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Bunnies On Leashes: Can I Take My Rabbit Walkies?

Updated on December 14, 2007
From http://www.rabbitagility.com
From http://www.rabbitagility.com

There have been quite a few revolutions in the rabbit keeping arena in the past few years. It seems almost as if all of a sudden people realized that rabbits weren't simply dullard animals good for keeping the grass down a little patch of lawn at a time, but that they were quite intelligent, playful animals who enjoyed interacting with their human keepers and were quite capable of being toilet trained and living indoors.

People went wild with their new found knowledge, and a new wave of bunny keeping emerged. More toys were produced, bunny related literature became more prominent, and one day, a bright spark suggested that maybe bunnies could be put on a leash and harness and taken for walks.

Can it be done? Certainly, in some cases, however simply because something can be done, doesn't necessarily mean that it should be. When I got my little baby bunny, I was warned very sternly by the breeder not to use leashes, on account of the fact that rabbits can harm themselves quite severely thrashing around and fighting the harness and leash.

You see, in some strange fit of weird evolution, rabbits developed as a species that can easily hurt themselves through their own movements. This is why you have to be rather careful when handing bunnies, especially skittish ones, and the same rule applies when trying to get a leash and harness on your rabbit.

Larger, more solid framed rabbits are probably better candidates for leash walking, however you should keep in mind that a rabbit will never learn to heel or walk with you per se. Most of the time the best result you can hope for is chasing around after your bunny as it hops willy nilly where it pleases. Problems can arise when the rabbit feels itself being restrained, or when it tries to do the Bunny 500 sprint race, only to be yanked off its feet.

Having said all of this, some people have had some success with putting their rabbits on leashes. If you are going to try it with your rabbit, wait until you have already established a good rapport with your bunny. This is not something to spring on it suddenly at the beginning of your relationship. Your rabbit's temperament and personality will play a large role in whether or not leash and harness walking is a possibility. If you have a particularly calm wee chappie or chapette, by all means try it out. Just be prepared to abandon the idea if it looks as though your bunny's reaction will be violent. As cute as the idea of a bunny on a leash is, it is not worth potentially harming your pet.

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    • profile image

      runny babbit 

      5 years ago

      is it really true you cant train your rabbit to heel? i mean, i have leashes for some of my rabbits, and i want to train them to heel. only once in my life, miraculously, my rabbit followed me around instead of me following him around. i never got him to do that again though :(

    • profile image

      lyn 

      6 years ago

      don't feed your rabbit lettuce kiran, not good for them

    • profile image

      tara 

      6 years ago

      ok, I'm getting a baby bunny soon, and its a few months old. I've already held him, and he doesn't even squirm, but since he's a baby, I'm wondering if I should walk him...

      Oh, kiran: here's a website that'll help: myhouserabbit.com

      My friend has a boy and a girl, and the girl can have over 100 babies a yr. so I don't know if you wanna do that.

    • profile image

      bob 

      6 years ago

      hi my rabbits are the best rabbits they get stuff for me by using there teeth and they even get there own food and hay i don't have to do anything

    • profile image

      kiran 

      6 years ago

      hi once agen i also wanted to let you know that i get it rabbit treats aswell nd lettuce and carrots but its still scared of me. iv even tried better rabbit food. xx

    • profile image

      kiran 

      6 years ago

      hi every1 iv been on a lot of sites about hw to handle my bunny but i dnt still know hw to it wnt let me pick it up nd it gets relli scared if i go near it.......it wnt even let me pick it up it always runs away frm me..... myn is a girl nd im deciding to get a boy ti make it fell more secure but im thnkn if i cnt handle this 1 then hw will i handle the ova 1 plzzzzzzzz help me nd tel me hw i can make my bunny like me!

    • profile image

      Question Asker 

      7 years ago

      I recently got a rabbit (About a week ago) from a close family relative and I treated it nicely and gave it treats every once in a while. It likes to lick my finger and just today, I successfully picked it up. It wasn't squirming that much but it's eyes grew a little bigger and I'm afraid that if I carry it, it's going to squeeze out and run around. I only carried it over it's cage so if it fell, it would plop back down. I need to know when would be a good time to take it out for a walk. I have a leash that's attached to a sort of vest for rabbits. The last time/first time I put it on it's vest/jacket/leash, it squeezed out. I guess I could say it's grown a liking to me, but I still need to know when would be a good time to take it out for it's first walk, would pavement hurt the rabbit's paws, and should I still take it out for a walk if my backyard has a few ants in there (They're just in one specific area. They're not crawling all over the place.) If ANYONE could answer at least one of these questions, please send me an eMail to bombompogi@yahoo.com

    • profile image

      vicky 

      7 years ago

      claire i think you should try again because first time i put a lead on my rabbit she ran under chair and wouldn't come out but next time i tried i put her on a lead and took her outside and now she asociates the lead with outside.

    • profile image

      vicky 

      7 years ago

      i took my rabbit (Liquorice) for a walk and she loved it.

      rabbits are great pets my rabbit is only about 25 weeks old.

    • profile image

      kelly 

      7 years ago

      i love rabbits

    • profile image

      Sarah 

      8 years ago

      my rabbit took to walking on a lead like a duck to water, we already had a very close and trusting relationship before I put the lead on the harness and we spent a long time in our garden before going out. we go out for walks and I follow him around. When he gets bored he turns round and hops home and in through the front door. Also a great way to wear down his sharp claws as well as great exercise and a great way to keep him entertained and interacting with things

    • profile image

      Claire 

      8 years ago

      I have a lop bunny , she is now 6 months old and i put a harness on her for the first time the other day , and she started doing backflips and rolling around on the floor because she was scared . Now i don't know if i should do it again and see if she is more comftable with it ?

    • profile image

      Brooke 

      8 years ago

      wre do you get a harness for a rabbit

    • profile image

      cutiebabesh 

      8 years ago

      Wel if your bunny wont come at first its because shes scared of the harniss so put it in her hutch or give her treats as your putting her in it to calm her down :) glad if my advice was any help

    • profile image

      georgia 

      8 years ago

      what's bettter a harness or a lead ?

    • profile image

      samy 

      8 years ago

      bunny are cute and assome to take for a wakl in the park

    • profile image

      monique  

      8 years ago

      hey where do you get bunny harrness

    • profile image

      MYSTERY 

      8 years ago

      AWWWWWWWWW I HAVE SUCH A CUTE 2 MONTH OLD BUNNY BUY UNFORTUNETLY WHEN HE STANDS UP TRIES TO CATCH MY FINGER DOES THAT MEAN HE HATES ME OR LOVES ME

    • profile image

      lilly 

      9 years ago

      i had sex with my boy bunny

    • profile image

      bella 

      9 years ago

      can i take my bunny for a walk??????????????

    • profile image

      FRO 

      9 years ago

      ermm well taking rabbit's out and stuff needs to be done gradually so it trusts you.

      you wouldn't be able to take it walking around straight away

      it needs to be done slowly. =]

    • profile image

      Mishelle 

      9 years ago

      I loved the idea of taking my bunny on walks, but the reality of it was much different. It just scares her to much. I was worried about her not having grass to play in as I don't have a yard, so every few weeks I buy a few pellets of grass to let her play in. This is a good alternitave for a skittish bunny. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to make a rabbit more comfortable going outside? Should I completely give up, or try to reintroduce her? I hate to see her scared, but I don't know if this is something that she will get over in time, and then really enjoy later on.

    • profile image

      holly 

      9 years ago

      cant your rabbit get hurt if you tack it a walk

    • profile image

      Loren 

      9 years ago

      i have yet to get a rabbit but if u were to take your rabbit somewhere would a harness and leash be a good idea so just incase they wanna make a break or get spooked they cant runaway or get hurt?

    • profile image

      ivy 

      9 years ago

      my bunny,marley, loves carrots. she also loves my dog, kyush!!! she hides behind him and kisses him.

    • profile image

      Lily 

      10 years ago

      when rabbits hop or skip its called a binky and it means they are VERY happy (;

    • profile image

      Jay 

      10 years ago

      You know when rabbits do this kind of weird hop/skip...what is that called? And does it mean they are happy?

    • profile image

      becky.burnhill 

      10 years ago

      I think bunnies are so cute when i tuck mine for a walk she loved running around

    • magnoliazz profile image

      magnoliazz 

      10 years ago from Wisconsin

      I bought a special harness and leash for a buuny or guinea pigs, and it has worked well with my 6 year old Holland male lop bunny. Of course I took it very slow, first I put the leash in his cage, and let him get used to it for a while, then after a few days I put it on him for a few minutes...etc...until a few weeks later we took our first walk...in the house to start with. When working with rabbits, everything has to be done slow and gradual to gain their trust and over come their natural fears to just about everything. With an explosion in house rabbits, this hub is a welcome sight. It's great to see other people love rabbits as much as i do. They are the sweetest little creatures, and so intelligent too. I love it when my bunny does the flop...just flops down because he is so happy. That's not something you see with a rabbit in a cage.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 

      10 years ago from America

      Aren't bunnies cute. Love your hub. Check out the little bunny on my hub.

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