Rabbits make one of the most loving pets. They fill our lives with pure joy and happiness. These little pets are very friendly and thus, owners keep finding ways to communicate and play with them. This curiosity leads many rabbit parents to a question, do rabbits recognize your voice or do rabbits recognize your face?
The good news is, rabbits are very intelligent animals, so they can be easily trained to make them recognize your voice and understand what you’re saying. Let’s discuss the voice recognizing capabilities of bunnies in detail!
Rabbits do understand many things you do to them. For example: caressing them, petting them, feeding them and so on. Although they can’t understand each and every word you’re speaking, they try to understand what you’re saying with the help of cues and gestures. These include simple hand movements, short voice commands etc. Further, they also understand your unconscious cues like the tone and volume of your voice and your body language. This is the reason, they easily get scared and sense the fear when someone speaks to them in a harsh tone.
Training rabbits is so much in trend these days. Just like cats and dogs, pet owners are training different types of things for their bunnies. Interestingly, rabbits are doing great in such types of training. They’re very good at learning new things and commands. In this article, we’ll try to clear all your doubts regarding if rabbits can recognize your voice and will share a lot of other things to help you understand and grow your pets in a better way. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s dive in!
Do Rabbits Recognize Your Voice?
Most rabbit owners believe that their bunnies do recognize and understand their voice. However, there is no research to back this claim. For bunnies to understand your words, they first have to learn how to recognize your voice. Over time, your pets recognize your voice as well as your face and also your smell.
Many rabbit parents have reported their bunnies coming closer to them and running away from the people they haven’t seen or strangers. This indicates that rabbits do recognize their owners well, but this happens over time. So, you can’t expect your new or young pet to recognize you or your voice.
Rabbits are very sensitive animals, hence, you need to stay careful around them. To make them understand and recognize your voice, speak them in a soft and slow tone. This is because their hearing range is much different than humans and if you speak with them in a loud or harsh voice, they’ll get scared and will never come closer to you.
Do Rabbits Understand Humans Voice?
There is plenty of evidence that suggests that bunnies can understand their humans. Many rabbit owners have successfully trained their pets and made them familiar with human communication. All of this hints that bunnies can understand your behavior and the way of communication.
Of course, your bunny won’t be gossiping with you, but they have the ability to respond to your commands and gestures.
Do Rabbits Recognize The Words?
We have already discussed that bunnies can be trained easily, which means that they can learn new words. While animals don’t understand human language naturally, with a few efforts and lots of practice, you can make them understand common words or say commands.
But teaching your bunny verbal commands is not as easy as it sounds. You’ll have to do a good amount of training and practice sessions. Also, not all bunnies are the same. While some can learn new commands quickly, others are slow learners. But with thorough training, they can learn to respond to new words.
Do Rabbits Understand Sign Language?
Although there is no solid research regarding this topic, there are many pieces of evidence suggesting that bunnies can learn sign language.
Unlike other pets, you don’t always need to use verbal commands to train the rabbits. For instance, if you want to train a bunny to give a high five, your cue would be to take your hand in front of her face. In the same way, if you want your bunny to peel a banana, you’d peel a banana yourself, right in front of them.
Hand signals and other bodily gestures that are free from grammar, syntax and voice commands can be easily learnt by the bunnies.
Do Rabbits Understand Body Language?
Ever tried to stop your bunny from chewing on a wire? Tried to shoo him away from a pile of dirt or debris? Noticed your bunny running away when you stopped her from doing something and later came back to the same thing as soon as you left?
If so, these are the signs that show your bunny understands your body language. Now the real question is, how does this happen?
As we already know, to train animals, we combine our actions with the desired responses. And our actions are accompanied by our body language. So, when we repeat the actions enough, we are training our bunny how to respond to these actions, be it a simple walk, a facial expression or a posture.
Meanwhile, there are some things that come to rabbits by instincts. For example, if you grind your teeth in front of your rabbit, he will get scared. That means, he will relate this gesture to fear and anger. These natural instincts of rabbits are because they are prey animals. They tend to get stressed and anxious about experiencing the slightest change in their behavior.
How To Make Rabbits Learn Words?
Want to make your rabbit learn new words? Don’t worry, that’s possible!
For making your rabbit learn new words, you’ll have to familiarize yourself with a theory known as classical conditioning. Usually, this theory is very common to dog owners, they use it to train their dogs. For example, if you ring a bell loud in front of your dog and feed him till he is full afterwards, the dog will associate ringing the bell with food. So, the next time he is hungry, he will ring the bell.
Okay, so this is the underlying principle behind the classical conditioning theory, one action can be paired with a desired response. This action can be a new word, a command or anything you want your bunny to learn. Rewarding a bunny during the training session encourages him to learn things faster and better.
How To Train My Rabbit?
So, we have discussed enough that rabbits can recognize your gestures, your voice and you can make them understand new words as well. But how to train bunnies? Can bunnies be trained in the same way as cats and dogs? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Similar to other pets, training a rabbit can be divided into three parts :
The first part of your rabbit training is the command which can be either a word or a physical gesture. Most trainers prefer pairing both for achieving effective results. It is very important that the command should be clear, consistent, concise and most importantly easy to remember.
Some examples of good commands include clapping, tapping, etc.
Rabbits don’t naturally learn how to respond to a specific command or gesture. So, you have to make them learn the correct response to your command. There are two ways to do so, you can either mimic the desired response in front of them or make your bunny do it itself. For example: if you want to train your bunny to go near a specific spot, put a treat at that spot and bring him there.
Last but the most important part, the reward. Treats and rewards make bunnies understand that they’re doing things right. Keep your treats consistent and make sure to reward your pet every time he accomplishes the right response. Always pair your treat with vocal praise or petting. Another important thing to keep in mind here is, try to use natural treats instead of commercial ones. You can use fruits, vegetables like carrots and beets to treat your bunnies. This will make your training sessions interesting while keeping your bunny healthy.
Understand Your Rabbit Better – Common Rabbit Behavior
We have discussed how well your bunny understands you, recognizes your voice, but do you know your bunny well? Do you understand his gestures?
See, communication is not one way. If you want your bunny to understand your behavior, you’ll also have to make efforts to understand his actions and behavior.
With this thought in mind, we have included this section that will help you understand your lovely pet better and will also strengthen your bond with him. Below are the most common rabbit behaviors along with the explanation of each.
Digging is the most favorite pastime of rabbits, we all know this. But do you know what it means? Why does a rabbit start digging all of sudden?
In the wild, bunnies dig mainly for hiding and building their burrow. Digging is a fun activity for animals. They dig when they’re happy and excited. However, sometimes bunnies start digging at a place where we don’t want them to.
Digging at different places can have different meanings. For example, when a bunny digs at your hands, clothes or feet, most probably he is doing so for your attention. So, when this happens, simply give your pet a nice cuddle or play with him for a while.
Rabbits don’t naturally bite out of anger just like other pets. They might softly nip at you for your attention. These bites are soft and harmless and obviously don’t have any bad intentions. But sometimes, rabbits start growling after nipping at their fellow buddies, when this happens it’s a sign that they are ready to fight.
So, separate your pets before a big fight breaks out and try to keep them calm. Moreover, rabbits also bite when they are uncomfortable. For example, when handled incorrectly or inappropriately, they might try to bite you. So, make sure to give enough space to your buns.
Thumping is related to sadness. When a rabbit feels lonely, upset, hungry or physically unfit, he starts thumping. Other than this, rabbits also thump when they’re scared and threatened.
When your bunny shows this behavior, try to calm him down and provide him enough space. Also, make sure to remove any dangerous object or person around him.
Teeth grinding is also known as purring. When this happens, rabbits grind their teeth which produces a soft noise. Teeth grinding is most common when a rabbit is in pain. So, don’t ignore this sign and find out the cause of pain and discomfort in your bunny. Further, if your bunny is sitting in a corner, immobile, that means he is depressed. Try to find out the cause and take him to a vet without wasting any time.
Chinning is when rabbits rub their chins against any surface or object. For those who don’t know, rabbits have scent glands situated on their face. When they rub their face, these glands release a scent that hints to other rabbits that the scented object belongs to the territory of that rabbit.
Do Rabbits Recognize Your Face?
Yes, rabbits can recognize the face of their owners over time. But it takes time for rabbits to memorize the one who looks after and takes care of them.
Just like human kids, rabbits have weak memories when they’re young. As time passes, they learn to memorize things and people. As your pet grows old, he will start running or hopping on seeing you. But don’t expect your newborn or newly bought bunnies to recognize you in a matter of a few days. It will take time and patience. Just take care of them, spend enough time, fulfil their needs and one day you’ll be able to strengthen your bond with your bunny.
Rabbits can recognize your voice over time. The great news is, you can train them as well. We have discussed everything you need to know about the behavior, verbal understanding and other things about your rabbits. We hope this article proves to be useful.