If you have a pet rabbit at home then you must have wondered how to teach your rabbit to come when you call! Training your rabbit can not only be a great way to bond with your pet it can also be incredibly rewarding to watch your bunny run up to you, every time you call for them.
Here is a step by step guide on how to teach your rabbit to come when you call.
- Motivate your rabbit to train with food treats.
- Move back and let your rabbit follow you.
- Call from where they can not see you and let them find you.
- Replace food treats with verbal appreciation and petting.
- Repeat and practice with your rabbit every day.
Even though this is not really a rabbit trick, whenever you want to teach a rabbit something new, you should start off with a whole lot of treats and patience.
Having a rabbit who comes to you when called is not only useful when you are looking for them or want them to come for food, it is also fun and fulfilling to interact with your pet with just simple verbal commands.
Let’s learn the trick in some more detail and understand the basics of teaching any trick to your rabbit.
Motivate Your Rabbit With Food
The first step to training a rabbit is to make sure that they are motivated to learn. A bunny who is simply not interested, will be impossible to train to come when called. The best way to motivate a rabbit to do anything is of-course with food.
Most rabbits out there will try out anything as long as they get a treat as a reward. Start off with luring them out, have a bit of food in hand, rabbit pellets or a piece of fruit and let your rabbit follow it.
If the rabbit has been lured out of its cage and it is following the food in your hand then let it have a treat. You should also call their name and ask them to come to you verbally. Repeat this for a day or two.
Once the rabbit has figured out that it gets a treat for following you out, and, it has associated you asking them to come to mean a tasty treat, then they should be ready for the next step.
Keep Moving Away Little By Little
Once your rabbit has learnt that they can get a treat from you when you call for them, call them from a bit further away every time you teach your rabbit to come when you call.
If everything works out then you should see that your bunny is coming to you for the treat even if are at the other side of the room. Offer the them a treat, some words of appreciation and lots of pets so that associate coming to you when called as a very positive experience
Once you feel that your rabbit is coming to you even if you call to it from the other side of the room then you can start with the next step.
Remember, your rabbit will obviously not come to you every time whenever you call, they might just not be feeling like it. Be patient with them and try to limit the training to just a few hours a day, this way you will be able to get your rabbit’s attention much easier.
Call Them From Another Room
The next step and definitely the hardest step in teaching a rabbit to come when called is to calling them to come to a different room even if they cant see you directly.
This part of the training ensures that your rabbit understands not only visual cues of you calling and offering them treats but your verbal cues as well. This is an important part of training a rabbit to come when called and perhaps will need the most amount of time for any rabbit to master.
To make sure everything goes well in this regard keep in mind
- That the rabbit is well adujsted with it’s surroundings.
- You and a rabbit have a good bonding
- Your rabbit has gotten used to doing the first two steps.
Try out calling your rabbit from out of their sight and see if they can come to you, if not move a bit closer to them until they can. Keep repeating this step for a week or two before moving on to the next step.
Replace The Treats With Just Petting & Appriciation
Once your rabbit has a good grasp over coming to you when you call them even when you are not in the same room and can do it comfortably without getting lost or losing interest then you should try out this step.
We all know that to many treats are not that great for pet rabbits. Whether you are giving them rabbit pellets or a bit of fruit or a vegetable, it all adds unwanted calories to their diet.
Overfeeding or an excess of calories in a rabbit’s diet is known to cause problems like obesity, heart disease and gastrointestinal diseases. An excess of sugary treats such as fruits or store bought treats can also cause stomach ache in pet rabbits.
This is why even though an occasional treat now and then is alright, we want to reduce the number of treats that we are actually feeding to our rabbit while training them to come when called.
That being said you do want to reward your bunny when they do come to you when you call so lots of verbal appreciation and petting is best and healthiest way to reward them for doing the trick successfully.
Rinse & Repeat To Reinforce The Training
Thats about it. If you got through all the previous steps then well done. As you might already have realized, the key to teaching your rabbit to come when you call is repeated practice.
Doing trick and spending some time everyday or every other day with your bunny will not only help you develop a closer bond with your pet, it will also makes sure that your rabbit remembers all the tricks and signals that you teach to them. That way any tricks you teach them in the future can be easier to teach.
I’d suggest that you call your rabbit to you and give them a treat every day and try teaching them some other tricks like spinning and giving a high 5 as well.
FAQ On How To Teach Your Rabbit To Come When You Call
Here are some of the most asked questions about teaching a rabbit to come when you call answered.
Can All Rabbits Learn To Come When Called?
Mostly yes. Any rabbit is smart enough to learn simple commands such as coming when called. But, younger rabbits are can learn new trick faster and with more ease when compared to older rabbits.
It also helps if the rabbit is well used to their habitat and bonder with the person who is training them. That can really make it much easier to train them.
Remember, the best thing to motivite your rabbit to learn tricks is to reward them with a treat as well as giving them lots of pets. This really does help in creating a positive association to learning and playing with you in their mind.
How Long Does It Take For A Rabbit To Learn To Come When Called?
Typically it should take around a week or two for a rabbit to learn how to come to you when you call. In some rabbits it could take a bit longer.
A lot of it also depends on how the personality of the particular rabbits. Some rabbits just are a bit slower than others. That being said with some love patients and treats most rabbits will eventually learn how to come to you or follow you when you call.
My Rabbit Does Not Come When I Call Even After Training Them, What Should I Do?
If your rabbit is having a hard time then in learning how to come when you call then the best thing you can do is being patient.
Rabbits, just like us humans all learn at a different pace. Some rabbits can take a bit longer to get a hang of new tricks. This is easpeicllay tru if it is a new rabbit that you may have just brought home or a rabbit that is not yet comfortable with their surroundinsg
Another thing to consider is trying out a diiferent trick like spinning or giving a high five. It could be that your rabbit may be better suited to learn these beginner friendly rabbit tricks first.
Whatever the case may be, remain calm, and keep practicing with your rabbit as much as you can.