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1 year old male rabbit being aggressive to 8 year old son for no reason

(7 Posts)
wonderstuff99 Sat 11-Nov-17 07:56:11

We got our rabbit last August. Everything went fine,handled him loads,had him inside a lot etc. We then started to bring him in the house for winter (to have free reign of downstairs) and he started getting aggressive to my son. When he woke up and tried to get past him,he said he was grunting at him. My son doesn't really ever handle him unless I bring him over to stroke him. Last night he jumped up on the couch next to him to be stroked so I don't understand why the rabbit is doing it when my son is just walking past him.

He blocked his way again this morning when my son was trying to come upstairs and when he walked past the rabbit,he actually jumped up and scratched him on the leg,and not accidentally,this was a purposeful scratch and I was really shocked.

I'm baffled,it seems the rabbit is jealous of son! Is this possible? Also Hes been neutered. Am I missing something/doing something wrong? Is there anyway to train my son with him so their relationship improves?

TroysMammy Mon 20-Nov-17 19:12:15

I had a neutered male rabbit who was jealous of the cat. If the cat was having any attention off me the rabbit would growl and chase the cat. He managed to bite the cat once. He was a little shit but very loving when I was solely his.

bunnygeek Wed 22-Nov-17 10:35:34

My two rabbits love adults but don't like children. They were rescues so I have no idea what children did to them in the past. Not saying your son has done anything of course but rabbits can be a little more wary which can lead to defensive aggression towards these mini two legged beasts who are much louder, smellier and more erratic than the larger two legged beasts.

Have a read of this on bunny body language to see if you can preempt this behaviour.

Who does the feeding of the bun? If you can switch this around to being your son every day, the bun will have a more positive view of him.

Have you considered bonding your bun also? It may be he calms right down with a spayed wifebun!

wonderstuff99 Wed 22-Nov-17 11:02:58

It is odd cos we've had him since a baby so Hes defo not had any abuse. And we tried to bond him a few months ago with a few males and he was absolutely petrified,jumping out of the pen with two separate rabbits. These were male though,do you think a female would be better?

wonderstuff99 Wed 22-Nov-17 11:03:48

Also,DS was feeding him in the morning,until he bit him a couple of times. Now Hes reluctant to do it again!

bunnygeek Wed 22-Nov-17 11:12:24

A neutered male/spayed female bond is usually easier than same sex. If he was acting afraid, sounds like a needs a nice chilled female. A good rescue can advise, although single females are snapped up fast!

See if you can get your son to persevere with the feeding. Hand feeding (with gardening gloves to start!!) can help with hand aggression. They stop viewing hands as grabby mitts and start seeing them as the bringer of delicious things.

Make sure the bun has a secure hideaway too, where no people or other animals go except for the weekly clean out (or daily toilet spot cleaning if they decide to do that too, but distract with breakfast to do that).

bunnygeek Thu 23-Nov-17 09:52:42

OH I forgot to say, when bun charges, nips or grunts, don't back away and leave him. That teaches bun that if he's a grumpy little blighter towards the two legged beasts, they go away. That's a yay for the bun and an ow for us!

When he's an angry little monster, tell him a sharp "NO" and stand your ground. Gently push him away (or something I do as I my two are small, pick them up on the spot and turn them around to point the other direction haha!)

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