Ever hear of taking your rabbit for a walk?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by r.h. in okla., Mar 20, 2005.

  1. Yesterday somebody was selling easter bunnies on the side of the road when my middle daughter happen to see them she just had to have one. I'd been promising her one for about 6 months now. So we stopped and she picked out what she thought was the cutest one. We then went to the farm store to buy some rabbit feed and a water bottle. While there they happen to be selling rabbit leashes. So we had to buy one of those too. So today we have trying to teach it to heal, set, roll over, etc. etc. It's not learning to much and my 6 year old daughter's patience is wearing thin.
  2. Rouen

    Rouen Well-Known Member

    Aug 18, 2004
    North East
    I use to take my ferret out for "walks" but really just put him on a 25 ft leash, tethered him to something and supervised as he rolled in the grass, good luck training your bunny.

  3. frogmammy

    frogmammy Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 8, 2004
    I don't think rabbits heel...

    Anyway, when my daughter was about 10 or 11 she had a rabbit she'd take out for walks on a lead (we used a cat lead). It would hop along in front of her, and following in a line behind her would be our three cats! Small town we lived in got a real kick out of seeing this parade going down the sidewalk!

    You may be trying to teach the bunny too many things at once and expecting too much, too fast. Probably first and most useful thing she could do would be to get it to come when she calls it. Takes a lot of practice!

    Mon (daughter even had her mice trained to come when she called!)
  4. bgak47

    bgak47 Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2003
    Rabbits aren't very smart.
  5. RedneckWoman

    RedneckWoman Well-Known Member

    Jun 10, 2004
    When I was about seven I had a pet rabbit that was litter trained, would roll over and play dead, and would come when called. I used to put a small dog harness and leash on it and take it for walks with me in the woods. I don't think any of the rabbits I have now would go for that kind of stuff though lol.

    Rabbits can be trained the same as dogs it just takes a lot longer. Just work on one thing at a time because well they are kinda slow.
  6. Rick

    Rick Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Posted by RedneckWoman - Today at 05:03 AM
    .....pet rabbit that was litter trained, would roll over and play dead, and would come when called. I used to put a small dog harness and leash on it and take it for walks with me in the woods. I don't think any of the rabbits I have now would go for that kind of stuff though lol..................

    This is so true. We had a shepherd, black lab mix. He was a pretty mean "watchdog", but he was good with his family. He let our youngest at the time (8 years old) wrap him up in a cloak/scarf, and take pictures.

    I'll bet that rabbit could teach a a six year old patience!

    If the rabbit is willing to stay on the leash, thats a good thing. Motivate it to walk by holding back it's food for a safe period, and then use treats dropped in the walking path as incentive.

    Your daughter has to keep at this daily, if only for a few minutes.
  7. vtfarma

    vtfarma Well-Known Member

    May 6, 2003
    I had a rabbit when I was younger that would come when called, lay on the sofa and watch tv with me, sled with me and the dog in the winter. She was litter trained and a regular friend to a young girl. When we had rabbits with our kids we helped them train them to walk on the leash, come when called etc. It takes a bit of time - more like training a cat to a leash than a dog. I am not so sure that it is that they are less smart just more independent - like a cat. Your daughter needs to have patience - and help from you to get the bunny to do what she is asking. 6 year olds lose interest when it gets difficult many times. Work with her so she has special time with you and bunny.
  8. Nancy in Maine

    Nancy in Maine Well-Known Member

    Jun 24, 2002
    I have 2 pet rabbits, brothers. When we first got them, we would put on their leashes and take them out of their hutches for a daily romp in the grass. But since we have too many dogs running loose that would bother the bunnies, they are now house bunnies. They are litter box trained and come out for their daily romp. I never thought to try to train them as you might a dog. They do love to be held and petted. Rabbits seem to be dumb at first, but they did learn fairly quickly that I'm not happy when they chew on the furniture or the carpet. I think they are trainable, but depending on the rabbit, they probably have limits to what you can train them to do.
  9. halfpint

    halfpint Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 24, 2005
    We walk our rabbit on a leash occasionally. We also have a large fenced in yard, and will occasionally let the rabbit out with us without a leash. He will stay right with the kids or whoever is outside at the time, and follow the last person in the door. He is very sociable - we often leave his cage open and if no one is in the basement (we have a play room down there) he goes back in his cage. We did have to put up all the electric cords though!

    My daughter and the rabbit stayed with my parents for a week last year, he liked to jump in their pond and actually could swim. We didn't know until this happened that rabbits could swim.
  10. vicki in NW OH

    vicki in NW OH Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    Oh yes, our beloved Netherland dwarf, Rosie Cotton (R.I.P.), would go for walks on the leash. My son would take her for piggy back rides all over the house, too. He would lay on the floor, she'd hop on and off they'd go. And, she gave slurpy bunny kisses on the end of noses. And, she would take naps with me on the sofa when I wasn't feeling well.

    I almost forgot, there is a book called The House Rabbit Handbook. Your daughter might like to read it.
  11. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

    May 9, 2002
    :) The answer to your question is yes. Here is the addy for the House Rabbit Society...http://www.rabbit.org/

    Lots of tips there even if you are not keeping the bunny indoors. There are also people who "walk" and diaper the ducks and geese if you believe it! We are a weird species. LOL

  12. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jul 20, 2004
    We had a rabbit named Nibbles who was a very good pet. He came when called, loved to watch TV and followed us everywhere. Never put him on a leash though...he preferred to be carried flopped over someone's shoulder.
  13. silentcrow

    silentcrow Furry Without A Clue

    Mar 14, 2005
    NW Pennsylvania
    I had one years ago, Charlie (looked like Charlie Chaplin), that I used to take for walks and car rides. He loved it! I never tried training him to do anything else.
  14. MikeD

    MikeD Well-Known Member

    Aug 30, 2003
    Other than taking a chance in buying any animal from the side of the road it was quite possibly illegal for that person to be selling animals as pets on the side of a road. I'd probably have a vet give the rabbit a good once over (bloodwork, etc) if you're planning on keeping it just to be safe.....
  15. Grandmotherbear

    Grandmotherbear Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 14, 2002
    Fl Zones 11
    My darling English Spot, Crusader Rabbit, who resembled a dalmation, was litter trained and walked on a leash. We took him on a family vacation to NC and whenever we stopped at a rest stop would put him on a leash and walk him. The doggies at the rest stops were all excited to smell him, but never offered any violence or barking. (Of course, Crusader would freeze until the dog had thoroughly sniffed him, then he and the dog would walk on together. The dog owners couldn't get over it)
    Crusader couldn't abide a closed door. He would thump on it until you let him in. He also loved his saucer of milk. My mother told me we had a house rabbit when I was 2 that ate hot dogs (I remember the rabbit, just not him eating hot dogs)

    It takes quite a bit of time to train- about 2-3 weeks. You start out in the fenced yard following the rabbit while holding the leash, but every now and then try to direct him to a treat...slice of bread, rabbit nettle, etc. Eventually he learns you are his friend and he wants to be with you and so follows you...

    If I had a house rabbit today, I would eityher thread all my electric cords thru PVC pipe or rub jalepenos on them. Resplicing the wires constantly was about the only downside to a house rabbit.
  16. Xandras_Zoo

    Xandras_Zoo Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    Welcome to the wonderful world of bunnies!

    Firstly, think carefully about where you will put your rabbit. I personally like rabbits in the house or on the deck, since the effort isn't worth the reward of a rabbit kept in a hutch outside in the backyard. They just aren't as tame.
    Male rabbits can get very sexual with your hand, foot, head, whatever, so if the bunny's a he and starts doing this, he's gotta be fixed. Also, if he starts spraying, he should be done. A male is called a buck
    Females can get territorial, so if the rabbit is a she and starts doing this, she should be spayed. It's also supposed to make them (females) live longer, because they supposedly have a high risk of uterine cancer. We spayed all of ours, just in case. Females are called does.

    The advice from others on training your rabbit is great. Especially the tip about withholding feed. Give them a little hay, but no pellets. Feed them directly by hand, and the bunny will become super tame.
  17. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    Walk them sure but please don't put pancakes on their heads.

    Putting pancakes on the head of a bunny is cruel.

    I'm sure someone here will know what that means.
  18. trixiwick

    trixiwick bunny slave

    Jun 9, 2004
    Southeastern PA
    Well, that's not quite fair. There certainly are some dumb bunnies out there, but there are plenty of smart ones, too. I have seven, and all are trained to come out of their cages and go back in when told, to use their litter boxes, and to stop doing something when I tell them to. They also come when called (except for one who's kind of deaf). Even the dumb ones are trainable with patience - and food rewards are definitely the way to go. There's not much my rabbits won't learn to do for a baby carrot!

    If your rabbit is not panicked by having the leash on, I'd say there's a good chance of success. When it bonds with your daughter, it will very likely want to follow her around anyway, which should make things easier.

    I saw a photo of a Dutch bunny once, running an obstacle course it had been trained to do, with hurdles and everything. Now THAT was impressive!
  19. jack_c-ville

    jack_c-ville Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Heh-heh. Also muffins, unlit candles and gloves. Sadly, Oolong the Rabbit passed away some time ago, but I don't think it was the pancakes that did him in.




    COUNTRY WISHES Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2004
    NW NJ's lakeland hills
    I know a woman who had litter trained rabbit in an apartment. It worked out great, a rabbit makes almost no noise. They do like to chew almost constantly so make sure they have food available if you leave them loss. You don't want the rabbit chewing your woodwork or wiring.

    This same woman's aunt had a ferret that followed her around the house and walked on a leash outdoors.

    Maybe you could get a book on pet rabbits to guide you in training the bunny. I agree that you should work on one thing at time when training her.