How To: Earn Trust from Your Rabbit

Earn Trust from Your Rabbit

This is about how to make a rabbit become less wary of you and more trustful with you also. I myself have a Dutch that was released by its previous owner, then I rescued it. She never wants to be took out of her cage, but now she doesn't mind as long as I'm gentle and nice.

Step 1: Supplies

  • Treats, such as apple slices, baby carrots, tiny strawberries, etc.
  • Thin glove(s), just for caution (optional)
  • Blanket or towel
  • Open space
  • Patience is KEY
  • Rabbit toys
  • Playpen for toddlers

If your rabbit doesn't like loud noises, try a calm and quiet place. Some rabbits are more comfortable with other rabbits or animals around.

Step 2: Get the Rabbit Out

Here are two ways of getting your rabbit out of its cage:

  1. Set up playpen. If you don't want to set up a playpen, put a baby gate on doorways in the kitchen or shut the door in a bedroom. Just make a secure place for the rabbit so it doesn't dart away, hide, or get into mischief.
  2. Carefully grabbing it around the middle with one or two hands (may put on thin gloves for protection).
  3. Leaving the cage open and letting the rabbit come out on its own with supervision (less stress on the rabbit).

Step 3: Treat Time

Once the rabbit is out, shut the cage quickly! Then, sit down in playpen with a treat in hand.

Lay a blanket or towel across your lap to avoid shedding fur. Outstretch your arm halfway in rabbits direction and wait. Once the rabbit edges closer, shrink away your arm very slowly (treat in hand) and let the rabbit have a nibble. Make sure the rabbits following, then reach out gently with the other hand and grab the rabbit around the middle and bring back towards you.

Step 4: Petting

  • Place the rabbit with its legs supported on your lap.
  • Place your arm with your elbow in front of your rabbit's face (this helps keep your rabbit calm).
  • Slowly run your hand/pet your rabbit from its neck to rump.

Step 5: Handling

To handle your rabbit for grooming, clipping, etc.

Grooming:

  1. Grab under armpits and check for tangles and wounds.
  2. Groom with short rabbit brush or human comb.

Trimming (fur):

  1. Grab under armpits and check for tangles and wounds.
  2. Trim excessive or unneeded fur with trimming scissors.

Trimming (nails):

  1. Check claws for bleeding, overhangs or curling.
  2. Don't trim any bleeding claws but try to bandage it up.
  3. Trim overhangs and overgrown nails with trimming scissors.
  4. Curling should be checked out by a vet especially if its making the rabbit limp.

Checking:

  1. Grab under armpits and check for wounds, parasites and other health concerns.
  2. If any of the above are found except for non-serious wounds, check in with a vet.

The End

Hope this helps earn trust between you and your furry little friend.

1 Comment

P.S. my rabbit's name is Nacho.

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