Meal times for Tyler and Sydney have become an intensive training session. Since they are free roaming the Spots think it is easier and more natural to run away from a person rather than be friendly, and I can see their point in terms of "rabbit think". I consulted Rabbit Haven a couple times as regards their behavior and was pleasantly assured that these things take time and that Tyler and Sydney were raised as snuggle buns.
Tyler demonstrates 2 paws on.
Indeed at the adoption show Tyler was a total snuggle bun. I was advised to pick them up a lot, but if you can't catch them this doesn't work. I tried putting them in a closed pen, but feared they would hurt their teeth with the break out attempts they immediately demonstrated. This is fear grounded in reality, I did have a rabbit who got her teeth caught in a Xpen and very nearly died from the resulting injury. Being able to handle my Spots without major trauma seems important for nail trimming, grooming. trips to the vet and such, not just my selfish need to hold a rabbit.
Sydney shows 2 paws on with a stretch and says where is my nose?
I tried Clicker training, but Sydney was scared of the sound. Feeding in their open pen and hand feed treats just didn't seem to be making much progress, so two weeks ago I started them on a new program. A hungry rabbit is a friendly rabbit, so I feed them a bit less and all food is hand fed, even pellets (unless I have to run out or something). Bunnies must demonstrate "paws on" to get some food and "four paws" on gets constant rewarding. Sometimes they have to push between my two hands held like an open clam shell to get the food.
Sydney with 2 paws and a nose
Some interesting results have occurred in two weeks. Tyler is very possessive about food and sometimes growls at Sydney. He also will no longer present himself to me for petting(oh well). He will come up on my lap with 4 paws and eat. Sydney comes out more frequently than before when she sees me on the floor and will sometimes sit nearby and groom herself. Sometimes she boycotts hand pellet feeding and sits by her red bowl letting me know she disapproves.
Tyler with 2 paws on shows his smudge nose