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Thread: Biting

  1. #1

    Default Biting

    Hi all,

    I've posted before about our viscious bun, Dottie. She's still no better and tried to take a chunk out of my hand tonight!

    Since she's been here, we've tried to give her a lovely life, with lots of space, a friend, daily veggies, toys etc and yet she's like this. I thought it might be fear related and it still could be and we don't know what life was like for her before, other than a very tiny hutch and little or no interaction. She sees me every day, as I'm the main carer and yet she goes for me at every opportunity.

    Tonight it was when I reached into the playhouse to put fresh water in. She's nipped me lots of times, but this time I felt her whole mouth around the fleshy part of my thumb. Luckily she didn't manage to cause an injury.

    I'd never get rid of her and I'll carry on caring for her as I have been. But I am afraid of her

    Any ideas? Thanks x

    **created by my DD Lionheadlop**

  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper MightyMax's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheThreeB's View Post
    Hi all,

    I've posted before about our viscious bun, Dottie. She's still no better and tried to take a chunk out of my hand tonight!

    Since she's been here, we've tried to give her a lovely life, with lots of space, a friend, daily veggies, toys etc and yet she's like this. I thought it might be fear related and it still could be and we don't know what life was like for her before, other than a very tiny hutch and little or no interaction. She sees me every day, as I'm the main carer and yet she goes for me at every opportunity.

    Tonight it was when I reached into the playhouse to put fresh water in. She's nipped me lots of times, but this time I felt her whole mouth around the fleshy part of my thumb. Luckily she didn't manage to cause an injury.

    I'd never get rid of her and I'll carry on caring for her as I have been. But I am afraid of her

    Any ideas? Thanks x

    Awww gosh I know this. It's nothing to do with what you're doing or not doing. A biting rabbit can be because of the life they had before. I had one that was 'conditioned early' to be aggressive. Unspayed and with dental issues she would lunge and growl. Those two issues sorted out and she came to me. She still lunged and growled, even though she had 24/7 total freedom, a friend .. etc .. etc. It was only after she went blind in her later years that she mellowed. I loved her to bits

    Spaying a bit later in life can also result in feminine aggression. They never quite get over that territorial fear, it would appear. It seems to get a bit ingrained and the spaying doesn't 'take it away'.

    And it could simply be in the genes.

    I've often found that it's difficult to eradicate the sort of thing you're describing, and all I can say is thank goodness she's with you, as not everyone would have your kindness and patience.

    Lucky Dottie

  3. #3
    Forum Buddy nessar's Avatar
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    It sounds like territorial aggression, rather than directed at your personally. Can you let her out the playhouse, maybe into the run, before doing anything with her playhouse? You will probably find she is nicer outside of the space she has permanent access to. Because inside that space, you're 'invading' her territory- it sounds silly but for her it's a natural bunny response.
    If she isn't spayed, get her done, it should help a little.
    I'd also get some thick gardening gloves to help prevent you getting bitten.
    It's horrible when it's happening to you, as it feels like they hate you, but it can get better. I got round it by simply waiting till my bunny was out of his cage before doing anything in it, distracting him with food and then doing whatever I had to do very quickly! Pay close attention to what the triggers are for their aggression, and then work around them. If food is also an issue causing aggression, don't feed in a bowl, just literally chuck the food all over her playhouse, called scatter-feeding. Over time, and after neutering, my bunny calmed down and he ended up very soppy! He did still sometimes bite strangers though...

  4. #4

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    Thank you both.

    She was spayed quite a while ago now and is still quite young. It does appear to be territorial and you can sense the vibe from her the minute she sees you. As soon as I reach my arm in, she goes for me.

    I seem to get bitten every night, unless I'm super quick and it's always when im feeding them. But that's probably because I tend to let her do her own thing in between, shes not one for being stroked, as you can imagine. I'll have to try and change how I go about things and gloves is a good idea.

    Feeding them in the run isn't a bad idea either and less confrontational. I'm having major issue with that at the moment though, as it's 8ftx6ft and on grass. I was hoping to get away without meshing the whole thing (and I can't put down more slabs really) but the pair of them are constantly digging holes and potentially trying to escape.

    I should add that her partner Ziggy is a complete softy and is never aggressive x

    **created by my DD Lionheadlop**

  5. #5
    Forum Buddy nessar's Avatar
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    Have a go and change a few things, and let us know how you get on

    Remember food aggression is very common, so this could also be contributing. I'd mesh under their run, and shut them out there whilst you're cleaning them out etc. But also try different things to see what it is precisely that she is reacting to - if she will tolerate your presence without you actually doing anything then that's a good place to start building up her tolerance.

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