Can you teach your pet rabbit to do tricks? Many people are surprised to find out that they can! Training your pet bunny to do tricks, such as to go back into their rabbit hutch or rabbit home on command can be very helpful, in addition to being a pretty neat trick to impress your family and friends! Training time also helps to keep your bunny engaged with you and is another opportunity for bonding with your pet!
Brook-Falls Veterinary has some great trainng trips on their blog. The tips from them below should give you some great advice to teach your rabbits tricks.!
"COME WHEN CALLED
Rabbits can definitely learn their names. To teach your pet rabbit to come when called, sit a short distance away, and hold out a treat. Call your rabbit by name. If you do this consistently, your bunny will soon learn to come to you when you call her.
We all know that rabbits love to hop, so teaching your bunny to jump on command is pretty easy. Start by holding a treat up high just enough for her to have to jump for it, and, calling your bunny by name, tell her to jump. Once she has this mastered, you can train her to jump onto your lap!
Another easy trick you can teach a rabbit is going into her cage on command. This one may be as useful as it is cute! Sit or stand beside your rabbit’s cage, holding a treat out to her. As your bunny approaches, move the treat into the cage, and tell her to go in. She has to see the treat move for this to work.
MORE FUN TRICKS
Once your bunny has these simple tricks mastered, why stop there? You can also teach rabbits to fetch, jump through hoops, slide down a little slide, walk on a leash, or even play dead. Believe it or not, rabbits can even learn to play piano!
All of these tricks can require a bit of time to sink in, so don’t expect your rabbit to get them right away. Shorter, more frequent sessions will generally work better than hour-long classes. You can also try clicker training, which is often very successful with rabbits. When training any animal, consistency, repetition, and reward are key."
To see the full article on their blog visit
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Pet Rabbits are generally filled with natural curiosity, and letting them get outside for some supervisied exercise is a great idea, Many bunny parents ask the following question "Can I Train a Rabbit to Walk on a Leash?" The surprising answer is "Yes" - many pet rabbits can be taught to walk on a leash, especially if you start their training at a young age.
The following is an excerpt from a very informative article on the Petfinder website. You can read the entire article by clicking the Petfinder link.
" Avoid any harness of the “figure-eight” variety as they can cinch the rabbit’s neck and cause injury. You also want to avoid a simple collar for the same reason. Some rabbit harnesses come with stretchy leads, which sort of work, but a regular leash from the dog/cat section will be better if you have plans to train your pet and not just follow her around wherever she goes.
When fitting the harness, make sure it is neither too loose (which can result in your rabbit escaping) or too snug (your bunny will be uncomfortable, won’t move and could even be injured).
The first few times you attempt to harness your bunny, don’t expect a lot of help from her. Despite her antics, you are not hurting her or inflicting some terrible fate on her. However, if you want her to get better over time, then wearing the harness has to be a fun time for the bunny and worth the indignity of having to put the thing on.
The Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society actually offers classes on leash-training your rabbit — you may find a rabbit group in your area that does the same. Leash training is the foundation for participating in rabbit agility. Most bunnies really love this activity, although like humans, there are a variety of degrees of aptitude. A few (maybe 5% or so) flatly refuse to have anything to do with it — including one of my pet rabbits. One loves it, the other almost failed the first level course out of pure stubbornness.
Anytime your rabbit is leashed, there needs to be a human in attendance — don’t stake her out in the yard or leave her alone. Too many things can happen in that scenario — the rabbit can get tangled in the leash, chew through the leash, get snatched by a predator, etc.
With or without a leash, rabbits can be trained to do all sorts of things. If you are familiar with the principles of training other animals, simply apply them to rabbits and watch them learn! I even heard recently about a rabbit that was trained to take medicine on command."
The article was written by Joanna Campbell, President, Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society, Edina, MN. The entire article can be read here Petfinder.
Rabbit Litter Training Guide - Part 2 (continued from yesterday)
5 - Make sure that you clean the rabbit litter pan each day to reduce odors and keep your rabbit hutch or rabbit cage clean and fresh! Rabbits are clean animals by nature and prefer to keep their homes clean.
6 - Purchase a Rabbit Litter Scoop, made to go in corners. Most cat litter scoops are too wide and will not allow you to scoop a corner litter pan.
7 - Always secure the corner litter pan to the rabbit hutch or rabbit cage as bunnies do like to grab these and move them around! Some corner litter pans come with clips for this purpose. If not, any clip that is larger enough to secure your litter pan should work, as long as their are no sharp edges that could potentially hurt you or your bunny.
8 - Avoid stressful times, such as holidays, to try and train your pet rabbit. Wait for a quieter time for the best success!
Rabbit Litter Training Guide - Part 1
Many pet rabbits are able to learn to become litter pan trainined, similar to a cat. It is actually easier than you might expect. Try the following steps to start your pet rabbit off on a cleaner cage career!
When it comes to buying a Rabbit Hutch, how many rabbits is too many? The first rule is to avoid housing more than one rabbit in the same hutch or cage unless each has been spayed or neutered. It can be difficult to introduce a new bunny, and that process should always be monitored and attempted in areas that are neutral grounds for both, not in close quarters like inside a hutch!
It is generally a better idea to get a second rabbit hutch or rabbit cage and let the bunnies socialize during their play time, and during time that they are not inside their hutch or home. This way, they can begin to get used to each other on common ground.
Remember, a rabbit's home is her special place to feel safe and secure. Why not make it as enjoyable as you can!
How To Choose a Rabbit Hutch - Think Floor!
If you plan to purchase a rabbit hutch or rabbit cage with a wire floor, which is quite common, then consider adding a solid area for your bunny to stand, walk and rest. Small sisal mats are sold that are made for this purpose, but you could also use a piece of wood (no sharp edges or splinters!) or better yet, a piece of cardboard that can be easily changed if it gets dirty. Adding a synthetic sheepskin pet bed or a bunny bed will add to your pet's comfort. These give your pet rabbit's feet a rest but are still washable for easy cleanup.
The wire floors are used above a dropping pan, or pull out tray that makes cleanup easier. You may want to put rabbit friendly bedding in the tray to help absorb moisture and reduce odors. This may be especially when keeping your rabbit hutch or rabbit home indoors. The best rabbit bedding, or rabbit litter as some call it, is material timportant hat is labeled for use with small animals. Packaged straw, Aspen Style (shredded) wood shavings or bedding made from wood pulp or recycled paper are the best choices for your bunny. Newer research indicates that you should not use Red Cedar Bedding, traditional pine shavings (such as used in horse stalls) or cat litter, due to health concerns!
In addition to providing the right amount of room for a happy bunny, your rabbit hutch or rabbit home has several other main points to consider:
Rabbit safe toys are available, and if you don't have easy access, some toys that are safe for babies might be ok to use too. Use good common sense here!
When pet parents decide on choosing the right Rabbit Hutch or Rabbit Home, a great place to begin is to determine the correct size. How large a rabbit hutch or home should you purchase?
As a rule of thumb, most experts say that you should get the largets rabbit hutch or rabbit cage that you can comfortably afford, and that will fit where you need to place it. We always suggest that pet parents plan on keeping their bunnies as indoor pets, and many of the rabbit hutches available today are both stylish and functional and can easliy be set up in a child's bedroom, spare room, family room or even your garage or basement. All of these choices will keep your bunny safer and happier and more engaged with her family members!
Rabbits will live happier if they have adequate room in their rabbit hutch or rabbit cage. At the bare minimum, small breed rabbits that weigh less than 8 pounds should have a home at least 24 inches by 36 inches. Medium and larger breeds should have at least 30 inches by 36 inches in their living area. Some rabbit homes may offer more than one level, mking these a good choice for people short on available space.
Bottom line - Alway provide a living area for your rabbit that is at least 4 times her length - but please remember that bigger is always better!
Although some rabbit breeds may not be as interested in digging as others, many rabbits do like to dig. In nature, Rabbit Mom's give birth to their young in burrowed holes for security from predators. These burrows are then used as rabbit dens.
Because rabbits have strong front paws, they like to dig burrows or holes primarily as a safe place to sleep. People like to rest in a quiet place away from noise or distraction, and bunnies are no different. They also use these safe spots as a place to retreat from perceived danger.
Again in nature, rabbits tend to keep close to their burrow, finding food and other needs close to home. Bunnies will often build their burrows in a larger community, or cluster. These clusters are known as a "warren". The male rabbits must protect the members of the warren.
For your pet rabbit at home, providing a cardboard box or safe container, with soil, sand or bedding material in it can provide some fun and safe "digging time" for your bunny, allowing her to satisfy her natural urge to dig!
One question that many Pet Rabbit Parents ask is "Why Do Rabbits Thump?" Now, most of the time, it is not because they are busy listening to music and just want to start dancing!
As you probably know, Rabbits are not very vocal. When they feel threatened, or perceive that danger may be near by, they may stand up on all four feet and Thump. Rabbit Thumping occurs when your Bunny take one or both back feet and almost looks like they are hopping, but stay in the same place. Sort of like a rapid foot tap with just their hind legs.
Many times, they will do this with their ears standing up straight (depending on breed) but he or she might continue to have a focused or concerned look until the perceived threat is gone. I have read where it is felt that your bunny is also warning you and other humans about the possible danger to, so make sure you thank her with a big hug and treat afterwards!
Just to be safe, don't disregard this heroic action by your Pet Bunny! Take the time to make sure that the threat is not real! It could be another pet in your home, an animal outside, or something else - just make sure your Pet Rabbit is safe (you too!)
So next time someone asks you "Why Do Rabbits Thump?", you will be able to tell them what a hero your little Pet Bunny really is!
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