If you’ve ever wondered whether you can teach your rabbits tricks, the answer is yes. They are smart and love to learn through play – and get rewarded with treats.
With patience, your bunny can be trained to run agility courses, fetch, jump, and spin on cue. And our head nurse Emma suggests that training rabbits to hop on to scales or sit still for nail trimmings makes them even easier to care for.
Here are a few hints on rabbit training, but if you have more questions why not contact us?
Teach your rabbit tricks
To begin training your rabbit, teach them to target, or place their nose on a fixed point. Use a small stick with a tiny ball on one end. Show it to the rabbit and when they touch their nose to the ball, give them a treat. For many rabbits, curiosity is enough to get them interested in the ball. If your pet needs more incentive, rub some of their favourite treat on the ball.
Once your rabbit starts seeking out the ball, you can spin it slowly over their head to get them to turn in circles, or lift it in the air and reward your rabbit if they jump. Once they’ve discovered that they get treated for their actions, you can remove the stick.
To get your rabbit to jump up on to furniture, start by holding a treat on the sofa where they can just reach it by standing on their hind legs with front paws on the sofa cushions. Pat the cushions with your other hand and even if they don’t jump up give them the treat so they associate it with the couch.
Once your rabbit starts responding hold the treat further back so they need to really reach to get it. Eventually they’ll get that they need to jump for the treat.
This is a trick that will impress your friends, says Emma. When your pet has all four feet on the floor hold a treat over their head and say: “Sit up.” Once they sit up to reach the treat, let them have it along with plenty of verbal praise. Your rabbit will soon be posing on command.
For any rabbit-related questions, call our team on 01527 889810.