Rabbit Behavioural Problems

Behavioural Problems
In both companion and laboratory rabbits individual housing, a barren environment and a concentrated, low fibre diet can lead to behavioural problems such as stereotypic behaviour and aggression. Normal territorial behaviour, especially in does on reaching sexual maturity, can manifest as cage guarding and biting when approached. Aggression can also be a learned behaviour and a common cause is incorrect handling–the rabbit that is picked up in an insecure manner rapidly learns that if it bites the handler it will be put down. Pain is another important cause of aggression, especially in a previously tractable animal. Many behaviours seen as problems by the owner are in fact normal, such as digging, chewing and territorial marking with urine. Advice for behavioural problems is increasingly sought by rabbit owners from both veterinary surgeons and animal behaviour counsellors