbed or similar for the cage so its nice and soft?

good luck, would love to see piccies xxx

loopylop
25-08-2008, 08:06 PM
Sounds like she is very happy with you :) Sounds like you are doing the right thing with letting her come up to you, give it time and she will come round :)

Speying when she is old enough might help as well. If its any consolation, my 5 year old girl absolutely loves being stroked etc but refuses to be held, loves any other kind of attention though :)

Keep at it, your hard work and patience will pay off :D

capel
25-08-2008, 08:08 PM
Hi and welcome to the forum:wave: It sounds as though she has a wonderful time with you.:D Most rabbits are skittish at first and you are doing exactly the right thing by sitting quietly with her. As someone has already said , bribery can work miracles:lol:. Offer her a treat....a small piece of apple or carrot, and if she lets you give her a nose rub try to make sure that at first you withdraw your hand before she runs off, then she'll not see it as intrusive and won't associate your hand with being held against her will.

newbie210
25-08-2008, 08:16 PM
Thanks Deelove for linking to your site! How wonderful you seem to be to all of your wonderful critters!

The pictures of you on the floor nose-to-nose with the bunny... that is what I want! I just came in from the porch and I tried lying down while she was out. She was in the process of scampering around in a figure-eight path and she jumped right over me! Go superbunny!

Deelove
26-08-2008, 11:55 AM
Thanks Deelove for linking to your site! How wonderful you seem to be to all of your wonderful critters!

The pictures of you on the floor nose-to-nose with the bunny... that is what I want! I just came in from the porch and I tried lying down while she was out. She was in the process of scampering around in a figure-eight path and she jumped right over me! Go superbunny!

:lol: I'd love to see some pics of her. The wire cage sounds fine if you have towels down. I'm just more paranoid about sore hocks cos one of mine is a rex. Bribery does seem to be the key to their hearts. :lol: