Following on from our basic rules, this article aims to help house rabbits really get the most out of their humans with some more advanced training techniques...
Greetings, fellow house rabbits. Hopefully your humans are now consistently following the basic rules and you can begin to move on to more advanced human training methods. This is where things get fun and you can really start to get the most out of them and enhance your day to day life as a house rabbit.
Lesson 1: The Begging Look
It is important to practice your begging poses and looks every day. Try doing this in front of a mirror so you can see which looks are the cutest. The standard "sit up and beg" works well for most house rabbits but you could try adding your own individual style to this, for example - wiggling your tail or tip toeing along on your back legs. Warning - good balance is required for this one so practice it in private before trying it out on the humans, you wouldn't want to make a fool of yourself.
The Begging Look is of course most useful as a means of getting food - even the most stony-hearted human can rarely resist it - but can also be used to request access to a room.
Lesson 2: Never Admit Liability
Very important this one. Even when caught red-pawed (or red-toothed), never, ever, ever admit liability for anything. Humans are very quick to blame us for any and all damage around the house and if you allow this to happen you may find your access severely restricted. Maintain the standard house rabbit standpoint at all times i.e. holes in sofas, carpets, wallpaper, table legs etc are naturally occuring phenomena that have nothing whatsoever to do with rabbits.
Note - those of you who live in pairs or groups should have little trouble with this - it is practically impossible for humans to definitively say which rabbit has done what so in the interests of fairness they rarely punish anyone.
Lesson 3: Establish the Hierarchy
By now you should have successfully made it clear to your humans that you are at the top of the pecking order. However, you now need to extend this to the humans' friends and family. The last thing you want is to be turfed out of your room just because they have guests. Some subtlety is required here as simply biting any visitors to your house may upset your humans and not achieve the desired result. The guilt trip usually works better - ignore them, turn your back on them, move away slightly when they try to stroke you... you get the idea.
For those visitors who have the audacity to complain about you, your litter tray, your hair etc, or those who insist on putting their feet in your way... well, it's game on.
Lesson 4: Matters of Territory and Access
Your humans have probably laid out their furniture according to what works best for them without a single thought as to what is best for you. This must be corrected! If something is in your way, let it be known. If your den is not to your satisfaction, refuse to use it until they come up with a better one. If the litter tray is too public, choose your own spot.
We all know the importance of clear access routes throughout the house; once you have yours established, make sure they keep them clear of any boxes, bags or other junk. Any obstacles must be dealt with immediately and ruthlessly to prevent any repeat infringements.
Lesson 5: Sleeping Arrangements
Perhaps your humans have the misguided impression that the bedroom is theirs and theirs alone? Alas, this is a common problem for house rabbits. If your humans are stubborn and persist in shutting you out, we suggest staking your claim in the bedroom about half an hour before they usually go to bed. Refuse to move at all costs. Eventually they will get tired and go to bed with the door open. Excellent - once they are snoring you can move back to your room as and when you want to throughout the night and be ready and waiting in the bedroom at dawn. Take some reading material with you; if you can't be bothered to jump on their bed, the sound of a magazine being ripped will awaken even the deepest sleeper.
Good luck, fellow house rabbits and always remember - it's a bunny world, the humans just live in it!