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Thread: Help getting my rabbits to be friendly again

  1. #1

    Default Help getting my rabbits to be friendly again

    So I got 2 sister rabbits 2 years ago and I loved them so much and took great care of them for a long time.
    About 10 months ago I started not spending as much time with them and not being a very good caretaker. I would always feed them but usually not play with them.
    The only times I held them was when I was taking them out of their cage and maybe sometimes while they were out playing. I would put off cleaning their cage and grooming them.
    They just were not getting as much love as they should have. They started not wanting to be held at all, not wanting people to pet them and now they get scared easliy.
    About a month and a half ago I realised this was not okay and I needed to do something. So I have started playing with them more and taking better care of them but they just don't like me.
    They don't really want to be around me and I know it's my fault but I don't know how to earn their trust back. I have getten to the point were they will let me approach and pet them but if I pick them up they don't like it. Then when I put them down they don't want me to get close to them again. They tolerate me occasionally but they are scared of other people. Please share any ideas. Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Maybe start a little slower - spent time with them prior to trying to pick them up and cuddle them ie let them come to you?

  3. #3

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    I have tried doing that. I think they know at some point when they get picked up it means they are going back to their cage so they don't want to be held ever. I think I am going to try letting them out for longer and expanding the size of their cage so maybe they will not care as much about being put back in their cage. Thanks for the idea though.

  4. #4

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    My boys are better if I dont pick them up at all, could you not expand their cage to incorporate a method by which they can get in and out without being lifted - they can then choose to come to you or not?

  5. #5

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    Maybe. I will probably have to try some different things before I find something that works.

  6. #6
    Wise Old Thumper tulsi's Avatar
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    Try picking them up and putting them straight back down next to a treat. Also hand feed them that way you and being picked up will be associated with something nice and not always with being put back in their cage.

    How big is your cage? The RAWAF recommends an over all space of 10 x 6 feet at all times.

    Best of luck with them.

    P.s. none of my four like being held. I have had all of them since they were young and they all hate it. One will tolerate strokies and they all take food from my hand and will hang out near me.

    I spend time sitting in their shed with them and accept that as prey animals they are unlikely to enjoy handling.

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