Adopting (or rescuing) a rabbit that has come from harsh beginnings can be a real challenge. You never know how he will behave once you get him home and the adjustment period can take quite awhile. It seems as though there is always at least one issue that requires rehabilitation. Aggression is one of the most common.

After you get him home, he may settle in and be just fine. Or, he may start boxing, lunging and growling at you. He might also just sit in his cage and refuse to come out for days. Or weeks. Most often, rabbits with difficult pasts seem perfectly normal until a little time passes. Then all of a sudden aggressive behaviors show up. What then?

Basic Helpful Tips

  • Be kind and patient
  • Let him have his space
  • Do not pick him up
  • Do not allow guests, children or others to pick him up
  • Do not force him to socialize
  • Feed him meals on a schedule (morning and night) and always provide unlimited hay and water
  • Never discipline him (adding more trauma to a traumatized animal is cruel and will not help)
  • Let him approach you on his own terms
  • Keep his initial living space small (do not give him free roam right away)
  • Make sure he has a litter box in his enclosure
  • Keep his environment quiet and calm
  • Understand rabbit body language and respect what he is trying to tell you with his actions
  • Get help if you need it. There is good information online (for free) about rehabilitating rabbits in need

For information on dealing with aggression in rabbits, CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2017, Love Your Rabbit,, Author Jana Brock, Bunny Conversations, Happy Rabbit Tips and Rabbit Tails. All rights reserved. You may repost or share this work on social media as long as accurate, visible credit is given to the author and this website and no alternations or changes are made to the original work. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. This is not a veterinary site, nor should any information here be construed as veterinarian advice. Photo credits for this website: Jana Brock. Additional photo credits for some website content: volunteers who contribute to All readers, without exception, agree to the terms and conditions of this website. Information is shared under the Fair Use Act. “The “Freedom and Innovation Revitalizing United States Entrepreneurship Act of 2007” (FAIR USE Act) was a proposed United States copyright law that would have amended Title 17 of the U.S. Code, including portions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to “promote innovation, to encourage the introduction of new technology, to enhance library preservation efforts, and to protect the fair use rights of consumers, and for other purposes.” CITED: en.wikopedia,org/wiki online 2016.

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