What to Expect
Taken from the books
'The Essential Rabbit' & 'The Rabbit Handbook'
I'm so glad I brought another rabbit home. My other
rabbit took to her right away and now they've become
"I'll tell you,
I almost wish I hadn't gotten another rabbit. My first
rabbit, Buster, is so angry he doesn't want anything
to do with the new bunny. He keeps chasing him away."
Either of these scenarios is possible when you first
put rabbits together. A proper introduction is important.
You will not need to spend much time introducing rabbits
to each other when both are new; there are few that
will not adjust quickly. Introducing a new rabbit to
one or more that are already in the house and have established
a territory can be more complicated.
The easiest introductions will be between females and
males. Even when a doe and buck do not immediately take
to each other, there is rarely any significant trouble
between them, but introducing members of the same sex
can be an entirely different story. Females may get
along from the start, or they may fight, while fighting
is very common among males introduced to each other.
It is not recommended to keep two intact (not neutered)
males together, but two neutered males may be able to
Keep in mind that rabbits are very territorial.
A first introduction should take place in a neutral
space which no rabbit considers its territory. A
room your rabbit has not been in or a new pen in the
yard may be good options. You can also introduce them
outside your home altogether to prevent any territorial
Any interactions at first should be well supervised.
Do not interfere with the meeting unless there are true
signs of aggression. Give them a chance to work things
out on their own. If one rabbit wants nothing to do
with the other, or if they fight, you will need to make
a more gradual introduction. Try to break up a fight
with a spray of water before jumping in yourself.
If your first rabbit is anxious about the new addition,
you can help relieve the anxiety by making sure that
positive things happen when the new rabbit is around.
For example, if your rabbit especially enjoys being
rubbed in a certain area, rub them while you let the
other rabbit move around the room. You can also give
the rabbits treats when they are near each other. The
idea is for the rabbits to associate positive experiences
while being together.
For rabbits that want to fight with each other, you
will need to set aside time everyday to supervise them
in neutral territory. You might start by having the
rabbits on opposite sides of a gate, so that they can
see each other but not interact. Make sure you reward
them for good behaviour and correct bad behaviour. Bad
behaviour, such as lunging for the other rabbit, can
be corrected with a loud voice or noise or a spray of
water. As the rabbits learn to accept each other, or
at least ignore each other, you can give them more time
together with no barriers between them. Do not leave
them together unsupervised until you are absolutely
sure they will no longer fight.