Rabbits are some of the cutest and most loyal animals in the world, two factors which make these furry creatures a common member of animal-loving families. Aside from the physical beauty and loving traits, another factor which endears rabbit to people is its high potential to be house trained. Although harder to train compared to other commonly domesticated animals such as dogs and cats, rabbits can be taught a few commands and tricks provided that proper training methods are used.
The first thing to realize when starting the training process is always to practice unending patience and understanding. This is extremely vital due to the fact that there will be times when your pet will show an unwillingness to participate and follow your commands. During these moments, it is very important to exercise patience and not lose temper. Displaying anger, frustration, and negative emotions will only make your pet more uninterested with your commands and further lengthen the training process. In addition, during training, make sure to constantly remind your pet that you are the master and it must follow your commands.
Coming on Command
One of the most basic parts of any training program is teaching your pet to come to you whenever you call its name. This is actually an easy trick to master when you follow these steps properly:
The first step is to give your rabbit a name which you must constantly call it with. When it is already comfortable responding whenever you call it by the given name, ask it to come to you by using treats as bait. Place your pet in a corner opposite to yours and clearly say its name while holding the treat in your hand. After successfully coming to you on command, give the treat and do some back pats.
The next stop is to put more distance between you and the rabbit. Do the same steps but this time, if your pet successfully comes on your call, give additional treats or prizes. Practice these steps daily and add more and more distance as you progress with the training. Eventually, your pet will naturally follow you around and will come to you when called even without giving treats or prizes.
If you encounter some setbacks at the beginning stages, never lose hope and just continue doing these recommended steps. Examine other factors that can negatively affect your training program such as the name of your pet. Rabbits respond better to clear and short commands, which is why giving it a with a short and clear name is very important. If you think that your pet’s name is too long or confusing, try using a shorter nickname.
Litter Box Training
Rabbits are considered as very clean animals. But like all animals, they need to pee and poo, which is why litter box training is a must. Teaching this basic command is very important especially when you are keeping your pet friend inside the house. If not properly trained, your rabbit will naturally pee in many areas of your house especially the ones it frequently spends time with. This is a natural instinct of marking its territory which is a natural behavior in the wild.
The first step in potty training is to get several litter boxes and place them in areas frequented by your pet. Make sure to place them exactly on the spots that were marked by your pet as its territory. Eventually, your pet will pee or poo on one of the boxes.
The next step is to give a prize or treat immediately after seeing that your pet has successfully used a litter box. The key here is to give small treats or prizes during the initial stages of the training. Only increase or double the prize when your pet is able to use more than one litter box properly. Aside from prizes, positive reinforcements are also very important. Give high praises and back rubs after completing a task.
When your pet is slowly learning to use several litter boxes, start moving them nearer its cage. When done properly, your pet will follow the trail of the litter boxes until it learns to use a single box placed inside its cage.