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Old 01-12-2014, 10:48 AM
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Default Tell me about rabbits!

We've started to see quite a few rabbits in at work and now I'm interested. I've never owned a rabbit before...my only exposure to rabbits was a friend's meat rabbits that she raised for 4H (they were Californians) and a class pet's rabbit (generic rabbit) that was kept in way too small of a cage and not given proper care, which in turn made him irritable and cranky (he liked to kick and bite). They were never a pet I was really interested in, but now that I've been able to interact with a few more, my curiosity has been piqued! Michael grew up with Holland Lops, and I know he loves rabbits in general, so one may be a pet in our future. That being said, I'd also like to own ferrets again and I do NOT want to own ferrets and a prey animal (that needs floor time) at the same time ever again...so we'll see which one happens first.

I know about the husbandry rabbits require. (Diet, cage size, appropriate bedding, litter box training, etc., etc.) What I don't know anything about is their personality, what having them as a pet is like, and what the differences are in personality for the various breeds.

I have to say, I've always loved the looks of Holland Lops, and since that is the breed Mike grew up with, if we were to get a rabbit that is likely what we'd get. But I've seen a few dwarf rabbits come in to work and OMG ARE THEY FREAKING CUTE. But I think I remember reading somewhere, or someone telling me, that the larger the rabbit the more calm it is? On the flip side, I imagine housing a larger rabbit is much more difficult due to just the basic enclosure size it would need.

So, those of you with rabbits....tell me about them!
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:07 AM
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This pretty much summarizes rabbits:



:P

I've personally owned Californians, Mini Rex, and New Zealands over the years; my sister had a Holland Lop when we both were kids. Belonged to a rabbit club for many years so had exposure to additional breeds there. I've also cared for a pair of houserabbits for a friend while they were on vacation a few times.

I personally don't think there is a big difference in personality between breeds...it has more to do with the individuals being bred/lines, whether temperament is a selection criteria, and how they are handled when young. Most rabbits are curious, social, entropic creatures who like to interact with each other, other living things, and their environment. A well adjusted domestic rabbit should be bold, inquisitive, and prone to inserting him-/her-self into situations.

They tend to explore with their teeth so keep hazards such as electrical cords out of reach (and they climb!) or run them through some sort of conduit.

Not all rabbits get along. The two my friend owned as houserabbits hated each other and their free-roam time had to be rotated or they would fight.

Also if you get a rabbit then you need to do this:
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Old 01-12-2014, 11:08 AM
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Small, furry, have long ears
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:45 PM
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Better to seek out a baby rabbit from a reputable breeder (what is a reputable breeder?), or adult rehome from...? Are petstore rabbits a no go? How do you judge temperament on your initial interaction?

Also, I'm assuming a neutered male would make the best pet? Or does the sex/alter status not matter that much?

Based on looks alone, I like the Holland Lops, Netherland Dwarfs, and Mini Rex. I think it would be cool to have a large rabbit, but I'm not so sure space would agree with me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
Small, furry, have long ears
Thank you, Dizzy.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:28 PM
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Most of the Holland Lops I've met have been really squishy, cuddly rabbits.

I had a male Polish rabbit that I found one night on my front lawn. He was cuddly when he wanted to be, but wasn't afraid to give you a quick nip (not skin breaking, just a light nip) if he'd had enough of you. He was intact but super easy to litter train.

I also had two muttley rabbits that we got from a flea market after my first dog died. Both were males, probably were born and raised in a barn by a guy who didn't do much with them besides feeding. They were a bitch to litter train. They sprayed everywhere, we had black tiles and would find pee 3-4 feet from their cage. My floppy eared guy was a complete cuddle bug, the other guy couldn't really care less about you.

My old neighbours had two Netherland Dwarfs (a neutered male and an intact female) when I was growing up. Their male Chewy was my favorite of the two, much more people oriented than Fluffy.

I definitely think that personality depends on the individual rabbit. Personally I think an adult rehome can be just as good as raising a baby. My Polish was a few years old when I found him and was my favorite. We bonded a lot more than the two I had since they were babies. In my experience I've found most of the males to be more sociable than females, but that's just a generalization.
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Old 01-12-2014, 02:46 PM
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Well, I'd say if you can get a young rabbit from a breeder who handles litters quite a bit and that is out of friendly, sociable parents you'll be be stacking the odds in your favor. The trouble with pet store bunnies is that they tend to be subject to whoever is coming through with their kids, etc., and may or may not have had very good experiences with being handled (plus the additional health risks of being in a public place with lots of traffic). Rescue varies but can have the same concerns. The nice thing about rescue is that you may be able to find a bonded pair that you know gets along well, and unless you have a ton of time to spend with your rabbit I would recommended getting two so they can socialize when you are away. But that's just me.

Dutch might be another breed you'd like. They and Mini Rex are my favorite for pets. Nice size, extra cute, etc.

I've never had an altered rabbit, so I don't know how that effects their personality. I've had a couple really mean does over the years, but then my very nicest, most cuddley rabbits have also been does. Males seem to usually fall in between for me...nice enough but not as attention-seeking.
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