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A Guide to House Bunny Body Language

By Edited May 26, 2014 0 0

Sometimes animals do things that we humans simply don't understand. Of course they can't tell us what they're feeling so it's also up to us to interpret what they mean and whether we can do anything to help them out.

Ok so maybe Rabbits haven't earned themselves a reputation for being the most intelligent animals but you'd be very surprised at how much they communicate and how many emotions they actually have. For example, when my friend and I welcomed our bunny Achilles into the house we had no idea why he was running into his cage, doing flips inside it and kicking sawdust everywhere, until one day it clicked that he wanted us to clean it. As we did so we were greeted by a lot of friendly nose nudges, lots of jumping around and a bunny who desperately wanted to help out with the rearranging.

The most important thing to understand is the hierarchy that bunnies take so seriously. Every bunny has his place and because they see humans as bunnies too we must establish our power within the group. Cute huh?

If you've only just brought your bunny into your home then you're probably wondering how it's best to pick him up, and whether he's going to like it. Firstly it's important to mention that in the wild Rabbits get preyed upon by birds so when you pick them up they're quite likely to be scared and think they've been caught. The way to overcome this is to hold them with their belly against your chest and they head nestled in your neck. Our bunny does the automatically to feel safe. Try feeding them a treat or piece of carrot while you hold them and as you pick them up more and more they should start to eat it. This is a sign that they are becoming more comfortable. If they struggle to get away when you do this sitting down then try standing up as they won't attempt it from such a height.

If you're lucky enough to have a very friendly bunny then he might come up to you and put his nose to the ground. This means 'STROKES PLEASE' and you'll be in the dog house if you don't comply.

Speaking of the dog house, it's quite easy to get put here if you don't treat bunny with the respect he requires. For example, I once dropped a piece of cabbage on the ground for Achilles and he looked at me in disgust before running away with it and flicking his feet. It was almost as if I had soiled his honour and he did this every time until I held it out for him while he ate. Now I know to gently place the food in front of him and treat it as a proper meal time. After all, we'd be very annoyed if a waiter threw us our meal at a restaurant too.

Within our household my friend is top-dog (or bunny). Achilles is far more likely to obey what she says than he is to do the same for me as he sees me as having equal power to him. This means that when I go near him when he has food he gets very territorial, but we still enjoy a good old play.

Visit http://hubpages.com/hub/Happy-Bunny-How-Rabbits-Express-Themselves if you're wondering why your rabbit suddenly flops over as if he's dead, or why he runs round the furniture at a million miles an hour bumping into things on the way.

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