Naughty Bunny - What To Do When Your Bunny Behaves Badly
Sometimes bunnies can be very naughty indeed, chewing on your furniture, biting you, scratching you, running away when you want to pick them up, struggling when they are handled, and indulging in all manner of naughtiness.
Fortunately for bunny owners, there are usually easily identifiable reasons why a rabbit is behaving badly, and they can all be remedied if you are willing to take the time to do the necessary work. The main reasons why rabbits behave badly are listed below, so just read down the list to see where your rabbit's behaviors could be coming from, and the fixes for them.
Some behavioral problems come from just being bored. Boredom behaviors are usually destructive in nature, resulting in ruined furniture and the like. It is important to note that rabbits need to chew, and that if you don't give them anything to chew, they will go out and find something to gnaw on. Chewing inappropriate things is a good sign that your rabbit needs some toys of its own to chew, and if it already has toys, then it needs some new ones as it has grown bored of the ones it already has. Other behavior, such as chewing on cage wire or bars shows that your rabbit is bored to the point of neurosis, and you should seriously be thinking about getting it some toys and enlivening its environment with more stimulation quickly. Rabbits are not stupid animals, and cannot simply be locked up for days on end with nothing to do except look at a cage.
Bunnies are very hormonal creatures. If you haven't spayed or neutered your rabbit and they are going through puberty or have come out the other side of it intact, then you can expect to have behavioral issues ranging from spraying (in the case of males), enhanced territoriality - which can include attacking you if you get too near them in their cage, biting, nipping, scratching, and general grumpiness. All pet rabbits should be spayed, as it relaxes their temperaments and removes their strong sexual drives which can otherwise completely rule their small bunny lives, making them rather unpleasant house mates.
Rabbits need lots of handling if they are going to be friendly. It does take a while to get a bunny used to being handled, so you need to start when they are small, being gentle, but firm, and letting them learn that wriggling doesn't help them get away. If you're having trouble getting your rabbit used to being handled, have a look at this hub, and this hub. It is vital that your rabbit be used to being handled in case of emergencies or veterinary visits.
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