Aggressive Rabbits

February 9, 2018

Boxing Rabbit
Erica Ilcane image, unable to find a reference to her online but she has awesome artwork!

Today I had written down on my calendar to go to the Northgate Sew Fun! When I finally got to the Quality Sewing and Vacuum, no one was there. What!? Oh no it’s next week… well I went in any way and ended up chatting with one of the sales people, I forget her name right now, but she is a professional quilter and free motion artist. Super awesome chick!

We ended up chatting about rabbits and she was saying that her doe is becoming more and more of a grouch. This was interesting to me because Gail at Windsor farms made extra sure that I wanted a buck first because does can become aggressive or protective of their area. They can get so aggressive that if you add a male in the cage with them they can kill him.

I thought this would make an excellent topic to look into!

My understanding is that once rabbits hit sexual maturity their personalities change. They start to be hormonal and temperamental. From there they need a place to call their own, a nest or cage. Especially the does. It isn’t much different with dogs, you spay or neuter your dog to limit aggression. And you also allow your dog to have an area designated as his/hers. The only difference for rabbits is that they poop everywhere, so you need to clean everything. Which means being patient with your bunny when it is cleaning time.

Looking into this I found there are also some other learned aggressive behaviors. Like if a bunny is scared of the giant human they will bite and see the human leaves. That teaches them that biting makes the big scary human go away, so they keep doing it! This article talks about more, see #3. There is also Rabbit.org that has several scenarios describing rabbit aggression and how to go about fixing the behavior.

With Skipper I have been very lucky that he is a wonderful bunny! We are at 9 months now and the only aggressive behavior was the first day that I met him. He sniffed my hand and then proceeded to nibble it. To me it was more of a ‘what’s this new smell’ then it was get away from me. Actually it was exactly like when puppies nibble on you.

With Angoras there is more of a natural tendency to be calm. This is because they must be handled regularly with brushing and shearing. That means breeders only breed animals that are willing to allow hours of being handled.

If you do have an aggressive rabbit I implore you to look into how to correct the behavior. Rabbits are hilarious, curious, bouncy fur balls. With a bit of behavior maintenance you will have a wonderful pet!

Me and rabbit
Me holding Skipper after his first shearing

 

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