Some consider rabbits to be a dull pet that just sits in a cage, waiting for his food to be delivered. However, reality offers a much different image. Although many a pet rabbit is mainly a cuddly companion, others enjoy plenty of playtime, too. Some happily snuggle during tv time and enjoy the safety of the cage when he cannot be watched. Rabbits show very defined personalities, much like a dog or cat, and can be trained in much the same manner.
Some breeds are known for having very calm, sedate personalities, comparable to that of a Golden Retriever. Others are higher energy rabbits that enjoy running around, learning tricks, and often do well at rabbit agility. They might be considered the Border Collies of the rabbit world. Some breeds enjoy being handled often while others might prefer a more hands-off approach.
Of course, exceptions exist between individuals in each breed. In choosing a pet, you should explain to the breeder what attributes are important to you. Will he be a child’s pet? Do you have a large play area for him? Does rabbit agility intrigue you? Or are you hoping to find a bunny with which to watch tv as you relax in the evening? Perhaps your bunny plans to be a companion to an elderly parent or handicapped child.
Rabbits can be taught to walk on a leash, using a well-fitted harness. Of course, they need training to walk politely, but a few bunny treats and coaxing usually does the trick. Housetraining proves quite useful, even if he will be kept in his cage much of the day. Many will train themselves to just one corner of their cage, if enough space is provided. Rabbits like to be clean and are usually fastidious about their cage and keeping themselves clean, too.
Another way to enjoy time with your rabbit involves teaching him tricks. Some rabbits take well to retrieving small objects when they are thrown. You might teach him to “play dead” by lying on his side. Teach him to lie quietly on his back on your lap as a very useful trick. Lying still offers a great position for checking his feet and even clipping his nails. Many rabbits go to sleep during these pedicure sessions.
Other useful tricks might include stand up (on his hind legs) jump (up or down off an object or over an object), come when called, and stay. You might use the same words for training as dog trainers use!
Have you trained your rabbit? We’d enjoy hearing about your bunny and the tricks he has learned! Please comment below.
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