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Improper handling?

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Improper handling?

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Sagebrush » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:03 am


Okay guys. I have had TJ for a week and am getting to know him better. I do handle him daily, brushing fur and basic hygiene of the bun and cage. However whenever I go to pet him around his ears or shoulders he starts to breath heavily and tenses like no other. He also gives a small "scream" type sound. Not as loud as an actual scream but still. It was enough to make me jump when I was sitting on the couch petting him. I have not found any wounds or bruising on him. The person I got them from had small children, 4-6 year olds. I guess I am wondering if you all might feel that he could have been picked up by his ears? When I take him out of his cage I pick him up from under his front and scoop his butt with my other hand. I put him back the same way.

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Re: Improper handling?

Post Number:#2  Unread postby MaggieJ » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:58 am


Rough handling of any type can make a pet fearful, and it seems as though some kids are never taught proper gentleness and consideration for animals. To make things worse, there are still some people who see nothing wrong with picking rabbits up by the ears. :grit:

Rabbits have long memories, but no doubt TJ will come to trust you in time. Isn't he lucky to have fallen into kind hands?

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Re: Improper handling?

Post Number:#3  Unread postby Sagebrush » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:16 pm


Thank you MaggieJ. I am hoping with time he comes around. He likes strawberry tops very much. So I only give him parts when we hold and pet him, but only if he doesn't scream or freeze. I try to wait till he is calm before giving them to him. Again, hoping time will heal his fears.

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Re: Improper handling?

Post Number:#4  Unread postby TheChad » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:10 pm


Sagebrush wrote:Thank you MaggieJ. I am hoping with time he comes around. He likes strawberry tops very much. So I only give him parts when we hold and pet him, but only if he doesn't scream or freeze. I try to wait till he is calm before giving them to him. Again, hoping time will heal his fears.



My new buck was acting similar to this. one thing I did was give him fresh greens my hand. That made him a little easier around me. He knows when my hand is in the cage, it usually has food. So give your idea some time and see if it helps. Good luck.

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Re: Improper handling?

Post Number:#5  Unread postby SableSteel » Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:53 pm


Some rabbits just HATE having their ears or neck touched. I have some that I know have never been handled roughly (I raised them myself) that tense up whenever you touch them there. Some of the friendliest rabbits, but more often the aggressive ones. It doesn't necessarily mean he was roughly handled - and I've seen some rabbits handled pretty roughly that have no problems with their ears being touched (at least, not any more than any other part of their body)
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Re: Improper handling?

Post Number:#6  Unread postby Sagebrush » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:42 am


SableSteel, all I can hope for is that he comes to know that I won't hurt him. Though I do appreciate you giving me another perspective to look at this situation from.
Thank you TheChad. I will keep working with him and see if time does work.

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Re: Improper handling?

Post Number:#7  Unread postby olafthebunny » Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:45 pm


Oh shame, poor bunny! I hope he can get used to you soon!
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Re: Improper handling?

Post Number:#8  Unread postby AprilW » Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:16 pm


I second SableSteel, this doesn't necessarily mean the bunny is rough handled. We have to remember that rabbits are prey animals. Touching a rabbit on the neck/ears is almost like a prey animal swooping in to grab it. With consistent handling and positive reinforcement, you can let them know they are safe with you.
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