Understanding Rabbit Behaviour

Understanding Rabbit Behaviour

Rabbits are pretty good at letting people know when they are not happy about something and will show their displeasure in many different ways, but it does depend on what has upset them as to how they react which is why it's important to recognise just what it is that makes them angry and how to deal with the situation without anyone getting hurt.

How Rabbits React to Danger

Rabbits get frightened quite easily and when something does scare them, they typically hold their ears flat against their heads. However, the ears are turned out just a little which allows rabbits to hear everything that's going on around them. With this said, there are situations that rabbits find scary which sees them hold their ear upright and pointing forwards and again, this allows them to keep an ear out for any impending dangers that may be heading their way.

Lop eared bunnies can't hold their ears in the upright position so instead they hold them each side of their heads and turned to the front. Another indication of a bunny being scared, is when they stamp their foot and then proceed to run somewhere so they can hide.

Loud Noises Scare Rabbits

Loud noises scare rabbits and this includes loud music or even the television. You have to bear in mind they are very sensitive creatures and they like to lead a nice, quiet and peaceful existence. Rabbits stamp their feet as a way of warning other bunnies of dangers that may be around, and if you have just got a new pet, they might think of you as being a danger"" to begin with.

If this is the case, you should never force yourself on your bunny or rush towards them because you will just end up scaring them even more. You should approach them quietly and slowly, making sure they recognise you before attempting to stroke their heads as a way of reassuring them.

What To Do With an Angry Bunny

As previously mentioned, rabbits are sensitive little creatures and can get quite angry if you do something they do not like. They don't hold back on letting you know about their displeasure either. Signs that you have upset your rabbit in some way include the following:

  • Sitting close to you but looking at something way over there which is much more interesting
  • Turning their backs on you and completely ignoring the fact you are there
  • Flicking their back legs at you as they run away
  • Grunting to show their displeasure

If rabbits behave in this way, it usually means they are very unhappy at something you may have done and it would be up to you to make amends although this typically has to be done at your pet's pace and not yours. You should try stroking their heads, but you need to be ready to be rebuked because until your rabbit is ready to forgive you, they will generally keep moving away and showing you their heels!

It Works Both Ways

When rabbits are upset with their owners they have a tendency to turn their backs on them. But this works both ways so if your bunny has been naughty, you should gently stop them from doing what they are doing and then immediately turn your back on them. This is a language that rabbits understand. You should then walk away and not look back. The chances are your long-eared friend will be following you to try to make amends because they want to be friends with you again!

Recognising When Your Rabbit is Chilled Out

A happy and relaxed bunny will be less tense in the body and their ear positions will be more laid back too. A rabbit will only behave like this when they know they are safe and don't have to make a fast escape from a situation. You can usually spot a very relaxed bunny munching away on a pile of hay or they'll be lying on their sides with their legs stretched out.

Rabbits have almost fling themselves on their sides when they want to spread out because it's one position they don't find that easy to get into, and when you first see them do this, it can be quite scary to watch because it looks like they are falling over. In truth, they are simply getting themselves into a very relaxed position which shows they are relaxed and happy.

Recognising When Your Rabbit is Very Happy

When rabbits are excited or very happy, they do some crazy things which includes shaking their heads so their ears wobble. However, they also do something called the ""binky""which is a kind of bunny dance where they jump off the ground and twist in the air.

More often than not, you'll see your rabbit sitting quietly when suddenly they launch themselves into the air so they perform a ""binky"". This is to show they are either very happy or excited about something and it's extremely funny to watch!


Understanding bunny behaviour is really important because it's good to know when your pet may be upset. If you have done anything they don't like, you have to tread carefully when you make amends and you also need to go at your rabbit's pace and not try to rush things. Once they are ready, they will forgive you and follow you around because bunnies really love interacting with you!




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