My 3 yr. old son loves rabbits and would really like to have one of his own. Does anyone know what the best, most gentle rabbit breed would be for a young child? We have looked at lops, dwarfs, and mini rex breeds at the pet store. We have no idea which breed is best. Also is one breed of rabbits easier to litter train than another? Does litter training really work? Thanks in advance for any rabbit advice.
I don't know about specific breeds...but just keep in mind one thing: Most rabbits tend to kick when you pick them up. They stop once you're holding them against you. But it's just their instinct. They can scratch when they do it, so you just have to be careful when it comes to kids. They may get startled and throw the rabbit just as a reaction to being scratched. I suggest that whatever breed you get, make sure you get one that has been handled a lot, and is used to being picked up. This will be the best type to get for your son! Good luck!
P.S. I tend to like the Miniture Rex. They're sooooo soft! :)
Generally, rabbits are not good pets for small children. Most rabbits are
afraid of children, and handling them must be done by adults usually.
You can litter train any rabbit although the odd one just simply will not.
A good breed for those who insist on rabbits for children are larger, lop eared
rabbits. Smaller, dwarf rabbits are typically more skittish and defensive, and
rabbits get sick and can even die from fright and stress. If you have a stressed
rabbit(s) you will likely be at the Vet often. Not fair for the rabbit.
For more information always visit the HRS, House Rabbit Society for decent
and appropriate information and care.
Thank you so much for the rabbit advice. So far we have not purchased any rabbits. I think we are going to wait a few more years until our son is a little older and can help more with the care of the rabbit. Thanks again for the information.
i have had rabbits for many years. my two older children (grown up) are allergic to many things, they are claiming to be allergic to the two i have at the moment. only one is in the house the other has its hutch outside. i would like to have the other out too. to add to this i have two cats in the house. the strange thing is i have never pestered any one to have the pets. the latest rabbit was bought by my youngest with her own money after the death of her favorite bunny. she begged to get the cats i agreed to get rid of a rodent problem we had at the time. now im the baddy for having so many pets.
i have just brought a dwarf lopeared rabbit, and he is so placid and hasnt once bitten or scratched, i also have A 16 month old daughter, and he isant bothered by her, im just wondering how to best train them to go to the toilet, coz he is a house rabbit, and we do have difficulty catching him, when its time to put him back into the cage, any help with that one, would be grateful.
frootbar is right, rabbits generally arent good with kids for various reasons. You cant really put a certain characteristic to a breed. I have met dwarfs that have spunk and also that are laid back, even more so than the checkered giant that I have right now. My checkered giant jumps and leaps and does all kinds of fast paced movements, more so than my old dwarf did. Best thing to do is to go to your HRS in your state, contact by email first, probably. Play with the bunnies. Get to know their past and how they react with children and other animals, since you have cats. See how they react to the child. And how he reacts to them. If his first instinct is to grab by the ears and run, then you might have a problem. Definitely dont go buy one from a pet store.
Lizidot, keep the rabbit in a smaller area until he learns to use the litter pan. It sounds like he has too much freedom and not enough litter pans. Put hay in the pan also, they love to munch and poop at the same time. Also, if you have tile or linoleum floors, put the bunny there until you get him trained. Much easier to clean up. And just something to think about, if you havnt had it altered yet, its going to be near impossible to train him properly. He is still in "mark territory" mode. He also will have a better temperment after getting him altered.
I've had my Dwarf lop rabbit for over half a year now. Vets usually reccomend a partner for a lone rabbit, but my vet says shes doing just fine on her own and should consider a friend/partner in the future, so bare this in mind, They come in twos as they can get lonely!
Like all the above comments, rabbits will always kick out when being handled, as rabbits are not used to being picked up naturally, although baby rabbits (maybe up to around 3 Months) are alot calmer, as they get used to their surroundings, they tend to be more tolerant of handling.
Another reccomendation is neutering or spaying of your rabbit. Although this seems cruel, female rabbits are very prone to uterine cancer, and therefor having HER neutered works best in the long run in avoiding pain and mainly death. This in turn alters the attitude and behaviour of your rabbit, and they are well known for being more relaxed and laid back after Neutering.
I have an American Fuzzy Lop who is just over 17 weeks old. She's not too fond of being picked up, and I've heard that many rabbits are like that. We potty trained her in about 3 days when she was 10-11 weeks old (right after we got her). It really does work, as silly as it may sound. She stays in a cage to sleep and when no one's home, so that's where her food, litter box, etc is. We read that you're supposed to put her other stuff (food, water bottle, hay, etc) around in the other corners, and in the last available corner, put the litter box. This is because she doesn't want to potty by her food or water. Then we scooped up some of her poop when we were cleaning and put it in her box (so her scent was there). She discovered the smell and sniffed around some more. With each day, she got better and better with going potty in there instead of her cage floor. Now, she knows to go in her litter box even when she's roaming freely around the whole house. It just takes patience. Luckily, bunny poop is super easy to clean up (something a small child could do if he knew to hold it in a tissue, haha).
Good luck :)
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