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How to train a rabbit with simple voice commands...

Rabbits have very good hearing and quickly become attuned to what certain noises mean.  For example, if they hear the fridge door opening they will come running for their dinner.  This makes it possible to train them with simple voice commands.

A rabbit will get to know its own name and react when it hears you say it.  If you want to train your rabbit it is advisable to always call your rabbit by the same name and avoid confusing nicknames.

When giving voice commands say the word followed by the rabbit's name.  The tone of voice you use is very important, more so than the actual words.

The use of treats in reinforcing commands is very helpful but try to choose natural treats such as a grape or a small piece of carrot, rather than petshop treats which tend to be high in sugar.


Use this to call your rabbit to you.  Use a high, encouraging tone of voice and reward the rabbit when it responds by giving it a small treat.


Use this when you want your rabbit to stop doing something, such as nibbling at the carpet.  Use a low, stern tone of voice.  If the rabbit doesn't respond, pick it up and hold it for a minute before putting it down again.  If it continues with what it was doing pick it up again, move it into a different area and give it something else to play with, like a cardboard tube or seagrass matt.


You can use this to get your rabbit to jump onto the sofa for petting.  As with "come", use a high, encouraging tone of voice and reward it with a treat when it jumps up.


Use this to get your rabbit to jump down from the sofa or bed.  Use an encouraging tone of voice but with a lower tone and click your fingers at floor level to reinforce the command.  If the rabbit doesn't respond, give it a gentle push towards the edge but always let it jump down in its own time, don't force it.


You can use this to get your rabbit to go into its cage at night.  Stand by the cage and call your rabbit in the same way as using "come".  When it has hopped into the cage, reward it with a treat.

"It's ok"

When a rabbit is startled by a loud noise it will freeze with its ears straight up.  You can reassure your rabbit that it is safe by saying "it's ok" in a soothing voice until it relaxes.

Tags: behaviour

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