Teach your rabbit to sit on your lap

Rabbits are such adorable and affectionate pets, but it can take a while before they trust people. Before you start teaching your bunny to sit on your lap, you first have to gain his trust, and you will need to be patient with him.

Building trust

Slowly but surely, your rabbit will learn to trust you, if you spend lots of time with him. During these special times, don’t force him to do anything, rather lure him with something that all animals love – food. By using his favourite treats, you can gain his trust over time.

Next step

Even though your rabbit might trust you, chances are that he won’t jump onto your lap by himself. Most rabbits need to learn this, as it is not part of their natural behaviour. A younger rabbit might take a little longer to learn new things, as he might get easily distracted. And the more active he is, the more patience you’ll need to teach him the new skill.

Treats as rewards

To lure your rabbit onto your lap, you need tiny bits of treats close by. Use food that he loves, and take the number of treats into consideration when you calculate his daily food allowance. Keep in mind that carrots have high levels of sugar, and too many sugary foods are not good for his digestive system.

Sitting on your lap

Step 1 Sit as close as possible to your bunny. Lure his front paws onto your lap by holding a small treat where he can see and smell it. Hold the treat in such a way that he has to get his front paws onto your lap to get to it. Give him the treat when his paws touch your lap. Repeat this step often, so that he gets used to you and the action.

Step 2 Once your rabbit touches your lap with his front paws, lure him further onto your lap, so that he has to stretch further to get to the treat. Give him the treat. Gradually increase the distance that he has to stretch before he gets the treat. Repeat this step often to build his trust more.

Step 3 Move the treat even further away from your rabbit, so that he has to hop onto your lap to reach it. Give him the treat. Your rabbit will learn that hopping onto your lap means getting a treat.

Take note

Never force your rabbit to do anything that he doesn’t want to do – you’ll more likely scare him away than getting what you wanted. If you rabbit hops away from you and the treat, let him go. He might be too tired or scared. Or he might have lost interest in the training session. Keep the training sessions short, and preferably teach him before a meal, so that he’s hungry enough to want the treat.

 

 

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