Pet rabbit question

Discussion in 'Rabbits' started by Sabrina, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. Sabrina

    Sabrina Well-Known Member

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    We got a pet rabbit for my dd for her birthday a couple of weeks ago. She's a sweet little Holland Lop. She's really calm and sweet with the kids. The only problem is every time we take her out she pees on someone! Is there a way to train her to not do this? She's 10 weeks old.

    Thanks!

    Sabrina
     
  2. trixiwick

    trixiwick bunny slave

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    Two things I can think of:

    1) she's plain old frightened. Does she seem scared when the kids take her out? If that's the case, she will calm down with time and gentle handling, but if she's already happy and calm, then...

    2) it's a hormone thing and will be helped by spaying her when she's old enough (I'd give her another month or two).

    Rabbits can be trained with both positive reinforcement (petting and treats) and negative reinforcement (no treats and immediate return to cage of misbehaving rabbit) - but it depends on how smart your rabbit is. I find that this varies a LOT!

    Good luck with her!
     

  3. Sabrina

    Sabrina Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much.

    I know she's not scared because she will almost fall asleep while sitting on our laps. She is very gentle and calm.

    We do immediately return her to her cage when she goes. Hopefully she will get the hint.

    Thanks again.

    Sabrina
     
  4. MaggieJ

    MaggieJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hmmm.... This is an off-the-wall thought but I may as well spit it out for consideration. I take it this is the first rabbit your kids have had. Is it possible that when they pick her up they are simply putting pressure on her bladder area without realizing it?
     
  5. Carrie C

    Carrie C Well-Known Member

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    She's 10 weeks, huh? Maybe she still has the reflex to go when she is stroked, like what the mama does when her kits are too young to relieve themselves. Perhaps she has not outgrown this.
     
  6. Sabrina

    Sabrina Well-Known Member

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    Those are good suggestions too.

    One thing that I've noticed...she'll kind of scratch or nibble on our clothes and then go. Today we put her in a little bin with a towel folded up in it so we could hold her on our laps. She nibbled and scratched the towel, but didn't pee in the bin. So I can't figure out why she just goes on us??

    Sabrina
     
  7. Pat Lamar

    Pat Lamar Well-Known Member Supporter

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    First off, I'd "test" her, again, as there's a possibility that she may be already outgrowing it.

    In addition, what we seem to be forgetting is that Holland Lops are small breeds, which means that they mature faster. Urinating is a territorial marking trait, so she could be "marking" the family members as her territory. Not uncommon. This, too, will pass in time.

    Pat Lamar
    President
    Professional Rabbit Meat Association
    http://www.prma.org/
    Chairperson, ARBA Commercial Department Committee
     
  8. Sabrina

    Sabrina Well-Known Member

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    Thanks. That makes me feel better. :)

    Sabrina
     
  9. rabbitgal

    rabbitgal Ex-homesteader

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    hmmm, scratching and nibbling? Kind of sounds like "please put my down, I don't want to be held", but it's hard to tell...when she's held, are her ears up and is she perky and looking around, or are her ears down and is she kind of hunched up?
     
  10. Sabrina

    Sabrina Well-Known Member

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    Well, she has long floppy ears. They just kind of hang there. When we're holding her they're down and she seems relaxed and content, but maybe you're right with the nibbling and scratching. Maybe she wants to get down.
    Saturday she barely nibbled the buttons on my dress and then proceeded to pee all over me.

    Sabrina
     
  11. trixiwick

    trixiwick bunny slave

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    Some rabbits just aren't wild about being held. Maybe you could try letting her run around (might cover the carpet with plastic or towels or something, to be safe!) and get down on the floor so that she can come over to play and be petted when she wants to. That's how we usually play with our guys. We just sit on the floor and let them out of their cages; they do a pass around the room to make sure everything is where it should be, and then they'll come over for some attention, on their own terms. :shrug: Worth a try.
     
  12. Piney Woods

    Piney Woods Well-Known Member

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    You can also train her to use a small litter box. I used a small triangular one with one side higher than the other. They usually raise their hineys to pee against something, which may explain why she's peeing on people....

    Anyway, be sure to use non-cat litter as that can cause respiratory problems in rabbits. I used a corn cob litter.

    Also, check out the House Rabbit Society - lots of good information there.