Rabbit Bonding

by DFS-Pet-Blog on March 4, 2010

**Guest post from Tina C.**

Did you know that rabbits can bond with other pets, not just other rabbits?  If you have multiple types of pets like I do, you might want to allow them to play with each other (supervised, of course). Not only can it be fun to watch, but it can keep your home happier by warding off aggressive behavior that might stress or harm one of your pets.

Fluffernutter, our pet bunny.

Fluffernutter, our pet bunny.

I have a Lionhead Rabbit named Fluffernutter. She is very particular in how her cage is arranged and will not hesitate to show her displeasure by thumping her feet. Every day, she gets some out-of-cage time to run around and play.

Since Fluff didn’t have any playmates, I started letting my dachshund, Copper, stay in the living room while Fluff was out of her cage. I watched them very closely during this time to make sure there were no issues. After all, dachshunds were bred to hunt badgers and rabbits. I certainly did not want either of my precious ones to get hurt.

At first, Copper just sat and watched Fluff as she binked around the room. With me hovering to grab one of them quickly, just in case, he started to follow her around the room. I soon realized that he was “herding” her. This was certainly a new behavior, but Fluff didn’t seem to mind. There was no thumping or grunting, and I thought she had decided to ignore him. All of a sudden, she stopped and turned to face him. I bent down to pick her up, but before I could do so, Copper turned around and she started herding him!

This was the start of a strong bond between the two. Whenever Fluff was outside her cage, the two would race around the living room. She would chase him for awhile and then he would chase her. Some days, it almost looked like they were playing “Tag.” This exercise was great for the both of them. I stopped hovering, and instead curled up on the couch to watch them go. After awhile, they would settle down and stretch out next to each other on the floor.

When we lost Copper last year, it was obvious that Fluff was mourning too. She did not eat for a couple days and when she was outside her cage, she would just sit in one spot, not moving. She had never bonded this way with our other dog, Karma, so I was starting to worry. After a few days, she did start eating again, and she would race around the living room when playing, although she didn’t do her Binky-Bunny-Dance-of-Joy as often as she used to.

Lately though, she has started to show an interest in our new Boston Terrier puppy, Daisy Mae. It is too early for me to trust the two together yet, but just maybe, this could be the start of a new friendship.

Pets playing together

When allowing your pets to play together, be smart. For example, mutual playtime between a cat and a mouse is most definitely NOT a good idea. If your pets are close to the same size, though, you might want to see how the “greet” each other. Always be prepared to intervene, and never allow pets of mixed species to play together alone.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Norma March 6, 2010 at 3:18 pm

When I was growing up we had Lassie (Collie), Brownie (rabbitt), Greenie (parakeet) and a cat (can’t remeber her name). They were all Lassie’s babies. When Lassie went outside, they all went outside, Greenie on her head, Brownie on one side and the cat on the other side. Brownie eventually laid under a bush, Greenie would watch from a tree and Lassie and the cat would roam the yard. When Lassie headed for the door, Greenie flew down and onto her head, Brownie would hop along next to her and the cat would follow. I eventually had 2 sons, lived in an apartment, no dogs allowed. I got Blondie (guinea pig), she had a baby 2 weeks later, Star. There was Kit (cat) that roamed the halls of the apartment building, he decided he liked my sons and moved in. I had the girls out for a play time on the floor and he came in, they actually played together, with me watching.

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