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Rabbits/Advice on Rabbit Behavior Needed

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Mocha
Mocha  
I recently took in a 6-mo old female lionhead cross. She was labeled as difficult and nobody wanted her. At first we thought her aggressive behavior-lunging, biting, scratching, growling was due to adjustment. We've showered her with love & affection for 4 weeks now. Aggression diminished a bit and we think there is a sweet bunny in there somewhere. We believe she was ignored, living in a home with loud dogs and kids. She is in a quiet spot in our home. We are committed to giving her the best but would like some sign that she will stop the aggression. I will have her spayed in hopes of helping. Is there anything else we should do? After spaying should we introduce her to our bonded pair of mini-rexes? Can you tell what her mix is? Thanks!

Answer
Dear Debbie,

Sorry for the delay in replying (my mother-in-law had a small stroke, and we have been in crisis mode.  AllExperts kind of took a back seat...).

Spaying will probably help a LOT.  It's possible that she's in the throes of a false pregnancy, and this will make her very grouchy.  I agree that it's possible she was abused, though possibly just through ignorance.

Please try the tips here:

http://www.bio.miami.edu/hare/shybun.html

And for really exhaustive help, here are some excellent resources from the House Rabbit Society and its affiliates:

http://rabbit.org/faq-aggression/

http://www.rabbitnetwork.org/articles/agressive.shtml

I hope this helps.

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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