Posted by: soniahs | May 20, 2011

Friday bunnyblogging: Noe’s many interests (part 8)

We’re nearing the home stretch with this post in the bunny behavior series. Today, a somewhat more complex behavior I like to title “Getting the Humans’ Attention.”

  1. gnawing
  2. eating
  3. exploring
  4. frolicking
  5. napping
  6. pooping
  7. digging
  8. getting the humans’ attention
  9. warning the humans of danger

You’ll note that the next behavior also falls under the area of bunny-human interaction, but I’m distinguishing between the two because “getting attention” seems pretty much to be “Noe tries to get what she wants,” rather than “Noe warns her fellow mammals about danger in a somewhat-altruistic manner.” But we’ll get to that next time…

Like many pets, Now seems to have three main “pay attention to meee!” behaviors: when she wants food, when she wants petting, and when she just wants to interact with us. Unfortunately, a lot of her attention-getting behavior is done by gnawing on something, ripping something up, or just going somewhere she’s not supposed to. If she could vocalize more, her attention-getting would probably cause less property damage.

"I'm in the laundry room. Are you paying attention to this?"

Another way she makes noise is by thumping. The thump is sort of the all-purpose rabbit action- she thumps when she’s startled, when she’s happy, or when she’s planning some mischief. She apparently gets bunny bonus points by combining a thump with another attention-getting behavior, like jumping on us to wake us up.

Thumping gives her a turbo bunny boost.

If noise doesn’t work, there’s the direct approach. When we’re sitting in herspot, or are just not looking at her, she’ll often come up to us and either bop us with her nose or paw at us. Occasionally, she’ll nip. If she wants petting, she’ll come up and put her head under a hand or foot. This usually has the desired result:

"You may pet me now."

Apparently, the last few habits are dominant rabbit behaviors– wild European rabbits live in large groups that have hierarchies, and house rabbits relate to humans in the same way. Noe’s occasionally bad attitude is a result of thinking she’s the alpha bunny.

…I wonder if there’s a market out there for a rabbit whisperer?

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Responses

  1. […] getting the humans’ attention […]

  2. […] blogged quite a bit about Noe and her behavior and the interesting things she does. I also plan to put together a post in the near future on how much money we’ve spent on Noe […]


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