one of my beefs with rabbit people is the calling of various behaviours as being aggressive.

In this day of political correctness and needing to be accurate with language this one bothers me… much as culling can mean a WHOLE host of things some with negative overtones.

Is the bunny aggressive OR is there other terminology that we can use?

An aggressive rabbit is not a pleasant rabbit to work with.   It is a rabbit that when allowed to roam around chases its’ people, turns around and tries to bite them, when being handled flails madly even when held securely (though that also just might be a very frightened rabbit), bites with no apparent provocation, and such like.    This type of rabbit will bite when you feed it, pet it, etc.

Train these rabbits if you can.    This article may be of assistance.  Also knowing more about the language of langomorphs may prove helpful.

Now… A normally pleasant rabbit that chooses to bite you might be responding to something in the environment…aka your perfume, deodorant etc.

Now.. lets say you have a rabbit, particularly female, that does not like you coming into HER space.   Is this rabbit aggressive?   OR is this rabbit reacting in a way that nature tells her that she should?    Does that mean that she is being aggressive OR does it mean that she is being space protective?   In the wild rabbits are known to defend their turf.     They can act in an aggressive manner to do so, but the reasoning behind it is defensive not offensive.   This rabbit wants to defend her area..it’s how she keeps her babies safe!     Cage protective rabbits tend to be female though I’ve met the odd male that is like this as well.     Those bucks don’t tend to stay around here long.

Now in reality in life… whether a rabbit is acting defensively or offensively doesn’t matter in the end result…no one wants to get bitten or scratched.  BUT as a breeder my response is different.

You are being cage protective… I can live with that.  I will teach you that I am good, that I am not going to hurt you or your littles, that I will give you treats, and pets and backrubs and be alert and give you time to adjust to me.     I will breed those cage protective young does to give them something to do with those crazy hormones.  My expectation is that you won’t hurt me and you will NOT hurt your littles.   I won’t rush you, I will give you time to adjust.

I find that over time you know what happens???   These cage protective does tend to be make excellent mothers and they settle down once they realize that nothing bad happens.  Their kits come back, they look and smell the same, and OH>>> I got a treat!!!!

You are being aggressive little rabbit???   Well… different attitude requires a  different approach.   I very strongly dislike aggressive, acting always on the offensive rabbits.   You are fine in your space but not out of it?   You want to bite and scratch and carry on as if the world is ending?   ACH!  Not good.    These rabbits get more handling not less.  They are towel wrapped and carried.  They are trained.   Rewarded for being nice using food and nose/back rubs.    I work hard with them for three weeks and if there is no improvement over three weeks… then they get a death sentence if I can’t locate an appropriate home.

Though  the odd aggressive rabbit  to knowledgeable owners and sometimes… get this…sometimes they do better in a new home!    It’s happened at least three times that I know that a crazy attitude rabbit here goes to a new home and becomes miss or mister sweetness personified.  Go figure.     Sometimes I do not understand rabbits as much as I love ‘em.

BUT there are way too many good nice rabbits in the world to fight with a nasty tempered rabbit for an extended period of time.      Every rabbit can be useful in the world either as a companion animal, breed animal, fur animal, or food animal.   All types of value are equal in my opinion.   and not every rabbit can fill every role… so they fit the role they are best suited for.

Did you know that many rabbits respond really well to having pressure applied to their forehead?   Works marvelously with many rabbits.. not all.. some simply can’t settle down for anything.. they have it so engrained within them to fight fight fight that they just can’t settle.   But for those who are aggressive due to fear concerns pressure on the foreheads (which often results in eyes covered and head held down) helps to settle them down.   Rather amazing to watch if you can stand back within yourself and observe it.  :)

Pick your rabbit if you can, from a person who breeds for temperament as one of their main concerns.    There is no sense purchasing a rabbit that by the time it is six months old is trying to chase you out of the house or won’t let you do anything with her/him at all.