Step by step guide to bonding rabbits:
Thumper and Topaz
Thumper is a female dwarf rabbit. Thumper was adopted from a shelter at 6 months old.
Topaz is a hand reared female baby rabbit. At the time of the initial meeting, Topaz was 6 weeks old and Thumper was 2 years old.
We decided to bond Thumper with a baby rabbit because Thumper is very timid and tends to run away from other rabbits. Thumper does not stand her ground, and we felt that she needed a non threatening companion to be happy.
Thumper went to Topaz's home to see if the two would be a good match. Two females are not usually easy to bond, but as Thumper is such a timid, non aggressive rabbit, there shouldn't be any problems.
We used the bathroom as a meeting place, as neither Thumper nor Topaz had never been in the bathroom before. This meant we had neutral territory.
After many "almost" touches, Topaz gains the courage to sniff Thumper. Thumper's ears are forward. If her ears were held back flat against her head, it would mean that Thumper is in attack mode.
Thumper's ears are forward, indicating that she is interested in what is in front of her.
Topaz continues to sniff. Thumper is not bothered. Topaz moves a little closer
Thumper decides to lick Topaz. Grooming and licking are a sign of affection.
Thumper turns to sniff Topaz. Topaz exhibits the submissive position. head down on the ground, and ears gently resting on her body.
Thumper finishes sniffing, and Topaz sniffs at her big friend.
After a few sniffs of each other, and a bit of exploring the bathroom, Topaz shows how happy she is to have a new friend, and she flops next to Thumper.
This shows the sizes of the rabbits. Thumper looks quite big, but she only weighs 1.8kg
This initial meeting was declared a success, and when Topaz is weaned from her milk feeds, she will move in with Thumper. They will need to be introduced again in a supervised neutral territory, as the next introduction will be at Thumper's home.
To Page Two of the Bonding Guide