Dutch Rabbit - Chocolate

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Q: How many rabbits should I get?
A: I highly recommend you only get one rabbit. A solitary rabbit has you and your entire family for companionship. One rabbit will be more affectionate towards you than a pair living together. If you get two rabbits the results can be disastrous. Rabbits are very territorial, and everything revolves around sex when another rabbit is around. If you have two males together they will fight voraciously, often to the death, to protect their territory. If you have a two females together, they will fight voraciously to protect their territory, often to the death as well. A male and a female will only be interested in each other for sex. The male will constantly mount and harass the female, often this is against the females desire, she may sometimes react violently to this resulting in severe injury to the male. Your best chance of success for a bonded pair of pet rabbits is with two rabbits of the same sex who are litter mates who have been together all of their lives. However even the happiest of litter mates can sometimes just turn on each other. There are exceptions to the rules where two rabbits can get along, however these are the exceptions. All of our rabbits live in separate cages for a reason, for their own safety.

Q: Can rabbits be litter box trained?
A: Yes, rabbits can be litter box trained with relative ease. Rabbits instinctively go to the toilet in the same place in the wild, so you can use this natural behavior to train your rabbit. We recommend you purchase a triangular corner litter box tray designed for rabbits. They have high backs to prevent your rabbit from peeing against your walls, and flicking litter all over them as well. To begin training your rabbit to use the litter tray, place the litter tray in a corner, if your rabbit already uses a particular corner place the tray there, you can always move it later. Fill the litter tray with paper based cat litter (your rabbit may eat the litter and the synthetic and stone litters are unsuitable to a rabbits tummy). Place soiled bedding and droppings in the litter tray, and introduce your rabbit to the litter tray. I always place my rabbit in the litter tray first when putting him down in the house. Your rabbit will soon learn from the smell of his soiled bedding and droppings that this is his space. Encourage your rabbit to spend time in the litter tray by giving him treats inside the litter tray, this will make it a fun place to be. If you see your rabbit using the litter tray give him a really special treat, whatever his favourite food is. If you are holding your rabbit and he becomes restless, or if your pet rabbit raises his tail, he may be just about to urinate. Try to be sensitive to the signals your rabbit is giving you and place him gently and calmly in his litterbox. Expect a few dry, nearly odorless droppings from time to time no matter how well litter trained your rabbit is.

Q: Can I have a rabbit in Queensland?
A: No, Queensland state law currently prevents Queensland residents from keeping a rabbit, and heavy fines are in place for those that do. If you are a Queensland resident and want this changed write a letter or contact your local Queensland Legislative Assembly Member.

Q: How long do rabbits live for?
A: Domesticated Rabbits live for an average of 6-8 years and can live as long as 12-18 years. When accepting responsibility for a rabbit be aware you are committing to a long term relationship.

Q: What sex makes a better pet?
A: Males (bucks) in general make for the better pet, as they are more attentive and affectionate towards you, and a usually easier to handle. Our males are always the first ones to greet us and are always keen to be picked up and handled. Spayed females (does) are also excellent pets. Non-spayed females can make good pets as well although there is a chance they will become aggressive when they want to be mated.

Q: Should I desex my rabbit?
A: Yes, we always recommend that you do. It generally eliminates all undesired sexual behaviors, such as aggressive/defensive behavior, spraying, mounting etc. Desexing your pet rabbit is a responsible decision, your rabbit and you will have a better relationship because of it, and it will help to longer your rabbits life.

Q: Do males spray?
A: Yes, male rabbits do spray, however it is only a problem with males who are housed near females. Getting your male neutered will generally alleviate any problem.

Q: Do rabbits smell?
A: As with any animal, they can smell when left with a dirty cage. Regular cage cleaning keeps your rabbit smelling fresh and clean.

Q: Can I keep my rabbit outside?
A: Yes you can, just stick to some basic rules. Make sure they are sheltered, well ventilated and protected from the hot summer heat. The cold doesn't effect a rabbit as much as you or I, remember they have a thick fur coat on all the time.

Q: Why has my rabbit pulled her fur out?
A: Female rabbits pull their fur out anywhere between a few week or a few minutes before they are due to give birth. They pull their fur out from under their chest to build a warm and soft nest for their expected babies. It doesn't hurt as their body produces a hormone to make the hair loose. Sometimes however a female will pull her fur out when suffering from a phantom pregnancy. A phantom pregnancy is is where she thinks she is pregnant when she is fact not. If your rabbit is having phantom pregnancies, it may be an idea to get her desexed to help stop the hormones producing this behavior.

Q: What is the best breed for children?
A: Unfortunately contrary to fashion, the medium & larger breeds often make the best pets. We recommend Dutch Rabbits for younger children, and most breeders will agree that Dutch are ideally suited. The reason for this is largely due to a Dutch rabbit’s laidback temperament, and willingness to tolerate poor handling by the child. Dutch rabbits are also not too large that a child cannot hold them. Dutch rabbits also quickly develop a bond with children, making for a better relationship between child and pet. Other breeds we recommend for children are Dutch, Dwarf Lop, English Spot, Smoke Pearl, Tan, and Tri-Dutch. Remember every rabbit has an individual personality, so these recommendations are only guidelines. The best way to tell the temperament of a baby rabbit is to meet its parents.

Q: Should I buy from Pet Shop or Breeder?
A: A Registered Breeder & Exhibitor is always the best and safest choice. A Registered Breeder knows their rabbit breeds inside out and can answer all your questions. They can show you adult rabbits in that breed, so you tell what the little bunny will be like in 6 months time. Purebred rabbits also have far fewer genetic faults and illnesses than crossbreeds. Many breeders are also more than happy for you to bring your bunny back and get its nails cut, free of charge. Buying from a Pet Store is fraught with danger. You never know what you are buying from a pet store, as they often lie about a rabbits breed or are lied to when they get the stock. Most pet shop rabbits come from unregistered backyard breeders who often cross breed. Crossbred rabbits often have genetic faults and are often of poorer health. They cannot guarantee what the rabbit will like when it is an adult or the temperament of the rabbit. Also many pet shops will only accept rabbits below 6 weeks of age even though it is illegal. A rabbit cannot be separated from its mother before 8 weeks of age as they have not finished weaning. Many rabbits sold underage to pet shops die shortly after being taken home from the pet shop. A Registered Breeder of rabbits rarely has any stock to sell to a pet shop due to the high demand for their quality rabbits. So it is unlikely the rabbit in the pet shop has come from a Registered Breeder.

Alternatively their are many rabbits that need rescuing from local shelter, when rescuing a rabbit keep in mind its temperament. many rescue rabbits have not had the attention they needed, as such they can be hard to handle.

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Blue Mountains - Sydney - NSW - Australia
| Site last updated: May 25, 2009 |
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