BUNNY BONDING

Here are few tips before you get started:

  1. Male-Female pairs tend to work out best, though same-sex pairs may be fine.  Littermates often bond well.

  2. Always introduce them in a neutral zone that neither would consider their territory.

  3. All parties should be spayed or neutered no less than 4 weeks prior to the meeting, to reduce hormonal intensity.

  4. Sometimes it just doesn't work out!  That's okay!

  5. Don't be afraid to ask for help from others with more experience.

13575867_10153931583658138_4132955022884
 

AND THEY CALL IT BUNNY LOVE

It can be very rewarding to introduce 2 bunnies and watch them fall in love!  Please remember, every pair will be different.  Some will bond instantly, others will take months, and others may prefer to live the single life.

The steps below are our recommendations for bonding, but there are lots of different tips out there!  If you are going to be trying to bond for the first time, we highly recommend you get in touch with someone who is more experienced, to guide you.

1.  FIND A NEUTRAL SPACE (which neither rabbit frequents and might be considered their territory) and place a barrier (like some pen panels) in the center of the room or hallway.  Place one bunny on either side of the partition and observe their behavior.  

  • If one or both of them seem agitated just seeing another rabbit, or if they try to bite or fight through the bars, you may not want to continue.​

  • If they are interested, but not acting aggressively, or seem disinterested and not bothered by the other's presence, then move on to the next step.

2.  REMOVE THE BARRIER.

3.  OBSERVE (Make sure you have a towel available, in case they fight.)

  • If they do fight, separate them as quickly as you can without getting hurt or hurting them.  Throwing a towel over them casts sudden darkness, which may make them pause.  Try to grasp your bunny at the shoulder area and swiftly slide them away.

  • FIGHTING:  Some will "call it" if fighting occurs, and this is totally okay.

  • TAKE A BREAK:  You may choose to try bonding again at a different date.

  • HUMPING and/or SPINNING:  Sometimes one bunny will mount the other.  Other times, they will both try to mount each other simultaneously, spinning around in a circle trying to hop on at the same time.  Some mounting is a normal sign of establishing dominance.  You don't really need to intervene unless the humper is become obsessive or aggressive about it and the humpee is looking uncomfortable.

  • IGNORING:  If they ignore each other, that is a positive sign.  It shows that they are not too bothered being in each other's space.

  • GROOMING THEMSELVES or LYING DOWN:  If they groom themselves or lie down, this is a sign that they are comfortable enough with the situation to let their guard down a bit.

  • GROOMING EACH OTHER:  Rarely seen during first-time meetings; this is a very positive sign!

  • SECOND DATE AT THE OTHER BUNNY'S HOME:  We recommend meeting at least once at each bunny's home, always in a neutral zone.

CONTINUING THE BONDING PROCESS AT HOME​

  • DO NOT PUT THEM IN THE SAME ENCLOSURE RIGHT AWAY!  We cannot stress this enough!  Even if the bonding meets go well, if one rabbit is placed in another's territory, they will very likely attack them!

  • 2 SEPARATE PENS:  Instead, set up 2 separate, fully furnished pens.  Make sure they are next to each other, but not close enough that they could bite through the bars.

  • DAILY SWITCHAROO:  Every day, switch the buns into the opposite pens.  Leave all the bowls, litter boxes, toys, etc. where they are.  This way their smells will be all over and eventually both pens will smell to them like a shared territory.

  • DAILY SUPERVISED PLAY TIME:  Every day take them out for some supervised bonding time.

  • MOVING IN TOGETHER:  When you feel they are sufficiently bonded, you may either get rid of 1 pen, or merge the 2 into 1 super-pen, to allow them to live together.

EXTRA TIPS:  

  • Bonding can take weeks to months to succeed.  Don't be discouraged!

  • If you take your bonded pair anywhere, like the vet, always take them together!

  • Check out the links below for more info!

 
52948745_2410265982398627_46633295212382
 

Photo Credits:
Top of Page:  Karen Anderson
Bottom of Page:  Coral Crumb from Bunny Binkyland