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Rabbits/Bunny bonnying and behaviour


I would be very grateful for some help and advice. I have a very adorable little male mini lop called Bracken Emeris who is about a year old. I am very worried about him and concerned as to whether or not he is happy with me. He seems healthy and is very active to the point of being hyper. He seems afraid of me and runs away when I try to touch him or pick him up. I love him dearly and have always tried to be very gently. He will not let me pat him. I fear that it may be my fault as I seem to get in the habit of chasing him when needing to pick him up to do his nails. How can I bond with him and make him know he is loved?
He has this scary habit of running round me in circles and then running between my legs at full speed. He often gets accidently bumped as a result. I am terrified of accidently hurting him. Do I have a bunny with suicidal tendencies? Thankyou very much for your attention to this and I look forward to hearing from you. Best Wishes, Karen

Hi Karen,

Bracken Emeris is running around your legs because he is in love with you.  In rabbit speak this is mating behavior.  Bunnies that are not spayed and neutered will often do this as a mating ritual.  As for not being able to pick him up, most bunnies don't like to be picked up.  When you pick him up he may think you are trying to put him back in his cage or do the dreaded nail trimmings.  What I recommend is to get down on the floor with him in an area where he has no choice but to come near you.  We use 8 feet exercise pens and get right down on the floor with the bunnies.  I often read a book to my bunnies (and sometimes I think they actually understand).  I lay on the floor when I am watching TV or sometimes I just lay there and hang out with them.  Sometimes this is the best bonding you can do and getting down to their level helps them to feel more secure with having you around.

I do believe that your bunny loves you.  I think with a little behavior modification on your part you may find that you can socialize with him on a regular basis without him fearing that you are trying to harm him.

Good luck



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Paula Murdock-Briggs


I am a licensed American Rabbit Breeders Registrar. I do not show rabbits anymore nor do I breed them. I do believe it is important that people that chose to breed rabbits do so with only purebred and genetically sound animals or that they have a thorough understanding of genetics prior to breeding. I have chosen to keep my registars license to help the 4H youth in my area. I do stay current on all breeds, varieties, show rules, regulations of the ARBA. I have spent the past 8 years focusing on rescuing and caring for PET bunnies who were no longer wanted. I am the current CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I was appointed CEO of the rescue organization and sanctuary in 2008. We gained our 501(c)3 IRS tax exemption status in 2012. We have taken on the task of rescuing unwanted PET rabbits as well as some farm animals. I teach genetics and health to the local youth as well as register and promote the breeding of only purebred and genetically sound animals. I rescue PET rabbits. These are rabbits that lived in peoples homes and were either surrendered to us or sent to the auction for meat. While I believe that all bunnies should be pets, I understand that people raise them for other reasons. I will answer questions from anyone, regardless of their purpose. I will reject any questions that are considered unethical or inhumane.

Little Angels Animal Sanctuary.

President and CEO of Little Angels Animal Sanctuary, Inc. I have over 10 years of experience working closely with a veterinarian that treats rabbits. We have studied and treated nearly every illness that can affect rabbits.

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