Todays blogpost is about the whole process of bonding Amour with Louie. Maybe I can help you if you are having some problems with bonding your bunnies at the moment.
First plan: The first plan was to bring Amour to my breeder and leave him there for one to four weeks to bond with a new bunny. So I prepared a bag with his food to go with him. In that time I would also have enough time to reset my room and neutralize it. As we got to my breeders house and we set Amour in the new setup he was so scared that she immediately said that its to dangerous to leave him here because he is too stressed. So we tried out a few bunnies that we set into the x-pen with him to see wich would match the best for the first moments. We were there for about 2 hours. She also really well explained the personality of every bunny that put in the x-pen with Amour. After a while and after a few bunnies we saw that Louie (first named “Ragetli” wich means little rocket) would match the best and Amour also accepted him the most even though Louie was humping him because he was just neutered and still had strong male hormones in him. But personality wise my breeder told me that Louie is really lovely, calm and super cuddly so it would really match with Amour. So our breeder said we can take Louie home right away.
Why did we get another male bunny and not a female? Really simple to explain. Most girls are really crazy and dominant if not neutered (Female bunnies get crazy because of their heat period) and its kind of illegal to neuter females here in Switzerland if they are perfectly healthy. Its also a huge operation wich is really difficult to do and a big thing for such a small animal. Its a lot more difficult than neutering a male bunny. So most vets here don’t even do these procedure. Also Amour would be way to calm for a female bunny and personality wise Amour would just be scared by a female bunny all the time so it was clear that we also need something also calm for Amour to feel relaxed too.
At home it was pretty crazy as I was zero prepared because I thought I would at least have one week for preparing for the new arrival. So I quickly just put them in an x-pen in our living room with a new huge litter box and food and water bowls. Then I quickly cleaned and changed up my room to neutralize it as much as possible. I also removed my huge rug and threw all of Amours toy our and got new ones. As it was ready I put them in my room.
First days: The two boys were humping and chasing each other a lot but only for like 20 seconds then they were calm again. But they never really fought bad and never bit each other. The first 2 days they did it during the whole day/night then it calmed down to only the morning and the evening. Louie also started to chin everything and spray with pee to mark his territory. He is spraying with pee because of his male hormones that are still really high. My breeder told me to never separate them (unless they fight until they bleed) and also to spend quality cuddle time with them both on my lap. And to brush them with the same brush so they get used to each others scents.
After 4 days: They started to eat with eachother side by side and started to sit side by side. The humping slowly decreased. Sometimes they also layed side by side and I caught Amour wanting to be groomed by Louie quite a few times by now but Louie wont do it.
The situation now: So I got Louie on 4th of July so its been one month now, and now they like to lay side by side almost all the time. They stopped humping eachother, they have no problem eating with eachother. Amour loves to groom Louie and they love to escape their area together and beg for treats. Sadly Louie still sprays his pee sometimes but it will get better as his hormones calm down (it can take up to 6 weeks after neutering). I am also currently working on litter training Louie.
Basic tips I have for you that might help with bonding:
- Make sure the personality and gender matches
- Neutral area for bonding
- New toys, new litter boxes
- Do not separate them unless they are biting each other badly so they are bleeding, its normal if they loose a lot of fur during a fight and if they are chasing each other (they need to sort things out do not get in between them, you don’t speak their language)
- Quality bonding time while cuddling together on your lap
- Quality bonding time while eating together or giving treats side by side
- Letting them use the same litter boxes
- Brushing them with the same brush so they get used to each others scents
- Give them enough time it can take up to multiple months