Animal Behavior Network

Error-Free Rabbit Raising

by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS/P

Invest just minutes daily learning how to raise the rabbit of your dreams and a best friend for life!

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rabbit photo - Specky

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Bonding with your Bunny 


Hand feeding goals

Hand feeding your rabbit is a great way to build your bond and improve your relationship. Hand feeding helps your rabbit to adopt you as a "Positive Pet Parent" and see you as the provider of food, shelter, play, and companionship

Hand feed your rabbit fresh greens based on your Hannah Rabbit Care Handbook to help bond your rabbit to you.
  • Teach your rabbit that human hands are gentle to lower potential rabbit aggression.

  • Sit next to your rabbit and gently stroke and talk to your rabbit during feeding time to increase your rabbit's trust. Even if you don't have much to say, keep making soft noises; rabbits are prey animals and a silent human might be seen as a predator.

  • Help your rabbit relax by letting out big sighs and releasing all your body tension.

  • After hand feeding takes hold, you can use this quality time with your rabbit to move the food and use words such as "come" or "sit up" using the food to lure the rabbit to move where you want him or her to go then delivering the food as a reward and reinforcer.

Goals

  • Prevent aggression. Teach your rabbit that human hands are gentle to lessen potential aggression.
     

  • Build trust. Sit next to your rabbit and gently stroke him/her and talk in a soothing voice during feeding time to increase your rabbit's appreciation of physical contact from you and to build trust.
     

  • Reduce stress.  Help your rabbit relax by letting out big sighs and releasing all your body tension.

Rabbits and Children

Rabbits may have a difficult time being comfortable around children. Do not leave the relationship between your Pet and children to chance. Set ground rules from the start and supervise all interactions.

Improving Relationships between People and Pets!

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