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Test your rabbit’s intelligence whilst having fun!

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ver feel like some of your friends make fun of the fact that you have a rabbit? Do they think that bunnies are ridiculously cute but lack intelligence, personality and the ability to form any type of relationship with humans? Well, they could not be more wrong; bunnies are capable of far more than some people give them credit for. Any rabbit can be trained to use a litter box, they enjoy playing with their toys and they will follow you around pleading for attention. These things are basic for any bun; yet many people fail to notice their ability to problem solve, memorise and react accordingly to cues. In the wild, rabbits are prey to nearly every predator out there, so they have to be very quick and cunning to avoid being on the menu. Their sense of smell is phenomenal as they can find food as far as half a mile from their burrow. They can leap unaided, way above the height of their own ears, and their ability to long jump rivals that of an Olympic athlete, often further than the length of their body. They love to climb, as high as possible, to scout the country

side looking for predators. Their eyes see above and behind their heads whilst their ears magnify the stealthy footsteps of any predator. The wild rabbit also has to be a skilful engineer, digging a network of tunnels is vital for their survival, using roots from trees and bushes as structural supports. Rabbits are also social animals and in the wild they would live in herds. Each rabbit has its own preferences, habits and characteristics to make them unique. All rabbits have the ability to demonstrate affection, jealousy, anger, happiness, sadness, fear, dominance, satisfaction, curiosity, cunning, restlessness, boredom, excitement and amusement if treated correctly. Everyone wants to find ways to spend more time with their little cotton tail, so why not do something that will amuse you both but will test your bunnies intelligence at the same time? Playing games is a great way to bond with your pet and training their brain and improving their skills greatly improves their wellbeing. Why not start with an easy logic toy? Your bunny has to solve

a problem to get a reward, for example a treat ball. Treat balls encourage movement and promotes the rabbit using their nose to push the ball to release a treat – and there, the problem is solved! Most bunnies will pick this up easily and will show great enthusiasm so you can then move on to something a bit more taxing. You can easily purchase logic toys or if you are feeling creative you can make one. Lifting a lid may not be the most difficult thing to do for your bun but it’s a great place to start and allows progression. Finding a small box with a hinged lid is ideal. Putting your pet’s favourite treat inside will surely attract their attention. Patience and encouragement is the key as it may be a little difficult to understand at first. Show your bunny how to open the lid and encourage when they are starting to step in the right direction but let them figure it out - this may need to be done more than once. If it becomes all a bit too much and your rabbit becomes disinterested then stop and try again another day. Don’t ever force anything as this is when they shut down and could

even result in them getting scared. Once your little bun has become established with the first exercise why not add a few more boxes with different openings to test your bun further. Some rabbits may not show intelligence until they are taught. If they started life in a too small cage their spirit may be dampened but it won’t take long for you to get it back! Also, once your rabbit has learnt its new skill they will never start back at zero and you will see them using it to solve other problems they will come across in their day to day adventures. So, why not give some logic games a go and see what skills your rabbit has been hiding from you. You could start with a simple treat ball, progress to hinged box and much, much more, the logic game world is yours and your rabbit’s oyster!

Training TOP TIPS:-

1. The best time to start teaching is when they are hungry – right before food time is best. 2. Use their favourite treat! 3. Make sure you only teach one toy at a time. 4. Instruct and encourage but allow them to solve the puzzle on their own. 5. Don’t ever force anything.

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29 APRIL – 29 MAY 2020 RESCUE AND ANIMAL CARE

www.rescueandanimalcare.com

Profile for Rescue and Animal CARE Magazine

Rescue and Animal Care Magazine 29th April - 29th May 2020 - Issue 154  

8 Ways to entertain your dog with a cardboard box and toilet roll tubes! Gilbertson and Page over 145 years on and still going strong! Shop...

Rescue and Animal Care Magazine 29th April - 29th May 2020 - Issue 154  

8 Ways to entertain your dog with a cardboard box and toilet roll tubes! Gilbertson and Page over 145 years on and still going strong! Shop...

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