Get ready to drop dead of adorableness: It’s highlights from the Rabbit Grand National! Bunnies doing hurdles! Bless you, The Cute Show, for bringing us this thing of beauty and wonder. I feel like I’ve found my calling and it’s training bunnies to jump over stuff fast.
Now, I did wonder if this was especially good for rabbits. I know that things like obstacle courses can be enriching for dogs, but shy little bunnies? So, I consulted with rabbit expert (and vegan we love) Anne Martin. And she gives it her OK! Anne says:
That video is pretty adorable! I think rabbit show jumping is OK, as long as the rabbits have good lives as companions while they’re not jumping hurdles (and it sounds like these women in the video love their rabbits, and have them live inside), and rabbits aren’t being killed/disposed of if they’re not champion jumpers or that their “titles” were being used by breeders to sell rabbits (I don’t think you have to worry about that here).
I think it’s a good video to share—it shows how rabbits are intelligent, agile, and not the stereotypical bunny-in-the-backyard-hutch-that-is-so-depressed-he-just-sits-there-and-waits-for-nothing-forever.
Here’s a website with great info on how to clicker train your rabbit, for those who might be interested in training their rabbit to jump hurdles, after they watch the competition video!
The only caveat I would put on the clip is that they show rabbits in cages with wood shavings—the phenols from the wood can cause liver damage, so House Rabbit Society recommends avoiding shavings. Also, spayed/neutered rabbits will use a litterbox, so don’t need “bedding” all over their cages like that—check out my handout on safe alternatives to pine shavings [pdf].
Thanks, Anne! Isn’t she the best? If you have the bunny-jumping fever, there are, in Anne’s words, a bajillion rabbits on Petfinder in a location near you. If you need me, I’ll be watching this video on repeat until my brain explodes from cuteness.