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Biting

Understand why your rabbits behave the way they do - and what you can do about it.
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Biting

Post Number:#1  Unread postby equestrian<3 » Sat Jan 01, 2011 10:53 pm


Everyday, several times a day, I let my rabbit out and I sit on the floor with him and watch him play. He will run around me and hop up in my lap, then after about 10 minutes or so he will go back in his cage, then we will do it all over again a few hours later. But the past few weeks, when I am sitting with him on the floor, he will rub his chin on my knee, and frantically scratch at it. That lasted for a couple weeks. It didn't hurt, I thought it was kinda cute :) But now he has started biting me knees. For some odd reason, it is not any other part of my body. Just my knees. I was wondering if anybody knew a trick to stop him from biting :?: I'm desperate because this is getting pretty ridiculous. I have just been sliding him away from me when he does it, but he keeps doing it anyways. I really don't want to give up our play time everyday, because I love watching him goof around and seeing him happy. His is still young, about 8 months. Does anyone know why he might be doing this, and how I can get him to stop? Please help :x
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Re: Biting

Post Number:#2  Unread postby LASGSD » Sat Jan 01, 2011 11:43 pm


If this were a puppy I would say try to redirect him to an acceptable chew toy instead of your knew.

Why not try it?? Get him a great chew toy and when he starts on your knew bring that out and encourage him to chew on that instead.

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Re: Biting

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Jack » Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:05 am


Um, yeah, to put it politely, he is starting to feel his oats...
he isn't really biting, that would remove a finger or large chunks of flesh, he is nipping, and that is part of establishing his pecking order, part of which is who he gets to hump..

getting bitter apple might work, a water gun or spray bottle, when he comes in, put a hand on his head and push it into the ground, give him hay in a TP tube, and lots of toys. It takes work and you have to learn to read the rabbit.
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Re: Biting

Post Number:#4  Unread postby moonkitten » Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:17 am


I agree with Jack. The description of chinning, digging at your knee and biting sounds very much like male breeding behaviour. Does who are not "in the mood" respond quite emphatically. While not suggesting you snarl and lunge at your boy, you do need to make it clear that you are not his "girl" and are not interested in that behaviour :)
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Re: Biting

Post Number:#5  Unread postby Pickles » Sun Jan 02, 2011 9:36 am


The scratching/digging is normal enough... rabbits are natural diggers (scratching on you, however, is mating ritual bahavior- as other members have already stated). But couple that with that other behaviors and its very clear he is reaching true maturity and getting that "loving feeling". LOL! You can negate his advances, but that will only work so long and the mating behavior will start up again soon enough. Hate to tell ya, but the only true way to get him to stop completely is to have him neutered. Once that happens his other behaviors should start to calm down and then slowly disappear altogether.

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Re: Biting

Post Number:#6  Unread postby equestrian<3 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 1:56 pm


Thanks everyone! I guess I will try out redirecting his behavior to toys or something like that...I can't have him neutered because he is a show rabbit, so I will just have to figure something out.
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Re: Biting

Post Number:#7  Unread postby MaggieJ » Sun Jan 02, 2011 2:30 pm


I agree... he's growing up and getting "that lovin' feeling". Jack's suggestion of using a spray bottle may work, provided you use it consistently every time he starts his behaviour.

There is an excellent site that explains so much about rabbit behaviour that I am going to post the link yet again. :) I don't know if it covers this particular problem but it will certainly teach you how to "speak bunny" and show him just how offended you are by his behaviour.

http://language.rabbitspeak.com/
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Re: Biting

Post Number:#8  Unread postby Miss M » Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:36 pm


MaggieJ wrote:There is an excellent site that explains so much about rabbit behaviour that I am going to post the link yet again. :) I don't know if it covers this particular problem but it will certainly teach you how to "speak bunny" and show him just how offended you are by his behaviour.

http://language.rabbitspeak.com/

I was trying to remember this site! It's excellent!

Thumper used to nip me. I used the information from that site to get him to stop. I read that RESPECT (or Offendedness) section. The next time he nipped me, I firmly said, "No!", walked relatively quickly to his cage, unceremoniously (but not roughly) put him in and shut the door, and dramatically turned my back on him, and then went inside.

I had to do this one more time. After that, he has never nipped me again. :)
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Re: Biting

Post Number:#9  Unread postby Shara » Sun Jan 02, 2011 5:40 pm


Hey maggie, Maybe you should turn that link into a sticky? It is an awsome site that has helped me out before...
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Re: Biting

Post Number:#10  Unread postby mountainrabbits » Tue Jan 04, 2011 7:41 pm


I actually have the same sort of issue with a doe...she wants to nibble on everything! But if she is being held by my Fiance or his 4 year old son she nibbles, tries to scent mark their hands arms and faces and thumps her feet. She also likes to lick and groom them but doesn't do it at all with me, she just nibbles on my clothes a little. I'm wondering if it's because they're male? She is also spraying my buck (he is in the next cage over) and I find her backed up as close as she can get to him/his cage often when I go out there. She is around 3 months old and a little over 5 pounds.

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Re: Biting

Post Number:#11  Unread postby Jack » Tue Jan 04, 2011 8:53 pm


Mountain, um, pretty much the same issue, the doe is ready to breed... and is likely coming into the first 'heat'
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Re: Biting

Post Number:#12  Unread postby MaggieJ » Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:10 pm


If your rabbit is a standard sized breed, MountainRabbits, then three months and five pounds is not old enough/big enough to breed safely. She may be getting urges (the precocious little wench!) but please wait another few months.

I do understand that some of the smaller breeds may be ready to breed at a younger age, but I cannot advise on that since I have no personal experience of them.
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Re: Biting

Post Number:#13  Unread postby mountainrabbits » Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:48 pm


MaggieJ wrote:If your rabbit is a standard sized breed, MountainRabbits, then three months and five pounds is not old enough/big enough to breed safely. She may be getting urges (the precocious little wench!) but please wait another few months.

I do understand that some of the smaller breeds may be ready to breed at a younger age, but I cannot advise on that since I have no personal experience of them.


Thanks! I thought that might be the case but wasn't sure. I wasn't actually planning on letting her breed, she looks like a cross of satin and some sort of lop so I honestly have no idea how big she will get, or when it might be safe to breed her. My Fiance saw her in a feed store when we went to check on wire prices and told me he had to have her :oops: I couldn't say no. He has been so supportive and has been helping me build cages and hutches both for us and to sell I figured he earned it.
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Re: Biting

Post Number:#14  Unread postby Jack » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:22 pm


I would never consider breeding that young, I tend to wait for the second or 3rd cycle, somewhere around 7-8mo, but I know people who breed does when they turn 6mo
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Re: Biting

Post Number:#15  Unread postby Miss M » Wed Jan 05, 2011 1:49 am


She's pretty! :)
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