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Why Some Rabbits Love Cuddles and Others Don't


Photo by SimonaR



As any bunny owner knows, rabbits have unique personalities when it comes to being picked up and held. Some rabbits will snuggle right into your arms and happily soak up the cuddles. Others will squirm and struggle if you attempt to lift them up. What explains this difference in rabbits' attitudes toward being held? There are a few key factors.


Breed Temperament


Some rabbit breeds are more predisposed to tolerating or even enjoying human handling. Breeds like the Rex, Havana, and Mini Lop are typically more laidback and comfortable being held. Active breeds like the Dutch or Dwarf rabbits tend to prefer their independence. But individual personality plays a role too!


Socialization

Early and frequent positive experiences with handling help rabbits become comfortable being picked up. Bunnies that have been well-socialized from a young age, with patient training and bonding, are more likely to snuggle into your arms without protest. Proper socialization prevents them from seeing handling as scary.


Trust

Does your rabbit fully trust you and feel safe in your arms? Rabbits that don't yet view you as a trusted source of safety may become frightened when lifted up. Building secure trust and bonding is crucial for rabbits to relax when being held. This takes time, but creates a rabbit more willing to be cuddled.


Security


Self-assured rabbits that feel secure and supported when held are less likely to struggle. Using a supportive baby hold with their feet and hips properly supported gives them confidence during handling. Shaky, unstable handling can cause a rabbit to feel unsafe and wiggle to get down.



Preference


Some rabbits simply prefer staying grounded and don't enjoy elevated views! They feel happiest and calmest with all four paws on the floor. Respect your individual rabbit's personality quirks. If they consistently resist being held, accommodate their preference with gentle floor playtime

instead.



History


Past negative experiences can make rabbits averse to being picked up. Rabbits that have been dropped, held tightly, or improperly restrained may associate being held with fear. Recondition them with positive handling routines and rewards.



Territorialism


The territory outside their enclosure may seem alarming to some rabbits. Being lifted out of their familiar space can cause unease. Make handling transitions gradual and keep sessions brief.


Disclaimer: We are not professional veterinarians or medical doctors. We created this blog based on our experiences with pet rabbits, volunteered hours in the rabbit shelter, extensive pet product research, and experienced peers. The purpose of this blog is to provide information about properly taking care of rabbits. Please know that it is still best to visit the vet regularly. For medical emergencies, contact a rabbit-savvy vet. Always observe your rabbits around new products or environmental changes.



Final Thoughts


At the end of the day, understanding your individual rabbit's personality and needs is key to creating a snuggly bunny. With trust, training and respect, you can build a rabbit that relishes cuddle time in your arms - but don't force it if they'd rather have their paws on the ground!



Read more bunny blogs at www.hoppscotchbun.com!

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