Monday, March 02, 2009

Monday Bunday: Training Update


I've made some adjustments in the Spots training program. For a while I had them jumping up on the couch, but became concerned that that was too much excitement for optimum digestion; it just didn't jibe with the precepts of Chinese Medicine with recommend quiet relaxation during meals. Now all training is done on the floor. With horses if you over train the animal will get "sour" and refuse to do what you ask it to. To avoid this I cut back and no longer intensively train at every meal. Now the twice a day pellet rations are fed in the pen, the only requirement is both rabbits have to let me give them a brief pet and touch their ears (remember ear touching is a bonding /your are sooooo dominant gesture). Tyler is good with this and often presents himself when he knows I'm coming with pellets, it is little harder for Sydney, but she is improving. Greens involve various numbers of  "paws on". Very occasionally I will get both rabbits in my lap munching away, more often they trade off perching on my leg and eating. Tyler is quite adept at this and Sydney will, after a bit of a warm up with two paws on, hop all the way on. Behavior outside of training includes Tyler demanding more pets and being more comfortable with me being close to him while this happens, as opposed to arm's length away. Sydney will come and see me if she suspects a treat may be involved and on finding there isn't will only retreat a  short distance, as opposed to simply running away in scorn. I think she is getting closer and closer to presenting herself for petting, but if Tyler is around she'll hop off; he is top bun. I must convince her that she, too, is top bun in my eyes.

Greens for Spots; both rabbits crowd into my lap to grab a bit of salad mix. Tyler pushes his way on first!

Lap feeding can get pretty crowded, but provides exciting and challenging photography conditions.

Here is Sydney having a good long perch and munch session. 


Tyler in perching pose, he seems quite comfortable.


This picture show why Tyler is sometimes known as "Mr. Whiskers" and sometimes as "Smudge Nose".

It is always Bunday in a Rabbit Centered Universe.

17 comments:

Fez and the Gang said...

It seems like they are learning to trust you!

Crafty Green Poet said...

they're adorable, sounds like they're making good progress too

furrybutts said...

I gotta agree with the rest.. 4 paws on, perched on your lap to eat (as opposed to running off with food to eat in another corner of the room) is great! The Spots are doing very well with their training!

PJ said...

"Please, sir. I want some more."
I couldn't resist those eyes or that nose, not evah.

bunnygirl said...

I love it! It's such a treat to gain a bunny's trust.

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

Hugs for them and Yes, I applause for the trainer for doing such a wonderful job.
Claps ! Claps ! Claps !

Rabbits' Guy said...

Gosh, getting them to "hop on pop" is quite an event I'ld say.

Those Spots will be a circus act soon! Time for Oprah!

M.Kate said...

haha...more rabbit centred universe, when I told my husband a few months ago that there are blogs dedicated to rabbits, he almost fell off the chair in disbelief. I love smudge nose..but secretly, I wish Sydney is here with me, just love those intense spots all over. Well, glad the training is getting better, I doubt if I could do it..I did forced my lop to sit by me watching telly when I was down on the butt/accident :D She didn't have a choice, poor bun. And, tks for the latest comment, I was feeling a bit down with all those work...tks to the worldwide credit crunch ;p Have a great week D and big hugs to my spots too..

Merlin, Willow and Sage said...

this is great idea I am going to try this with my little girls, they are very shy

Erin said...

Keep up the good work, Spots! I need to try this with Pumpkin. She is also terribly shy.

mrbarrington said...

Sounds like they are warming up... Very happy to hear it.

FrecklesandDeb said...

It sounds like the Spots have done a good job of training you! We're sure they planned to sit in your lap while they eat and have managed to make you think it is your idea! Way to go, Spots!!!

ilex said...

Ah dear buns, you're learning fast. Charm the hooman and maybe you'll get raisins!

Mary-Laure said...

This training update is really fun, and the bunnies are cute as ever.

thefluffies said...

I love Tyler's wishker and smudge nose!

Glenna said...

What wonderful closeups--I can just hear the snuffling now, and that real quick little lipsmack they do.

And, thanks. After your remark about watches to Rabbits' Guy, Pink wants to know why he doesn't have a watch.

RoadBunner said...

I admire your patience and persistence! Sounds like the three of you are making progress.

Smudge Nose! I LOVE that!