Do you have a rabbit and want to show it off to your friends? Or, do you want to take it to the park so it can hope around enjoy itself in a different environment than your yard? You can always carry the rabbit, but that’s no fun. Teach your rabbit to walk on a leash—then you’ll for certain stand out from the crowd and your little furry friend will get more exercise.
A rabbit needs to wear a collar that does not put any pressure on the neck. A spooked rabbit may try to bolt, and a collar that has a strap around the throat can cause injury before you get a chance to calm your bunny. A rabbit collar should go around the shoulders and the chest, and use a firm rope or light chain as a leash. As with teaching most animals, there will likely be some stern tugging by the rabbit to go where it wants to go in the beginning. A stretchy rope will make it more difficult to convince the rabbit that you are in charge.
The only time the leash should be attached to your rabbit is when you are training it. The leash should be an indication to the rabbit that work is going to be done. Soon enough, when the rabbit learns how to walk while on the leash, it won’t seem like work, but at first it needs to learn that leash = work, no leash = play.
Don’t fall into a habit of leaving a leash on a young rabbit in the yard or even in the house. Some will do that because it can be easier to catch a young rabbit with a leash. However, it is also a way to get a leash wrapped around something, resulting in the rabbit getting injured, or, if outside, becoming prey to a predator.
As with any animal, you may have to do a little pulling to get the rabbit to walk on the leash at first. That’s all right, and that is why you choose a harness that doesn’t put pressure on the neck or throat. Once the rabbit begins to walk, then you have to use the leash to pull it to walk beside you when it is on the leash. If it chooses to try to wander off, a gentle tug to redirect its little bunny brain should be all it takes to remind it that when it is on the leash, it goes where you go.
Time and perseverance are all that is required to leash train a rabbit. Be patient and don’t give up, and soon enough you and your bunny will be well known in your neighborhood.