Oh I’m back, looks like I’ve some catching up to do.
I wrote an article recently for our Bunny Thymes and thought it’d be perfect to share abit of it here too:
Any true blue rabbit admirer will testify these little creatures are rather clever at manipulating human owners. However they can be stubborn about learning what are required of them and can suddenly appear nonchalantly clueless and deceptively dense! As a new rabbit owner, it is a common experience, to be left puzzled and hurt when Bunny turns his back in a huff, apparently annoyed by great efforts in attempts to step into the quiet world of lagomorphs.
Rabbits prefer to live in a social group like chimps or humans and have a highly developed social order. Therefore they use a combination of sounds, scents and body language to communicate, which are most often missed or misinterpreted by their eager-to-love human owners. They are extremely sensitive and extremely loving, but unfortunately they have tempers like no other pet! While dogs lay poop mines and pee-slicks all over the home, rabbits express anger directly at the harpless owners, nipping or scratching.
So here are a few handy tips to open the lines of communication with Bunny and get his comically confusing actions deciphered!
We Are All Ears
Those wriggling pair of trademark ears rabbit owners have come to adore, don’t just function as vigorously rotating satellite dishes, receiving data through sounds from their environment. In actual fact, rabbits use them to signal to fellow kin and attempt to communicate with owners in the same fashion too.
A happy rabbit keeps its ears pointed up and turned forward.
If Bunny’s ears are tilted forward with his eyes widened and neck stretched out and he is crouching low, this means he’s playing detective. Rabbits are naturally curious and love to investigate the world. Unfortunately, being a prey in the wild, they are also cautious and fearful. So do make sure while they are exploring the home that they are kept out of harm’s way.
An increasingly irate rabbit will first turn the ears to point sideways, then backward. It is most definitely not wise to approach a rabbit whose backwards pointing ears are completely lowered down to the body, followed by a stance which makes the rabbit look as though it is about to leap forward. It is a strong warning to all unknowing to get ready for a lunge and even a growl and a nip should they proceed.
Ever heard a succession of short bursts of muffled drumming coming from the vicinity of the bunny quarters? Seen a rabbit lift its hind legs up to beat the ground with a determined, resounding stamp? The wide-eyed rabbit, ears perked up, listening out, perhaps also standing up on its hinds at the same time, is on high alert. The rabbit feels it is his duty to warn his friends (that also means his owners too) of the impending danger or threat. Rabbits have acute senses so Bunny may thump at the vacuum cleaner when it is on, a bomb explosion heard in a movie on the telly, the clank of cutlery dropped, the smell of burnt toast or even after he is groomed, just to say “I don’t like that!”
Caught Bunny balancing on his hind legs with his little front feet in the air, attempting to wave for attention? This is the unmistakenably classic begging pose. Careful, or Bunny will try to grab that morsel of food right out of the hand!
A happy, relaxed rabbit will often lay on its stomach with the forepaws and hind legs stretched out and this is what is commonly known as the “Superman” pose. From above, it really looks as though they are flying. They may also lay with their legs extended out to the side. Happy feet is a great indication that Bunny is comfortable and safe in his environment as opposed to being hunched and with limbs all tucked in, constantly on guard against danger as a prey animal.
Stance and feet positioning indicate what the rabbit is going to do about its anger. Front legs together is a less aggressive stance. A rabbit turned more or less to one side is possibly more insulted or afraid than angry. Bunny, with front legs spread to give a firm stance and facing frontward, is ready to do battle!
To read more of this and other informative rabbit related articles, why not join as a Friend of HRSS? To do this, hop over to this link here.
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Add comment December 2nd, 2006