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Holland Lop destroying house

22 10:02:58


Hi, I have a female Holland Lop who is approx. 1.5 years and is fixed.  Bunz is a house rabbit and is litter trained.  Everything was fine for a while and this has been working out great.  Recently, Bunz has become a terror, so much that we had to bring back out her cage and give her "time outs".  Bunz constantly rips up the carpet and chews everything in sight.  She has chew toys, but seems uninterested in them and the carpet seems much more appealing to her.  When we "punish' bunz for being bad she goes into a child like tantrum and will throw anything around in sight.  She is not affectionate, but sometimes will allow her head to be scratched.  What can we do to enjoy our rabbit again and let her be her happiest as a house rabbit without our house being destroyed?

Dear Krista,

Your Little Horror is showing signs of being an Alpha bunny, and I'm afraid Holland lops often have this type of strong, dominant personality.  You can't punish a bunny.  That will only make things worse.  Unlike dogs, rabbits have no innate desire to please humans, and if you punish her (especially physically!) for doing "bad" things that seem natural to her (chewing, digging, etc.), she will just begin to see you as a hostile force (and possibly insane, since you're telling her not to do the things a rabbit naturally wants to do.

This web site has some very good information for training your bunny not to do these objectionable behaviors.

But also note that she's pretty much at the "terrible teens" age when--spayed or not--many animals (cats, dogs, rabbits, humans) will begin to "act out" and become moody and sometimes aggressive.  This will pass.  But you need to understand why she's doing this, and give her the benefit of the doubt.  Praise her for good behavior.  When she "misbehaves," be very gentle about correction, and make it seem like a fun game to her, rather than you trying to be dominant.  That usually just backfires with a rabbit.

You can also find some good tips on "bunny proofing" some of your most vulnerable belongings here:

until she starts to calm down and understand that she can't mess with certain things.  Providing her with clean, cardboard boxes (glue them into their shape; no tape or staples!) with "in" and "out" holes cut in the sides can provide a fun, long-lasting project for her, and you can find more ideas for toys to distract her here:

I hope some of this helps.