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Good Bunny, Bad Bunny: Dealing With A Bad Bunny

Updated on October 25, 2008

When your bunny is bad and shows you the power of its bunny-fu (ie, nips, bites, kicks, or scratches), it is intensely tempting to strike it to teach it a lesson. As much as the idea may appeal to you in the moment I can assure you that this is a very bad idea.

Striking a rabbit can harm it badly, and it will only serve to erode any bond that may have existed between you. Fortunately you are not entirely powerless against the tiny villain, there are tricks you can use to tell it clearly what you think of its behavior, and show it that you will not tolerate it.

If a rabbit bites or otherwise attacks you, you can emit a high pitched squeal, which tells the bunny that you are hurt. If it was an accident, the bunny will learn from this, if it was on purpose, then the bunny will experience satisfaction at having achieved its goal. The squeal is your first tactic because sometimes a nip is given in fun, not as an act of aggression, and the rabbit may simply need to learn that you are a delicate creature that does not like to be bitten.

If your bunny ignores your squealing and continues to bite, you can assume that it knows full well what it is doing and believes that it has the right to do so. This is where you may start to step things up a little.

Rabbits indicate displeasure and disdain by turning their backs on other rabbits. Turning their backs indicates their utter disregard for another life form. Turning your back on your bunny and ignoring it shows that you are displeased with its behavior. This may make your bunny realize the error of its ways, or it may give it the chance it has been waiting for to sever the cord to your Playstation 3.

Another trick involves pressing your rabbit gently to the ground with your palm over its neck and shoulders, thereby showing the bunny that you are staking claim as a dominant animal. All those cute pictures you see of two bunnies, one lying over the top of the other aren't pictures of rabbits being good friends, they are pictures of alpha bunnies demonstrating their dominance over submissive bunnies. You can take a similar action to show your dominance over your bunny, exerting your superior human strength over the weak bunny. I can't guarantee that it will make the rabbit behave less aggressively, but it may help you to feel better about things.


If followed, the advice contained in this series is likely to make your rabbit a healthier, happier animal less likely to attempt to disembowel you in your sleep. Of course, we cannot work miracles, if your rabbit naturally has a temperament reminiscent of a member of Genghis Kahn's horde, he or she may always be a little on the tetchy side, and like having a crotchety old relative, you may simply need to learn to live with their little quirks. If all else fails, the old adage holds true... if you can't beat 'em... join 'em.

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      Chelsie Pribonic 

      8 years ago

      ...THANK YOU

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I think i have an alpha bunny. Thank you so much for the hilareous post and i can feel every word of what you are saying and the contrast is that i love the darn thing so much. I am thinking of neutering. Everyone seems to say Flemish Giants are almost the saints of the bunny world. Well . . . i love mine, but saint not so much.

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      9 years ago

      I just got a 2 year old show rabbit and it is a mess. I have like 2 weeks to tame her for our show so hopefully this works.

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      9 years ago

      Thanks so much for this information, putting my hand on my rabbits neck/shoulder to hold it when we change its cage and water etc is what i did naturally i didn't know if it was the right thing but i had to stop it biting me when i was doing stuff. Now i know that even thou its a third resort it is still okayish, that i wasn't committing animal crualty lol Thankyou so much you helped me a lot.

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      9 years ago

      This was sooo helpful! I just adopted a bunny from the Humane Society last night. Thank you for posting it! And for the great humor throughout!


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