First Bunny Rabbit Bonding Session

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Yesterday, we set up an area in the hallway upstairs for the rabbits to meet and bond. We wanted to find some neutral space to avoid any territorial bias, and since Phineas has never been upstairs… this was the best spot we could think of.

Things were a little rocky at the start. Phineas was showing a good deal of aggression (trying to bite a little, and trying to mount). Janis was a lot more skittish and reserved, oftentimes running back to Liz for protection.

While they were both trying to be the dominant rabbit when they met on Saturday, Phineas was markedly more aggressive and Janis markedly more submissive.

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And… a little humping action.

Again, this is not a sexual or reproductive act. Usually when bunnies do this, it’s a power thing, with one rabbit trying to assert dominance over the other.

While Phineas was a lot more aggressive and trying harder to be alpha, he also got really close to Janis and licked/cleaned her several times. Liz feels he was doing this and expecting recipropcation (which Janis never did back). So we’ll see how this goes. Perhaps she was stressed out, or perhaps she’s still holding out for the top spot.

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There were several moments where the two calmed down and were ok being around one another. The introduction of treats as a distraction certainly helped.

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Liz wanted to ensure that ever session ended on a good/positive note. And this is where we eneded up – Janis resting a bit on Liz’s leg, and Phineas cuddled up to her (with his legs stretched out).

It’s a really positive sign that he’s stretched out, in that it shows how comfortable he is. When we got them both back downstairs, we could tell poor Janis was a little exhausted by the meeting. But after settling down, she was back to her old self.

Here’s hoping we don’t have to resort to a lengthy bonding time, and car rides and all that stuff. Hopefully these two get comfortable with one another faster than Baxter and Quincy did.

Related:
Two Rabbits Meeting on Neutral Ground
Taking the Bunnies for a Car Ride
Bunny Bonding in the Sun Room
Boxes and Bunny Bonding
Everyone, Meet Phineas

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