How to Get Your Rabbit to Like Being Held?
Rabbits are shy animals and they take time to get attached with you. They can be easily frightened of you. Rabbits do not easily like you or get used of you easily so you have to get their trust.
Mostly, bunnies do not like to be held because it is in their instinct and some of the bunnies have the cuddly personality.
As you have taken a rabbit at your home and he is afraid of you. when you like to hold him he gets afraid or hide from you because he is not used to of your personality. But you can make your bunny like you and make them feel confident that you will not hurt them.
Yes, you can make your rabbit-like being held by making him trust you. You can use treats while holding them. Handling of your rabbit must be done carefully and safely. Make a stress free environment for your bunny.
The holding of a rabbit involves a method that’s how you can pick them up without hurting your rabbit and make them feel safe. This training takes time, you have to be patient.
How to Get Your Rabbit to Like Being Held?
There are many things you can do to make your rabbit have trust in you and make them feel safe with you and cuddle with you. Once your pet rabbits develop trust in you, it will be playful when you hold him.
Use different things as a treat for your rabbit:
Just like we people, bunnies also like to enjoy a good meal. Rabbits require green vegetables every day and they enjoy having carrots, fruits like strawberries, raspberries, bananas, pineapple and apples (with no seed), etc.
A nice mix of hay (Timothy or Meadow hay), vegetables, pellets, as well as freshwater availability can make your rabbit feel comfortable, healthy and happy.
Do not try to squeeze your rabbit:
Rabbits have a sensitive personality. When you hold them then do not squeeze them around you or hug them tightly as they don’t like this much.
Most of them like to cuddle and stroke when approached in the right way. Avoid disturbing your rabbit when it is taking a nap.
Create a comfortable environment:
You have to make an environment in which your bunny can feel safe and comfortable. Make their rooms peaceful and noise-free as possible.
Make a small comfortable room for your bunny where It may not be disturbed by any harsh traffic noise nor by any other loud television or music voice. It should be a place where your bunny can feel happy, relaxed, safe and stress-free.
Learn general body language:
You must be aware of your rabbit general body language that how it behaves in different situations and what does it says to you. Then you could probably understand.
Like, when a rabbit has sniffing body it means he is nervous right now or when he tries to hide himself it means he does not like to be held or in fear of something.
You should be aware of your bunny states; when he be in fear, stress, emotional state or in pain. You must learn these things to make your pet feel relaxed and stress-free.
Every bunny has a different body language and you have to make sure what they want to say.
Give rabbit name:
Just like other dogs and cats, which obviously responds to their names. Just like them, rabbits also respond to their names. Rabbits are smarter, than any other and can understand your words, but generally, most probably they love to respond to their names.
They learn their own names said by the owner and may respond to you when you call them.
It’s been fascinating for them as you called them by their name and this may cause them to like you and feel safe with you.
Spend some time with your rabbit:
To make sure your rabbit likes you, you have to spend some quality time with your rabbit.
For this, you must have to play some activity fun with your rabbit or you have to lay down on the floor and make them come close to you.
Make your rabbit play and exercise with you. For this purpose, you have to play safe games with them.
Play different activities:
Playing different type of activities make your rabbit entertained and stimulated. Provide your rabbit enough space, so he can run around in his own space.
Keep it several hours out of the cage, so he can move around.
Additionally, give your rabbit some places to dig, as bunnies like to do this if you cannot give them more places then; take a cardboard box and filled it with the shredded paper or grass. Make some time for your rabbit so, it may like you.
Let your rabbit out of the hutch:
You should sit or lie flat on your belly and let your rabbit get out of their hutch relaxed. If you force to pull or remove on your own, then they can get frightened.
As rabbits are very curious they take time to adjust and to be like you.
I say that one or two hours daily should be minimum but three to four hours could be better. Because younger rabbits need a longer time period to stay, while the seniors might be happy with just two or an hour.
Rabbits are most active in the early morning or in the early evening, so let them out.
It may take time to rabbit to get out of the hutch. It could get an hour or even more get out. You have to be relaxed and be patient, as it is time taking process and do not panic, as it will come to you.
Let the rabbit explore you:
You should resist the urge to grab your rabbit or even try touch to touch it. Let your rabbit explore you.
Let it sniff you, hop on you, and if they find a treat in your hand then they will come close to you for their treat. Then allow it to nibble this while you are holding it in your hand.
You have to do this daily for some time to gain your rabbit’s trust. If you become restless then all your hard work goes in vain.
Let your rabbit feel confident:
As your rabbit feel confidence and begin to approach you regularly. Then sit down beside it and let it come to you easily.
Avoid your hand raising above its head as it could frighten
Petted your hand above the rabbit’s back slowly and lightly and make them feel safe and confident.
If your bunny is begging for your attention-then it means he is happy and does trust on you. Often a happy bunny nudges you, rubs their heads with you and move their heads towards your hands.
They may also pull their head in their body, or avoid the eye contact with you.
As doing all these things by your bunny you can easily understand that your rabbit is getting connected and touched with you.
These are all the submissive gestures which it makes, that they are very comfortable and happy around you.
Cuddled with your rabbit:
Most of the rabbits love to be cuddled and if your rabbit likes to be cuddled with you, then have some precious time with him.
As they love to be cuddled and stroke when you approach in the right way. Few like to being held or carried as being so high up from the ground which makes them feel insecure, however, many of will happily sit on your lap or snuggle up next to you for a cuddle.
So, avoid disturbing them while they are sleeping and when they are active do spend and cuddled with them to make their trust on you.
Make your rabbit feel better:
As the rabbits get scared or get afraid of anything easily.
Adapt your behavior:
As your rabbit is a fragile animal and you should never scream at your bunny. As it might terrify it and it may mistrust you in future.
Some rabbits like to be carried while some hate it. If you cannot make your rabbit, feel better leave him/ her alone.
There is a variety of beautiful, sweet-nature, calm and friendly temperament bunnies and everyone has different nature and attitude so, you must likely to know your pet origin and attitude.
How you can hold up your rabbit correctly?
Some bunnies are sensitive and when you like to hold them they get irritated and try to get off your hands.so have to be careful with your rabbit while you hold them up.
- Pat your rabbit:
Firstly, slowly pat your rabbit with the help of your palm to make them feel relaxed and safe.
- Hold your rabbit:
Then hold your rabbit hind legs with your arms and front legs should be under your arms so that he could not take a move.
- Give treat:
Gave your rabbit treat which they like after you picked them up.
- Make stress free:
If they start kicking you then set them down immediately on the floor or in their hutch and make them stress-free.
- Give time:
Don’t try to squeeze your rabbit if they are not handling with you correctly, give them some time to like you. If you force, then it may cause trouble for you.
- Get comfort:
If your rabbit tries to bite you then cover his eyes with your shirt or by your hand, as they get comfort.
How to make a stronger bond with your rabbit?
As rabbits bond closely with their owners.
You can ask any of the rabbit owners who interacts regularly with his pet and then he will tell you that, just like dogs and cats, rabbits also know their owners very well.
They can recognize you by your voice or even sight and it will even command on your voice, as they know you well.
They even follow you from room to room or even hop on your lap as they get to know you.
Once the rabbit gets to know you and feel safe, they will make a stronger bond with you.
Hand-feed your rabbit:
Once your rabbit has a chance to settle in, and a few days have gone, then start feeding it by hand. Start it by sitting next to his/her cage and just talk to it in a calm and relaxing voice.
If it urges, just keep quietly talking and wait for it to come to you.
Open the door and offer it a tasty treat, like a carrot or hay.
Just wait for it, to feel confident and take a treat from your hand.
As rabbits have the sniffing ability, so they likely feel frightened by the other household pets or even the scents of them.
So wash your hands properly after handling the other pets and before touching the rabbit.
Pick up your rabbit:
As rabbit used to stroke in its hutch, you can try picking it up.
Sit on the floor, lift the rabbit out of its cage and put it on your lap on the ground level. Keep some hay or carrot in your hand so it may distract its attention.
Keep the session short, about one to two minutes to start with. In this way, it will not get panic.
With the practice, you can keep your rabbit out for longer period.
You should keep a towel or any other cloth nearby in case if it gets frightened or distress, then you can easily cover it with that towel.
This will calm her instincts. It may also help if you are less likely to get scratched if it panics.
Make small room for rabbit to roam:
Once your rabbit used to you, make a small room for your rabbit to move around at which no other pet should be present. Always supervise your rabbit, so that it doesn’t feel overwhelmed.
Check the room and make sure that there is no other spaces or gaps in the room to hide and get stuck in it. Make sure there is no electrical wire to chew.
Rabbits can chew anything, so make sure and be alert and remove everything that could be dangerous and might harmful for it.
How to know that the rabbit likes or dislikes you?
Rabbits don’t think in terms of “like” or “dislike”. But they know if they feel confident or fearful.
Rabbits can perceive you as “liking” you; one when he has trust in you and feels safe with you. Signs of this include are approaching you when you call, accepting of food from your hand when you offer, being relaxed when you stroke her, and staying out in the open when you are around.
A rabbit can perceive as “disliking” you, one that is fearful or anxious about something. Signs of this include hiding from you, refusing to leave the hide, thumping on the back leg, shaking or tremors when held, and grinding its teeth.
All these signs should be noted and do better supervision to make it feel safe and confident.
How to train a rabbit to gain your trust?
Thus, rabbits are fragile animals that must be handled carefully. If you act harshly with them then they get annoyed or frustrated from you and don’t like you. So, you must be careful while doing their training and letting them trust you.
Rabbits are easily startled and do not like loud noises or sudden movements. Instead, speak softly and move slowly.
Rabbits are fragile. If you handle them with care, then they can trust you.
Give rabbits name so when you do their training they must know to whom you are calling.
Your tongue or words should be soft-spoken and polite that it can attract your rabbit towards you. Because rabbits can know and understand what are you saying to them. So, that when you like to call them towards you, then they must know that the word you are saying is for them.
Pet your rabbit:
You must pet your rabbit at a very young age or when it is small enough to handle and train them as then they get used of you and never get frightened from you.
Because it will give the rabbit more time to get used to you.
If you are the only caretaker of your bunny, then she may be only comfortable with you, not with anyone else.
Stop rabbit from hiding:
If you have a young rabbit in your house, it is difficult for them firstly to trust you and hide in the spaces.
To make your rabbit trained to not hide from you is that you must let them provide separate room and cage in which they feel safe from other animals.
Use the treats to get them out of those spaces or bills and do not pick your bunny up abruptly. The rabbit will let you know if and when it gets used of you.
Let your rabbit stares at you:
Let your rabbit stares at you. Just lies down if it stares you.
It means they are recognizing you and feeling relaxed. If your rabbit stands on their hind legs and stares at you, they want your attention.
This position is also linked to begging for food.
If your rabbit stares at you with ears erect and nose twitching, something has their attention and you must also be aware of their behavior while training your rabbit.
If your rabbit nips or bites you; sometimes rabbits nip when they want something from you or want to have your attention-it’s not always aggressive behavior, so you must know that.
Give a high pitched squeal as soon as she nips or bites you. This will let her know that it had done wrong and it hurt you and she will not again nip or bites you.
Do not hit or push:
Yet, rabbits do not understand the harsh or physical correction. As these are the fragile creatures, you could seriously hurt them if they get hit or push them.
If you hit them then it could become hard for you to handle them again and to again regain their trust.
Use water spray:
You can use a water spray bottle on the mist setting only to spray your bunny if he could do something he should not be.
As your bunny know this and avoid to do any mistake.
Or you can use the apple cedar vinegar mixed with water as a mist in the spray bottle as this can end the bad odor which causing trouble to the bunny to get into the cage.
As we have discussed above all the following possible realities, which can be helpful to make the rabbit to like being held. As all these methods and procedure could help the owner to; how to handle his pet carefully and safely and make its pet feel safe and confident with his owner. one must have to look after at his behavior and attitude with his pet.
The owner must have to be patient while handling of its rabbit. Have to make a stronger bond by cuddling, stroking and spending some quality time with his bunny.
You must have to be careful while picking up the rabbit as the method and care has been enlisted above. Make the right environment for your rabbit and small room space to roam around and do some activity. In this way, you can make your rabbit enjoy when being held.
Team – Rabbitsauthority.com
- How Do I Stop my Rabbit from Getting Sore Hocks?
- How to Keep Rabbits Teeth Short?
- Can Rabbits Wear Dog Clothes?
- What type of harness is best for a rabbit?
- How to Make Your Rabbit Sleep at Night?
- How to Introduce a Cat to a Rabbit?
- How to Save a Rabbit from Dying?
- What to do with a Wild Baby Rabbit?
- How to Get Rid of Hutch Stains on a Rabbit?
- How to Train a Rabbit to Walk on a Harness?