At first glance you may think that rabbits are dumb and just look cute and cuddly. You may even think that maybe you made the wrong decision when you chose a rabbit as your pet, since it will not be able to learn tricks. However, put your assumptions aside as it is quite possible to teach rabbits some tricks. You do not even need an animal trainer to do that. With plenty of patience and enough time, you can teach your pet a few tricks that will delight your family and your friends. Check out some tips on how to teach a rabbit a few simple tricks.
- Teach your rabbit to respond by coming closer to you when you call its name. Begin by holding a piece of its favorite food in your hand and going down on the floor so that it can see and smell the food. At the beginning stay close to your pet as you show the food it likes as you come and call its name. When it learns to respond to the command, move farther back next time. This is to train your rabbit to come wherever you are when its name is called.
- Teach it to jump over a hurdle or on to a couch. Position a stick or dowel over a low stack of books. About four inches high is good enough. The first few times lift the rabbit up and over the hurdle while saying the word jump. Give it some words of encouragement, pet and reward it for its good work after it has gone over the hurdle. Repeat the step a few times until it recognizes your command. Stay on the other side of the hurdle next time and hold your pet’s favorite food. Give the command and when it performs the trick, praise and reward it.
- Use the same process to teach it to jump on to your couch. Provide a low stool if the jump from the floor to the couch is too high. Teach it to jump onto the stool by placing your hand with the favorite food on top of the stool before issuing your command. Pat the top of the stool to tell it where to go. Repeat the process when it has mastered the jump over the stool to jump to the couch.
- Teach your pet to beg for food. Hold the food in front of the rabbit and give the command for it to sit up. As it smells the food, it will raise its head. Move your hand up a little at a time until it raises its body to its full length. When it is sitting up, praise and reward it. Afterwards make it wait for its reward for several seconds while it remains in that begging position.
These are just some of the tricks that you can teach your rabbit. Vary the jumping trick by replacing the dowel with a hula hoop. With time and patience you will be able to teach your pet more simple tricks that it can learn through the repetition and reward system.