Marking behavior?

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robeyw

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I have a Dutch doe 15 months old not spayed, first had her when she was 6 months old because her former caretaker would not care for her well. He r toiletry habits had been as good as a rabbit ever gets. She has regular access to 3 rooms but sometimes gets into others and is very adventurous. Her favorite sitting and sleeping spot is 50 hopping feet from the eating and elimination room of her cage and it was never a problem. About a month ago she started leaving droppings and urine on the couch and in a spot on the floor about 4 square feet but the frequency has greatly increased over the last week. I put a litter box with the same straw topping as where she normally poops but she would go beside it. If I catch her I would shout NO and put her in her cage for several hours. She hates it but has become resigned to being locked in. Today the former caretaker put a diaper on her and when I took it off it was clean and dry and shortly thereafter she peed on the couch and pooped on the floor so none of the punishment has done any good. For a while I tried leaving the droppings on the floor (moved to the side so I could walk) with the idea that if it is marked enough, she will leave it alone but that did no good. I tried talking to her about it in a kind and loving way but today she just hops away while she is normally quite affectionate. Now she is confined to her cage (20 sq ft). Any ideas except for the universal “get her spayed”.
 

golden rabbitry

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you can litter box train her. She is probably just hormonal now that she is growing up and training her is a simple solution
 

Preitler

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I don't know many animals where punishment works less than with rabbits, alligators maybe ;).

My approach would be to block that area for some meters to her for a month, clean it thoroughly and then again with vingar, and try again by moving the barrier.

But I must confess that I didn't have much luck with that one intact doe that was in my appartment for 8 months. Hormones are pretty active at that age.
"Litter training" isn't the right word, I would say, we just take advantage of a natural behaviour by arranging their surroundings in a way that gives good results. Unfortunatly, hormones can interfere.
I guess it can get better with age, my buck started venturing into the house when he was 2, behaved perfectly, so I made him my free range house bunny. Wouldn't have worked when he was 1-1 1/2, at times pee was dripping from the ceiling of his hutch. But there were the girls around too.
2 years later I got him one ogf his daughters spayed as cuddlebun, well, she's pretty close to perfect, but at some times of the year he tries to spray her with no regard where he is. And now, with his athrosis, a accident happens now and then.
 

robeyw

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golden rabbitry wrote “you can litter box train her. She is probably just hormonal now that she is growing up and training her is a simple solution”. By contrast

Preitler wrote ‘"Litter training" isn't the right word, I would say, we just take advantage of a natural behaviour by arranging their surroundings in a way that gives good results. Unfortunatly, hormones can interfere.’

I seem to have done the latter in a way that worked for over 6 months with no trial and error. Now that the weather is warm I may have to get her spayed in hopes that it helps. Keeping her in her cage is no solution, so I will block what I can.
 

robeyw

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I blocked the easy access to the spot on the floor but she sees making deposits there so important that she found another way to get there, so I put a yellow vinyl sheet on the floor and she makes daily deposits of pellets and urine there (less than 5% of her output) without attempting to dig up the sheet to mark the carpet.
 
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