Many people mistakenly believe that only dogs are traditionally subject to training, although in really almost any pet can successfully learn various tricks.
This article describes the principles of rabbit training, specific training algorithms, general points regarding education and games with these fluffy animals.
What breeds can be trained
Among all the breeds of domestic rabbits that are highly amenable to training, two groups can be distinguished — large and dwarf varieties, which differ significantly in their physical form. This should be considered when choosing a pet.
Here is a list of large breeds that lend themselves well to training:
Flanders – a long-tamed breed of very large sizes – in some cases, the weight can reach up to 15 kg! Due to the prescription of domestication, he is not afraid of a person, he understands him well and perfectly executes all the commands.
Here is a brief description of dwarf rabbit species that are highly learningable:
- Dwarf Shorthair – an animal whose weight rarely reaches 1 kilogram, which, however, does not prevent him from being quite bold, active and quick-witted. It is these qualities that form their strengths in education.
- Dwarf dutch – a breed slightly larger than the previous one, for the most part two-tone (gray with white), whose representatives are distinguished by a very playful character and a high speed of movement in space.
- Fox– a rabbit so named for its corresponding color (yellow-brown) and the characteristic structure of the facial skull. It has a sensitive and flexible intellect combined with a very pronounced self-esteem.
- Lop-eared ram – These pets tend to form a very fast and pronounced attachment to the owner. Also very fond of playing with people.
- Dwarf rex – A very curious and cheerful pet, active in the study of the world around him, who often manages to accustom to the tray almost the first time.
- Hermeline – extremely phlegmatic breed, more tuned to independent pastime.
- Dwarf butterfly – a collection breed that is almost impossible to find in our area. It is distinguished by a specially developed sense of smell and hearing, with emphasis on which, one can achieve particular success in training.
- Squirrel – these animals, as the name implies, resemble a protein in their appearance. Very nimble, cheerful, funny and active pets.
We teach a rabbit to hand
For the most part, rabbits are rather delicate creatures, so you can’t immediately embrace them, hold them in your hands and squeeze in every way. It will only scare away the poor animal from you. Immediately after the purchase, let him get comfortable in the cage – let him sniff everything, run a little and after the end of the acclimatization period he will come to meet you.
Do not pull the animal out of the cage on your own – it can accept this as a fact of invading personal territory and will never be able to perceive you as its friend and owner. It is especially important to explain all these aspects of pet behavior to your children, who will probably want to immediately play with the animal. Only after the animal itself leaves the cage, you can begin short, unobtrusive communication sessions with him.
Almost all domestic rabbits react very warmly to gentle, medium-long and light-weighted gentle treatment sessions – in the form, for example, of scratching behind the ear or massaging the back and abdomen. Do not raise your voice on your pet, constantly feed it with a variety of rabbit yummies, and very soon his character will become very soft, and your affection for you will increase.
How to raise a rabbit
There are several basic parenting elements that a pet should follow. This is the correct and adequate use of the tray, as well as walking on a leash for the owner. And if with the first, with the correct behavior of the owners, the rabbits often do not have any special difficulties, then the second is not an easy task.
How to teach a tray
Tray training is the standard procedure for pets, and rabbits are no exception. Here is a sample step-by-step process:
- First, observe in which of the corners of your room your favorite is most often in need – there you will need to put a tray.
- At first, it will be necessary to plant your furry animal yourself, it is even possible to say something soothing and gentle, for example: “Ray, it’s time to do things”, it is only important to do it in a calm and gentle tone.
- Transfer all solid feces found in other places and the straw soaked in the tray to enhance the smell and attach the animal to a specific place.
- Very soon, the rabbit himself will understand what they want from him, and will begin to walk independently to a predetermined place. He will still be a little embarrassed by the household, but this too will pass over time.
We teach to walk on a leash
The ability to walk on a leash and obey the commands of the owner is available not only for dogs. It is imperative to begin to train your rabbit on a leash as early as possible, as this directly affects the duration and comfort of his life.
- First, let the rabbit sniff the leash and get used to it. To do this, you can place the leash inside the cage of the pet or not far from it.
- Then, after the fluffy animal gets used to it, begin to fasten it and keep it next to you within the apartment, at first only for a few minutes, and then – increasing and increasing the time.
- When driving a rabbit on a leash around the apartment is fully mastered, you and your ward can proceed to street walks and more serious training.
How to play with a rabbit
The game form of training is one of the most progressive and effective, and at the same time the most ancient forms of acquiring new skills. In this regard, it is important for you, the owner, to know in advance how to play with your rabbit, what toys and games are for this, and how to choose the right toy for your pet.
There are several fundamentally different types of rabbit toys. Among them are:
- labyrinths and houses;
- toys for sharpening teeth.
The choice of a particular type of toy directly depends on your financial capabilities and your goals. For example, if you intend to develop the intelligence of a rabbit and his spatial thinking, it is best to purchase a labyrinth or a house, and if you think primarily about the physical shape of a pet, buy a ball for him. If you don’t have the opportunity to participate in the gameplay for a long time – get a rattle, the rabbit will drive it on the floor on its own just for the sake of sonorous “musical” overflows.
An obligatory toy for every domestic rabbit, of course, is an object designed for sharpening teeth. It can be of various sizes and shapes, for example: a bone, a birch branch, a rope with a knot at the end, etc. The main thing is that it emits an attractive smell for a pet, and he is not tired of gnawing it.
A very popular and fun game is a ball game. Playing it is quite simple – for this it is only necessary to train your pet in advance to bring you a ball thrown back nearby. Throw the ball into the field of view of the rabbit, but not further than a few meters, accompanying it with encouraging, calm statements, and he will definitely return it to you for repeating the memorized cycle.
In addition, there is also a kind of independent game with a ball or a rattle, when a pet rolls a toy on the floor in order to obtain a pleasant visual or sound experience. Most of all, this game is good in that it gives great pleasure to a woolly animal, without requiring the owner to be involved in the process.
Using houses, tunnels and mazes for games develops the spatial thinking of your wards and allows them to intensively build up their intellectual potential. Such games can be considered the most productive and useful for the learning ability of your rabbits, despite the fact that at some point the pet will no longer need a master.
The rabbit, as already mentioned, lends itself well to training and is able to achieve significant success in this field. However, training may have different periods to achieve full obedience and feasibility, and also include a variety of approaches and methods. To achieve maximum efficiency, you must take into account the characteristics of each trick.
Make a stand
This is one of the simplest, but at the same time producing the greatest effect on viewers tricks. Teaching him your pet is not particularly difficult.
Here is an approximate training course that will help the animal master this trick:
Jumping over obstacles
Jumping over obstacles is a rather complicated trick, which is worth starting only after a few simpler ones have been mastered. The complexity of the implementation is due to the fact that the rabbit has to adapt to multiple, dynamically changing environmental conditions. The trick is to first teach the animal to overcome one specific obstacle, and then add new ones to their series, gradually teaching the pet to overcome each of them.
Jumping through the rings
To learn this trick you will need a plastic, wooden or rag ring, which you can do yourself.
- Place a ring in front of the pet, holding it vertically, and show the delicacy through it.
- Each time a rabbit crosses the ring in order to take possession of a tasty treat, reinforce this action with an initial command and a laudatory calm speech at the end.
- Gradually, the reward can be removed, instead using affectionate words understandable to the animal.
- As a result, the platform with the suspended ring is gradually raised up so that the rabbit has to make a jump.
This trick has the most pronounced external effect in the event that the unwinding of the paper roll occurs quickly. All the principles of training are similar to those described in the previous paragraphs, the only difference is that the rabbit must be placed on the unwinding side of the paper roll and not allowed to get to the yummy until the whole roll is unwound.
What to do with aggressive individuals
The most common reaction of a pet to attempts to start training it is the desire to ignore your actions, or, on the contrary, to be aggressive by biting you. If you notice any such manifestations – make a loud, decisive sound and carefully remove the animal from itself. Remember that your goal is not to hurt the pet, but just to let it know who is in charge in this situation.
Never hit a rabbit – your hands should automatically become for your pet a source of exceptionally pleasant life experiences. Do not pull your hand sharply from the animal, even if it intends to bite you – so the pet will understand that you are no longer afraid of it, and ultimately it will stop attacking you. Continually reward your pussies for the right behavior with a variety of treats.
Ultimately, make sure that there are no legitimate reasons for rabbit aggression. Perhaps he is sick, or is in poor sanitary and epidemiological conditions, or his comfort and / or health is affected in some other way. If you are lucky enough to discover the true cause of your pet’s bad behavior, then after its elimination it will almost immediately become sweet and complaisant.
So now you know the secrets of raising rabbits. But remember that only carefully trained trainers can quickly achieve truly impressive results, suitable for performances and ubiquitous demonstrations. Therefore, be patient, love, and, of course, rabbit treats!