As rabbits increase in popularity as pets, the study of rabbit behaviour becomes increasingly important as we strive to understand these fascinating and complex creatures.
However, sometimes rabbits develop behaviour problems, which may reduce welfare for both rabbit and owner. Examples of behaviour problems tackled by pet behaviour counsellors include aggression towards people or other rabbits, fearfulness, toileting problems and destructive behaviour. Many of these behaviours tend to be normal behaviour for the rabbit, but are performed in an inappropriate situation (e.g. urine spraying or destructive behaviour). This makes the behaviour unacceptable for the owner, and may ultimately reduce the rabbit's quality of life.
Pet behaviour counsellors work out the underlying cause of a behavioural problem and will then work out a program of behaviour modification taking into account the needs and circumstances of the owner. Counsellors need to be appropriately qualified and trained, which is why we recommend only using pet behaviour councellors who are members of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC).
With any behaviour problem it's very important to first rule out health problems, so take your rabbit for a check-up at the vets, who should then refer you on to a certified pet behaviour counsellor. You may also be surprised to hear that behavioural consultations are covered by a lot of pet insurance policies, so check out the terms and conditions of your policy to see if you are covered.
You may find some guidance about rabbit behaviour in the information leaflet section of this site, but for more serious or deep rooted problems, you may want to contact a APBC certified behaviour counsellor. (Please note that the list of APBC behaviour counsellors will open in a new window).
A hutch is not enough...