How do I stop my rabbit from doing this?

Hey guys! So I just got home with a new bunny! :) His name is Toffee. He is a long haired lionhead. He's so cute. But when I hold him, he sits for a while and then starts to kick, and his claws are so sharp! He just tries to get away... Is there any way I can stop him or atleast start to train him to stop? This is only his first night so I know he will be scared. Also, he didn't have much attention in his last home and we later found out he hadn't eaten in 5 days until we brought him here!!!! Such terrible owners... He didn't even have any water in his bottle.

Thanks in advance!

4 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Rabbits don't usually like being picked up. They can be trained to tolerate it. I'd check out the House Rabbit Society, they have great information. Also be very careful because a panicked rabbit can break its own back while trying to get away.

    I personally handle may rabbits only when needed for nail trimmings. Don't get me wrong I do have contact with my rabbits. They like friends so I spent the time to bond my first rescue rabbit with another adult rescue. One loves to be pet on the nose and have his cheek scratched ( he also allows me to pluck loose fur when hes molting) but my female is very nervous still and only allows petting on her terms a) if you give her a couple pellets and b) if she is in her cage [very unusual as most rabbits want their cage left alone] They both also climb all over me when I sit or lay down in their room and Pookah (the girl) will lick me on my face. I've rambled a bit but I hope it helped. GOOD LUCK!

  • 8 years ago

    I owned a rabbit for an entire standard lifetime. They love to hop. Hippity Hop ALOT. Did I say they love to hop? Literally I would allow my bunny to climb on my shoulder and HOP! Like he was skydiving or something. When I'd turn around there he is just sitting on the ground. Maybe hopping a few more times. They like the GROUND. They don't want to be picked up...neglected or not. Too many predators in the wild. Instinctively they want to get away when something drags them up. Like scary jaws of a bigger mammal. An analogy would be "Oh! A pet cricket. Lemme see if it likes to be cuddled way high in the air!"

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    If he really hasn't eaten in 5 days, you should take the bunny to a vet. And rabbits will naturally be fearful in a new environment, so try to let him come to you to be pet instead of forcing interactions on him.

    As for the actual advice,

    My bunny never wants to come to me. I can never pet him/her. What can I do?

    This is a common issue with new bunny owners. The bunny seems very stand offish and never wants to come to you. People want to think that they are like dogs and like being with people naturally. As a prey animal, bunnies tend to be very skittish towards new environments and people and take time to warm up to you.

    The best thing you can do is to make a somewhat small enclosed space where you can sit and spend time with him. Have treats like fresh veggies and pellets or fruits near you on the floor and completely ignore the bunny. Don't try to make any sort of active contact with him, and let him come to you on his own terms. Bunnies are very curious and will sooner or later approach you to figure you out. It might take only a couple minutes, or it might take multiple sessions. If you move, you might scare him away. Placing the treats nearby will give positive reinforcement that it's okay to come near you and that you won't hurt him. In case of boredom, you can read a book or go on your laptop to pass the time. Just be careful of any electronic chargers, as most bunnies love cords and will be tempted to take a nip out of them.

    If he seems okay with hanging around you to eat his treats instead of grabbing them and running a bit further away to nibble on them, you can try seeing if he will eat veggies or treats out of your hand. When comfortable with that, try gently petting him over the head to get him used to your touch. Try not to approach him from the side or on his back so that he can see where your hand is and won't be scared. Don't be afraid to go back to a previous step if your bun seems too timid.

    Spend time everyday or as often as you can for an hour or so, and you can be guaranteed to see some progress as quick as a couple days or as long as a month or more. All bunnies are capable of bonding with you and become very loving given enough time. The length will depend on previous experiences, so if you adopted your bunny, it may take longer if he had come from a bad place.

    If you are motivated enough, you can also try clicker training and playing other games your rabbit to build a stronger bond.

    See the following links for more information about bunny behavior and other useful resources.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    rabbits dont tend to like being picked up cos it feels like a predator.

    the more u get him used to you the more comfortable he'll be with it. i find mine sit still longer if i keep stroking them, if i stop they try and jump down

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