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Did you know?
- Bunnies are sociable animals and hate to live alone.
- Bunnies can snuggle up to you and love to be fussed. Nose rubs are a favourite.
- Bunnies can learn little tricks to test your patience, like refusing to go in their bedroom area at night time and giving you the run around for a while.
- Bunnies can be just like a child and want to play with things they are not supposed to or go in areas they know are out of bounds the minute your back is turned.
- Bunnies love to sunbathe – but make sure they are not stuck in the sunlight and that they can move into shade also.
- Bunnies hate strong smells like perfume and smoke.
- Bunnies don’t like other animal smells (They will think there is a predator close by and will probably thump their back legs. So wash your hands and maybe even change your clothes if you have been around other people’s pets).
This is when your bunny jumps and twists in the air and runs at fast speed in different directions (something all rabbits should have the space to do!) Very funny to watch and will always make you smile and you should feel proud you are witnessing this as your bunny is very happy.
All of a sudden your bunny will from standing flip on to their side and it looks like they are fast asleep. This means your bunny is very happy and relaxed.
Bunnies are very territorial animals and will mark objects by rubbing their chin on everything in their area to mark their territory. Every time you see your bunny doing this its a bit like them saying ‘That’s mine, and that’s mine and that’s mine’.
Means they have sensed danger nearby.
They are about to attack/bite as they feel threatened
Means your bunny is terrified.
This is the equivalent to a cat purring and you will usually witness this when you are stroking them.
Means they are in pain. See your vet asap
Means they are unwell. See your vet asap.
When you hear a rabbit scream it means they have sensed extreme danger or they are in a huge amount of pain & if they are that scared to scream there is a high risk of them having a heart attack.
When training your rabbit whether it be indoors or outdoors, please remember that most of the time what your bunny is doing is natural behaviour to them. Never hit or shout at your rabbit. You need to try and discipline them in a firm, calm collective way and not stress them out. It will help to decide beforehand what areas (inside and out) are ok and safe and what areas are to be out of bounds.
Teaching them ‘No’
When teaching them ‘No’ you can clap your hands (not too loudly) and say ‘no’ quite loudly and firmly, don’t shout though. Say their name a lot too. You can use a bell or rattle to get their attention or you can use a plant spray set on mist spray to help discipline them. They do soon learn. Remember to praise them too when they do obey you.
PLEASE NOTE: Never leave them unsupervised when they are exercising free range.
Free range exercise in the garden
Gradually increase the exercise area as this will help your rabbit to know where to go when it’s time to go back in. Never leave your bunny in the garden alone. Always supervise their free range exercise time.
If you have large areas of garden or flower beds that are out of bounds, consider a metal play pen unfolded to separate off this area easily.Puppy pens cover a large area when unfolded but just make sure they are secure and can’t fall over.
Getting them out of no go areas – a long object such as a cane or sweeping brush to guide them out gently comes in handy when you can’t reach them yourself.
Always make sure your garden has nowhere your rabbit could escape to or get into danger:
- Ponds – make sure they are covered.
- Gaps under or at the side of garden gates – Cover with a sheet of galvanised mesh wire and fold into gaps and attach with cable ties.
- Gaps under fencing – place bricks or concrete slabs.
- Toxic plants – corner these areas off.
Time to go back in
When it comes to go back in use the word ‘bedtime’ or ‘bed’ and they will soon associate this word with going back in.
Every day will be different. Some days they will go straight back in and other days will be a challenge as every bunny will give you the runaround at some stage!