More About B.A.D.D. Rabbits

Shadow with a hay necklace

I like to wear my food

Yesterday I defined B.A.D.D (aka BADD) as Bunny Attention Deficit Disorder.  I think it is a cute, but really easy way to communicate an accurate description of Mr. Shadow.  

Blaine has often complained that blog posts make Shadow sound like a bad rabbit.  He isn’t at all.  Shadow has the sweetest, friendliest temperament.  There is just so much playfulness and lightheartedness in what he does and how he acts.  However as a baby and young rabbit, he was absolute full-out non stop energy nearly all the time.  He was into everything imaginable.  Tigger was too, but at five years old, she started into a more mature slower phase.  Shadow has slowed a bit, but at ten years old, he has the energy level that many adult rabbits start out with.

Shadow isn’t a bad rabbit, he is a BADD rabbit.  I really believe that just as many humans are hyperactive and easily distracted, so is our Shadow.  He is a true joy to have around, but only because we have become knowledgable about how to meet the needs and challenges of a very high energy easily distracted animal. 

Whether human or animal, high energy / high activity beings require more time from those caring for them.  We had to learn how to protect Shadow and also Tigger when she was younger from harming themselves with their over the top can do rabbit attitudes.  We also needed to keep up with needs for lots of fun things for them to do.   I am sure a lot of high energy / high activity rabbits probably get abandoned by people who weren’t prepared to deal with all that bunergy.  It does at times seem like bouncing off the walls activity and that somebody or somebunny needs a padded room.

Blaine and I would both say the reward in the relationship we have with wonderful active rabbit companions is worth the time it took to understand their unique personalities and needs.

B.A.D.D. and Bunny Relocations

Shadow stretching to trouble

Here Shadow is on top of a carpet covered pet carrier and stretching up even further to pull down some other bunnies to chew on

We came up with the acronym B.A.D.D. (aka BADD) for Bunny Attention Deficit Disorder. Shadow can be a very destructive bunny when he gets his little rabbit mind focused on chewing something up. He also has the attention span of a gnat if something else catches his eye.  We kept saying he had ADD, then bunny ADD and eventually realized BADD really covered it quite nicely. 

The ADD nature of some rabbits can be used to your advantage in bunnyproofing by realizing that relocation of a BADD rabbit can short-circuit and reroute destructive activities to acceptable ones. I quite regularly pick Shadow up and relocate him to an entirely different part of the house and give him something acceptable to chew up or play with.

That does put more effort on me on some days when he seems to be extremely focused on a destructive activity and keeps stubbornly coming back to it. I may have to go pick him up and relocate him several times. Shadow is a bright boy though and doesn’t want to keep being picked up. He will get the idea after a couple times and then when he sees me coming to check on him, he will relocate himself.

They key to making this work is having acceptable things to chew available in different locations around your home.  That way you can relocate a rabbit from one area to another and quickly interest them in something else they are supposed to chew or play with.  Shadow loves cardboard.  So we have stashes of cardboard tubes from paper towels and cardboard tunnels or boxes in different locations as well as grass mats and willow chews in various locations. 

Think of your house in terms of different zones, perhaps by room or floor.  Place good bunny things to chew or play with in each zone so that you can try relocation and refocusing as a tactic for a misbehaving rabbit.