Rabbits are very adorable and entertaining creatures. Training them makes it easier to take care of them and improves the bond between rabbits and their owners. So, how to train a rabbit? How much time does a training session take to train a rabbit? What are the things to consider to train a rabbit? Let’s find out all your answers in this article.
Rabbits can be easily trained because they learn things very quickly. However, keep the training session only 3 to 4 minutes long to make it enjoyable for your rabbit. If your rabbit freaks out or tries to run away, immediately stop the training session and give some space to them.
This article will discuss tricks and methods to train a rabbit, litter train a rabbit, and what other cute tricks to teach your rabbit. So, let’s find it out.
- 1 Training my rabbit
- 2 How to litter train a rabbit?
- 3 6 Tricks to teach your rabbit.
- 4 Conclusion:
Training my rabbit
Patience is the only key to training your rabbit. Rabbits are clever creatures and can quickly learn things. Giving treats and playing in the training session encourages them to follow the commands.
For example, they can be trained for a litter box, to come, jump, fetch and even spin on cue.
For training a rabbit, you may require a large dog pen where they can do their exercises and activities easily and comfortably.
The training session usually takes three to four days; however, it may take a few more days if your rabbit is skittish or aggressive.
In your rabbit’s enclosure or pen, there should be a litter box, some toys for chewing, hay, a water bowl, and a food bowl.
During this training course, there should be exciting and rewarding activities for the rabbit in every session.
However, some owners need help training their rabbits because some need to know how much time is enough in every session and which approach is correct.
Rabbits love to eat food, which encourages them to learn things quickly as a reward.
Food motivation for rabbits can be either any fruit or veggie that your rabbit likes the most or pellets, which should be given as a treat after completing the task.
Another thing required in the training course for a rabbit is a non-distracting area. You can section off the rabbit’s cage or pen so that your rabbit can stay focused.
However, if you have two or more rabbits, you should separate them. Try to avoid bringing them in front of each other in their training session so that they should focus adequately.
In addition, there should be a quiet area for your rabbit’s training course.
For the training course, you can use some items so that your rabbit can do its activities during the session, like tunnels, clickers, agility jumps, hoops, or boxes that you can easily buy from amazon.
Also read: My Rabbits Are Scared Of Me.
How to litter train a rabbit?
Litter training is the essential thing that needs to be followed by your rabbit after neutering or spaying when they reach 4 to 6 months because, at that moment, their hormones become active, and can be easily trained for it.
Also, litter training is a must because most of their poop and urine are left in one or a few specific locations of the house (usual corners) by your rabbit if not trained for litter.
This behavior not only creates a mess and day-to-day cleanness but also creates dirty smells and germs.
It is possible to litter train your rabbit, whether it is small or older.
However, it could be challenging to train a baby or younger rabbit compared to older rabbits because the attention span and aptitude for learning in a rabbit increase with age. Due to this, older ones are easier to train.
Before the litter training, you must ensure what type of litter you should use depending on your rabbit and whether it is available in your area.
Also, rabbits do nibble on it and spend most of their time in their litter, so it is essential to look for toxic and chemical-free litter so that it will not harm your rabbit.
In addition, do not use cat litter for your rabbit because it is made up of harmful chemicals that can even cause life-threatening problems.
Furthermore, the rabbits’ urine has a very strong and dirty odor, so it is essential to have a highly absorbent litter that can control the smell of the urine.
Also read: Why Is My Rabbit Lying In Its Litter Box?
So, here are some things required to litter train a rabbit:
1) Large litter box
Ensure that the litter box you are buying for your rabbit is large enough.
Small litter boxes for small animals or rabbits are too small because they are uncomfortable and can’t use by your rabbit correctly.
Instead, you can use a big cat-sized litter box that is large enough, depending on your rabbit’s size.
2) Safe litter
As mentioned above, rabbits always try to nibble or chew in the litter, so the litter must be chemical-free.
You can provide organic or natural litter, which can be made from recycled newspaper, alfalfa, compressed kiln-dried sawdust, wheat grass, or oats.
Although multiple varieties of litter are available in the market, do not use clay cat litter for your rabbit, as it contains harmful chemicals that can cause life-threatening problems.
Instead, Carefresh pet bedding, made of softwood pulp and excellent at absorbing urine, can be used as rabbit litter and is readily available on Amazon. However, the same company sells Carefresh white pet bedding if you want paper-based litter.
3) Fresh grass hay
After putting in the litter as a bottom bedding, layer it with fresh grass hay, so your rabbit does not have direct contact with it. Rabbits usually eat and poop or pee on the same spot.
Also, hay is rabbits’ staple food, containing at least 80% of their diet. As a result, you should fill the litter box with hay because your rabbit will spend a lot of time there.
4) Cleaning and changing the litter box
You must change and clean the litter box every two days; however, if you have two or more rabbits, you should change it accordingly.
Also, the litter box should be changed when it smells terrible and becomes too full of pellets and urine. In addition, if the rabbit produces too many pellets or urine, changing it once a day is advisable when the litter absorbs all its urine.
Once your rabbit develops a habit of using the litter box, you should always leave a small amount of used litter in the box when you change it so that your rabbit will not get anxious with new litter and assume its litter with the smell of old used litter.
Additionally, avoid trying to punish your rabbit if they unintentionally poop or pee outside the litter box. Instead, please clean it up with water and vinegar solution and then pet and reward your rabbit for being well-behaved.
When rabbits frequently choose another location for peeing and pooping, they may be trying to communicate with you that this is where they want to go.
As a result, you can place the litter box in that spot or corner where your rabbit is peeing and pooping. Corner litter boxes are best to use inside your rabbit’s enclosure or cage, which is available on amazon.
However, if your rabbit is spraying its pee and pooping everywhere in your house, then this means they are marking its territories. For that, you should neuter or spay your rabbit to prevent this type of behavior.
Things to consider while selecting a litter box:
- Avoid using clay-based litter because it may result in respiratory problems or even life-threatening issues if consumed by your rabbit.
- Your rabbit’s litter box shouldn’t contain cat litter. Clay cat litter contains toxic chemicals, which can be extremely dangerous for rabbits.
- Do not clean litter boxes with chemicals. Instead, you can clean it up with hot water only.
- Avoid using pine, cedar, or other softwoods for your rabbit’s litter box because they contain toxins called phenols that can harm the liver and cause respiratory problems.
6 Tricks to teach your rabbit.
Rabbits are very clever creatures. They can understand various skills, including recognizing hand and verbal cues.
However, every rabbit is different. Some of them may easily understand these tricks, while others may not and require more time and patience. For that, it is essential to be gentle towards your rabbit.
Before starting with any tricks to teach your rabbit, you should have something that motivates your rabbit to do it, such as food motivation. Select your rabbit’s favorite treat or veggie as food motivation and reward after completing the task.
- The first thing you need to use to teach tricks to your rabbit is conditioning, which means positive reinforcement and repetition. In this technique, you will need to repeat your actions until your rabbit understands them, and then you will have to give them their preferred treat as a reward.
- Secondly, you must pick out their favorite treat you will need to use as a reward when your rabbit completes its given task. For treats, you use goji berries, bananas, papaya, strawberries, or veggies that your rabbit likes, or you can give dried treats, which are organic and natural for your rabbit. However, it is essential to serve treats in moderation in small quantities to your rabbit. Also, do not use dried fruit treats because it is high in sugar and can cause health issues.
- Thirdly, pick an essential word to use when training your rabbit and be consistent with it. For example, you should follow the same motion, same inflection, the same tone and need to stick to a particular word so that your rabbit will recognize it quickly and complete its task accordingly. If you change the wording every time, your rabbit will not be able to get it.
- Fourthly, paying attention to your pitch and inflection while commanding your rabbit is essential. You can swoop up the word with the rise so that your rabbit understands it quickly.
- Now the final step is training. Naturally, you’ll need to be very close to your rabbit to say the word or the phrase and immediately give them the treat afterward.
While your rabbit is learning its tricks for a week, you should practice one of them daily. Then, once they become habitual with it, practice it once a week to be a gentle reminder.
So, here are some tricks that you can teach your rabbit:
To make your rabbit come up on the surface of a bed, couch, or sofa, you require a treat and put it in front of your rabbit’s nose and make them notice it, making them lead to follow it and then finally move the treat to the top of the place where you want them to hop.
In addition, if you want your rabbit to jump on the couch, bed, or sofa, you must tap the above surface so that it comes up.
Then, give your rabbit some treats as a reward whenever your rabbit hops up on the surface.
You can call your rabbit to come with the help of a treat. For that, you need to have a close distance between you and your rabbit and feed them small amounts for a treat, and then eventually practice this process by making a little distance every day.
You can tap the surface of the floor to make a signal so that your rabbit recognizes the vibration and comes towards you for the food.
Once your rabbit comes towards you, reward them by giving their favorite treat.
Spinning your rabbit can be very easy by just putting their favorite treat in front of their nose so they can recognize it, and then you can chase them around it.
So place your treat in front of your rabbit, draw their attention to it, and then spin it slowly around them. After that, feed your rabbit as soon as they complete the trick.
It takes a lot of trust for your rabbit to expose its underbelly while placing its paws on your hands.
To start this task, ask them to stand on their hind legs while holding their treats in the air and give them their treat. In addition, to get your rabbit to stand, place the treat over its nose.
Keep quiet, take the treats, wait for them to come up, and then grab your rabbit’s front paws.
Due to this, your rabbit can freak out on the first attempt. But, at that moment, you should give them a break and try again.
Once the rabbit understands to stand up and allows you to touch its front paws once you’ve gotten used to it, then you can start letting them do it on their own.
After teaching perch, it would be easy to treat the high five trick to your rabbit because they already know to stand up and put their paws on your hands.
It is similar to a perch, but the angle of the hands will be different, and it can be a little bit higher than perch.
Your rabbit can begin practicing high fives once it has perched down and is comfortable placing its front paws on your hands.
You can place or grab the treat between your fingers ( ensure that your rabbit does not nip on your finger), raise your hand in front rabbit, and say a high five. In addition, a little higher than your rabbit’s face, hold your hand in front of them.
To make your rabbit kisses you, you may require a special treat that your rabbit loves the most.
Give treats to your rabbit in small quantities, like one tablespoon once a day, depending on its size.
To begin this trick, you need to make your rabbit stand on their hind legs by placing its treats higher so that they try to reach it, then bring your face in front of the treat and hide the treat in your hand.
At that moment, your rabbit will naturally begin to search the area for the missing treat.
Then, when your rabbit reaches towards your mouth, give them a gentle kiss, and feed its treat as a reward.
- If you want to train a rabbit, you might need a large dog pen where they can quickly and comfortably perform their exercises and activities.
- Every session of the training program should include enjoyable activities for the rabbit.
- Rabbits learn when playing and receiving treats during the training session.
- A large pen, quiet area, treats, or some training items are required to train a rabbit.
- If you have two or more rabbits, you should section off their cage or pen so your rabbit can stay focused.