Rabbit Care

Rabbit Training  

Although rabbits are considered highly intelligent animals, they can be a rather stubborn lot and will only respond to commands on their own terms, somewhat similar to feline behavior. However, it is possible to train a rabbit to some degree of success with a lot of patience and some knowhow.  


Understanding what is likely to motivate the pet rabbit to cooperate would be the better way to go about the training session. Once this is successfully identified, then the owner will be able to make the training session more fruitful and thus get the rabbit to cooperate. Ensuring there is an adequate amount of time set aside without any distractions to conduct the training is important. Training session should not be too long and neither should they be too short. The ideal time span to start with would be for about 30 minutes and eventually lengthen it to about 1 hour. 


Training your rabbit is possible although it can be quite frustrating at times. Rabbits are comparable to cats with their personalities due to the fact that they will not respond to commands unless they know something is in it for them. They are not like dogs who you can call and the dog will respond out of sheer happiness to see the owner and receive attention. A rabbit must almost be bribed in the beginning stages of training them. 


Treats for Training: By using the rabbit’s favorite treats as the initial incentive to get the pet’s cooperation, the rabbit will be more eager to respond accordingly. However, the pet owner must remember to keep the treat small and healthy and this should not eventually contribute to negative health conditions for the pet.Finding treats that are healthy and suitable, are as important as ensuring they are an attractive incentive to the pet. 


Area for Training: Providing the specific area for the training to take place so that the pet understand better what it is required to do is important. Having the necessary tools to help make the training easier and more successful is also something that should be incorporated in the sessions. Once the pet rabbit manages to comply with all the various training techniques, the owner should start decreasing the treats given out and substitute it with pleasurable stroking or petting or any other affectionate displays. 


Making Your Pet Rabbit Stand on Hind Legs: You can teach your rabbit to perform this trick by holding a treat in your hand. Now you are going to get down to your rabbit’s level. Hold the treat over the rabbit’s head and say the rabbit’s name. Once you have the rabbit’s attention lower the treat so that the rabbit sees it. 

Then you are going to say “sit up” and pull the treat up making the rabbit stand on its hind legs. Give the rabbit the treat and then continue repeating the steps until the rabbit does the trick at ease. At this point you will begin to reduce the number of treats and replace them with petting or other affectionate acts. 


Teach Your Rabbit to Jump: An easy way to teach your rabbit this trick is to have a treat in your hand. You want to make sure you are by a couch or other object that the rabbit will have to jump to get on. Start by giving the rabbit a treat so it knows that they are there. Then grab another treat and say the rabbit’s name. Gets the rabbit to focus on the treat and then hold in right in front of their face. As the rabbit tries to get the treat you will pull the treat back and hold it up somewhere high the rabbit has to jump. Keep repeating these steps and eventually the rabbit will jump on command. Just as with other tricks it is important to slowly take away the treats for the acts and replace them with affectionate acts. 


Potty Training: Another basic thing you are going to want to train your pet rabbit to do is to be potty trained. This is especially true since rabbits are allowed to roam freely around the home. This may seem quite difficult to you but it really is not. Pet rabbits can be trained to urinate and defecate in a litter box or on a newspaper in a specific corner of a room. The litter box may also be placed inside the rabbit's cage or the rabbit can be trained to treat the cage itself as the litter box. Litter training becomes much easier once a rabbit is spayed or neutered. Rabbits naturally like to go to the bathroom in one place. All you really need to do is keep them locked in an area until they use a litter box. The rabbit will continue to use the litter box after that, even if you let them roam the house. There is equipment for training rabbits to use litter boxes. 


Chewing Problem: It is possible to permit a rabbit to run loose in the home if rooms have been rabbit-proofed (i.e. dangerous chewable items such as electric cords are removed from the pet's reach). Rabbits have a tendency to chew on items in their space, particularly wires, although they can be trained not to chew. 


It is important that if a rabbit is allowed to roam in a house that it be impossible for the rabbit to chew or get into dangerous or valuable items. They do not possess the same comprehension as a dog or a cat, and often don't understand if punished physically; rather they will become scared or confused if some kind of punishment is used, as they do not see the damage they have done. If all this is taken into consideration, rabbits make excellent house pets. 


If you have a rabbit that has a chewing problem there is also training equipment that you can get for that. There is a spray that is made that you can get from your local pet shop or from an online market that deters animals from chewing. Rabbits tend to have a problem chewing on things around the house such as cords on the floor. This can be very dangerous for the rabbit as well as the entire household. If the rabbit chews all the way through the wire it will surely be injured and if the wire sparks it may start a fire. This deterrent spray can be very helpful with this problem. It leaves a bitter taste in the animal’s mouth when it chews on things that have been sprayed by it. The best part is it that it is quick drying and odorless. 


Voice Commands: Rabbits cannot learn voice commands like a dog, but can recognize different patterns of the voice. For instance, if a rabbit is disobeying, for example biting, simply make a high-pitched noise, or an extremely bass noise and the message will be conveyed. Rabbits can be taught their names, although they recognize the pattern of the noises more than the words. Rabbits are intelligent, and enjoy games and toys. 


Training a rabbit is more than possible. True, it may take more time and patience than training an animal such as a dog but a rabbit can offer its own set of benefits that make the effort more than worth it.