Rabbits/What does it mean why they charge your legs?
QUESTION: I have a young male that often likes to charge at my legs when I'm walking. He'll attack from one side and turn and attack from the other side. Some times he'll bite my pant leg and kick with his hind legs. I'm assuming he just wants to play tag. The thing is when he bites and kicks, it's the same action as when he fights another rabbit. Does that mean that when I think they're fighting it's just rough play? The reason I don't think he's being aggressive is that often he would try to climb on me or bump me from behind to get my attention.
ANSWER: Dear Tom,
Your bunny is showing pretty much all-out fighting/aggressive behavior. It's not playing tag. He's attacking you.
Is he neutered? If not, having him neutered will certainly mitigate this behavior, once the hormones wear off (this can take a few weeks).
Can you tell what type of behavior (on your part) triggers this reaction? What are you doing just before he attacks? Does he do this all the time? Do you "play" with him the way you would with a dog or cat, because--if so--you could be inadvertently triggering this aggressive behavior, as he sees you as a threat or rival.
Please send more information, and I will be better able to help you solve this problem.
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QUESTION: He's not fixed and I guess I was making him aggressive cause I was playing with him like a he was a cat. I had a toy on a string and swung it around him and he chased it. I thought it was cute for him to jump after the toy. That's how I used to play with my cat. He attacks me when I walk along a certain path or when I'm walking back into the house. I thought it was because I was ignoring him instead of petting him. He never attacks when it's time for him to go back in his cage but will avoid me instead.
Yes, the playing with him as if he were a cat is very likely what triggered this. Rabbits are not predators, so they don't like to chase things or play tag. He sees your wiggling things in front of him as a threat, so he is acting accordingly. You'll have to do some repair work to make him trust you, and I suggest the techniques here:
Never throw things at a rabbit, wave or tap your hand in front of his face, or make sudden, lunging movements towards him. He is a prey species. and will almost always interpret such things as aggressive behavior on your part, and act accordingly.
As an example, here's a YouTube video of people who thought they were playing with their rabbit, but were actually making her angry and defensive. The ears are back, the tail is up, and she's doing "bunny kung fu" to attack the perceived threat of the leaves "attacking" her. There are a lot of real idiots leaving comments on that page, saying the bunny is having fun. But they are interpreting her behavior as if she were a cat. The rabbit experts weighing in on that site will tell you--100%--that this is an angry, defensive bunny who is very stressed by being trapped in a pen and having stuff thrown at her. (I call those people idiots because they refuse to learn, and stubbornly stick to their uninformed guns about the rabbits motivation, even in the face of careful explanations.)
If that guy were to step into the pen and walk around, I have little doubt that the bunny would attack him as your bunny is attacking you. Same kind of thing.
I hope this helps.