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Thread: Lillian and Leo 's bonding adventures - day 1...U/D 19 March vet visit now

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  1. #1
    Forum Buddy Craig 1965's Avatar
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    Default Lillian and Leo 's bonding adventures - day 1...U/D 19 March vet visit now

    Well, here we go. It's been a while since I posted any development or updates about Lillian and Leo. We have been taking a very deliberate and cautious slow approach to this. I am, understandibly, aprehensive about the journey ahead. I am still very raw about the loss of Henry and I am conscious about the time Henry remains separated from Lillian. Whilst Lillian is coping to some degree on her own, and used to her own domain, Leo would benefit from a partner and the reason we adopted him was in order to facilitate some sort of bond.
    I've only had about 4 different bonds. All have been unique and some quicker than others. It remains my view that Leo is a gentle soul. I also feel Lillian holds onto the memory of Henry within, and I don't blame her for that.
    Our management of interactions between Lillian and Leo has been to allow them to see and smell and interact between mesh that we have at the outer kitchen door. Outside time is managed so that when Leo is out, Lillian is in, and when Lillian has garden time, Leo is in. It has been this way since we got Leo on the 4th February. A few weeks ago, we allowed a brief interaction outside between Lillian and Leo, whcih resulted in lots of circling and wasn't heading in a positive way, so I called time on that and continued the liaisons between the mesh.
    Today, I tried again and was quite shocked with the results. I have posted the footage in order and I would very much welcome the views and observations of RU experts in bonding because whllst I'm sure this will be obvious for some, for me, I am still confused and would like your feedback as to whether this is working or not.
    Also, some observations from the session today:- both Lillian and Leo had approx 3 hours outside together. Neither showed any degree of agression or hostility towards the other. Lillain also performed 2 DBF's - which resulted in me almost calling an ambulance for myself because she just threw herself upside down - and we've had Lillian just over 2 years - she has never ever ever done or looked like she would do a DBF. My heart sank when she did the first one, and I almost collapsed when she did it half an hour later.
    Now, I know a DBF is going to be interpreted as a sign of contentment - Lillian would not naturaly subject herself to vulnerability if she felt threatened. So I would take that reaction as a positive. There are also, as you will observe, occasions when Lillian lies down quite contented albeit for a short period before Leo interupts that. You will also observe both Lillian and Leo eating in the same area without any concern. Again, this should be a positive. Leo is also observed as lying down and relaxed with Lillian close by.
    It is also worth noting that Lillian chose to go into Leo's hutch (environment) on her own (and help herself to Leo's food whilst she was there) and Leo was unphased by this. He observed and stood by the door without being aggresive. Leo also followed Lillian into the kitchen and roamed around Lillians area without Lillian reacting in any way. Whilst she appeared comfortable allowing Leo into her space, Leo 'hassled' Lillian frequently. He also helped himself to some of her food whilst she wasn't looking.
    Now, the not so good. As you will observe, Leo was constantly trying to mount Lillian. And clearly Lillian is resistant to this. I know there will be an element of this during bonding, but it is something Henry - her former hus-bun, never did. We were told that Leo has had his plums removed - it is recorded on the documentation from the Blue Cross, and it is now approx 7 weeks since the op. I am wondering if his plums actually have been removed because he is one rampant bunny.
    It is also fair to suggest that from my observations, Leo has not shown any sign of grooming or wanting to groom Lillian. I am puzzled by this. It is almost as if he does not know how to do this, although he grooms himself. Lillian expects to be groomed and so this is a stumbling block.
    I am wondering if Leo, having lived on his own for almost 5 years, is perhaps just so excited at meeting another living rabbit, that he is just overcome with excitement and this is why he is constantly trying to mount Lillian. And it is constant. If I didn't know better, I'd say Leo still has his conkers!
    Now, tonight we did take the decision to seperate them - which I know goes very much against standard bonding protocol. but to be honest, I really didn't want Lillian to be hassled the whole night when we went to bed. She is very used to her space and whilst she accepted Leo today in her space, it is a massive step to leave them alone all night in it.
    So, please feel free to look at the videos and please let me know your thoughts. We'll start again tomorrow morning nice and early and the plan is to allow them as much free time together as the day will allow. And take it from there...
    Thank you for taking the time to watch and advise.
    Craig xx

    https://youtu.be/d4serITh2q0

    https://youtu.be/ZH2niBDrK_E

    https://youtu.be/n76cZxj75Ew

    https://youtu.be/Wf9KqS_c3tU

    https://youtu.be/kEUpsmXJFgI
    Last edited by Craig 1965; 19-03-2020 at 01:01 PM.
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  2. #2
    Wise Old Thumper joey&boo's Avatar
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    Not watched the videos yet but this is sounding really positive. Boo did a DBF within 2 mins of meeting Joey (introductory date at fosterers house). I think its saying I'm excited & not fearful - I can relax in your company. Joey turned out top bun by the way. The humping is stressful (to watch, for us humans) but it should subside over the next few days. Its a positive though - he likes her. Well done everybun

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    Mama Doe Cuthbert&Dillon's Avatar
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    I so enjoyed watching the video's, I hope the humping slows down as J&B says, good luck for today.

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    Forum Buddy Pets mum's Avatar
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    I agree this does sound positive, not that I've ever done a bond. The videos aren't working on my old iPad, so I will have a look on my laptop later. Bless Leo, he sounds like one very excited bunny, I have a feeling this is going to be a very good match Craig. I hope your nerves stand up to more "fun" today, good luck all ! xx


    OK so I've watched them now my first thoughts are, how relaxed they look together. Leo looks a bit unsure as to how he should approach Lillian, but she doesn't appear to be phased by this, and there is no sign of any aggression in either of them. All good signs in my opinion
    Last edited by Pets mum; 14-03-2020 at 08:13 AM. Reason: add text
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    Mama Doe kattymieoww's Avatar
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    I think it's looking good,in the garden anyway.I've only ever had one pair of rabbits and it was an easy bond(almost immediately) that was a baby female to neutered two year old male.Others on here are more experienced.I hope they really get on.x

  6. #6
    Wise Old Thumper
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    This looks really fantastic - they are both close together and if I were bonding them I would be very pleased and would be very surprised if it all went wrong now.

  7. #7
    Mama Doe nap91's Avatar
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    Love these videos

    It all sounds and looks very positive to me. I love how Leo just lies down near her.

    Just to put your mind at rest too, Phillip has definitely been neutered but humped every female he's been with like there is no tomorrow. It will eventually calm down.

    Good luck!

  8. #8
    Mama Doe kattymieoww's Avatar
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    Yes ,my bridge boy Rio humped his wife Cleo years after both were neutered.She just moved off shaking her ears at him,he soon gave up or she would turn round and groom his face which caused him to melt into a puddle.

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    Forum Buddy Craig 1965's Avatar
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    Thank you all for taking the time to read, watch and also pass on your views. It is really warming to have your greater knowledge and experiences.
    It would seem then, that Leo’s constant mounting efforts is not greatly unusual. I just wondered if they’d actually forgotten to whip his conkers off - it is just incessant.
    I’m in the garage with them now - they’ve had about 45 mins so far and about 44 of those is Leo trying to hump the living daylights out of Lillian. She doesn’t react aggressively, she just hops away. I’ve tried a plate of fresh herbs to see if that took Leo’s mind off it, but no. Lillian saw food and was like “ooh, nommy” and Leo was like “oh, she’s distracted” and kept jumping on her back.
    He circles her - which is obviously rabbit speak for “I think your gorgeous” and Lillian knows what’s coming.
    But she could chose to run away down the garden but she doesn’t. So she’s tolerating it.
    I have to admit it is hard watching this play out cause part of me wants to take Leo out of the equation but i also accept it has to happen.
    I’ll keep updating you all on this thread.
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  10. #10
    Warren Scout Motty's Avatar
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    I have never been through the bonding experience, but my two buns seem to have a humping session every few days. They have been bonded for four years, and his baby making material was removed in 2014

    Richard

    Edit
    I haven't looked at the videos yet, I will try and do so later this evening

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