My Rabbit Does Not Like Me
Rabbits, like many other types of animals, actually make take a little while to you, especially when they are junior or adult rabbits. With some rabbits, you may earn their trust quickly. But with others, it can take a while to really bond with them until they feel you’re trustworthy.
Rabbits are different from dogs or cats because it can reach up to a month or more for them to feel comfortable and you need to give it extra effort to let them trust you as well. For this reason, it is said that rabbits are not always a suitable animal as pets for young children not unless he or she is particularly patient and understanding of the rabbit’s temperament. It’s important for your rabbits to trust you so that you can handle them safely during health checks, as well as during mating, births and when the kits are young.
Contrary to popular belief, rabbits often object to being handled. You have to take it slow. You can maybe start by scratching them around the head, the area between the ears and the nose. This action stimulates the grooming act of a submissive bunny and sometimes even the grumpiest rabbit will let owners pet them after a good head scratch.
Rabbits are very territorial creatures and they will do everything they can to protect what is theirs. So if you are “encroaching” on your rabbits’ space, this may be why your rabbit is reacting aggressively. He or she feels threatened by you or the surroundings, and anything that comes in contact with them gets attacked. Which leaves you with two options: dispatch the rabbit or try to make it work.
The rabbit needs you to gain its trust. And until that point, the rabbit may attack you or lunge at you when you get close. One option to achieve peace is to find neutral ground and make a slow introduction. Take the rabbit’s cage to a into a small room or an enclosed area and let it roam around you while you just sit there. Let the rabbit roam around without trying to touch him. If it comes over to you, just remain still. You can gently talk to the rabbit if you want. Keep up this socialization for a few more days, offer some healthy treats from time to time and just let the rabbit get used to you. After a few days, try to reach toward the rabbit and pet it, if the rabbit allows. Work up to being able to hold it for longer periods of time. If the rabbit pulls away, grunts, paws or growls at you, just ignore it.
Do not force the introduction. Eventually the rabbit will want to sit on you, lie down next to you and nibble on the things that you brought with you. If a rabbits scratches you, set it down away from you or remove it from the situation and let the rabbit refocus. Try to be observant and watch for cues about what the rabbit wants and is ready for.
Rabbits have different personalities and what works for one rabbit may not work for another. But no one wants to be attacked by their own rabbits.