Having a rabbit that responds to your commands is quite impressive, however, how to train a rabbit to come when called is a question that puzzles most. First and foremost, you need to create a bond with your pet and repetitively reward them when they respond to their name or your command. Since rabbits are easy to train, with a little persistence and patience, they’ll eventually respond when called. Below are the various ways of how to train a rabbit to come when called.
Step 1: Gaining your rabbit’s trust
The first step is to build trust with your bunny. Spending time with them creates a bond and also makes the training process easier. Try to spend at least half an hour each day with your pet to get well acquainted. Also, ensure that your rabbit has a healthy diet and is living in a safe and stress-free environment. Below are some of the best approaches when it comes to building trust with your pets.
Sit quietly near your rabbit
Gaining trust is letting a rabbit get used to the idea that you mean no harm to them. In your free time, sit in a position that allows a rabbit to approach you when they want to and retreat when they feel like it.
Eventually, with time, they’ll get used to your company and out of curiosity will occasionally come to you. Make spending time with your bunnies a routine if you want to build more trust before training commences.
Give your rabbit treats
The other way of building trust with your bunny is to give them treats when they come to you. In other words, treats are a reward for their bravery to try and interact especially if they’re newly adopted rabbits. Providing your pet with their favorite treats such as fruits or veggies also makes them see you as a friend and less of a threat.
Step 2: Bonding
After building trust the next and final step before training is to create a bond with your rabbit. For starters, when interacting with your pet, earlier on, avoid trying to pick them up or chasing after them. Since rabbits are naturally prey animals, they easily get startled by loud noises or fast movements. As a result, be gentle when handling these fragile animals. Never try to force an interaction, let bonding come naturally to prevent them from being afraid of you. Lastly, make sure that a rabbit’s environment is conducive and has fewer destructions during bonding time.
Step 3: Training your rabbit
How to train a rabbit to come when called becomes much easier when you build trust and create a strong bond. You need to consistently devote 5 to 10 minutes of your day if you want to succeed with the training session. In order for the training to be effective, it takes roughly a month. However, it depends on your effort and how fast your rabbit can learn.
Call your rabbit’s name then give them a treat
The first step is pretty simple; all you have to do is call your rabbit’s name before handing them a treat. The trick is to associate your command or your bunny’s name with their favorite treat. When calling your pet, try using short words with the same tone, remember consistency is key.
Call your rabbit’s name a short distance away
For the first few weeks, keep the distance shorter and gradually move further away or to the next room when calling your rabbit. The key is to call your pet from different locations before you reward them. This enables your bunny to come to you when called regardless of where you are.
There are times when your bunnies won’t respond when you call them or will pause to try and figure out a command. This is perfectly normal, under such circumstances, repeat calling their name and if they’re still non-responsive, move closer to them and start all over. After a couple of weeks of being persistent, your rabbit will definitely have a clue and will respond nearly every time you call them.
Replace treats with petting
Finally, after your rabbit learns how to respond when it’s called, replace the treats with petting, toys, or verbal praises. However, occasionally provide a bunny with treats to keep it responsive over time. Another reason why you need to replace sugary treats with other forms of reward is simple, excessive treats such as carrots or fruit often lead to health problems in the long run.
How long can a rabbit remember its name?
Rabbits are smart animals with very good memory. They can recall their names up to a year after the initial training. In other words, a rabbit is able to remember not only its name but other commands or tricks they’re taught as well. However, practice usually makes perfect, the more consistent you are at training them, the better their memory retention.
How to train a rabbit to come when called is important not only when you want to interact with them, but also when they’re in a restricted or unwanted location in the house. Having said that, try to avoid carrying or catching your rabbits after they come to you when you call. In other words, they’ll associate their name with being in a vulnerable state or situation, something that can make them totally unresponsive when called with time.