Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Essentials: Approach

How you approach a rabbit is more important than you might think. As we all know, rabbits are prey animals and this fact should guide you as you interact with your bunny. Accordingly, if your rabbit is relatively skittish, don't walk up to her too quickly. A big, dark object quickly coming at a bunny can be quite scary! Instead sit down on the floor (or get even smaller and lay down) and your curious rabbit will approach you. This is a much less threatening way to interact with your pet and leads to a stronger, more trusting bond.

Another thing to keep in mind is eyesight. Rabbits' eyes are located on the side of their heads, (evolutionarily, for a higher range of sight, to escape those predators!) so naturally they cannot see well right in front of them. You may have noticed your bunny tilting her head to the side when trying to see something in front of her; this is to compensate this blind spot. It's important to be aware of this challenge in visibility, so you don't scare your bunny by coming at her from the front. Rabbits can even react aggressively if they can't make out exactly what is in front of them, so teaching your children about this blind spot can help avoid an accidental scratch.
The best advice on approach is to move slowly, make yourself seem small, and to encourage your rabbit come to you instead of the other way around.


Bill Havice said...

For some further reading on rabbit vision that reiterates a lot of what you just said, there is a fascinating article entitled "What Do Rabbits See?" at the following link:

For instance, who knew that rabbits only blink 10 to 12 times an hour?

The Advocate said...

The article was really interesting. I love learning the scientific explanations of why rabbits behave the way they do- for instance the bobbing up and down to compensate for the small degree of 3-D vision. Thanks for the link!

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