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Binking and Other Pet Rabbit Behaviors Explained

cutestbunny“Run and play, little rabbit,” said the Fairy to the Velveteen Rabbit … but the real-live bunny did oh so much more than run and play. He binked, he nose-bonked, he flipped, and he flopped. He growled, thumped, nipped, and the adorable little guy even purred. The fact is that hares are intelligent, multifaceted little balls of fur that, though they may be quiet most of the time, exhibit all sorts of complex behaviors, and if you’re one of the lucky caretakers of a pet rabbit, you would do well to learn all about the etiquette of bunny behaviors.

Hares are renowned for their funny little demeanors, and binking is one the most notable ways they communicate jubilation. If your little lagomorph is performing a wild dance for you … leaping, twisting, and kicking her feet … she is trying to communicate how happy she is, and she may even be feeling a little mischievous. If she’s really excited, she’ll get even more wild, with multiple binks performed consecutively.

Nose bonking
Nose bonking is one of the funny little tools your pal uses to better understand his environment. Much the way a dog or other animals use it, a hare doing a little nudging, nose-bonking action with his nose and sniffing his surroundings nosebonkingis used as an investigative tool. It can also mean he is trying to get your attention. Beware, though, because if you see him nudging his little nose, he may even be trying to be boss over you!

Your little cottontail is famous for his flipping and flopping. If you find your chum is doing a lot of flopping these days, be happy about it! He’s flopping around like that because he’s as content as he can be, feeling at ease with you and his life in general.

Growling isn’t something your lagomorph does when he’s just feeling a little mischievous. He does this when he’s getting stressed out and even territorial. There’s something on his turf, and he sure doesn’t like it. Grunting and growling are signs of aggression. If you’re seeing this behavior, something you’re doing is making him mad, and even feeling territorial, and you would do well to step off.

Just like in the movie Bambi, when the typically care-free little Thumper can’t help but smack his tail on the ground, thumping is also a sign of stress. This time, however, it’s because your pal is perceiving possible peril on her turf. She’s afraid for herself, but she’s also signaling to all in the area that danger may be afoot.

Nipping is just their way of seeking attention. They’re not trying to hurt you; they’re just trying to get you to pet them or pay them some attention, and they want it now. However, if the nipping is getting a little on the aggressive side, spaying or neutering can lessen the nipping conduct.


Purring isn’t just for cats. It’s actually a teeth grinding that hares do when they’re showing how much they enjoy the fact that you’re petting or stroking them. However, they will also purr or grind their teeth when they’re in pain. You can tell the difference between purring from pain and purring from pleasure because the pain will make them grind their teeth loudly. Of course, if they’re showing signs of tension or aggression, they’re not purring from happiness.

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Binking and Other Pet Rabbit Behaviors Explained
Learning about your rabbit's language and behaviors is the first step in caring for her properly, keeping her healthy and happy, and building a strong bond and lasting relationship between the two of you. Binking, nose bonking, thumping, nipping, growling ... these are all methods of expression. It's important to understand all the little ways your companion uses to communicate, get your attention, and just let you know how much she loves you!

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