Rabbits are creatures far from the usual dogs and cats as pets, but this doesn't mean that they cannot be trained. In fact, you'd be surprised at how eager and how rewarding it is to have a trained pet rabbit. Not only are rabbits adorable, they are quite smart as well. The easiest trick to teach a rabbit is how to respond when you call it. Here is how:
- Know what your pet likes. The first thing you need to do is to find out what motivates your pet. Your best bet would be its favorite bunny treat.
- Give your pet a name. You can’t go on calling your pet “Hey!” or “You!” forever! Of course, this is only true for those who are planning to acquire a rabbit, or those who have recently purchased a pet rabbit.
- Establish a bond with your rabbit. Obviously, if your pet loves you, it will be comfortable to be around you. However, if it is uninterested, or even scared, don't expect it to come when you call it. To bond with your rabbit, all you have to do is spend some time with it every day. Avoid scolding your pet, and most especially hurting it. Remember that pets don't like to be yelled at and spank, so avoid doing those things at all cost. Don't forget to say its name over and over so it becomes familiar with it. Give it at least a week, or until you feel your pet rabbit is becoming more affectionate to you.
- Decide on a daily schedule. This will be the heart of your pet's training program. Consistency is the key, and what best to achieve this than by enforcing a daily schedule. Try to arrange it around feeding time. Allow 20-30 minutes for the training. Remember, be consistent!
- Start with the training proper. Get a clicker. When you start training it to come, get the rabbit out of its cage and lay it on the floor. Sit on the floor, quite close to your rabbit. Play with it for a few minutes. Again, avoid making any violent movement! Say the rabbit's name. When it responds, click the clicker and give it a treat and praise it. Do this over and over, until it gets it. When your rabbit has mastered responding within close range, try to move further away from it when you call it. Again, click the clicker and give it a treat every time it responds. Do this until it has mastered the trick. As soon as that happens, try to wean it out of the treats.
- Continue with the training. Instead of giving treats, this time, pat your pet rabbit instead or praise it. Give it treats every so often so that your pet rabbit won't get confused too much about the sudden change in rewards. You can use this technique in training your pet to do other tricks, such as jumping into your lap, or to sit still.
Remember, it takes some time and patience before you see results. Whatever ability your rabbit has to learn, it is always important to show that you love them, no matter what.