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Effing rabbit we've had about 4 weeks ....

(42 Posts)
earlgrey Tue 21-Aug-07 07:15:33

... started off as the most adorable, sweet natured thing. Now you can't go near it without it growling or biting. Even H wears gardening gloves to pick it up. H is going to work today and I'm wondering how to get the flipping thing into the run to clean out its hutch, but today that's the least of my worries.

Anyone else had one like this? How did you overcome it? I think we're doing all the right things - talking to it, pushing baby carrots through the bars of the hutch, but the truth is it terrifies me. Anyone with any advice?

superloopy Tue 21-Aug-07 07:18:10

Rabbit stew....

earlgrey Tue 21-Aug-07 07:22:33

Well, our dog has shown an unnerving interest in it .....

superloopy Tue 21-Aug-07 07:28:32

Sorry I was being a bit cheeky there! We recently got a new puppy which very quickly went from a cute little baby to the worlds most prolific poo and wee on the floor machine. She bites my DD constantly and just when we think she may have learned something she will forget it again.
I'm 6 m preg and can seriously do without the hassle.
Isn't it annoying when pets don't behave how we want them to!!
Sorry I have no advice just comiserations...

tjacksonpfc Tue 21-Aug-07 07:56:01

earlgrey, where abouts are you as we breed rabbits so might be able to find a breeder to help you out. has the rabbit been handeled daily and most importantly how old is it and has it been nutered. if you want to talk further about it email me and ill see if we can help.

bucksmum Tue 21-Aug-07 08:00:32

Is it male or femsle? Our was like this but went to the op and had its bits cut off and is now a lovely sweet rabbit again!

babster Tue 21-Aug-07 08:00:53

Is it female? They can be very narky until neutered.

Isababel Tue 21-Aug-07 08:12:06

If it's not the male hormones kicking in... Try to remember how was he handled during the last weeks. If there is something in the handle he doesn't quite enjoy he may became a bit defensive.

Suppelopy, dogs need to have a hierarchical structure where they know they are the end of the queu. If you have treated her like a baby (like allowing her on beds, or giving in on everything she wants, or allowing her to always win when playing tug of war, etc) she may be thinking he rules the household and as such she feels authorised to pee wherever she wants and bite other members of the family into submission (or it may be that she is just teething!). I rehomed a very problematic dog that took 3 trainers to tame... the golden rules for her to remain nice are:
-Never allow her on the beds (in their little minds who gets the best place to sleep is the one ruling the house)
-Never allow her to sit higher than you (like in the back of the sofa)
-Never allow her to pass through a door before you.
-And finally, she is never to have her food before we do.

Good luck!

earlgrey Tue 21-Aug-07 08:18:19

tjack, thank you, I will as soon as I've got the girls ready. She's a female lop, about 10/11 weeks old. We did handle her a lot in the beginning, but since she started getting nasty we're all reluctant to. We're in Oxford.

earlgrey Tue 21-Aug-07 08:25:37

BTW, we've just lost outlook express so I'm trying to email you via Virgin email, but nothing's appeared in my outgoing messages. Let me know if you get it. x

tjacksonpfc Tue 21-Aug-07 09:00:16

hi earl i recieved your email and ive replied

Blu Tue 21-Aug-07 13:56:05

tjackson - could you copy any of your rabbit-whispering expertise in your e mail to earlgrey here please?
I'm trying very hard to make our rabbits feel less terrified of us, but it's 3 steps forward, 4 steps back all the time, and any rabbit psychology would be much appreciated!

southeastastra Tue 21-Aug-07 14:05:00

all my female rabbits hate to be handled. one will physically go for you so i wear gloves to get her into the run. but they absolutely all love to be stroked and will sit still for ages while they're petted. they're all earth bound animals and prefer to have all four feet on the ground!

beautifulgirls Tue 21-Aug-07 18:36:21

I'd look into getting her speyed or you will most likely see a cylical "wererabbit"!

earlgrey Wed 22-Aug-07 22:46:41

The shop we bought her from - amazingly, it sounds like a Homebase for pets, were great.

I 'phoned up and the ass. manager said to bring her in. So, today, we did. And do you know what? She behaved like a mouse in a cat's mouth.

But what astonished me more, we said we'd had her innoculated for myxamatosis, was she said 'what do you want to do?' To which I answered 'What do you mean?' thinking she might offer to send her off to some rabbit whisperer or something. But she said do you want to exchange her.!!!

Now, I don't much fancy 8 years of cleaning out a hutch where I have to wear rubber gloves, and get nothing out of the animal, but I was astonished by that response.

Needless to say the girls said 'No'. So we're stuck with her. I just hope I can get my hand in to feed her

tatt Wed 22-Aug-07 23:03:22

We had a rabbit like this who calmed down a little when neutered but was always feisty. Basically rabbits dislike being picked up and when in your arms need to be held firmly so that they feel less insecure. They are prey animals and the creatures that prey on them often do so from above. She will also be terrified by your dog, so I'm not surprised she's aggresive, she's scared silly.

Rabbits are also social creatures and should be kept in pairs. However you would not enjoy the difficult process of introducing two rabbits to each other. They are territorial and may fight. The RSPCA sell a good book called something like the problem with rabbits.

Personally I'd say you have the wrong pet, should if possible find them another home and give up on the idea of keeping a rabbit - it's hard work.

earlgrey Wed 22-Aug-07 23:33:40

tatt - thanks for your reply. When we took her back to the pet shop our first thought was that she'd be put down. I don't want to be looking after this rabbit when dd1s flown the nest, but what do they do? Do they advertise them as feisty, or put them down? I'd rather the former if that were the case. Do you know?

LadyVictoriaOfCake Wed 22-Aug-07 23:37:13

where are you? i would take her off your hands if she has been done.

earlgrey Thu 23-Aug-07 00:13:21

You could be in Land's End or John O' Groats. WHY? We could get her done ....

Do you make meals for the local pub

LadyVictoriaOfCake Thu 23-Aug-07 00:22:19

lol, i have a male bunny, who needs a pal, but i am in herts. would only take one on if neutered/spayed or whatever you call it. dont want baby bunnies lol

earlgrey Thu 23-Aug-07 00:28:17

But don't they say you can't introduce young rabbits together unless they've been brought up together? At least that was we were told. If we spay her and she's still horrible, would you still want her?

alycat Thu 23-Aug-07 00:37:13

I also have a fierce rabbit, doe have had it 3 mths. I think they lied about how old it was when I got it, as it was/is huge.

Were stroking/brushing sitting with every day. But now have to put on gloves to get her out of cage, into basket to go in run.

Have had rabbits before (as an adult), don't have a dog, kids aren't allowed to get her out on own, so I know she hasn't been badly handled.

She is a beautiful chocolate brown Old English, kids love her lukewarm myself. Will try spaying and RSPCA ASBO rabbit book - a bit as I used to work for them!

LadyVictoriaOfCake Thu 23-Aug-07 08:56:17

earlgrrey, i couldnt get near my rabbit a year ago, was impossible. now he bounds up to me for a stroke. i rarely pick him up though as he doesnt like it.

tjacksonpfc Thu 23-Aug-07 09:34:49

it takes a while with rabbits when they are like this but it is possible to get them back freindly but it will require patiance and time firstly i would recommend getting neutered or spayed if you have no intention of breeding from them as they are the same as humans and go through monthly cycles. you may find that this calms them down. secondly find a piece of food that they really like and offer it in your hand very slowly so they get used to you an important point to remember is not to wear perfume/aftershave when going to the rabbits as for some reason they go mad. the best thing to do is to rub your hands in the hutch first so you get your smell on them to make them feel more comfortable and safe with you. if possible get them out of there hutch and spend time stroking them so they are out of there terortory because for them it wouyld be like a stranger coming into your house and telling you what to do and poking you around you wouldnt like it much would you. most importantly is take time with them regularly each day. if the worst come to the worst earl what type of lop is it and as im not that far from you i may bebable to rehome it and you can have one of our silly tame ones for your dcs if you wish my dd whos 3 and ds whos nearly 2 play with them every day so they are super tame. hth if you need any more help just contact me.

pirategirl Thu 23-Aug-07 09:46:19

I had a doe dwarf rabbit who was a complete cowbag. Luckily we already had the most friendly buck dutch bunny, who was a sweetheart.

They loved each other tho, and had eachother. Maybe a friend for your unsociable bunny would be the kindest if your kids can't bare to part with her?

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