The short answer is yes, but you may be wondering how to take your pet rabbit for a walk without them running off into the wild. To walk your rabbit outside without fear of this happening, rabbit owners can invest in a rabbit harness or an outdoor play-pen to allow these furry critters to get the exercise they need.
Walking a rabbit outside may seem a little strange to many people. But pet rabbit owners who don’t have space for their rabbit to play outside safely will need to take their rabbit to somewhere more suitable.
A playing field or grassed areas where it’s quiet and free from prediters is advised.
But once there, how are you going to let them run around without fear of running off. After all, rabbits can run much faster than humans.
Let’s have a look in more detail how we can overcome this problem.
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Training Your Rabbit for Outdoor Walks
Not every rabbit can be trained in the same manner, so if one technique doesn’t work don’t be discouraged. Depending on your rabbit’s temperament, training can take a bit longer and take different forms.
Both myself and a friend adopted rabbits from the same litter, and where mine would shake whenever we came close to it, hers would hop into our lap for a pet.
With little indoor space, the two of us opted for a rabbit harness for them to get some healthy exercise in. But where hers wouldn’t budge from where she put in down outside, mine tried to take off.
Before long we had diverted from our mutual approach to walking our rabbits. And of course, because of their difference in temperament, the outcome was vastly different.
Using a rabbit Harness
Unlike my friends’ rabbit who would freeze in response to having the harness on her, mine was unphased and ready to take off the moment we stepped outdoors.
I found myself more concerned over the harness causing her some kind of harm (a very small risk with harnesses compared to leashes collars) because of how she flipped, kicked, and tugged against it.
In order to train my rabbit to not be so aggressive during our walks, I’d keep a pack of her favorite yogurt drops on hand and offered it to her anytime I needed her to slow her pace.
When leash training, it is important to remember to never tug or pull on your rabbits’ leash. Instead, allow them to take the lead unless their safety is about to be compromised.
I also had the added luxury of my rabbit being very close to my dogs, who she snuggled up with daily around the house.
So, I would walk one of my dogs at the same time so she would be further inclined to want to walk with us rather than away from us.
Eventually, I was able to fade out the treats as well as her canine companion and take her for daily walks outside in less than a months’ time.
Outdoor Rabbit Playpens
As I mentioned, my friends’ rabbit did not take well to the harness. Despite her attempts to get her more comfortable with the harness by putting it on her around the house for short spans of time, she just refused to move. Neither treats or alfalfa could entice her to move.
When it was clear her rabbit refused to walk with it on, she set up a playpen in her yard to be able to take her rabbit for daily, unleashed walks. However, because of her rabbits’ natural friendly inclination (remember, mine shook whenever I try to handle it), she found her rabbit always on the side of the playpen my friend stood.
Without the harness, she started offering treats to her bunny to reinforce how close she stood by her in the playpen. Eventually, she was able to remove the playpen altogether and found no need for a harness to keep her rabbit close by.
However, you should keep in mind that this is not recommended for everyone and should only be done if you feel he or she will be faithful at staying by your side.
If you feel like I do about my rabbit then this approach isn’t an option. But don’t worry, if you have enough space in your yard, a playpen is sufficient at giving your rabbit plenty of outdoor time to enjoy.
Different Approaches and Different Outcomes
Before I knew it, we were taking walks with my rabbit harnessed with no issues at all or tugging on the leash while hers walked alongside her, leash-free and as content as ever to remain at our sides.
As successful as she was in her approach, I knew I could never take the harness off my rabbit while out and about. Their personalities had been so different from the very moment we got them that the same approach just wasn’t feasible.
When training your rabbit for outdoor walks, it really is important for you to take their unique personalities and temperament into consideration. Although my friend was successful at removing the harness and the playpen, I wouldn’t recommend the harness free outdoor walks to every rabbit owner.