Tonawanda News — Being a responsible pet columnist, I believe now is an appropriate time to have waited after Easter to once again talk about rabbits as critter companions. I was in preschool and visited my grandmother in Fort Erie, Canada, when I encountered my first rabbit. Mysteriously — and legally, I might add — the rabbit crossed the border and lived with my family for several years in a hutch.
Professionally, I have taken care of quite a few rabbits. The breeds included show-worthy lionhead rabbits, a pair of Dutch rabbits named Zach and Zoe and a white-mutt rabbit appropriately named Cadbury.
A lionhead rabbit is a small breed of rabbit that has a long furred mane and front legs to give the appearance of a lion’s front half. The rest of the body has short fur that is silky soft. They come in a large range of colors and adults can weigh up to 3.75 pounds.
Dutch rabbits are also consider a small breed of rabbit weighing between 3.5 and 5.5 pounds. They can come in six different colors (black, blue, chocolate, grey, steel and tortoise) but always have a white stripe across their nose and midsection; their feet are white as well. Zach was very sweet, coming over to the door as you opened it, and would wait patiently for you to snuggle. Zoe on the other hand, was harder to bond with. Once you grabbed her, she would calm down.
Fast-forward a few years, and my training skills have improved. I find myself with another rabbit that is showing signs of discontent when I try and pet and hold it. It appears that it is a mix between fear and fear-based aggression. I look back to grabbing Zoe, and think to myself how it could have been much more positive for our relationship if I would have used training, rather than dominance-based methods.