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Thread: Dominant rabbit bonding

  1. #1

    Default Dominant rabbit bonding

    Hello! Found this forum and created an account so i could post this, I think I need reassurance that I'm doing okay and some advice if I'm not.

    So I got another bunny to keep my boy company
    Based on what I read though some rabbits personalities just won't allow them to bond ever? Which has made me worry a bit.
    I guess because this is my first time bonding rabbits that I need some questions answered that I haven't already found a clear answer too, maybe a bit of reassurance too.

    I can tell both are dominant rabbits, the first couple of days I introduced them there was some aggression. They were in a neutral zone which I cleaned with vinegar before hand. There seemed to be good interest in both ends but whenever the new girl refused to groom him he'd get moody and attempt to attack ( I was on watch with a large baking tray). She too was asking to be groomed however she was a patient girl and wouldn't get aggressive until he started boxing.

    During the third day he was no longer getting aggressive when she refused to groom and instead would hop away. During this day she took that opportunity and begun to chase him, which I'm under the impression you should let happen. (So they can figure out who's higher on the hierarchy ?)So I did. This is definitely correct right?
    Although when it became excessive I would stop her but I have heard this can confuse their bonding process? Was that the right move?

    Since then however they have been fine, one fight earlier today over a treat ball but thats been it since the morning of the 3rd day and they've been meeting daily all day( I'm in the house all day so able to watch them).

    Its only been a week and neither have groomed the other yet. They are however following each other, eating together, sleeping together, flopping around each other. They're no longer in the neutral zone pen either and are co-existing around my house. Although because of the lack of grooming I can't say they're bonded.

    Do things seem like they're going okay?
    Is it a bad sign that neither has groomed the other?
    Anyone with any experience bonding two dominant rabbits that could share their thoughts? Even those with bonding experience in general is fine.
    Would they do all that stuff because they're simply tolerating one another or because they like each other?
    I seperate them when I cannot watch them, but I heard this can affect even bonded rabbits, should I stop this?

    I know its been a short time (almost 2 weeks) and it can take a long time sometimes but I think I just need to hear from people who have experience bonding rabbits before.

    Sorry for the long post and thanks in advance for any help and advice.

  2. #2
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    It all sounds to be going well. I would leave them together all the time now. Just keep an extra eye on them for a couple of days.

  3. #3
    Wise Old Thumper InspectorMorse's Avatar
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    You don’t mention if both Rabbits are neutered ?


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  4. #4

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    They're both neutered, yes. And thank you I'll do that

  5. #5
    Wise Old Thumper joey&boo's Avatar
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    You've done really well.

    I know the 'put them together & keep them together' method is deemed the most productive but I've always taken breaks whilst bonding to sleep & deal with other basic needs ;ultimately its not impacted negatively on my rabbits ability to bond. I've a tendency also to intercept bonding behaviours owing to my anxiety when the buns would probably have sorted it out themselves. However, I honestly don't think it matters, especially when things are moving in the right direction & as is evident with your pair, progress being made. I'd keep them together as much as you can but don't beat yourself up if you need to separate. Its a fine line between keeping them safe & letting them do their bunny thing so follow your instincts.

    Groomies should come in time. Its not a worry that they aren't at this stage yet. Even when really closely bonded the grooming thing seems variable. Some permanently have their tongues out, some couples appear to have a more one sided arrangement & some are just more about cuddles.

    Keep up the good work & keep us posted

  6. #6

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    Thank you, this really put my mind at ease. All the information made it seem really bad to seperate them but I was also worried about coming home to injured rabbits. I do have some good news though, it was pretty dark and I had just woke up but I might have seen the girl give him a few licks

  7. #7
    Wise Old Thumper joey&boo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BunnyBaby98 View Post
    Thank you, this really put my mind at ease. All the information made it seem really bad to seperate them but I was also worried about coming home to injured rabbits. I do have some good news though, it was pretty dark and I had just woke up but I might have seen the girl give him a few licks


    wonderful

    my current pair started of with a few begrudged kisses but several weeks on they look comfortable with it, though my girl receives the lionshare, overall they are more snugglers though, always lying together

    keep the updates coming

  8. #8

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    Not too much to update on but we did get a minute of grooming again

  9. #9
    Forum Buddy Pets mum's Avatar
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    Yay well done you and well done bunnies, sounds like it's going well
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  10. #10

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    Thank you! I think it's going great. I've took the pen down and they're now allowed access into the spare room ( bunny room). This means they're no longer being watched constantly.
    Whenever I've poked my head in they seem to just be chilling or eating their hay

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