Do Rabbits Recognize Their Name? ( Mine has a cute name )

brown rabbit

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Rabbits are well-known for being cute and cuddly pets at home. Many pet owners are under the impression that unlike dogs and even cats, rabbits are just happy enough to be left alone on their own.

However, it’s not true. In fact, you can even call your rabbit by its own name and see how it responds.

Rabbits can definitely distinguish the different syllables and sounds that make up their own names. They may not be as trainable as other bigger species like dogs, but they’re actually pretty smart.

In this article, we’ll discuss some interesting facts about rabbits and name recognition!

What’s your rabbit’s name?

What did you name your pet rabbit? Mine has a cute name – Sniffles! It’s totally perfect, with its occasional habit of cutely sniffing around in the air.

I know 100% that sniffles recognizes its name when I call her at feeding time.

Others have more creative names for their bunnies. According to RabbitPedia, the ten most common rabbit names for 2019 are the following:

  1. Oreo
  2. Thumper
  3. Bun, Bunn, Bunnie, or Bunny
  4. Coco, Co-Co
  5. Lilly, Lillie, Lily
  6. Cinnabun, Cinnamon
  7. Bella, Bugsy, or Bugzy
  8. Peter
  9. Daisy, Daisy Mae, or May
  10. Jane

Understandably, all pet owners love the thought of their beloved pets knowing their own names and perhaps even responding to those names. How nice it would be to call Thumper and have him immediately hopping over to you, right?

The thing is, rabbits don’t seem to care that much, unlike dogs who are so quick to respond to commands like “Sit!” or “Come!”

Contrary to popular belief though, rabbits can actually be trained, and it doesn’t have to be through some special process either.

small rabbit being held
My bunny is called Sniffles

How rabbits recognise sounds

Like all other animal species, rabbits have their own language that they use to communicate among each other. This language consists of a mix of body language, sounds, and other behaviours to signal what they’re feeling or what they want to do.

Some examples are tooth-grinding, thumping, and grunting. Rabbits may even scream to show when they’re in pain!


If you pay attention to your rabbit, you’ll see that its ears’ position changes depending on its listening mood. For instance, a rabbit that is fully attentive to something will have its ears facing forward.

One that’s not as interested, on the other hand, will have its ears lying back. This is because rabbits have very good hearing and can easily distinguish between different sounds.

They know which sounds are worth listening to and which aren’t.

As time goes by, they will begin to associate certain sounds with specific things, especially if there’s a reward or punishment that comes after.

If a wild rabbit hears growling and then immediately sees a predator afterwards, it will learn to flee or be more on defense when it hears that sound again in the future.

How to train your rabbit to recognize its name

Since rabbits are smart enough to distinguish different sounds, they’re also smart enough to recognize the sounds that make up their own names.

They’re even smart enough to learn a couple more command words, though it’s best to stick to just a few so as not to give your rabbit a hard time.

TOP TIP: Rabbits love to play and the more you play with them then the more they will recognize their own names.

Training your rabbit, whether it’s to recognize their own name or to do a command, is just like training any other species. You’ll need a cue, an action, and a reward to successfully accomplish the training.

Most of all, you’ll need to be consistent, or else you won’t be able to succeed.

Reward your rabbit with lovely rabbit treats. Here is our favorite rabbit treats Wild Harvest Mixed Nuts and Treats.

In this case, the cue is your rabbit’s name, the action is coming towards you or even just facing you, and the reward is a treat. Do this enough times and your rabbit is bound to remember its

small dwarf rabbit
What’s your pet rabbit called?

Factors that affect your rabbit’s name recognition ability

Not all rabbits were created equal (though they’re all adorable and cute!) so don’t make the mistake of comparing your rabbit to another.

Keep in mind that there are several factors that can affect your critter’s ability to recognize its name or warm up to commands.


All rabbits are smart, but they’re not all equally smart. Some rabbits are just faster learners than others, while some rabbits may need a bit more patience and understanding before it can learn.

It’s just like other animal species really, including humans.

Personality and Temperament

Rabbits also vary in personality and temperament. Some rabbits are more willing to go through long bouts of training; others are already irritated five minutes in.

A hot-tempered rabbit is less likely to learn than a cool-headed rabbits since the former also tends to be more stubborn than the latter.

Consistency of Training

Last but not the least, the consistency of your training sessions with your rabbit is also an important factor in determining how fast and how well your rabbit will learn.

If you set aside enough time each day to train your rabbit, you’ll definitely get there in no time at all. In terms of name recognition though, simply calling a rabbit by its name every time you see it already works wonders for many people.

Famous Rabbit Names

Now that we know that rabbits can actually recognise their own names, here are some famous rabbit names from well-loved celebrities around the world.

  • Miley Cyrus’s Jack, a wee little bunny she was found carrying outside
  • Paris Hilton’s BunBuns, only one out of her 20 total bunnies that she saved from becoming food at a snake shelter
  • Amy Sedaris’ Dusty, one of her rabbits that made an appearance in Microsoft’s commercial ad
  • Bob Barker’s Honey Bunny and Mr. Rabbit, two precious bunnies rescued from an animal shelter
  • Clint Eastwood’s August, a bunny also rescued from a shelter
  • Kate Nash’s Fluffy, who became her inspiration to stop eating meat altogether

Conclusion: Do rabbits recognize their name?

As you can see, rabbits are definitely smart enough to learn and recognize their own name. In fact, they can even be trained to follow commands and do simple tricks.

Curious to see how that would be like? What are you waiting for, go and give it a try now and see if your rabbit recognizes its own name?


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