Useful Tips

Rules for taming and training a decorative rabbit


After buying a decorative rabbit, its owners note that the pet does not want to walk in their arms, runs away, hides, and sometimes even shows aggression. Few people count on such behavior, because a furry rodent is brought on to give him love and receive it in return. The question - how to tame a rabbit in your hands arises for everyone who has recently purchased a pet. This article will tell you why you need to accustom the animal to the hands and how to do it right.

Do I need to tame?

Rabbits need care - this is the main reason why you need to tame them. If the pet does not go into the hands, the following procedures will not work:

  1. Get out of the cage. To remove the litter, clean the litter, remove the remnants of food from the animal’s dwelling, you need to get the inhabitant out of there.
  2. Combing wool. The rabbits have thick and long hair, it needs to be combed out. If you do not do this every day, especially during molting, the pet licks itself and swallows hair. This often leads to blockage of the intestine.
  3. Claw Care. Rabbits need to cut their nails at least once a month. This will prevent injury.
  4. Health monitoring. Periodically, the animal needs to be examined - to check the condition of the teeth, hair, conduct medical procedures when it is sick.
  5. Bathing. If the eared tape is dirty, it must be washed at least partially. This is necessary when the animal has an indigestion.

All these procedures cannot be performed if the rabbit is not accustomed to hands. All attempts to make any manipulations with him will end in aggression. If there are children in the house, they will want to caress the pet, pet, pick it up. If the rabbit does not make contact, the children will be deprived of all this. Here are just a few reasons why you should accustom a rabbit to his hands.

Rabbit for baby

Taming process

Begin taming the animal should be from the first days of his stay in the house. It is important to understand that the rabbit itself is not aggressive, it is a kind and sweet creature, but very shy. It is fear that causes aggression and unwillingness to communicate. It is necessary to ensure that the animal has learned to trust its owner. As soon as the animal feels that a person is not dangerous for him, he will begin to show tenderness.

In the first few days after buying a rabbit, it is worth giving him time to get used to a new home. Let him get comfortable, sniff his possessions, eat and calm down. When the rodent finds a place to rest, you can begin to get acquainted with it. At first it’s better not to pick him up, but just talk to him in an affectionate voice through the cell grid.

Important! The animal should get used to the smell of the owner, so you should abandon the use of perfumery for a while.

Some delicacy, for example, a slice of fresh carrots, will help reduce the stress level in the animal. Offer him a vegetable, slowly extending his hand. At first, the animal will distrust such contact, but the smell of goodies will attract him. Each time treating the animal with something tasty, you can achieve its location. Over time, the animal will cease to be afraid.

Letting the rabbit out of the cage for a walk around the apartment, you need to talk to him kindly. Do not immediately pick it up, let him explore the new territory. Just reach out his palm, lightly touch the coat. Always have a treat ready. Soon, the eared one will perceive the owner as the breadwinner and will cease to feel fear. When the degree of trust increases, you can try to take the rabbit for a while in your arms.

Attention! Never take an animal from above - this is what wild animals do. Hold your pet by the lower body. Taking the owner for a dangerous object, a decorative rabbit can die from a broken heart.

Veterinarians and experienced breeders provide valuable advice on taming these animals:

Animal Taming Guidelines

  1. You can not stand over the animal or over its cage. The rabbit sees a person as a large spot, he can perceive it as a dangerous object.
  2. It is forbidden to grab the rabbit sharply by the ears or paws, pull it with force from the cage.
  3. In the presence of a pet you can not make noise.
  4. Caressing the rabbit, the hand should be held above the head, and not in front of the muzzle.

What if a rabbit bites?

We must not allow the animal to bite household members. If this happened, you need to show - this behavior is unacceptable. Do not resort to physical punishment, otherwise the pet will perceive the person as a threat and will continue to defend with the help of teeth. It takes patience and time to wean a rabbit to bite. What to do if the animal has bitten one of the relatives:

  1. Change intonation. You can’t shout loudly, otherwise the animal will be scared even more, but the voice should be strict.
  2. Return the pet to the cage.

Having lost the opportunity to take a walk, the rabbit will begin to protest - to scatter food around the cage and turn the dishes over. Better not to pay attention to him until he calms down. After you can treat it with a slice of apple or carrot.

Attention! Rabbits do not like to sit on a man’s lap, forcing them to do this can provoke aggression.

Taming a rabbit is not so difficult - be patient, be affectionate, offer goodies. Over time, he will learn to trust the members of the family in which he lives, and fear will completely disappear.

Is it possible to accustom a rabbit to his hands and is it necessary to do this?

Decorative rabbits, like many other pets, can be trained. You can’t expect the same success from them as from a trained German shepherd, but it’s quite realistic to teach the animal how to resort to a call and perform several simple tricks. The most important thing in a rabbit training program is to accustom it to the hands. Is there a need for this? Definitely, yes, and there are several reasons for this.

Most owners want to not only see the pet in the cage, but also pet, play with it. The process of establishing friendship between animals and humans does not always happen by itself.

Even if no one will play with the pet, it is important to accustom him to his hands. After all, you will need to bathe, comb and examine the animal, wash its aviary, and therefore, make contact with the animal.

Rabbits are very shy. If you simply take an animal without first getting used to it, it can behave aggressively, for example, bite or scratch it a lot. Worse, because of a strong fright, the heart of a rabbit can not stand it, and the animal will die.

Character features of rabbits depending on breed

It would be wrong to choose a pet, focusing only on its external data. Although it seems that a fluffy rabbit a priori should be kind, in fact, you can get a shaggy bully that bites everything that moves.

This is not to say that there are uniquely friendly or aggressive breeds of decorative rabbits. It's just that among the representatives of some breeds affectionate individuals are more common, and among the representatives of others - independent.

Dwarf lion-headed rabbit

Another friendly breed. Lion-headed rabbits are quite affectionate and easygoing, provided that they are well treated. If you inadvertently inflict pain on an animal, you can immediately suffer from its strong teeth and strong paws.

Animals differ from their counterparts in that the males of this breed are more accommodating and affectionate than the females - but usually the opposite.

How to teach a rabbit to hand?

It all starts with the pet selection process. Regardless of which breed the animal belongs to, it is worth getting to know its parents: if they are calm, friendly and have a stable psyche, it is most likely that their rabbits will have the same qualities.

Sometimes unscrupulous breeders do not sell decorative rabbits, but wild ones. They are also amenable to training, but much more difficult. Therefore, it is better to get a pet from responsible breeders with a good reputation.

Best of all, a rabbit under the age of 8 weeks gets used to the new owner. You should not take an animal of an older age: most likely, the little rabbit managed to get used to another person, so such a change will be very stressful for him.

When a rabbit is selected, purchased and brought to a new home, he needs give time to get comfortable: look around, sniff everything, eat and choose a place where he will lie. After that, you can approach the cage and speak with the animal in a quiet gentle tone, calling it a new nickname. So the pet will get used to the presence of the owner and his voice.

The next step is physical contact. It’s better to start it in the cage - there the little rabbit feels safe. First, he needs to see and examine the hand. To do this, you can’t bring it too close to its muzzle - far-sighted rabbits do not see objects close up: a hand that comes out of nowhere can scare the animal.

When the rabbit sees the hand, you need to wait for him to come up and sniff it. It is better that there is some kind of delicacy in the hand: the owner’s hands should be associated with delicious food and affection. After he ate a treat, you can gently pat him on the nose.

When the animal is in a cage, do not try to take it or stroke it on the back or tummy. In most cases, the rabbit will not like it.

After the rabbit gets used to the owner’s voice and hands, you can proceed to the next step - communication outside the cell. You need to let the pet out of the aviary, and to sit on the floor at his level. At this time, you need to talk with the animal - hearing a familiar voice, the pet will feel safe. The hand should be placed next to it, palm up, and put on it a cracker or a slice of vegetable.

If the previous stages of the acquaintance were correct, then most likely the rabbit will quickly want to come to his hand. After he eats a treat, you can gently pat him on the back. This action needs to be done several times.

After the animal gets used to sitting in the palm of your hand, you can raise it up to a small height, holding it with your other hand. It is important that the rabbit feels firm support, otherwise he will be scared. In this case, you need to continue to talk with him. After the rabbit gets used to this action, you can hold it in your hands for a little while holding them to your chest.

If the rabbit begins to scream and tries to break free, you need to carefully lay it on the floor. Haste can lead to aggressiveness of the animal, injuries and bites.

How to gradually accustom a rabbit to his hands is described in this video clip:

If the rabbit is very small, very scared and cannot calm down, he needs special sensitivity. No wonder - too big changes have occurred in his life. In this case, you can gently wrap the baby with a soft towel, continuing to kindly talk with him. The warmth and soft fabric will remind the animal the mother-rabbit, and he will calm down faster. And the host’s voice will be associated with maternal warmth.

What should not be done, taming a rabbit:

  • immediately and abruptly take the animal in his arms,
  • standing over him, suddenly bending over - he might think that this is a predator,
  • lift by the ears
  • touching the nose is the most sensitive organ in rabbits,
  • give or leave for a long time to strangers.

Sit, stand

It is better to learn these commands after the pet has learned to come to the call. To do this, pronounce the name of the team and help the rabbit to take the required position. After that, give me a treat. Repeat several times, and then help the rabbit less and less until he takes the right pose himself. After each, even small, success, you need to give your pet something tasty to encourage.

Hop on the lap to the owner sitting on the couch

This command can be divided into three parts:

  1. The rabbit comes to the call to the sofa.
  2. Jumps on the sofa
  3. He climbs onto the owner’s knees and stays on them.

After completing each part of the command, the animal must be given a treat, stroking, praising and saying the name of the team, for example: “* name of the rabbit *, on your knees!” So ​​the animal will associate its actions with the team and the treat.

Go to the tray

If the rabbit goes to the toilet past the tray, you need to determine in which corner the toilet seat is, according to the rabbit. A tray should be put in this place and a part of the dirty litter should be put in it, and the rest of the dirty litter should be removed so that even its smell does not remain. After the rabbit understands what this tray is for, you need to give him encouragement.

Run after the toy

Many people like to play with a cat when she runs after a candy wrapper or a toy mouse. Rabbit can also be taught such a game. Attach a toy to a stick or string and show it to the rabbit. After he sniffed her, give a treat.

Most likely, the rabbit will want to touch the toy, after that you also need to encourage him. Then you should move the toy a certain distance and wait until the rabbit comes up to it again and touches it - and again give the animal something tasty, for example, a piece of banana or a sweet carrot.

When the rabbit understands the relationship between touching the toy and the treat, he will run after it. With the help of such a toy and additional incentives, you can subsequently teach your pet to jump over small obstacles, climb a hill and so on.

The toy should not look like a rabbit - the pet may think that it is an opponent and will try to attack him.

Gradually, the rabbit should be weaned from goodies-encouragement. To do this, you can first replace it once with verbal praise and affection. Another time, give encouragement again, and the next two again praise and stroke.

What should not be done during training:

  • overfeeding a rabbit or giving food that is harmful to him,
  • to deprive him of food so that he is hungry by the beginning of training,
  • to try to teach a large number of teams at once - it’s better to wait until one action is fixed before moving on to the next.

It is worth remembering that much greater success in training rabbits can be achieved precisely with kindness and affection. If, as a result of training, the animal begins to be afraid of the owner, then soon it will be necessary to return to the beginning, namely, to establish trusting relationships. But the older the rabbit, the more difficult it is to do it.

Explain who is the boss in the house

It happens that the rabbit is trying to take the position of the owner. In this case, he may bite, forcing the owner to move. With rabbits, as with dogs, it is important to show who is in charge. To do this, when the rabbit has bitten, you need to slightly raise your voice at it, and then firmly, but gently put it off yourself or put it away. If after the second or third time the animal does not understand, you need to close it in the aviary so that it realizes: the freedom of its movement is in the hands of the owner.

Help you feel safe

Another reason for the change in animal behavior is fear. Perhaps one of the family members or guests behaved incorrectly towards the animal, for example, inadvertently hurt him. In this case, you need to temporarily completely isolate them from each other and re-establish trusting relationships first with the owner, and then with a family member or guest, if necessary.

What should not be done:

  • beat an animal with a hand or a newspaper - only something good should come from the owner,
  • starve to make it more accommodating
  • pulling his hand when the rabbit is trying to attack - so he will understand that the owner is afraid of him.

Decorative rabbits are friendly and cheerful pets. But first you need to establish a trusting relationship with them, train the teams and prevent a careless attitude to the pet.

Breeds that are easy to tame

You can tame any rabbit, both decorative (dwarf), and ordinary. The only difference is how much effort and time will have to be spent on the process of taming. Dwarf rabbit breeds are characterized by a good-natured and friendly character. They have a positive attitude towards people, so they easily make contact.

Among all the existing breeds of decorative rabbits, one can distinguish those that are much easier to tame by hand.

Breed nameMain characteristics
DutchThe most common breed. Sociable, calm, gullible, obedient and stress-resistant animals. They require increased attention, they love to be played with.
Lion-headed rabbitThey have a fur collar around the neck, thanks to which the breed got its name. Playful animals, with affectionate and soft temper.
Miniature foldIt has an attractive appearance. Long drooping ears give it a funny look. Thanks to its playfulness and curiosity, it is great as a pet for children.
Dwarf ramThey are easy to train, get along well with their master and are not afraid of people. Do not show aggression to others.
ChinchillaThe breed got its name due to the similarity of the bluish-gray rabbit fur with the color of the fur of the same rodent. The animal is short-haired and incredibly furry. Smart, obedient, friendly and gentle.
AngoraVery fluffy rabbits. They need careful care, as their downy wool rolls into tangles. Responsive to affection and attention. They succumb to training, they like to demonstrate learned tricks.
Mini rexКролики с бархатистым, мягким мехом. Очень спокойные, легко идут на контакт.
ГималайскийПитомец со спокойным характером, общителен и не склонен к агрессии. Любит общение с людьми.
НидерландскийСпокойные и уравновешенные зверьки. They need their relatives in the community, so pair maintenance is recommended.

Factors Affecting the Taming Process

The success of taming a rabbit to his hands depends on such factors:

  1. Heredity (genotype). When purchasing an eared rodent from a breeder or in a specialized nursery, it is worth taking a look at the mom and dad of the animal, and observe their behavior. The pet can inherit from them such traits of temperament as friendliness or aggressiveness. It will be much easier to accustom a rabbit to his hands if his parents are affectionate and quite tame.
  2. Age. If possible, it is better to bring up a small rabbit, as it will be much easier and faster to tame it. Sometimes a not very affectionate baby, growing up becomes softer. Being attached to the owner, he becomes contact - goes into his arms, caresses and willingly plays.
  3. Health. The sick rabbit does not feel well, therefore, he is not quite willing to come closer. He is afraid and tries to hide, hide in a corner. Suspecting something was wrong, you should carefully examine your pet. Wool should be smooth, clean, without tangle. Ears and eyes without visible inflammation and secretions.

How to pick up?

You should not expect that a rabbit, purchased as a pet, will immediately show its friendliness, and will sit quietly in its arms. The pet will need some time to get used to. He also needs gentle treatment, attention and care.

Therefore, before taking a rabbit in his arms, he should be accustomed to them. The pet should not be afraid of them and perceive them as potential danger. Most are tamed quickly and easily, the main thing is patience and a reasonable approach.

But, most often the animals get to the owner already grown up kids, so they need some time to get used to.

Taming a decorative rabbit to your hands, you must adhere to the following sequence of actions:

  1. Place the pet in a cage and observe its behavior. The adaptation process proceeds normally if the rabbit begins to behave calmly and at ease. Washes, eats, sleeps.
  2. Try to chat with the animal. The owner’s voice should not scare him. The rabbit must express interest. His nickname should be pronounced in one tone, without changing the intonation, so that the animal gets used to it and understands that it is addressed to him. It is best to do this when the pet gets used to it, and will calmly approach its owner.
  3. Introduce your pet to your hand. He can taste it (smell, lick and even slightly bite), which is considered quite normal. The main thing is that it is clean, without extraneous odors. You can give the rabbit something tasty, feed it. This will help build trust. When communicating with an adult, caution should be exercised.
  4. You can try to touch his fur, gently, without sudden movements. Then gently stroke the rabbit on the forehead and crown of the head if it has ceased to be afraid and does not react aggressively to the outstretched hand. Having stroked several times, try to pick it up.
  5. So that the rabbit does not feel anxiety it is better to be on the same level with him, for example, to sit on the floor next to him. You can lend a hand so that the animal itself can climb on it, if desired. The pet should be lifted up on the palm of your hand. After holding for a while, lower it down, releasing it into the cage. The opinion that rabbits are taken by ears is considered erroneous. This method is quite painful for animals, and also traumatic. Such handling can lead to damage to the muscle tissue of the ears and auditory membranes.
  6. It is also necessary to allow the rabbit to get acquainted with the house by releasing it from the cage. Thus, he will be able to get acquainted with all members of the family, and other pets, if any.

A pet can be considered tamed, which trusts the owner, responds to the voice, runs to the meeting, calmly picks itself up.

Manifestation of aggression

Despite the fact that for the most part rabbits are rather affectionate and friendly animals, there are also aggressive individuals with a difficult character among them. They do not want to obey the owner, inadequately behave during feeding, rush to their feet, kick, try to bite them. Rabbits scratch and bite rather painfully and noticeably.

But this behavior can be adjusted. Most often, it is characteristic of adult animals having changed their place of residence and owner. Intelligent and intelligent individuals also behave aggressively, expressing themselves in this way. The main thing is to establish contact with them during taming and redirect their unfriendly energy into a peaceful channel. Such animals require a special approach to training, but after taming, they become devoted pets.

Among the main reasons provoking aggressive behavior in animals can be identified such:

  • sudden fright and fear of causing pain (characteristic of animals not accustomed to gentle treatment, as a result having a habit of defending themselves),
  • puberty and sexual arousal,
  • illness or feeling sick
  • hormonal changes in pregnant females,
  • protection of the offspring by nurturing rabbits.

It can be both annoying and frightening sounds in the room (music, TV, the noise of a vacuum cleaner or refrigerator), and the touch of the owner, his loud voice. If possible, all irritating factors should be removed.

It is necessary to surround the pet with care and attention, making it clear that they are glad to see him in the house. It is best to perceive unfriendly behavior with humor. When approaching the rabbit, you should slowly step back to a safe distance from him. If he tries to attack or aggressively rushes about the room, calm, affectionate communication can help.

It takes some time for the rabbit to adapt to new conditions, so be patient. On average, the addictive period lasts several weeks, during which the animal learns to trust its owner.


A decorative rabbit can be taught to perform almost any exercise. The success of training depends on how closely the animal is in contact with humans. So that the pet can understand the desires of the owner and show his attitude, it is necessary to develop a peculiar language of communication and symbols.

Goodies given during the training process are a stimulating factor, but not the main one. The main thing is that the pet starts to enjoy communication and joint games.

Such actions can trigger severe stress.

Before starting training, you need to develop a plan to complete the trick. It is also necessary to make a list of accompanying teams that the pet must learn. Strict adherence to the training scheme will help to achieve the desired results much faster.

Step-by-step instruction for drawing up a training plan:

  1. Come up with a trick that your pet has to learn.
  2. Create a phased execution flow diagram, from simple to more complex actions.
  3. To develop a set of commands - the main ones, for example, “stand”, “jump”, and additional ones that give an assessment of the performance of the trick (“right”, “not right”, “well done”, etc.).
  4. Designate the timing of the exercise, with a gradual increase in time intervals.
  5. Come up with a pet care plan.