Despite their docile and gentle personalities, rabbits love tricks and games. Since they are intelligent creatures, they like activities that will stimulate their minds. Also, it is a way of bonding with their owners. Playing with your pet will also help it to thrive socially. If you wonder what activities you can set for your bunny, below are the tricks and games to teach your rabbit.
Try these Tricks and Games to Teach Your Rabbit
Jump through Hoop
One of the tricks that you can teach your pet is jumping through a hoop. It is good exercise for a bunny that can strengthen its legs. Before you teach your bunny to do the trick, you may need a clicker, a target stick, and some treats. A clicker makes a consistent sound, signaling your pet that it did a great job. It is a positive reinforcement that will encourage the bunny to do its best.
On the other hand, a target stick motivates or lures the bunny to do a specific task. It commonly has a jingle bell at the end of the stick. Your bunny must recognize the target stick first. You can do it by pointing it in front of its nose and giving it treats every time it turns and looks at the stick. Move the stick in different directions until your bunny reaches for the stick. Don’t forget to give it some treats.
Once your bunny follows the target stick, you can begin the training. Let the bunny sniff the hoop to become comfortable with it. Hold it five centimeters from the floor, then let the bunny follow the target stick to jump over. Click and give your pet the treats. You can increase the height of the hoop as your bunny becomes comfortable.
You can eliminate the target stick and verbally command your pet. Remember, you must not force your bunny to jump if it is uninterested in the trick. It is harder for giant rabbit breeds to jump on hoops. The same is true with old and disabled bunnies.
High Five Trick
Is it possible for a bunny to high-five? Absolutely! It is a simple trick that your bunny can learn through your commitment and effort. To do this trick, you only have to keep a lot of treats for your bunny. Also, train your pet in a place where it cannot be easily distracted. Not all rabbits can learn fast, so you have to be patient.
The first thing you need to do is to put a treat in your palm and hold it upright. Naturally, your bunny will reach your palm to get the treat. Let your hand go a little higher with the treat still in your hand. Keep doing this until your bunny reaches your hand, even without a treat. You may give treats to your pet, but occasionally only.
Spinning is one of the easiest tricks you can teach your pet. You can train your bunny to spin around as you command it. Like other tricks, you will need a clicker and treats. First, motivate your bunny to circle by luring it with a treat. Once it did a full circle, give a clicking sound and let it have the treat.
Now, try to sweep your hand in a circular motion, even without a treat. As your pet makes a full circle, give it a click and a treat. Add the speed to your hand until your bunny gets the gesture. Next, move your hand in a different direction and observe if your bunny will follow the motion of your hand. Keep doing it until your pet becomes good at spinning.
Bunnies that have poor eyesight might find it difficult to do the trick. Young bunnies are also relentless, making it challenging to obey instructions. An average bunny can learn to spin after a few days, but it may take longer for other rabbit breeds. You mustn’t let your pet get stressed. Training should be a fun activity for your rabbit.
The Shell Game
The shell game is a popular and fun activity you can do with your bunny. The game’s mechanics is to hide the treat inside the three hats. Your pet has to figure out which hat hides the treat. With this game, your bunny’s mind will be stimulated and, at the same time, work out its sense of smell.
As much as possible, use hats that are made of natural material. Your bunny may chew on them while looking for the treat. Ingesting synthetic glue or other chemicals may be bad for its health. In addition, don’t make the game too long since there are some activities your pet has to do, like napping and eating. Make the playtime last for 10 to 20 minutes only.
Tug of War
Another fun activity you shouldn’t miss with your bunny is the tug of war. It is an activity that will surely strengthen your bond with your pet. Before you begin playing, choose what kind of item you want to use. You can select from a towel, a toy rope, or a long chew toy. After you have selected an item, take your pet out of its cage and place it in a soft spot, like a carpet or a soft towel. It prevents your bunny from slipping and its legs from getting injured.
Place the item in front of your bunny’s mouth, letting it sniff and chew. Once it is gripping the object, tug the item gently. Never pull it forcefully since it may damage your pet’s teeth. Also, avoid moving it sideward since it may break your bunny’s neck and spine. Finish the game by giving your bunny a treat.
You may play tug of war with your bunny at least once daily. If you observe that your pet is stressed or agitated, you can schedule the game for another day. Also, repair items chewed by your pet to prevent it from ingesting harmful materials.
Nibble and Sprint
If you want to exercise while having fun with your bunny, why don’t you try playing the nibble and sprint game? To do this game, get a bunch of leafy greens and sit beside your bunny. Let your pet munch a little of them. Go to another spot and call your bunny’s name while holding the leafy greens. Undoubtedly, your bunny will follow you.
To make the game exciting, increase your pace. It is good exercise for your bunny as well. This activity may take five to ten rounds until your pet is full. However, ensure that you have washed the leafy greens and that they are not toxic to your pet. Some of the good options are parsley and mint.
Active rabbits love to have fun with their furry parents by chasing them. In this game, you must have a large area where your bunny can run after you. Your fenced yard is an ideal place. However, ensure your bunny is safe from predators or harmful elements. You must first check if your rabbit is following you. You can either crawl or run as it chases you. This game may last until your bunny is interested in following you. Don’t force it to run after you if it’s already sitting and lying down.
Vegetable Washing Line
A game that can keep your bunny entertained is the vegetable washing line. First, put a string across the rabbit’s run and place some vegetables using wooden pegs. Choose a string that is digestible, like a sisal string. It must be a foot high to encourage your bunny to stand on its hind legs.
To keep your bunny safe, do this activity under your supervision. Also, choose healthy and suitable vegetables that your bunny can eat. It will help your pet stretch out and figure out how to eat the vegetables.
Since bunnies are bright, they love playing with logic toys. Fortunately, there are bunches of logic toys available in the market. You can create logic toys for your pet using some items inside your home. One of the toys you can make is a treat ball using a snack roll. To do this, get an empty cylindrical oatmeal container with a lid and put holes in it. Place some small treats that can fit through the holes. Your bunny will try to roll it to get some goodies.
Small boxes are other logic toys you can place in your bunny’s hutch. As much as possible, they must be unpainted and untreated. They must also have lids that your bunnies can open by flipping and pulling. You can hide treats in the boxes and let your bunny find them. It is a mental and physical activity that your pet would love.
You can purchase a forage mat to let your bunny experience foraging even while indoors. It has nooks and crannies where you can hide the treats. Forage mats may be available in different shapes and designs. It is a good way of keeping your bunny entertained and preoccupied.
Ready to teach your rabbit and have fun together?
Keeping a bunny entertained is vital to its health. A bored rabbit can have destructive behaviors, such as showing aggression. With the fun activities mentioned above, you can help your bunny grow healthy and happy. As you play the games, ensure your bunny’s welfare and safety. It is also an opportunity to know your rabbit more.
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