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How to read rabbit body language

Behavior: Welcome


Bunnies can be hard to read at times.  The tips below are some bunny behavior basics.  Please click the button at the bottom of the page for a link to a page with more information!

Ears down / tense / cringing when touched:  Bunny is very scared.  Give them time to slowly get used to you.  Try spending time nearby on your phone or reading a book, not even touching them.  Allow them to come to you when they are ready.

Ears up / eyes wide Bunny is alert.

Ears down / eyes wide / sharp movements:  This is an aggressive movement and may be accompanied by a grunt or a bite.  This bunny may be mad or scared.

Ears down / eyes relaxed:  Bunny is comfortable, relaxed, and maybe a little sleepy.

Lying flat with legs kicked out:  Bunny is comfortable and relaxed, although if their ears are up, they are also alert.

Flopped over on side (or all the way over onto back):  Bunny is comfortable and relaxed.

Jump & twist, kicking feet, or shaking head:  We call this a "binky" or "popcorn" and it means Bunny is HAPPY!

Thumping hind feet on the floor:  In the wild, rabbits thump to warn others that danger is nearby.  In your home, thumping may be a sign that they are worried, or they may just be being obstinate.

Biting Bunnies explore the world with their teeth.  If Bunny nips you unprovoked, this could mean "Hey move it!  You're in my way!" or "Hey!  Pay attention to me!"

Chewing:  Bunnies love to chew!  To discourage chewing on things they shouldn't, protect or block off those items and/or provide enough different chew toys to hold Bunny's attention.  If they are receiving adequate mental stimulation, they will be less likely to engage in destruction chewing.

Rubbing their chin on your stuff We call this "chinning."  Rabbits has scent glands under their chin.  Chinning is their way of marking their territory with their scent; telling all other rabbits that this is "mine."

Behavior: Text
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