Rabbits are funny, docile animals and they are quite easy to take care of compared to a dog. However, it is important to remember that there are rules you need to follow in order to interact properly with them. When you approach them, you need to take great care in order to create a deep bond and mutual trust. Today, we will you some practical advice on the subject!
If you are dealing with a shy or suspicious rabbit, or you simply don’t know how to build a good friendly relationship with him, you must first concentrate on understanding his language and his behaviour.
Observe your rabbit
The first step is to observe your rabbit’s movements. Don’t rush and don’t be impatient. Take your time to watch what he does, where he goes, when he goes and how he behaves. Then try to put yourself in his shoes and attempt to observe the world from his point of view: the noises that scare him, the areas he considers safe, etc. This initial phase is fundamental for creating empathy with your bunny and the only hope of effectively interacting with him is by first getting to know these aspects. The more time you spend in his company, the more he will learn to recognize you.
How to approach your rabbit
To make sure your rabbit comes to you, you can take advantage of the classic method, using food: these animals tend to be more willing to approach humans when their stomachs are full! Also, keep in mind that a rabbit is more receptive late in the afternoon, so get some of his favourite foods and call him, so that he associates your presence to a happy moment. Always avoid the direct approach! Another useful moment for trying to get close to your furry friend is after he has had a nap. In fact, as he will be more relaxed and slightly woozy, he will be happy to receive your attention. Keep in mind that you should never seem like a threat!
Stroking your rabbit
The right way to stroke your rabbit is to start from his head and, once he begins to feel at ease, you can begin to touch his back. Of course, you must always wait for him to make the first move and seek contact with you and, when he does, you can stroke him with slow, fluid movements, taking care not to scare him.
How to pick up your rabbit
Rabbits do not like being picked up, because they are usually lifted off the ground when they fall prey to another animal and they therefore associate this gesture with a negative, dangerous moment. Obviously, we know that your intent is only to cuddle your rabbit, so if he starts kicking and wriggling, crouch down and try to calm him by stroking him slowly. Always remember to rest him against your chest, keeping one hand under his tail and holding his front legs. If he isn’t interested, gently put him on the floor and you will see that he’ll gradually get used to it. Never raise your voice, because you would risk frightening him even more.
Getting acquainted properly and establishing a wonderful relationship with your rabbit requires time and patience. A little practice will help you understand what makes him happy and he will learn to trust you!