Competitive rabbits.
June 15, 2005 5:02 PM   Subscribe

Competitive rabbits. They are even cuter when they win prizes!
posted by Viomeda (22 comments total)
I think i'm going to throw up.
posted by ori at 5:13 PM on June 15, 2005

ok that last link is brilliant. i don't care too much for the competitive rabbits but that last link was just funny. The other photos on that page were great too, not enough.

Clint Grant: His photographs portray humorous and touching images of animals and their interactions with people.
posted by freudianslipper at 5:25 PM on June 15, 2005

I was under the impression that rabbits, being easily-scared prey animals, are almost impossible to train to do tricks and stuff (well, except Oolong of course). MeFi bunny owners, am I wrong?
posted by matteo at 5:26 PM on June 15, 2005

Well, my rabbit isn't scared so much as he is willful. The only trick we can get him to do involves walking on his hind legs for a few steps in order to get the Critter Carrot we have in our hand.

He has been known to make up his own games, though, usually involving biting and scratching at our legs to get us to lift them up, then running under them and prancing about under the gauzy curtain in the front room. He does get to change the rules, though, since he made them up in the first place.
posted by StrangeTikiGod at 5:30 PM on June 15, 2005

Under certain circumstances, bunnies will kill.
posted by brain_drain at 5:42 PM on June 15, 2005

Under certain circumstances, bunnies will kill.

Especially if former democratic presidents are involved.
posted by cyphill at 6:17 PM on June 15, 2005

We had a rabbit for two years - he was the most vicious, megalomaniacal bastard of an animal I have ever met in my entire life. He had our orange tabby cat and ninety-five pound boxer/American bulldog absolutely cowed - he'd grunt and poke and bite them into submission. Did he treat us any differently? Despite giving him whatever he wanted, no! Of course not. Evidence of his wicked ways.

You might think having dealt with Lepus Khan we'd be hesitant to get another rabbit - but that couldn't be further from the truth. We're holding off because of space concerns right now (a 16 month old, a cat and a dog in a small house is enough, thank you) but we fully plan on getting another in the future. Rabbits are smart, playful, sociable and as sneaky little bastards as any human you can imagine - if you can cope with the chewing, they're really a great pet to have hopping around your house. And they'll use a litterpan just like a cat.

I had *no* idea that people did rabbit competitions like this - it blows my mind. And the rabbit leaping into the pool is great, too.

Thanks for a nice post! I got a good laugh, as did my wife.
posted by Floach at 6:23 PM on June 15, 2005

Time to link to the Killer Rabbit scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Let this be a lesson to you all, kids. Do not be fooled by the cuteness.
posted by iconomy at 6:57 PM on June 15, 2005

I'm a sucker for small mammals. When's this going to be on TV? I'd totally watch it.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:12 PM on June 15, 2005

what are the aliens thinking as they observe and take notes?
posted by tarantula at 8:00 PM on June 15, 2005

Pets I Want: dog, cat, gerbils, ferrets, guinea pigs, hamsters, chinchilla, and a bunny.

Pets my boyfriend allows me to have: dog and gerbils and one more.
posted by ackeber at 12:51 AM on June 16, 2005

floach- Those photos are great. The second one is especially demonic. Ever considered a ferret? (Sharper teeth + nocturnalism = worst pet ever.)

The Clint Grant photos from the last link are really wonderful, Viomeda. Nice post.
posted by maryh at 1:16 AM on June 16, 2005

was under the impression that rabbits, being easily-scared prey animals, are almost impossible to train to do tricks and stuff (well, except Oolong of course). MeFi bunny owners, am I wrong?

They're pretty suggestible, actually. My rabbit was toilet trained in about two days. But that's a habit that rabbits have naturally-- you're just encouraging it to be specific. Otherwise, my rabbit is a little dumb to to train-- she can't remember anything without constant repitition. Here's an example:

Beth is physically capable of climbing the stairs and exploring rooms where a lot of delicious electrical cords are not tacked down. But she can't remember that she can do it-- she'll climb the stairs every subsequent day after discovering that she can. But if we go away and keep her locked in her hutch for even two days, Beth forgets that she can climb the stairs and has to rediscover it. This can take months.

And Oolong's balancing trick was an exploit of a strange reflex that most rabbits have-- they freeze in place when you put a little pressure on the top of their head. Oolong's owner did the balancing; Oolong was imbued with a very strong reflex.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:55 AM on June 16, 2005

When's this going to be on TV? I'd totally watch it.

Me, too. You'd think with a hundred gazillion digital channels, someone would put on bunny-hopping every once in a while. Has the Puppy Bowl taught us nothing?

And thanks, cyphill, for that "Swamp Rabbit eats Jimmy Carter" story. Nice to see the press' priorities have been screwed up for a long time.
posted by mediareport at 7:17 AM on June 16, 2005

Awwwwww! So cute.

I had a rabbit many years ago that was an absolute sweetheart. She was litterbox trained and very affectionate. You should have seen her eat popcorn. Cutest thing ever.
posted by Sully6 at 7:28 AM on June 16, 2005

ackeber: Clearly you haven't trained your boyfriend well enough. Two cats, a bunny, a rat, a bird, a lizard named Boris and a couple fish tanks after the no more pets ruling later, and he loves them all. - On the other hand, without his stern guidance that we don't want to be the crazy people on the block, I'd probably have a sheep, a few ducks, a pig, and lord knows what else. - Now, if only I could figure out how to get a pug into the mix (I WILL have a pug).

But I digress.

As for bunny training, they're like pretty much any animal. As Mayor Curley points out, positive reinforcement of an existing trait is important. They are prey animals, so you can't associate with them like you do a dog or a cat. Sudden movements won't excite them like a predator, instead send them packing to the nearest opening you had no idea they could squeeze into. As long as you can keep that in mind you'll be fine. A lot of people fail to realize they are pretty social animals with their own hierarchy. Once you realize that, its not hard to understand why they are eager to please, like dogs. Well, why SOME are. I've known some unfortunate owners who have become the bottom of the hierarchy, and there is nothing quite so sad as watching people be ruled by a tiny ball of fluff.

As for the bunny jumping, I am SO training my bun to do this. She needs some mental stimulation beyond terrorizing the cats. Sure, there is nothing sweeter than a 5 pound bunny chasing a 15 pound cat, but she really could use another hobby.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 8:13 AM on June 16, 2005

Floach: you may have known him under another name, but that rabbit was General Woundwort.
posted by rdc at 8:35 AM on June 16, 2005

Rabbits, especially female rabbits, need to be nutered. Not only for the... well... obvious reason, but they are prone to ovarian cancer, that is how we lost our last bunny. As well, from what I understand it makes them less vicious. The un-nutered rabbit was eventually named bunzilla becasue of her temperment. There is nothing more startling then a small appearntly harmless little rabbit suddenly snorting and lunging and biting, they are suppose to run away... right?
posted by edgeways at 9:09 AM on June 16, 2005

There was a Mefi thread about people training some other unsuitable animal for competitions, but for the life of me, I can't remember what kind of animal it was.

The Clint Grant photos are indeed excellent!
posted by of strange foe at 12:21 PM on June 16, 2005

Rabbits are devious carpet-and-furniture-devouring monsters that are clearly the spawn of satan.

Having said that, they are sooooo cute!.

Lots of pictures of our two buns and their elaborate tri-level bunny condo at this gratuitous self-link.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 2:35 PM on June 16, 2005

I read it as "Competetive Rabbis" and was very intrigued until I clicked one of the links.
posted by The Cardinal at 9:01 PM on June 16, 2005

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