Tag Archives: clicker training

Dallas Developments: Day #8

26 May

It’s been just over a week, and Dallas is definitely a different bunny than when he arrived. He’s far more settled, he’s harder to spook, and he’s more curious about his environment (which has its positives and negatives, if I’m being honest.) He’s got the clicker all figured out, and he’s responding well to the behavior modification. There are some things he’s still working on, but it’s been a good past few days for him.

image

An action shot, as he scales my legs to explore the rest of his pen.

It hasn’t been such a good few days for Hatter, however. My goofy little Rex has always happily played the little-brother to his bond Alice’s schemes. He’s the one who gets caught, but gets away with whatever he’s doing with an adorably innocent pose. He’s sweeter than Alice, who is often too busy to stop for mere affection.

Recently, though, he’s decided that he does not approve of Dallas. He’s been marking outside of Dallas’s bedroom whenever he’s out of his pen, and he’s even chased Alice away from the door a few times. He can’t reach Dallas, but they’ll snort at each other if they catch sight of each other through the 3-fence deep barrier. This has meant some restricted play time for Hatter and Alice, as well as more time with the bedroom door closed for Dallas.

If he were a human, I’d say Hatter is suffering from Middle Child Syndrome. Since he’s a rabbit, he’s being territorial, and honestly, a bit of a brat. I rearranged his and Alice’s pen to put their litter box near the front. That’s cut way down on the marking. I also make sure Dallas’s door is closed whenever the Dastardly Duo are out. There’s now a tenuous peace in the house, and all bunnies are happier.

All of this hasn’t impacted Dallas’s training. In fact, it’s brought to light an interesting personality trait: Dallas WANTS to be around people. Whenever his door is opened now, he’ll run right over if he’s not already waiting by it. He doesn’t grunt at anyone entering the room anymore, but he will demand to investigate shoes. He does get testy if those shoes step onto his blankets, however. Petting is more likely to be tolerated, but he’ll let you know when he’s had enough with a grunt and a quick but deliberate hop away. There hasn’t been a Dallas Dash in days.

If it’s been a few hours since he’s seen anyone, his reaction is more excited. He even threw a binky this morning when I arrived with breakfast. Below is a video of him running over to me this afternoon.  Please excuse the baby voice- that’s my own behavior modification project.

We’re still working on some territorial issues, and he’s still guarding his food pretty intently. He’ll take a treat from my hand about half the time, but he immediately runs off with it all of the time.

His biggest test is coming tomorrow. I’m leaving for a week for a family vacation. A good friend of mine, who is a vet tech, is staying at the house with the Terrible Trio. She had a good introduction to Dallas last night. He investigated her shoes, and then spent quite a bit of time inspecting her scrubs while she sat on the floor with him. She’ll keep up the clicker training and stick to his usual routine. I’m hoping that his new social behaviors hold up while I’m gone. If he can adapt to having a new person around easily, it’ll be a huge leap forward for his adoptability.

I’ll post an update next week based on her reports. I’ll also post any photos she sends me on my Instagram: @zombiesandbunnies. Until then, fingers crossed that the Dallas Developments stay as developments.

%d bloggers like this: