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Do you often feel your rabbit is too shy? Too quiet? Have that 'leave me alone' attitude? Well, it maybe you haven't learn their language yet! Here are some tips to help you, the human, bond with your own rabbit.
- Rabbits are one of the most common prey animals that other animals hunt for. Understanding this 'prey mentality' will explain why they can be more nervous and do not like to be held or cuddled. However, many can learn to enjoy attention and petting from their human caregiver. We need to respect this boundary.
- Let your rabbit choose to interact with you and not force yourself upon it. Pushing yourself on a shy bunny can result in your little friend running away or biting out of fear. Every animal, be it from a rescue or a petshop, has its past. He maybe abandoned, neglected, or even abused. So respect that he may be scared and needs time to get comfortable. On the contrary, rescued animals are often the friendliest because they had been cared for by animal lovers who taught them to socialize and feel safe.
- If your rabbit is in a confined environment, instead of reaching in to take him out, open the door and let him choose when he wants to come out. Sit near him and read a magazine or play with your phone. He will be curious and will come to you gradually. Stay quiet when he comes to you and let him explore. Rabbits are peace lovers and that's why we don't recommend squealing children around them unless guided by their responsible parents.
- If your rabbit approaches you, use a treat to tempt him to come near your hands. Praise your rabbit with your “happy” voice for being so brave. When he is getting used to your hand, offer him the treat. Repeat this until your rabbit accept the treat from your hand and you can slowly try to pet him on his head. If he runs away, try again. As the days go by, your rabbit will accept more touching, may climb on you, and will soon look for and accept your attention.
Patience is a virtue when making friends with a shy rabbit. And this is why we strongly require all our adopters to be knowledgeable adults who are sensitive to their needs and knows that it's never instant gratification with these shy animals. Rabbits are actually very sociable creatures and their love for you will eventually shine through with time.
For more good tips, please consult the original article: