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Bunny Behavior

What does it mean when your bunny does (insert behavior here)?


People unfamiliar with rabbits don't know the wide variety of expressions and personalities of bunnies. They are amazing creatures and you too can learn how to speak rabbit.


Its all about the Ears!

Rabbits are well known for their ears and they use them to project how they are feeling. You just need to pay attention to understand what they are telling you.

  • Ears all the way forward- They are curious.

  • Ears straight up- They are alert and aware of their surroundings.

  • Ears slightly back- Relaxed state.

  • Ears drawn back- Angry/ Territorial.

  • Ears touching relaxed body- Sleepy/ Content


Rubbing Chin on Things/ You.

Rabbits have scent glands and will chin things to either claim it or as a marker to know where they have been. Each time you see your bunny chin, they are saying, "This is mine."


Nudge with their nose

This could mean they are requesting pets, or they could be just telling you to get out of their way!


Nipping

Nipping can have multiple meanings. On one hand, it could be a playful, "I want your attention." On another hand, it could be an aggressive behavior saying, "No. I am agitated." Only by paying attention to their other body language, can you decide which is more likely.


Grunting

Grunting is a territorial behavior. Always give your bunny space if they grunt at you. Otherwise, they may escalate to biting or scratching.


Thumping

Your rabbit thumps their back feet on the ground. This means, "I am displeased with you." or it might mean, "Attention there might be danger."


Boxing

Your rabbit pushes against you with their front feet scratching you. This is called boxing and is an act of aggression. Never pull your hand back quickly, which could further scare your rabbit. Know they might box at your hand, and if they do, slowly move your hand away, then give them space.


Turning their back to you

Your rabbit is sitting with their back to you. This is says two things. The first they are comfortable with you that they are not scared of you, but also that they are angry with you. Bunnies hate to be ignored and this is exactly what they are doing to you.


Flopping

This act scares many people new to bunnies, but don't worry your bunny isn't dead, they are just in the ultimate of comfort. A flop is when the rabbit lays on its side with their eyes closed. They are off of their feet. When a bunny flops over, they feel safe and is happy.


Binkies & Zoomies

Your rabbit is running full speed (zoomies), and all of a sudden, they pop up in the air with a twist and land back on their feet. This is called a Binky. Sometimes they may do it when they are completely still and then popcorn up in the air. You may also see a tail waddle when they are running. All of these signs are very good. This is an act of play and complete joy!


Putting Forehead down/under your hand

This means pet me or groom me. They want attention and may playfully nip if they do this and you aren't giving them what they want.


Teeth Grinding

While you are petting your bunny, most likely on their chin, you hear your bunny softly grind their teeth. This is a bunny purr. They are content and happy. If you hear a loud clicking or grinding, then they may need medical attention! Contact a bunny-savvy vet.


periscoping

Your rabbit is standing on two legs looking around the room. They are curious and scoping out the location. They may be looking for danger or for a new adventure.


Mating Behavior

If your bunny is unspayed/ unneutered, you may see these behaviors. Circling, spraying urine, and humping. Both males and females display the same behaviors. They also have a scent gland by their groin that is very stinky and will need to be cleaned out if they aren't altered.


Playing Behavior

Digging and chewing are natural rabbit behaviors. Provide toys to encourage these behaviors in a positive way so that your bunny isn't destructive. For digging, create a dig box. For chewing, you might want to tack up some sacrificial wood. Read More Toys


Read More:

Best Friends Bunny Behavior

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