A bunny can be a lovable pet. Bunnies are by nature prey animals in the wild; thus, they can be mistrustful and scared of humans. If you know how to read your bunny’s body language and provide for their needs, it will learn to bond and trust you.
Bunnies are social animals and rely on good relationships with other people or bunnies. A good relationship with its caregiver is one of the best relationships a bunny can have. The kind of relationship you and your bunny has determines the quality of life of your pet.
How to Get your Bunny to Trust You
Your bunny needs to socialize with other humans and fellow bunnies in your home to have a healthy and happy life. Your bunny will initially not trust you and will be frightened. With a little effort and time, you can win its trust.
The first thing to do to gain the trust of bunnies is to show that you do not mean any harm, and you want to love them as your pets. Once you have gained their trust and are no longer scared of you, you can start training them.
If your bunny appears, intimidated, scared, or anxious, try to bond with it first. Bunnies tend to bond well with humans.
Reading your Bunnies’ Body Language
Bunnies have loud voices that they use to communicate their different emotions. Listen to the sounds your bunnies make and interact with them accordingly to meet their needs:
- Squealing or whimpering. When your bunnies squeal or whimper when you pick them up, it means they are still scared of you.
- Clicking teeth. This shows that your bunnies are content, comfortable, feel safe, and already trust you.
- Grinding tooth. This shows that your bunny is uncomfortable, anxious, and in pain, because you may be handling it in the wrong way or sick.
- Snorting. This tells you that your bunny is crying for affection and attention. It may also mean distrust or displeasure.
- Screaming. This means your bunny is in severe pain. A screaming bunny may also mean you are handling it wrong because it may be injured or may feel that you are going to harm your bunny.
- Grunting. This shows that your bunny is fearful, feels threatened, disapproved of you, or has a feeling of displeasure.
Knowing how to read the body language of your bunny will help you effectively bond with it.
How to Bond with your Bunnies
Bunnies are cute, plush, and cuddly. However, bunnies are not like your other pets (dogs and cats). Bunnies are not the type of pets you can easily pick up, hold, and cuddle the first time you meet them. They will agree to an occasional snuggle but in their time and terms.
How do you bond with your bunnies? There are many techniques to win the hearts and finally enjoy bonding moments with your bunnies. Building a relationship with your bunnies requires a lot of patience, though. This will, however, pay off when you can enjoy it.
After 48 hours of being in your household, you can start to win your bunny’s heart. The first step to developing a relationship with your bunnies is to know how to read their body language:
- Lay or Sit with your Bunny
When you merely stand or sit on a chair beside your bunny it will only get into contact with your legs. It will feel frightened and run away because it will feel that you are a scary giant.
Sit or lay on the floor beside your bunny, so you are not towering over. Do this with a book or simply hang out with your bunny without forcing it to interact with you. Sitting within close range will get your bunny curious and make it come close to you on your bunny’s own.
Your bunny may not come close to you the first couple of times you try to hang up with it. However, they will eventually get used to your presence over time and discover that you are not a big scary giant out to inflict harm.
Make hanging out with your bunny a habit every single day to reinforce your bond with each other.
- Do not Corner or Pick up your bunny.
Anything you do that will make your bunny feel trapped will make it run, hide, and instantly make it trust you less. When you bond with your bunny, give them an escape route, so your bunny does not feel trapped. It will also allow them to find a place to hide anytime they wish to.
Your bunny will hate being carried because it will feel trapped and cannot run away. Cornering your bunny may cause it to scratch or bite you. Give your bunny the chance to approach and bond with you feeling confident that they have a choice of what to during your bonding moment.
- Allow your Bunny to Come to You.
Avoid forcing your bunny to bond with you. Instead, allow it to choose when to come close to you. This will help you gain your bunny’s trust.
Forcing them to bond with you, on the other hand, or chasing him until the bunny is trapped or cornered will make him scared and distrust you.
Remember, bunnies are gentle pets and enjoy being a pet to someone. When you sit on the floor on the same level of your bunny and allow them to approach you on their terms, you build trust. Offer your bunny some small treats when it bonds with you to reinforce this behavior.
- Teach your Bunny some Cute Tricks
It can be exciting to teach your bunny some cute tricks. The real purpose of training your bunny is to have some bonding moments.
During training sessions, you spend quality time with your bunny. Offer some treats for every trick your bunny does right.
- Have a Daily Routine with your Bunny
Bunnies love having a predictable routine. Anything unexpected tends to place them on the defensive because they are prey animals. They will feel safer when they have a regular feeding and exercise routine.
A regular routine will help your bunny feel safe in your home. Regular routines will also make your bunny safer in their environment. This will allow it to be braver and more likely to spend more bonding times with you.
- Give your Bunny Some Treats
Giving your bunny some treats will make your bunny trust you more. Every bunny has a favorite treat. Give different treats until you discover what they love.
The more your bunny trusts you, the more bonding moments they would like to spend with you.
- Neuter or Spray your Bunny
As your bunny approaches maturity, it may tend to be unruly suddenly. It will seem to be aggressive and territorial, making it again difficult for you to bond with it. Take your rabbit to the vet to be neutered or sprayed. This will solve many behavioral issues affecting your bunny and allowing your bonding moments to continue.
- Be quiet
Bunnies hate loud noises because they easily get startled. They will, therefore, not get near anyone noisy. They will also hide until the noise goes away. Keep noises in your home to a minimum.
Speak in a gentle and soft voice. Humming or singing softly around your rabbit can create an ideal bonding environment.
Final Thoughts Most bunnies love the idea of being a pet. In the same manner, humans love to have bunnies. Teaching your bunny not to be scared of hands and petting them is the best way to bond with your bunny.