Effectively: ‘Bunny whispering’
Warning: Rabbits have nasty sharp claws and teeth and they will use them if they get agitated. Please be patient with bunny.
Some are smarter than others and run like us humans, it runs in family lines.
1. Have a soft cotton ‘bunny-rug’ or large towel ready (90x90cm is ideal)
- Place the rug completely over the bunny. It will subdue him instantly as he can’t see what is going on.
- Wrap the bunny tightly and keep it restrained and have its head out of the wrapping
- Hold him close to your chest a give it plenty of eye contact while stroking it head down to its nose with your finger until he calms down. (Ensure that you let him know who’s boss and still keep him restrained)
- Do this in 5 minute sessions only then offer him some food. He needs a POSITIVE outcome from each session. (Usually, it has taken us 3-5 sessions before, he is ready for the next stage).
- After bunny has got to know you and is calm, put the wrapped bunny on your knee and loosen the bunny-rug so you can stroke him from head to tail, including front paws, while still covered. Stroking the paws are important because it prepares the rabbit for future nail trimming sessions every month if required.
- Repeat the blanket constrained sessions described above until the rabbit becomes more familiarized with you, and hence more cooperative, then move onto stroking below the chin and behind the ears also.
- When the rabbit stops struggling in the blanket, this indicates he is ready for the next stage of the training process, where he is restrained with bare hands, without the aid of a blanket.
- Without the aid of the blanket for restraint, stroke the rabbit in the same manner as described in steps 6 and 7. When he is clearly enjoying the attention, and closes his eyes in a trance like state, it is time to introduce the soft dog grooming brush in place of your hands.
- It is important to touch the rabbit on the tummy until the animal is comfortable with this such that he may be flea powdered effectively without a fuss in the future.
- This whole training process can be completed within a single day, staged over 3-5 minutes sessions with a break in between each new step for play and sleep.