How to “Tame” an Aggressive Buck?

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Meadowlark22

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I have an amazing buck with the best type out of all my breeders. He handles well, had never bit me, and is rather calm all around. HOWEVER, he really tries to rip up the ladies during their “dates.” I don’t mean the occassional mouthful of fur to hang on, but digging at them, biting them underneath, going for the ears, etc. He often thumps his feet at them too. One of my does has a bald patch where he just took a whole mouthful of fur. My previous buck was inexperienced, but a complete gentleman, so I have an idea of both a good and bad buck. The one we are currently using we bought as “a proven buck with 5 litters!”… kind of realizing why they didn’t keep him.

Both my does I tried to breed yesterday morning got very defensive after he started railing on them (no surprise there) and started full on attacking him, so they had to be restrained for breeding. He was full on hurting them, acting more like a bully than a “boyfriend”. He won’t touch them if I’m restraining them, or if there’s a towel on their back to protect from bites. He is usually an active (and aggressive) breeder. I assumed he was territorial and moved them to a neutral area, but he kept up the rough demeanor. Then in the evening when we tried again with one doe, he was a puddle of mush who took her attacks (I’m sure she remembered him) and does absolutely nothing, not even trying to mount by himself.

Is there a way to train a buck to be gentle(r) with the does, or would it better to replace him entirely?
 
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RabbitsOfTheCreek

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The thumping part it normal, it's how a Buck tells the Does what to do.

When he starts being so aggressive, maybe grab him by the scruff and lift him up a little so he can't touch them with his teeth

Cutting his nails can help with the scratching
 

HTAcres

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I'm sorry I don't know - you already tried what I would suggest.

PS I would never sell a buck like that without being honest. Some bucks can change - I had an aggressive buck sold to me but he calmed down in the new environment though he was lovely with the ladies. I'll be honest, I wouldn't risk my does with yours. Just saying.
 

bhcrabbits

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Not what you want to hear but keep in mind this behavior may be genetic and carried by his off spring. I have a buck with great type but he tends to spray and cover himself in urine(not what you want when you raise white rabbits). I have found that his male offspring do the same thing. Breeding for the two Two T's is key, type and temperament. In my case I am trying to get a buck out of him that is at the same level and not displaying the same behavior.
 
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Meadowlark22

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The thumping part it normal, it's how a Buck tells the Does what to do.

When he starts being so aggressive, maybe grab him by the scruff and lift him up a little so he can't touch them with his teeth

Cutting his nails can help with the scratching
I didn’t know about the thumping part. Never had a buck do it before, so I thought he was being territorial. Good to know!

I usually remember to give my breeders a “spa date” before their big day to check for any health issues I might have missed, faults or DQs tht might be more visible (if it’s a first time breeding), and to make sure their nails and fur are in prime condition. Totally forgot to clip nails this time around! Good point.
 

Meadowlark22

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I'm sorry I don't know - you already tried what I would suggest.

PS I would never sell a buck like that without being honest. Some bucks can change - I had an aggressive buck sold to me but he calmed down in the new environment though he was lovely with the ladies. I'll be honest, I wouldn't risk my does with yours. Just saying.
Yeah, I don’t blame you! Had I known ahead of time, I probably would have gone with a different buck. Now that I know about his “dating” personality, I wouldn’t even sell his kits unless I was sure they didn’t carry the same fault (by breeding them a couple times). I didn’t think about personality changes, maybe I was just unlucky.
 

Meadowlark22

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Not what you want to hear but keep in mind this behavior may be genetic and carried by his off spring. I have a buck with great type but he tends to spray and cover himself in urine(not what you want when you raise white rabbits). I have found that his male offspring do the same thing. Breeding for the two Two T's is key, type and temperament. In my case I am trying to get a buck out of him that is at the same level and not displaying the same behavior.
I was concerned about it being genetic as well, and I guess I’ll find out! I know spraying is, which is another reason I really wanted to keep him as we haven’t had that issue.

I’m hoping to get a new buck protégé from the next expected litters that I can hopefully replace him with, without the doe aggression.
 

ladysown

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i cull bucks who are mean to the does. There is no need for that AND it can scare does off of bucks completely. Turning them submissive and unwilling to breed.
 

HTAcres

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Yeah, I don’t blame you! Had I known ahead of time, I probably would have gone with a different buck. Now that I know about his “dating” personality, I wouldn’t even sell his kits unless I was sure they didn’t carry the same fault (by breeding them a couple times). I didn’t think about personality changes, maybe I was just unlucky.
I doubt there's anybody raising rabbits who hasn't learned something the hard way!
 

hotzcatz

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If he were around here, he'd get a thump on the head every time he was aggressive to a doe. He seems like you'd need a brick to get his attention, though. Rabbits can be trained, but he's not starting in a good place. Frequently a bully will back off if there's consequences.

FWIW, temperament does seem to be genetic. Maybe breed him to a big (so he won't beat her up as much) nice tempered doe and try for a good type replacement buck that has her temperament?

Is he still a young buck? We had a young one who was whacked for his first breeding. He was really territorial and attacked the doe. After he figured it out, he got more mellow, although it may have been from getting older, too.
 

Meadowlark22

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If he were around here, he'd get a thump on the head every time he was aggressive to a doe. He seems like you'd need a brick to get his attention, though. Rabbits can be trained, but he's not starting in a good place. Frequently a bully will back off if there's consequences.

FWIW, temperament does seem to be genetic. Maybe breed him to a big (so he won't beat her up as much) nice tempered doe and try for a good type replacement buck that has her temperament?

Is he still a young buck? We had a young one who was whacked for his first breeding. He was really territorial and attacked the doe. After he figured it out, he got more mellow, although it may have been from getting older, too.

He’ll be a year old next month, so yes, a bit young. I’m going to try working with him as he’s the only buck I have for the moment. It wasn’t his first breeding as he had 5 previous litters before we purchased him, so I was somewhat surprised his previous owner never said anything about him being temperamental.
 
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