If you let your rabbit run in a large area of the house, you may want her to come when you call her name. It will allow you to find her if she’s hiding and you’re concerned for her welfare.
Rabbits can be trained to come when you call them, provided that you always give them a good reward when they do what you ask.
These easy steps will get your rabbit to come when called:
- Get down on the floor close to your rabbit.
- Offer the treat.
- “[Say your rabbit’s name], come!”
Your rabbit will see or smell the treat and will come toward you to get it. She doesn’t know that you called her because she hasn’t figured out this part yet, but if you repeat this routine over and over, she’ll start to associate hearing you call her name and “Come!” with getting her favourite treat.
- After your bunny consistently comes to you from this close distance, start to work from farther away.
Instead of being so close, squat several feet away from your pet. Offer out the food and call your rabbit’s name and “Come!”
Some rabbits catch on more quickly than others, but within a few weeks, your rabbit should come to you just about every time that you call her. You may even be able to get her to come to you from another room.
To train your bunny to jump up onto the couch on command, follow these steps:
- Hold the treat on the couch when your rabbit is having her free time in the house and is hopping around on the floor.
- When she approaches the couch, make sure she sees the treat.
You can do this by holding it in a spot where she can reach the treat just standing on her hind legs with her front paws on the couch cushions.
- “Say your rabbit’s name], hop up!”
Or if you prefer, just pat the top of the couch with your other hand as a signal.
- Even though she’s on her hind legs at the edge of the couch and hasn’t jumped up on the couch, give her the treat so that she associates a treat with the couch.
- When Fluffy responds to you without fail, hold the treat farther back onto the couch.
That way, your rabbit has to really reach to get the morsel.
- Repeat steps 1–5.
Eventually, she’ll jump up on the couch to get it, provided it’s not too high for her. If it is, you may want to skip this trick or provide a small stool for your rabbit to hop up on to make her way to the couch.
- When your rabbit finally jumps up on the couch, gently praise her, and scratch her on her favourite spot while letting her dine on her reward.
Eventually, you may eliminate the treat because the command or a pat on the cushion should be enough to get your rabbit to join you on the couch. Your rabbit can jump down alone. Helping her might be more detrimental!
How to Make your Rabbit Sit Up
Another good trick (and one that will impress visitors) is sitting up on command. This trick is pretty easy because rabbits naturally sit up on their hind legs all the time.
- Start when your rabbit has all four feet on the floor.
- Put your hand above her head with the treat in your fingers.
- “[Say your rabbit’s name], sit up!”
- When your rabbit rises up on her hind legs to get the treat, give her the treat and some verbal praise.
- After she rises up consistently in response to your command, start eliminating the treats.
Depending on how trainable your rabbit is, it can take anywhere from just a few training sessions to a couple of weeks before she’s trained to sit up on command.