DISCIPLINE AND YOUR RABBIT
by Barbi Brown
Discipline with a rabbit can not be accomplished with a slap of a newspaper or a swat on the behind but rather with isolation! They are social creatures and truly want to please you and share your company.
I have found that keeping a new bunny confined to his cage, except when you are holding him, for the first two weeks makes him more dependent on you and gives him a chance to start using a litter pan consistently. Too much freedom too soon can make them independent and willful. After the first two weeks you can start letting him out in a small area (kitchen works well to start). Let him know what is okay and what is not.
While they are running around the house they can find all sorts of interesting things to see and taste or scratch (much like a two year old child who has to put everything in his mouth).
If they scratch on the carpet or chew on a light cord or telephone wire, stamp your feet (much like a rabbit thumps to warn of impending doom), clap your hands and tell them "NO!" in a firm voice. If they repeat the offense, repeat the "NO!" and put them back in their cage.
They learn very quickly that freedom is associated with good behavior. They may not exactly know why you say "No" but they learn fast that it means confinement for them!
NEVER squirt them with water. You may regret it as they have built in squirters and may reciprocate in kind!
Patience and consistency is the key to a happy co-existence with man or animal. Set the rules and enforce them!
Keep your bunny supplied with toys of his own and he will leave yours alone! See the chapter on Toys.
Rabbits that have been frightened or abused will be easily intimidated by an approach from above. Keep them at eye level and make no sudden moves. That will make them more trustful and less destructive.
Try to think like a rabbit. Kind words and gentle hands go a long way.
Links to Rabbit sites Are Rabbits Smart? Babies Colors of Rabbits Colors of Mini Rex Companions Did you know? Different Breeds Discipline Handling HousingIs my child too young? Life Span Not Just a Child's Pet Pet of New Millienium Rabbit Trivia Telling the Sexes Toys
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