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Rabbits/My rabbits are not getting along

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QUESTION: Hello,

I have two male rabbits, one I've had for 6 months and the other I've had for about 1 month and a half. They seemed to be making progress in bonding, but the last time I let them out together, the one I've had longer growled and attacked the other one and was acting really crazy for the rest of the night trying to get the other one even when they were in separate cages. I don't know what to do. I'm afraid to let them out together again but I don't want to have to give up either of them either. Please help :(

ANSWER: Dear Kali

Are they neutered?  If not, then it will likely be impossible to bond them.  So that's step 1.

Next please see the useful video on bonding here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7qraiZ8g6M

It's much harder to bond two males than fixed bunnies of opposite sex, but not always impossible.  If they just can't get along, though, you might have to give up.  But then let each boy choose a spayed female mate from the rescues at your local rabbit rescue, and everyone will be happy.

For all the best in rabbit care, see:

http://www.rabbit.org/

Hope this helps.

Dana

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Is neutering them a guaranteed solution to the problem or is there still a chance that I neuter them and they still won't get along?

Answer
Dear Kali,

It's not a 100% guarantee, especially if they are the same sex.  But it will help.  You will also have to do some bonding with them.  Sometimes it works, and sometimes not.  But if they are already fighting, you'll have your work cut out for you.

Watch the bonding video for help, and check out Google for more tips and tricks:

http://tinyurl.com/muefpe8

Good luck,

Dana

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Dana Krempels, Ph.D.

Expertise

I've lived with companion rabbits for more than 35 years, and consider them members of my family. I can answer any questions about the biology and health of rabbits, from the commonplace to the unusual. But please note:

RULE #1:
THE INTERNET IS NOT THE PLACE TO SEEK HELP IN AN EMERGENCY.

...it is an EMERGENCY.

Find a rabbit vet at www.rabbit.org/vet for immediate help, and don't risk your bunny's life by spending time asking questions online! If you can't get in touch with your vet, read these Emergency Sick Bunny Instructions.

If you have found a wild baby rabbit, please read these EMERGENCY INSTRUCTIONS FOR WILD BABY RABBITS and then use this link to FIND A LOCAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATOR who can give you the right advice.


RULE #2:
Help me help you! Please make your subject line informative if you have an urgent question. then LET ME KNOW IN THE SUBJECT LINE so I can give your question highest priority over non-urgent questions. If you don't do this, then I can't guarantee timely assistance!

For all the best, most accurate rabbit health, care and behavior information, visit The House Rabbit Society.

Experience

I have been rescuing and rehabilitating domestic and wild rabbits for about 30 years. I have written articles for many rabbit rescue publications, as well as for the veterinary journal, Exotic DVM. I own EtherBun, the internet's largest listserve dedicated to health, care, and behavior of domestic rabbits.

Organizations
Houserabbit Adoption, Rescue, and Education, Inc. (H.A.R.E., Inc.) president National House Rabbit Society (Board member)

Publications
Exotic DVM
Warren Peace (Journal of the House Rabbit Society of Miami)
Various newsletters of the House Rabbit Society, nationwide

Education/Credentials
Ph.D - Biology
B.S. - Biology
B.A. - English

Awards and Honors
Lightspan Academic Excellence Award for web site on rabbit health and biology
(http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare)

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