Are rabbits sassy? You better believe it. I give you Exhibit A, Benjamin. I think he may be a Lionhead-Mini Rex cross. He came to our household in 2014, as an Easter bunny someone else was not able to keep. I named him Benjamin, after Beatrix Potter’s fictional bunny, cousin of Peter Rabbit. Since Miss Potter’s storybook rabbits tend to be rather mischievous, it turned out the name suited.
For those who aren’t familiar with rabbits, they generally don’t make a great a deal of vocal noise. Domestic rabbits will usually only make vocalizations when under distress or if they’re really upset with you.
So, how and why does a rabbit sass you? All rabbits are protective of their personal space. That being said, they do enjoy getting out of their cages and stretching those powerful back legs. But they don’t like being picked up. Early on, I reached an agreement with Buns and Angus. I trained them to get in their litterboxes (the bunny elevator – Willy Wonka style) when it’s time to clean cages. They quickly caught on that they got transferred to the play pen, and will be waiting in their boxes when they know it’s cage cleaning time.
Benjamin, on the other hand, has a contrary nature. He enjoys his time in the pen, but doesn’t want me to move him, period. He’s also very touchy about anything I do in his cage, even taking his dish when it’s time to feed everyone. He grunts at me whenever I put a hand in his space, but his favorite means of expressing his displeasure is by stomping his back feet. He stomps a foot when I put him in the pen, and he stomps when it’s time to go back to his cage. There are also occasions he stomps his feet when I am nowhere nearby, including in the middle of the night. It freaks out our nearly 12 yr. old Texas Heeler, Alexa. (I’m certain, in her mind the rabbits have been dubbed the long-eared weirdos.) In fact, Benjamin has succeeded in bluffing our bigger dogs, including the Labrador Retriever, that he’s one tough rabbit.
Why is Benjamin the Vice President of Sass? It’s difficult to say. I don’t treat him any differently from the other bunnies. It might be a breed trait of the Mini Rex, or it could just be his own unique personality.