|We love that our veterinarian has this bunny dental poster in her exam room! It makes it easy for her to explain our dental issues to her patient's people!|
Tuesday, July 13, 2021
Tuesday, June 29, 2021
Our original person got our parents from someone who raised rabbits for meat, and occasionally sold them as pets. He swore to my parents' person that even though my parents were only 6 weeks old he could tell their sex, and they were both girls. Absolutely, positively two girls.
Friday, June 4, 2021
Wednesday, May 19, 2021
Hello Everybunny! Here I am again with my little book on Bunny Behavior!** This week I'm going to talk about Unhappy Bunny Behaviors - things your bunny might do to tell you she is unhappy, fearful or just plain hopping mad! Ready? Let's jump right in!
Thumping: This is the number one sign of an unhappy bunny! Remember that rabbits haven't been domesticated for very long, and in the wild thumping with their hind feet is meant to signal other rabbits that danger is near. Because their back feet are so powerful these thumps can be heard over quite a distance.
Domestic bunnies still use thumping as a means of signaling danger, but they also use it to communicate anger or sometimes just to get attention. My companion, Spooky, used to thump at 3 am to try and get my secretary to play with him - he learned she would fuss over him if he thumped! If your bunny is thumping you need to investigate, no matter what the reason is.
There are also rabbits we call "weather bunnies". They are very sensitive to changes in air pressure, particularly ones associated with tornadic air systems which we have a few times a year here in the Southeast. We've had several bunnies here at the Sanctuary House who would start thumping even before the tornado sirens went off. If you have a "weather bunny" please be sensitive to how stressful these events can be for them!
Boxing: Has your bunny ever jumped up on her hind feet and boxed at you?! Your bunny has either just had it with your behavior, or...you touched her blind spot! Rabbit's eyes are on the sides of their head so that they get a great panoramic view and can see predators coming from all angles. This is great, except that it gives them a blind spot right at the end of their nose.
If you ever see two rabbits in a territory tussle, you'll notice they try to bite each other's noses to take advantage of this blind spot. So if you accidentally touch the end of your bunny's nose you better brace yourself - you'll probably get boxed!
Nipping: Bunnies don't nip or bite because they're mean, but instead because there is something they're trying to communicate and they can't do it any other way. Nipping can mean "Put me down", "Stop brushing me", "Please move", or "Don't touch me like that".
Something that often helps with nipping behaviors is to make a very short, high pitched squealing noise. This mimics the rabbit's distress call and lets her know you've been hurt. In the future though, try to avoid doing those things that prompt your bunny to nip. Remember, she's trying to tell you something and you really ought to listen!
Lunging can also be associated with cage possessiveness, which tends to happen when a bunny is in too small an enclosure. I'm going to talk about housing in a few weeks but if your bunny does a lot of lunging, please make sure she's in a roomy pen and not a small cage!
And finally...lunging behaviors can be hormonal! Has your bunny been spayed/neutered? We'll be talking about that next week!
Ears Back: You can tell so much about a bunny from her ears! Ears back and an overall tense affect means your rabbit is unhappy about something, and you need to figure out what it is. Is she feeling afraid? Threatened? Angry? Is there another animal around that she feels threatened by?
The Foot Flick: (I've also heard this called "The Bunny Finger", but we're trying to be family-friendly here!) Have you ever been interacting with your bunny and she turns around and scampers off, but as she's leaving she kind of flicks her back feet at you? She finds you a tiny bit annoying, or maybe she's just being a little sassy! It's not that big a deal, but do try to be a better Bun Servant in the future, ok?!
**And again, if you like my fun little Bunny Behavior book by artist Lyndsey Green, you can find it at her store - check it out here!
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
3. Nose Bonks: You're petting your bunny, and stop for a minute. She bonks you with her nose. She was enjoying her pets, and you stopped, and she'd like you to continue. Nose bonks are a request for more attention, please, or sometimes they're more like "Great job! Good work! Keep going!"
Thursday, May 6, 2021
As you can see, Tula and I have been having a lot of fun!! Now it's time for part two of our interview! As we told you in Part One,Tula works with her people at Small Animal Resources and Empowered Animals Behavior and Training, LLC to help rabbits with all kinds of behavior issues. In this segment, we're going to get into the real nitty gritty of clicker training!