I have kept bunnies for years and know they can be a handful. I enjoy sharing what I've learned about rabbit care with others.
One of the first things you'll realize as a bunny owner is that your bunny is quite naughty. Rabbits are always sticking their noses into things they shouldn't, chewing things they shouldn't and biting that which they shouldn't, which sometimes includes you.
Bunny-Proofing Their Environment
When dealing with rabbits, the best discipline is prevention, or as the old wives would say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you have things you don't want your rabbit to chew on, get them out of the way. If you leave your new pants on the floor where bunny can get at them and subsequently chew enough holes in them to make them more like a sieve than pants, then really it's your own fault. (And yes, that was on one occasion, my fault.)
Bunny proofing the areas your rabbit is allowed in is the first step to effective control of your rabbit's behavior. However, no matter how much you bunny proof, it is almost certain that your rabbit will find naughty things to do, so you really do need to come up with some strategy of coping in those situations.
Physical Discipline Is Never a Good Idea
The first thing you shouldn't do is hit them in any fashion. A rabbit will not construe any form of smack as a constructive comment on their behavior. Instead they will become angry, affronted, and possibly even more aggressive. It is difficult enough to establish a good relationship with a rabbit when you treat it as if it were the king or queen of the world, let alone if you dare lay a hand upon it.
Rabbits aren't dogs, they're not going to really learn a great deal of English commands. 'NO' can be quite effective, although it is more a case of tone and pitch being indicators of trouble rather than any recognition of the word itself. If your rabbit bites you, a shrill squeal can be an effective deterrent, and clapping your hands or shouting are also good ways to get a bunny to stop the activity it is engaging in. You may be the recipient of some dirty looks and foot stamps for your effrontery, but the bunny will at least have ceased the activity.
You can also try turning your back on your rabbit, and/or stamping your foot as they do. These are powerful indicators of disdain in the rabbit world, and should your rabbit care what you think, they may be quite effective.
Learn to Cope With Some Naughty Behaviors
To conclude, it is probably best to think of your bunny as a small, haughty, cyclonic force of nature. You can corral it and provide it with outlets upon which to vent, such as toys, which are very important unless you want your bunny chewing the skirting or other household fixtures. You can cease behavior on a one-off basis by the hand clapping or no shouting method, but at the end of the day, disciplining a rabbit is like herding cats, or houseflies, whichever is harder.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Steve on August 21, 2020:
Alot of "cool" people talking about hitting or killing an animal because it doesn't behave the exact way you want it to. What else do you expect from people who can only feel tough against animals. Especially Eric with his gun theory. Pathetic human and guarantee his kids are going to be just as brain dead as him
Darren Unger on August 15, 2020:
i have 2 buns. They are a lot smarter than people think. The only issue i really have with them is at the crack of dawn, they start slamming the fence to the living room. I have them each in their own room until Im ready to start the bonding process (a month after they get neutered) but they just really want to hump eachother.
Bob on June 22, 2020:
I can not believe how terrible humans are, I was reading the comments and was horrifyed by what I was reading. These people think that rabbits are toys and you can do whatever you want with them. This is clearly animal abuse and can cause you to be in jail for 1 to 3 years.
Rabbit lover on April 03, 2020:
I was just reading through some of the comments and I couldn’t believe some of them. In my opinion you are a horrible human if you hit your rabbit or any animal just cause the poop not where they are supposed to (josh) I know that he wrote that comment a years ago. I have a 7 mouth rabbit he chews on his cage something that helps him from chewing is me telling him no and GENTLY pushing his mouth of of the cage keeping him from chewing on it. It definitely help something is spaying him with room temperature water ONE time (rabbits should NOT have to much water on them at a time). If your rabbit if still chewing on stuff it might be because they might not have enough hay (about 89% of their diet should be hay) and if they don’t has enough chew toys or even if they cage isn’t big enough for them and they might just want to play. Rabbits a amazing animals but they do required lots of care and they are very smart animals. You should never discipline in a way that would hurt you because rabbit are a LOT more fragile then we are. So if you wouldn’t do it to a human you care about you should definitely not do it to a rabbit.
And if your bun is licking you and the they bite you they are just growing you because they love you that’s how they grow each other and them self’s.
All in all you should always think twice before you discipline your sweet little bunny
Lolo on October 17, 2018:
The person who said they smack their bunny around is a terrible excuse of a human
Eric on July 24, 2018:
I find a lot of people are total rabbit apologists, stuff like when you get a bunny you must realise it is now your boss, if it is aggressive and gores you down to the bone you must just squeal loudly etc etc etc! Neah. It's this simple, rabbits are not good pets in general, they are historically either a source of poor nutrient food in times of starvation or vermin in better times. I get some may be agreeable but the majority do not like human contact mainly because they see us as natural predators and will generally act accordingly. Dogs and Cats have been around us much longer historically and have served practical functions in the day to lives of our ancestors, you protect me and I will feed you is a strong basis for a relationship between species. Rabbits are a case of one sidedness, they provide no practicality, well maybe for sellers and breeders who can produce these insignificant fluffy little critters at little expense (a diet of hay and pellets is cheap) compared with animals that require a meat diet before sale and profit. The trouble with this mass breeding for profit is the complete lack of selective trait breeding, meaning they retain the same basic fear of people generation after generation. Chances are if you own a bunny, it doesn't like you, it just puts up with you because what choice does it have? The way I see it is if I have a pet in my home that bites me or my kids simply because we were feeding it then it's getting a .22LR to the head, if it's a rabbit it's going in the pot
Zoe on July 23, 2018:
I’ve tried a lot of these, but when my bun nipped me (he’s never bitten me) I gave him a little pat on the butt and he doesn’t nip me anymore. I love him to death and I would never smack him harder than a tap, but it worked for me. I also just start making loud noises when he’s doing or by something he shouldn’t be. He’s very very well behaved and I don’t really like the comment that said the dude killed their bun. That’s just wrong and I feel so bad for that baby.
Pml on November 13, 2017:
Some of these comments that I read the people that beat there rabbits to death should be charged for killing these innocent animals and if you didn’t like loud noises than you shouldn’t have gotten a rabbit or return them no point in beating these rabbits to death and I hope you don’t get animals in your care and if u did I hope you will be charged for animal abuse that is not how you discipline animals
Rob on November 06, 2017:
My rabbit has become very annoying, digging in his cage. I smack him around
sarajo on June 01, 2017:
yes I have a lop ear rabbit that is a naughty one and he is a male so that's y he is so curious. I was wondering if u could help me keep a bunny from being this habit. Well he loves to run and gets and he has chewed up things from high places because he jump high, but I'm still new of his behavior I'm just thinking of what I should ?
Shay on December 20, 2016:
My rabbit has never done this before she likes to Chew and scratch thinks she's not supposed to and idk what well help.
Hopefully this method will help.
Quay on April 27, 2015:
I read through comments all the time that state that rabbits aren't this or that yet mine has surpassed all of the "rabbits aren't" notions. My Marley is affectionate, smart and responds to anything I tell him. Sometimes he is stubborn, reminds me of the nature of cats. I haven't taught him tricks as he isn't a puppet or a show animal. I taught him right from wrong the same way I did any other animal, by tapping him on the nose. He used to chew cords out of fear that he would get shocked I had to take action. I took my chewed cords, held them to his face and sternly said "NO!" before tapping is nose with it a few times saying "NO" with each tap. Needless to say he does not chew ANYTHING *unless it's my clothing to show affection* I litter box trained him by picking him up and putting him in his litter box and made him stay there saying "LITTER-BOX" every time he tried to leave, other than territorial droppings he is fully trained.
Rabbits are not stupid by any means, and just like any other animal they have personalities of their own so each one acts differently. More often than not, they often take on the personality of their owners. And for the love of God please stop spaying and neutering your buns...unless it's for health reasons. It does not, I repeat, DOES NOT change any instinctual behaviors. Maybe from sheer trauma will you notice a change but over time they revert back to normal rabbit behaviors. I'm speaking from personal experience, I've had animals all of my life and have not spayed or neutered any of them. Marley is not aggressive he has NEVER bitten me or strangers and he is very sociable. He binkies on happy days and chills on relaxed ones and licks me entirely too much.
When we are selfless and loving with our pets the results (even in discipline) are always positive. Yes, it takes more time and a bit more patience but it works.
Tony Zhang on October 06, 2014:
I found the best way is to hit the rabbit gently on his back a few time . If he still bites then hit him harder. This will do the trick
So crazy on January 25, 2014:
Omg you killed your rabbit and your saying that it is it's fault what a stupid jerk
Donovon on December 16, 2013:
Yeah thanks for the info but why does my rabbit honk and charge at me every time i stick my hand inn her cage??
Amy Cook on August 07, 2013:
My mum hit a rabbit because it bit her. I told her to stop but she keeps doing it and its really starting to annoy me because she thinks she knows everything about them when she clearly doesn't!!!
Jade on February 10, 2013:
Lol my bunny just died because i beat the piss out of him, literally. I don't blame myself tho, i blame the bunny. He shouldn't have been being so loud and annoying
Brown on February 03, 2013:
I have a black bunny I bought about 2 weeks ago for my girlfriend. Not sure what kind of rabbit it is BUT....I have a pretty big cage for it, plastic bottom/wired top and sides with toys, food bowl, plenty of timothy hay, a water bottle, and I use pine bedding (although you change it more often).
For the most part, it listens. It'll come to us now and hop up on the couch or chair or whatever and will follow us around the house. Most of the time though, it finds a spot on our hardwood floor and sprawls out on its stomach. I let it out for about 4-8 hours a day depending. It has two bad habits. It NEVER pees or poops on the floor but if it gets on the couch and stays up there too long (it will hop down a lot tho) it'll poop on the couch. Other than being on the couch, it'll go back in its cage, do its business and come back out. It does however like to get behind our entertainment center and it doesn't chew on wires but I don't want it back there so anytime it gets back there, I give it one chance by shewing it out or picking it up and moving it. If it goes back in there, it gets 30 min in its cage and usually that does the trick for the remainder of the day but it does it again the very next day lol.
sally on January 09, 2013:
spray acid in there eyes
sophie on June 19, 2012:
i loved it and it worked!!!!$
lisa on June 16, 2012:
I find when my rabbitsmisbehave -mainly nipping or chewing I find getting eye contact and a very firm 'NO' tends to work although u have to be persistant and consistant. Eventually they get the message. NEVER 'hit' or 'smack' or use any other form of psysical abuse as this won't work and may just make ur bunny worse. Think of how you'd react if some1 slapped or hurt u in any way -if it was me I'd bite harder which is exactly what a rabbit will do. Rabbits can't communicate by speaking they can only show pleasure or displeasure by their actions and leaning to 'tune in ' to your rabbits behave with make life easier and happier for both of you
purnimamoh1982 on June 13, 2012:
Very useful advice. I like your statement "Rabbits are not dogs". Very true. I wish I had read your instructions before I went through so many trials and errors to train my rabbits. Still I must confess that it was not very difficult. They can not be trained in many things, but whatever, they can be taught, its not difficult to impart. Please read my experience of keeping rabbits in my home https://discover.hubpages.com/animals/On-Pets-An-A...
Kisa on May 28, 2012:
sorry again but i just wanted to say that the only good thing my bunny does anyway is when i let it loose in my room it follows me anywere i go in there. its as if he is a magnet to me and im the piece of mettle.
Kisa on May 28, 2012:
Maybey nudge above you can help me? I know my parents say that im not supposed to say my email and all that on the internet but im desperate! if anyboyd knows anything plz email me. my email is email@example.com and ps that is not my name leah its just my name kisa was already tooken and i though leah was a nice name. anyway. plz help me i am begging anyone who can help me email me.
Kisa on May 28, 2012:
THIS DOESN'T HELP AT ALL FOR ME. My bunny is the most naughtiest in the world. ps i think i spelled that wrong anyway i tried all things but my bunny i guess isn't like most bunnys. he even chewed down the wire cage. all the things he does is wrong but nothing will work. can anybody help me with this? he does everything he is not supposed to do. he even pees and poops in my bed even though i have a top bunk. how does he do it? i just need all the help i can get right now. my parents said if he doesn't start behaving soon ill have to give him away. what if hes so naughty hell never get adaupted? plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz anybody help me. PLZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
NudgePudge on May 06, 2012:
I have a 1year 3month old mixed breed male lop that is clicker trained house trained and does agility. I have him doing this because ALL of the bunnies i grew up with as a kid were the same way and i raised Nudge to be how i expected rabbits to behave. I'd never seen a rabbit that couldn't do these things and go shopping on a leash with me until i started hanging out with other rabbit people and now im teaching classes and helping people ready their lives for a new rabbit. I have yet to see a rabbit that hasn't managed to learn everything i have to teach them the time and effort it takes for them to learn varies on them and their owners...
LozzieBear on April 20, 2012:
Hi... I have a 2 month old Dutch rabbit and I got her from a friend because her rabbit had bunnies so one is mine. She is called Trixie but I really want her to lick me instead of bite me when I put my hand in front of her mouth. Trixie's friend, Snoopi (Another Dutch bunny; born in the same litter) always licks you when you put your hand in front of his mouth and that's what I want Tixie to do... Any ideas? It doesn't hurt when she bites, though, because obviously, she is still a baby so hasn't really grown strong teeth yet. Thank you so much for your help!
Felicia on April 18, 2012:
I've had my bunny for 5 years and he's freaking awesome. He's really intelligent, he toilet trained himself the very day he arrived (eliminated in his cage), and he rarely has any accidents outside the cage. Only when he decides it's time for me to pay attention to him. So he gets the free run of the house. Muffin loves tearing up newspaper so I generally let him have his fun since it's no problem cleaning up, he chews wires too but I stop him by nudging him, I'm sure he knows it's wrong because he stops to give me this really guilty expression. But I guess the best way to discipline a rabbit is through constant handling, I spend lots of time with him everyday, there's no substitute for love. I'm sure he loves me too, I can see it when he dashes to me when I'm home.
Liz on April 09, 2012:
Hi, my bunny was constantly biting on her water bottle tonight. i couldn't figure out why. turns out she wasn't getting enough water. i gave her a bowl with water instead, she almost drank the whole thing!
Meghan on April 09, 2012:
Oh and although commands don't usually work on rabbits, my lad has learned a few tricks. I can't remember how many exactly but I think it's around ten now. So he can do roughly ten tricks on voice command and didn't take much, just a big of Tesco's treats and a day or two for each trick. (: So people might want to try this to improve bunny obedience if they want, it's really fun and helps us bond!
Meghan on April 09, 2012:
I got my Giant rabbit in November aged 6. He's been good but recently he's started having a romance with any of my slippers and sometimes legs. I've tried everything but he's too old to neuter (if he already isn't) and this is becoming a real problem. Any advice? He's started chasing the cat now too so we all need relief from this, lol.
Amiii on April 01, 2012:
I got my rabbits from a breeder and the breeder says if they are naughty or they fight then you have to spray the very lightly with warm water because then they will know to stop doing whatever they are doing!! And it defently worked with me. But it is not hurting them just aim for there back NOT the FACE because if you do it in the face it will HURT them.
Amiii on April 01, 2012:
My rabbits are two boys, they started fighting at the age of 2 months now they are about 4 to 5 months and we have put them together and now they are not fighting! How amazing, my rabbits are always chewing wires they chew one wire and it broke in half I was so angry with them. Now they keep going in my old Doll's House and chewing it!! They totally LOVE chewing.
rabbit vet on March 20, 2012:
I think josh is defo lying to us as this would be animal abuse. Thats a goood idea k, my bunny doesn't chew cos when she did i said no loudly and pushed her away lightly.
k on March 17, 2012:
This is helpful i have a deaf rabbit so commands don't work. I noticed if hes chewing on something i pick him up and remove him. Then i give him something new to chew on. I try and give him things he hasn't seen so far to keep him interested.
Kay McRae on March 14, 2012:
Lol josh has to be yankin our chains.
I do not agree with hitting bunnys.
My bunny bit my nipple i'm not sure if it was a nip or bite bc it's a sensitive spot, it shocked me, I immediately smacked her hard. it was an instinct reaction, i've had her for 2wks she's 10months. I have been pushing her head to the ground and her butt it did cut the bitting down. I read somewhere that it's a sign of dominance and I only do it when she bites my flesh. I will now try lightly pinching the nose... But i really just want to know if she'll get over the smacking I feel terrible about it. That was lastnight. This morning she appeared normal & let me pet her.
Josh on March 14, 2012:
I disagree I have a 2 month old bunny and I'm training him to not shit unless he s im his cage everytime he shits I'll smack him or I'll take a small firm head rest and smack him in the face as hard as I can for each piece shit there everytime I hit him he shitted more so I keep beating him he would keep shitting so kites string tight around his legs and hung him upside down for an hour I also throw him in the freezer if he persists anytime I pick him up I hold him bye one ear . if I let him out and he try's to go be curious I grab by the ears or neck and return him to my lap. After slapping him so hard he crys he's learned he now stays in my lap and doesn't shit unless he's in his cage it might be because I'm not feeding him but it's nice to not pick up his shit anyway grow some balls and slap your bunny around beat it show it who's boss. Worked for my 2 month old bunny hope it helps ya.
LuvBunneh on February 29, 2012:
Mind your rabbit constantly and put it back in it's cage when it's naughty. They don't respond to verbal commands, and hitting it is stupid and cruel.
Also, make sure your rabbit has stuff to play with, chew sticks, cardboard to shred, we gave our bunny an old pillowcase to bunch with his front paws. Good times
pp on February 25, 2012:
ur a meanie, give it to a rescue home
Furball on February 14, 2012:
Omg! U are not fit to own a rabbit if you think declawing your pet & spraying vinegar into its eye is perfectly normal! Would you like someone to de-nail all 10 of your toe nails and spray vinegar to your face?
BatGirl on December 09, 2011:
Got a dwarf rabbit (1 lb 11 oz) that likes to scrath the heck out of me for no reason with its rear claws - the aggressive female draws my blood, leaves scars on me, and this crap is very painful to me. Every time it does this I react automatically as a defense and it gets tossed against the nearest wall - gonna end up with a concussion if this keeps up... Meanwhile, the claws are so tiny and black that clipping them is not an option since it draws blood from the clipped claw (can't see any nerve thru the black) and assumed to be painful every time for the rabbit. Declawing is painful, but only for the time it takes to heal, not for the rest of its life like it would be if it's nails are clipped weekly (not to mention the multiple exposures to infection). Also, plan to breed it so spaying is out (and spaying probably won't prevent the malicious scratching). So, gonna get it de-clawed - period, no discussion (that, or just eat the damn thing, heh, heh). This will also prevent it from having traction which is good so it can't mischievously run away easily when it knows it is time to be put up.
Back to vinegar in the eyes - it works very well. You only have to do it a few times just to traumatize it to the vinegar (and btw it focuses on the spray bottle which is the instrument of the pain, not you - these are REALLY dumb animals). Then, you just have to spray the vinegar near it so it smells it and you get instant discipline without the pain anymore... spray it where you do not want it to go and it stays away from that area. It's called training, not torture.
Mercedes-Lainie on November 09, 2011:
My Rabbit is about 2 months old and when we let him out of his hutch he just runs and hides under the furniture? should i give him time to feel safe or just keep him in his hutch ?
RascalSilver on November 06, 2011:
Why does my rabbit keep peeing in my bed! He is so clever he will run into the bedroom if he gets the chance to get out of the kitchen and pee on my bed straight away then run back into the kitchen and give me a 'serves ya right for cutting my balls off' look. He was desexed a month ago and has just started becoming himself again only naughtier.. How long do the hormones take to settle down? I probably shouldn't have called him Rascal! At the moment when he does it I put him outside. He's litter trained and has been great up till now as regard to peeing
JennyBoo on October 29, 2011:
Batgirl, I'm really concerned about your comment. Rabbits' eyes aren't the same as human eyes because they don't have tear ducts the way we do. That's why testing cosmetics on rabbits is cruel and ineffective. It also makes spraying vinegar in their eyes very cruel because it won't wash out the way it would for us.
Punishment is an ineffective way to change behaviour, as it only works when the punisher is present (so your rabbit won't be 'good' when you're not around), and just makes them end up hating you because they associate you with pain. If you can distract or give a reward for not doing the behaviour that will help.
As an example, I didn't want my bunny to go into our hallway from the living room. I gave her a treat every time she was at the doorway but not going out. Now she never goes out. I also associated her being put back in her hutch with an angry-sounding command (NO!), which limits her naughtiness, although she looks at me first as if she knows she's about to do something naughty.
Think about the reason for your bunny's behaviour. Are they unhappy? Are they testing what they can and can't do? Are they bored or lonely? Do they need some kind of routine? Are they tired and grumpy? Are they adolescents (6 months to a year old)? Do they hate loud noise? Try rewarding them first, with treats, attention, strokes, and say a command at the same time so they understand ("Good bunny"). Give this time, and hopefully it should work.
Bunny lover, you just need to take time to get him to trust you and get used to being held. In my experience, bunnies don't really like being held, but when you do make sure all their feet are supported so they feel secure. Never grab them in order to hold them because then they'll associate being held with feeling terrified.
Crazy rabbit lover on October 22, 2011:
Does anyone know a good website for extra tips???
I found all of bunniez articles on bunnys very helpful but i still don't feel like i know enough to go ahead to train and bond with my rabbit.
Thankyou and well done on the article
Bunny Lover on April 23, 2011:
My rabbit, Cooper, bit me today so I looked up this site, hoping it would help. It did. I'm so glad you said that your not supposed to hit your rabbit in any way because my dad seems to think it makes perfect sense to hit him...even though I won't let him near my rabbit if he wants to hurt him. HEHE. Thanks for the advice, I'm definetly NOT forgetting this site. Hey, any tips on getting to accually being able to hold your rabbit? He doesn't seem to let any one hold him.
Thanks for the advice, its extremely helpful. =D
Bunnyfan on March 11, 2011:
Lindsay, maybe bring your bunny a box of dirt to play in, sounds like typical bunny behavior and mine responds well do having dirt to dig in. For chewing I give her apple branches which she chews the bark off.
Lindsay on December 23, 2010:
We just recently bought a male flemish giant who is between 6 and 9 months. He is very sweet but has started chewing up my rug!!!! :( i've stomped my feet and told him NO, he'll stop doing it for a few seconds and then he's right back at it! I'm not sure what to do? Also is it true that getting a bunny later in life instead of as a baby has an impact on how nice they are towards you? I think this little guy was just in a cage and not handled much so i'm hoping over time he will become more trusting? any advice would be great!!! my rug would definitely appreciate it! :)
BatGril on December 06, 2010:
Also, if you find them peeing in the 'wrong' part of the cage, tilt the cage so the corner with the litter pan is in the corner where the rest of the cage slopes to and then they will begin to pee there. Something inherent with pee flowing downhill and not wanting it to flow towards themselves I guess. Once they get the habit of peeing there you can re-level the cage ;-)
BatGirl on December 05, 2010:
Spraying water on them just makes them go into gooming mode - not effective enough for discipline but good to get attention only. Get a spray bottle and fill it with white vinegar. When you catch them doing anything objectionable, of even afterward after you bring to their attention their mistake, spray them full in both eyes with the stuff, maybe twice. It stings like hell (did it to myself before doing it to my rabbits) but is actually good for the eyes (i.e. stings at first, but then eyes are cleaner, clearer...) and they will associate the bottle with their hatred, not you.
KBear on November 30, 2010:
I know some people discipline their cats by spritzing water at them when they do something they aren't supposed to. would this method be harmful to a bunny? i know they have sensitive fur. i've tried it a time or two and it doesn't seem to have hurt them. i have two rabbits and they bathe each other to help dry off, and then go about their business as usual
rach - 4mini lops on November 20, 2010:
any tips on how to stop a rabbit chewing his cage???
Maryjane Reefer on October 27, 2010:
Thanks for all your information! very helpful. i just brought a baby girl Lionhead bunny home. She loves her cage and is already feeling quite at home. Her name is Kokanee and i already love her so much. I have a 16 yearold siamese cat which is also very curious about her. He watches her from a distance so far and cuddled up beside me while i was holding her. I cant wait till they become bestfriends and im sure it wont be long, they are both very gentle. Its funny, because my bunny Kokanee has the same colouring as my siamese cat, just longer hair and brown eyes instead of blue.
HeffyLover on July 22, 2010:
Thanks for all the input guys ...i been a dog owner most my life, and my hand me down ill behaved wabbit really chaps my hide sometimes i had spanked her on the butt tonight and noticed she got angry and starting seeing me as a threat attempting to bite me and such) now and i really don't want that to happen. so as i do most the time when i don't know something i consulted google with my discipline issue and found the info on this site very helpful...She does understand no as far as i can tell but i'd like to get her to the point that holly has her bunny ....i can tell she's smart i am just gonna have to really work with her ...the previous owner didn't spend much time with her
buster on July 14, 2010:
i found a good way to get mine to behave is to poke at her rump with my fingers, like i was another rabbit nipping at her backside. The way you might tickle someones ribs. She takes off fast, but isn't upset.
That's what rabbits do to each other to establish dominance.
It's like saying, "don't pee there/chew that, it's mine!"
I love Scrambler. on June 28, 2010:
Thank you millions. I also liked the one about picking up the bunny. It helped a lot with my new baby bunny, Scrambler. ;DD
OMG on February 27, 2010:
thanks so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have a bunny!!!!!!!!! but no dog or cat. :( do you like
kakusei's-NYAPPYRABBBIT-hero on November 19, 2009:
thanks for this i've be trying to disipline my baby rabbit for almmost a year!!!
i have a question though i let my rabbits play in my backyard and we make this gate but my sister's rabbit always manages to jump up and escape we do all of this but she keeps doing it my rabbit listens and doesn't but she always escapes
sometimes we let my rabbit go outside and hers not to to disipline her but she does it anyway
Nabiki on November 06, 2009:
Thank you so very much! I wasn't sure if I was handling trying to discipline my rabbit, Nabiki right. She's a little monster of a rabbit, but I love her so much I just can't be mean to her; so I tried simply with loud noises to try and get her to leave what she was getting into. It worked! She responds exceptionally well to a high-pitched whine sort of noise. She comes right over from what she was doing and licks me! However, this never worked for keeping her from chewing my shirt or fingers while I was holding her. I noticed that some mother rabbits will give their babies a slight nip on the nose to get them to behave, and a gentle pinch on the nose got her to stop biting me and my clothing! She immediately stops biting and starts licking. Perhaps it's worth a shot if your voice is getting strained and getting nowhere while trying to curb her human munching fetish? Regards and thanks to you! :D
Jenny-rabbit on October 30, 2009:
Wow Holly I am guessing that you are not a mother. Am I right? Animals are a lot like children though there have been records of 2 yr old's learning to read and play Mozart I don't think every article in the world is "politicaly correct when it comes to saying what you can expect from a 2yr old. Maybe Buniez could have wrote most rabbits or your rabbit probably wont but with all the articles she has written on here I don't think she has the time to make sure every one is 100% accurate information she writes on what she has heard and experienced. And you put that your rabbit learned 5 words. That's really about what a dumb would learn most dogs can learn much more than that. Just the basics No, come, stay, sit, roll over, out, potty, treat, food, toy, ball, stick, ect. So before you go attacking someone else for not being politicaly correct think of what you are saying. 5 words is by-far not a lot of words and chances are you say those 5 words differently I'm sure if you said treat very firmly like you do the word no she would not come running to you for her treat. Thanks Buniez for all of your educational articles it shows you do know a lot about the average house rabbit. As for Holly if she is such a rabbit expert why is she looking up articles on a blogging site? lol
rachel on October 06, 2009:
I have found clapping worked quite well when training my bun not to wee on the bed!! she learned really quick and no longer does it. she always still nips me and my clothes but after reading 'does your bun love you' i'll take that as a compliment shall i!?
Zoe on March 21, 2009:
I have purchased a mini lop which i can pick up next week. (29th March) He seems lovely he is a chocolate buck which im calling muffin any tips? Hes 8 weeks old.
calarianna on January 30, 2009:
thankyou for the advice ever since my sister was banned from her rabbit for mistreating it i have been trying to handle it and prevent it from attacking me without harming it now i know and can try to give it the tender loving care my sister didn't im glad she was banned because i had witnessed her ferousously hitting it!!!
kim's nuts for thumper on September 21, 2008:
I have recently purchases a mini lop. Yes my bun is very naughty and gets into a whole lot of trouble. The litter training was not bad. He will urinate in the box and 90% of the time he will do his other business there as well. My bun lives with a cat called Roxy, and Jack Russell Terrier and a Lab Beagle mix who weights about 50 puonds. My cat and two dogs were introduced slowly to the bun and now are the best of friends. Especially our cat Roxy, she and Thumper like to play catch me if you can. They never touch each other but run back and forth looking the whole time to see if the other is chasing. My bun lives on a diet of fresh parsley, bunny trail mix, apples, romaine lettuce and bunny pellets, along with a hand full of Timothy's hay daily. Thumper has wood blocks designed especially for him and dried Alphalfa to file those teeth down. He sleeps in his cage at night, his bedtime is 9:30 and is free at about 7:30 a.m. to roam all day. We take him outside for an hour a day in the back yard to graze in his natural habitat and get fresh air. Right now we have to literally follow his every move, he is only a baby 5 months old and likes to explore, but non the less, we do this so that he can get the most out of his outside time. All together we love him very much, his personality is awesome. He lets us pick him up and cuddle him for a few minutes at a time. He likes to try to eat Jack and Boo's dog food, but this is very dangerous to the rabbits digestive system. Too high in protein and fat so we feed the dogs separately when he is not in the room, for some reason he seems to love their food and snuggles right up under their chins to chow with them. Our family is quite comical. My husband, myself, my daughter, two frogs, a cricket keeper with water and gut loader so that they are healthly enough to feed to the frogs Kermit and Toady, Roxy our cat, Jack and Boo our dogs and now, of course, Thumper our mini lop. Just keep in mind with enough paitence and hours of attention and supervision, anything is possible in the animal world. All of my pets live within the same house and know their boundaries. It just takes paitence and understanding and constant training, but can be done.
kreetz on September 15, 2008:
Bunniez I thought your advice was exceedingly well written. I recently just got a pet rabbit. He is a holland lop, however, I think I am justifying any bad things he does by his cuteness haha, which is making him spoiled? I keep him in a cage ( a rather large one) during the day while I'm at school, and then as soon as I come home I let him out for about 6 hours. Is this too much?.. I am trying to litter train him but am getting nowhere.. could it be because he runs around too much out of his cage? Now that he has explored the entire apartment, he seems to have become antisocial.. always hiding under my bed... what should i do?
I can only hope my rabbit turns out as spectacular as yours Holly, maybe I will teach it to reply back to my comments in English.. perhaps Chinese? :P
Bunniez (author) on August 25, 2008:
I think you might have a pretty special bunny Holly, most rabbits I know are not that smart. I do have to write these articles for the majority of rabbits, not just the special smart ones who learn tricks and commands!
Of course, if you can take just any rabbit and train it the way you have then I would stand corrected, and your snarky comment would be justified. As it is, most people seem to have problems just toilet training them and getting them not to bite them for no reason. It's the aim of this article to persuade them to persist with their rabbits and not simply chuck them outside in a cage.
Evidently you need no advice, which begs the question as to why you are even looking for it.
Holly on August 04, 2008:
I have some issues with this line:
"Rabbits aren't dogs, they're not going to really learn a great deal of English commands."
I have an 8-year-old rabbit who responds to "No", "Come here", "Treats", "Up", and "Go home" (return to cage). She still gets into things occasionally, but will stop whatever she is doing and turn around if I say "No" (firmly, but without shouting) followed by her name. I highly recommend reading the book "Hop to it: A guide to training your pet rabbit," if you need some ideas.. which clearly, you do.
Tristan on April 13, 2008:
Hey thanks for the advice. I mean my bunny bites, scratches,and chews on my carpet and my cable.The other day I hit him and felt so terrible I needed a way to punish my bunny without hurting him and now I can. Thanks again!
caspar from UK on January 27, 2008:
Great advice for looking after naughty bunnies!