View Full Version : Survey: How many rabbits enjoy being handled?

09-01-2013, 07:15 PM
I think most people here would say that the majority of rabbits do not "enjoy" being handled, some hate it, some tolerate it, and a special few genuinely enjoy cuddles. I was curious as to the actual ratio of "normal" rabbits to cuddle enjoying rabbits so I thought it would be a good idea to start a thread to gather numbers if people could join in we could get an idea of how rare/common they really are. For the purposes of this I mean being picked up or cuddled as handling, as this seems to be the misconception for many people. I'll go first for my parents bunnies:

Number of rabbits: 3
Number that enjoy handling:0
Number that tolerate handling:2
Number that hate handling:1

09-01-2013, 07:21 PM
3 buns

1 enjoy
2 tolerate

09-01-2013, 07:26 PM
4 bunnys

1 loves it
1 will tolerate it
2 hate it

mini lop1
09-01-2013, 07:26 PM
Number of rabbits: 2
Number that enjoy handling:2
Number that tolerate handling:2
Number that hate handling: 0

09-01-2013, 07:41 PM
2 bunnies

1 enjoys handling
1 tolerates handling

09-01-2013, 07:43 PM
7 rabbits - 4 dislike it but ok with it, 1 hates it, 2 like it.

09-01-2013, 07:54 PM
4 rabbits

2 tolerate it

2 hate it

I still have visible wounds from 3 of them though.

09-01-2013, 08:00 PM
Number of rabbits: 5
Number that enjoy handling:0 but can depend on the mood of the rabbit lol
Number that tolerate handling:5 but with honey and charlie as soon as you start to move with them they wriggle like mad!all are generally good with bun checks etc...
Number that hate handling:0

09-01-2013, 08:02 PM
2 - Mini and Smudge
1 - Nutmeg (kinda Smudge too, he freezes)

09-01-2013, 08:03 PM
2 buns
0 enjoy being picked up
Ori likes nose rubs and is ok being picked up and you can snuggle him
Scarlet will tolerate being picked up (she doesn't struggle, just has a definite "get off me ape" look on her face) but doesn't like being fussed at all and hops away

09-01-2013, 08:13 PM
past and present rabbits included

3 buns
3 tolerated being picked up
0 enjoyed being picked up
1 hate being picked up (even though he tolerates it, you can tell he really doesn't like it)

09-01-2013, 08:15 PM
Number of rabbits: 2
Number that enjoy handling:1
Number that tolerate handling:2
Number that hate handling:0

09-01-2013, 08:20 PM
Number of rabbits: 7
Number that enjoy handling:6
Number that tolerate handling:1 Matilda:lol::roll: she just has no time for cuddles ha
Number that hate handling:

09-01-2013, 08:30 PM
Number of rabbits-2
1 - Absolutely adores being handled.
1 - Tolerates it

Alison Marie
09-01-2013, 08:36 PM
Number of rabbits: 2
Number that enjoy handling:1
Number that tolerate handling:0
Number that hate handling:1

buttons tolerates being handled by my oh, but with me, it'sa big no no"

09-01-2013, 08:42 PM
8 Bunnies...

4 hate it (Willow, Molly, Rosey and Bertie)
2 tolerate it (hope and Poppy)
2 like it (Lucky and Daisy)

I really dont make a habbit of picking them up unless im putting them into the carrier/moving them from somewhere etc :)

09-01-2013, 08:43 PM
Number of rabbits: 7
Number that enjoy handling: 2
Number that tolerate handling: 2
Number that hate handling: 3

09-01-2013, 08:46 PM
1 Bunny

HATES being picked up
Loves to cuddle

Shes a diva :)

09-01-2013, 08:46 PM
4 rabbits

0 enjoy
1 tolerates
3 hate

09-01-2013, 08:52 PM
3 rabbits

Tolerate it for up to 5 minutes - 2
Goes completely ballistic, and will even attempt to jump out of my arms when I'm standing up - 1

09-01-2013, 09:00 PM
4 bunnies
0 enjoy being handled
3 tolerate it for claw clipping etc
1 hates being handled

09-01-2013, 09:05 PM
4 bunnies
2 tolerate
2 hate, and are big so are a complete nightmare when they have to go to the vet :lol:

The Duchess
09-01-2013, 09:06 PM
51 bunnies

1 enjoys being handled
9 tolerate being handled for clipping nails/meds
41 hate it and will either bite, scratch, wriggle, writh or have panic attacks..................and that is despite regular gentle handling.

09-01-2013, 09:20 PM
Only nine now :crying:

Enjoys being handled - 2
Tolerates being handled - 6
Hates being handled - 1

These may not be entirely accurate as all my buns get handled regularly - apart from Gemma who really does hate it - and they snuggle into me so some who I have said tolerate it, may enjoy it once I am holding them, but don't like being picked up.

09-01-2013, 09:21 PM
2 bunnies
1 tolerates being picked up
1 enjoys it, but sometimes forgets he does! :roll: (30% of the time he happily let's me pick him up, other times he might try to escape my hands as they reach down to get him but once he's up there and he's getting nose rubs he loves it! Proved by the fact that when I put him down he suddenly remembers being held isn't so bad and will pester me to pick him up again :roll:)

09-01-2013, 09:27 PM
2 rabbits
1 can't even attempt to pick up
1 very scared hates the whole experience

Barn Yard Bunnies
09-01-2013, 09:42 PM
3 rabbits

1 enjoys handling
1 tolerates handling
1 absolutely hates being touched

miss c
09-01-2013, 10:57 PM
4 bunnies
2 tolerate being picked up, their not happy but wont bite or scratch. But their fairly laid back girls. :)
2 hate being handled, i cant even do their nails any more, im going to have to get them booked in at vets or the pet shop to get them cut in a month or so! But the french lop wasnt handled till 7months so when i got him i tried to start but he was allready to big and strong! but hes still lovely in his own way. I hand reared his wife bun from a week old but shes behaves like a unspayed doe on something :evil: she launches attacks, she even went for the back of my leg yesterday while they were free ranging in the garden and i was sweeping their run thank goodness i was wearing boots!!!!!!

09-01-2013, 10:59 PM
2 don't mind it once I've got hold of them, 1 is sometimes ok but doesn't really like it and as for the 4th bun lets just say it usually ends up in her hanging off my arm by her teeth :lol:

09-01-2013, 11:06 PM
2 buns

1 likes to climb on me
1 doesn't

both hate being held/ picked up

09-01-2013, 11:09 PM
Sonic likes snuggles sometimes. He will make it clear when he doesn't! I'd say he tolerates it.

09-01-2013, 11:12 PM
Mylo is almost impossible to pick up, she just kicks in all directions until she's back on the floor again, usually finished off with a stomp before hiding under the couch :roll:

09-01-2013, 11:14 PM
4 bunnies
0 like
2 tolerate
2 hate

One of the two handling haters LOVES fuss though, he absolutely loves being tickled and touched and comes forward begging for attention...as long as his feet are on the ground, he just doesn't like being picked up!

09-01-2013, 11:17 PM
One likes one will tolerate ;-).

09-01-2013, 11:21 PM
Number of rabbits: 2
Number that enjoy handling: 1
Number that tolerate handling: 0
Number that hate handling: 1

Trying to get Ellie used to handling so we can check her teeth and clip her nails but she just hates it and scratches and fights.

Stephen is a cuddle bunny :love:

09-01-2013, 11:28 PM
2 rabbits
2 absolutely will not allow me to pick them up ever!!

10-01-2013, 12:36 AM
2 buns

1 tolerates
1 enjoys

10-01-2013, 04:59 AM
5 rabbits

Roger would spend all day being cuddled and probably is cuddled for 6+ hrs a day while I am off work long term sick myself. I cuddle him while I eat my meals and have a coffee, while I watch the tele, and he loves his side of the ice lolly we share at night, he lies in bed with me at the weekend to be cuddled as well.

Pippa adores cuddles and is always asking to be cuddled. If she doesn't have a big cuddle before she goes to bed, she will dig and make loads of noise until you get up and cuddle her, and I normally take her back to bed with me then just to get some sleep.

Cassie loves cuddles and will climb up onto my lap so that I can't not cuddle her. I'm convinced she has all her best sleeps in my arms. If I haven't got time to cuddle her, I don't sit on the settee to say eat a sandwich quick, because she will get on my lap straight away and then I feel mean if I have to put her back on the floor.

Dipsy doesn't come to me for cuddles, but is quite happy to be picked up and cuddled and gets 'sleepy eyes' and goes to sleep really quickly.

Bodger also doesn't come to me for cuddles, but again is happy to be picked up and has in the past been cuddled for about 4hrs and we ended up falling asleep on the settee, but then I took him into bed with me, because didn't want to upset him by disturbing him.

I have 'special needs' bunnies who all live in the house, and I am convinced that they are the most cuddly of rabbits, because you have to spend so much time with them and looking after them more than you would usually. I would have liked for Christmas, more arms to cuddle my bunnies!!

BB Mommy
10-01-2013, 10:18 AM
10 rabbits

2 love being handled
4 tolerate it
2 have to tolerate it for daily meds
2 absolutely avoid it at all cost!

10-01-2013, 10:38 AM
Number of rabbits: 6
Number that enjoy handling: 0
Number that tolerate handling: 4
Number that hate handling: 2

Rainbow bridge bunnies

Number of rabbits: 8
Number that enjoy handling: 3
Number that tolerate handling: 2
Number that hate handling: 3

10-01-2013, 10:42 AM
5 rabbits

1 seems to enjoy it
2 tolerate it
2 hate it

10-01-2013, 10:51 AM
All mine but Gracie are fine being handled my me, not by anyone else though. Max knows his mummy and daddy but prefers me because he can rest on my boobs, whereas he can't do that on daddy :lol::lol:

Lola was the softest, most perfect bunny and loved being picked up, she also liked having raspberries blown on her belly :oops::oops:

10-01-2013, 11:44 AM
3 Bunnys

1 enjoys being handled
1 tolerates it.
1 hates it with venium.

Brownie is like a bunny prosessed if i try to handle him. He grunts, kicks and wiggles like mad.

10-01-2013, 11:48 AM
4 rabbits....

1 - Oliver - quite likes a snuggle with me, but not really anyone else.
2 - Echo and Maisey - hate being picked up but will tolerate it short term if they can hide their eyes.
1 - Tibbsy - would scratch your eyes out to get away - she even goes to the vets for nail clipping as I've had so many injuries!! :roll:

10-01-2013, 11:52 AM
3 rabbits

All 3 hate being handled.

Not to say that they don't enjoy a good fuss as long as they can keep all 4 paws on the ground!

10-01-2013, 12:11 PM
1 bunny: tolerates/likes it, depending on his mood!

10-01-2013, 12:21 PM
Number of rabbits: 2
Number that enjoy handling: 2
Number that tolerate handling: 0
Number that hate handling: 0

Both my rabbits George and Hershel enjoy being handled, but then we have had them from 8 weeks old and have ensured that they are handled and cuddled every day. George is a Dwarf Lop Doe and now 25wks and Hershel is a Mini Lop Buck and is 17wks. They love attention and will easily come to you when you open their run. They like to sit on my chest for hours and even like to perch on my shoulder as well.

Out of my other rabbits I have had as a child-teens-adult now sadly at the bridge, the main ones are:

Snowflake, a white Lionhead Cross, who sadly died last summer of gut stasis. I only had him 2 months and he was just starting to get used to being handled but enjoyed the cuddles.

Humbug, an English Spot Cross loved being handled as well. He was the first bunny that I felt confident enough to start to trim nails as he was so good.

Lucy, an English Spot loved being handled, we would put her in a big homemade cardboard box sledge and pull her about the backgarden and she would just sit there looking out.

Snowy, a big NZ White tolerated being handled, scratch quite a bit as you picked him up, but once he was in your arms enjoyed the cuddle.

10-01-2013, 12:51 PM
I have 'special needs' bunnies who all live in the house, and I am convinced that they are the most cuddly of rabbits, because you have to spend so much time with them and looking after them more than you would usually. I would have liked for Christmas, more arms to cuddle my bunnies!!

Yup, I agree. Mischa was very ill with head tilt and during that time I often held him. He tolerated being held before that but when he was ill being held was the only way he didn't end up flipping round and round and round unable to keep himself stable so I ended up holding him a lot. When he got better he still enjoyed being held most of the time, unless there was something that grabbed his attention. Sometimes he even flung himself at me, once he flung himself off the bed to my back, he didn't realise I wasn't facing him. Once he flung himself at the gate trying to get to me.

Damn, I really miss him. :cry:

10-01-2013, 01:18 PM
Number of rabbits: 2
Number that enjoy handling: 0
Number that tolerate handling:1 (Boris)
Number that hate handling: 1 (Bella, she'll literally panic and do anything to get away)

10-01-2013, 01:23 PM
OP are you going to collate these numbers?!

I have 4 currently. 3 tolerate general handling - of those, one HATES handling for nail clipping.
The other one hates handling.

None of them enjoy it.

10-01-2013, 01:56 PM
3 rabbits:

Bobo hates being handled/picked with a passion - takes 3 people at the vets just to check his eye and do his vaccination - but loves being stroked and fussed over on the ground.

Harley hates being picked up but will submit once her head is tucked under my arm. Won't be stroked or fussed on the ground.

Holly Tart - is exactly that - a little tart who loves being handled and loved - in any position.

10-01-2013, 02:45 PM
One rabbit and she hates being picked up. The vets always get a thump and she will wriggle non-stop for me, I think she is more still with them as she doesn't know them! The nurses had trouble giving her medicine as it stresses her out so they did put it on weetabix trick which I use.

10-01-2013, 04:21 PM
Mine enjoys handling as long as you're not carrying her around in the air. if you hug her while sitting/lying, she likes it.

10-01-2013, 04:34 PM
number of rabbits: 2
love: 1

Imogen hates being picked up but quite enjoys a short cuddle once being held. Sebastian how ever will sit for a good half hour as long as I keep stroking him,then he gets bored :lol:

10-01-2013, 05:14 PM
2 buns
both hate handling
1 will tolerate it slightly more than the other.... provided you can catch them first :lol:

susie bun
10-01-2013, 05:27 PM
Spenser: I do not like having my feetsies off the ground. I do not like it at all. :evil:

10-01-2013, 05:43 PM
Of 9 all love a fuss and will actively seek people out for attention but only 1 actually enjoys being off the floor or lap for cuddles. They prefer to lie stretched out next to me for a tummy rub.

10-01-2013, 09:25 PM
Two lionhead x dutch rabbits which I have had since babies. I mainly watch them and stroke them. They hate hate hate being picked up... I am working on this with gentle daily strokes and treats.

11-01-2013, 11:22 AM
1 rabbit - does not enjoy being picked up but seems to enjoy cuddles.

11-01-2013, 12:03 PM
3 buns all who tolerate it.

They would all love cuddles and would sit and have nose rubs for hours (one will jump on sofa and lick me for them), but they dont like to be physically restrained/restricted in any way.

11-01-2013, 12:06 PM
Lola sometimes if fine with it and then sometimes she hate it but will tolerate it.

She loves sitting on out knees getting petted.

11-01-2013, 12:25 PM
Baby Jacob loves being picked up and cuddled. I've had lots of buns and other than Jacob, none liked being handled. Most tolerate it if held securely and examined on a bed/floor/vet table. All would happily lie beside me and have a stroke-though it took various time periods to get to this.
But being 'grabbed' and lifted off the ground is very frightening, understandably. Holding them very close and securely does ease their stress but examining on the floor is the best if possible.