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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got my little rescue and shes always growled since ive known her here and at the shelter but shes began to get worse last few weeks, its mainly with food she,ll do a horrible growling sound, kick her front legs at you and tries to bite, today I went to just nudge her bowl to the side away from the gap going to the ramp and she did the same,
bit her cage mate on the butt I think and went to the bed area, any ideas? I was told by another volenteer that shes the type of animal that isnt cut out to be a companion and I should just provide a home but I want the full household to not be scared of her and to make good progress :confused:
 

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I would just try and gain her trust first. Just try sitting on the floor with her. Make no attempt at all to stroke her (as tempting as it may be!) or approach her in any way - just sit there and read a book or something. Let her come to you and sniff you, which she will eventually. Again, just leave her be and carry on with your book. She will eventually get to realise that you are no threat to her. It may take a while by the sounds of it, but just be patient. You will be rewarded by her trust in the long term, which will be very special. ;)
 

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As she is a rescue, you don't know how she may have been treated in her original home. She may have been pulled about or teased. She may not be used to people at all. It may take a long time to win her trust. To her you may be a predator.

Do you know how old she is and when she was spayed (assuming she has been)? It could be that she was spayed late and this is female hormonal territorial behaviour, ie, defending her hutch.

It could be that her spay was recent, and she is displaying hormonal territorial behaviour, but that it will gradually die down.

She could be very frightened of people, through her experiences, and is defending herself. Some bunnies are Ok with women, but not with men, or vice versa. Some bond to one person only.

Keep handling to a minimum. Spend time alongside her, so she becomes familiar with your presence.

What colour is she? Could she have problems with her sight? Then she might be frightened/shocked by you. Whether she is, or not, try talking to heer calmly each tie you approach.

She may just be a grumpy bun. Bunnies look cute, but often aren't cuddle bunnies.

Think about how you approach her -don't tower over her. Rabbits are a prey species, and if you are above her, she may feel hunted and be trying to defend herself.

Approach her calmly, with no suddden movements. Talk to her, offer her pellets/pieces of food by hand, so that she begins to associate you with treats and good things. Hold carefully, in case she lunges at the food and misjudges it.

We have a bun that is aas sweet as anything, but is over enthusiastic with food and lunges and grabs - we always watch our fingers.

Bunnies learn from other bunnies too - to trust or to be afraid. So if she has a friend, work on them too. If they come to you, she may begin in time to follow.

You said that her behaviour had got worse at the centre. Do they know why? Was it since she was spayed/bonded/?Could she be in pain in any way which is making her grumpy?

It may be that, if she doesn't improve, you may need to change her set up in some way to make her feel more secure. Does she live in or out? In a hutch/run?

Finally, as she came from a rescue, talk to them, they should help you.

Sorry, lots to think about, but hope this helps a bit.
 

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I had a rabbit like that constantly trying to bite and attack, but i sat with her during a thunderstorm and for some reason that flipped a switch in her head. Her biting turned to licking and every day she would jump into my lap while i was trying to put food in their bowls. Hands down she was the best rabbit i have ever had.

Just perserve and let your rabbit come to you, i know that will be hard when feeding but maybe for the time being have a extra bowl handy and put that in the cage where she isnt and swap the bowls. This way your not putting your hand into her space which may feel threatening to her. It will get better just lots of patience.:smile:
 
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What you are describing is hutch aggression, is she neutered and how long have you had her and how big is her enclosure?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
thanks for the replies everyone :) abita back ground things here, came into the rescue in march this year and was spayed and paired up with a male originally from a different place from her and he got the snip too at the same time so early april this year for both, ive heard a few ages for her but her previous owner passed away so we arnt certain but shes a young one maybe 3-4 I reckon, shes an english spotted paired with the small lop/lionhead mix I mentioned above. :) she is confident more then the male and will come up to you to see if any of us have food and sometimes just comes over for a sniff but it seems like the kicking and growling happens when theres food involved, they are sometimes left with their food bowls outside their hutch with them and I went to add more leaves last time and she kicked her front legs like a horse! They can be intimidating cant they? :p I have picked her up twice as I read I should handle them as possible but ill deffinatly stop for now thankyou for that :) anyone had this themselfs? Not saying it deffinatly is that though but shes stunning and I wouldnt want people to be scared of her hmm
 

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We have bunnies that can be aggressive when it is feeding time. One pair we have to feed simultaneously, or they will scrap. But it is not directed at us.

Try scatter feeding, rather than feeding in a bowl.

We had one bunny, no longer with us, who was a single (no litter mates). He was very unpredictable, and used to lunge and bite, but we put that down to poor eyesight and having missed out on early socialising with littermates.

Do the buns have a nice big hutch/run, so she can get away if she wants - a bunny in a small hutch can feel trapped, and lunge in defence.

Just spend time trying to get her trust for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I couldnt get exact measurements until the morning but for now its a two level hutch, top has a large bed area and the rest at the top has mesh over then its got a ramp going down to a run, lovely hutch but a pain in the arse to clean! They have also got a large area partitioned off for them so while I clean up the hutch and area per day I let them out with me, they poop that much it takes a few hours to clean the hutch and area and I think thats usually our day :p
 
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