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Rabbit Socialization: How to Socialize Your Rabbit with Humans and Other Rabbits
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith
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Introducing rabbits to each other

black and white rabbit

Introducing a new rabbit to the den can be tricky. Although rabbits are naturally very social, they can become territorial, especially in the case of two bucks (males), which should never be housed together, or a pregnant doe (female).

With patience, you can introduce a new rabbit if your current rabbits are:

  • neutered rabbits,
  • multiple does,
  • or a buck and a doe pair, and you are introducing a doe.

You can minimize stress by making the introductions in a neutral environment away from your current rabbit's usual living space. This can include a new cage, a room where she usually is not allowed, etc. Limit the first introductions to a short duration, and watch for aggressive body posturing that can signal an impending fight. If they look as though they intend to fight, separate them before trouble occurs and try again the next day.

Try providing treats in different corners of the new area and allow your rabbits to busy themselves with the positive experience of gathering and eating those treats. Introductions are best done over several weeks, with at least one short meeting between the rabbits each day. Once they are well acquainted, rabbits will usually be very happy to have another den mate.

Interactions between humans and rabbits

Easily tamed, rabbits require daily exercise and time to play, especially outside of their cage. They are, otherwise, quiet and not demanding of a lot of attention. With this slightly meeker personality, rabbits do not make a good pet match for young, active children who prefer a pet they can tousle or romp with. Rabbits do like human company, but many would rather watch from a distance, preferring not to be held.

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