How to Train a Rabbit: 4 Basic Tricks & Commands

If you’ve been spotting a few too many tiny poops or pee stains around your house, don’t despair—rabbits are intelligent animals that can certainly be trained to use a litter box. They can even be trained to learn basic tricks and perform simple commands, which is a great way to interact and bond with your rabbit while mentally stimulating them.

This post shares step-by-step guides on how to train your rabbit to use a litter box and follow some easy commands.


The 4 Tricks & Commands & How to Train Your Rabbit to Do Them

1. Using a Litter Box

rabbit sitting on a litter best litter for rabbit
Image Credit: Janulin Andrey, Shutterstock
  • What you’ll need: A litter box without a lid, litter (not cat litter or cedar shavings), some hay, a hay rack

Note: Before we get started, it’s good to note that rabbits that haven’t been spayed or neutered tend to urine mark and might not respond to training as well as a spayed or neutered rabbit. Consider speaking to your vet about spaying or neutering.


  1. Place a good amount of litter into a clean litter box. The depth should be around 1 inch.
  2. Place the litter box where you want it to go, preferably in an area of the hutch where your rabbit particularly likes to do their business.
  3. (Optional) You might want to try placing a bit of soiled litter into the box so that it smells more familiar to your rabbit.
  4. Place a rack next to the box filled with hay to encourage your rabbit to start using it.
  5. When your rabbit gets the hang of using the litter box in their hutch, you can place another one in their free-roaming area.

2. Jumping Up onto Furniture

Dutch dwarf rabbit color agouti
Image Credit: Volha Suhakova, Shutterstock
  • What you’ll need: Treats


  1. Take a treat and hold it on the edge of the sofa or whatever furniture you want them to jump up onto.
  2. Encourage your rabbit to stand up and take the treat by patting the furniture.
  3. When your rabbit can stand up to take the treat, start gradually moving the treat backward so they have to jump to get it.

3. Targeting

adorable little girl feeding her pet rabbit at home
Image Credit: PeopleImages.com – Yuri A, Shutterstock
  • What you’ll need: A small ball attached to a stick, treats

Note: Targeting is a trick that involves teaching a rabbit to touch their nose to a ball to get a treat.


  1. Hold the stick with the ball attached in front of the rabbit and hold a treat in your hand.
  2. Encourage the rabbit to touch their nose to the ball. For rabbits that need more motivation, you can try spreading a little of their favorite food on the ball.
  3. When the rabbit touches their nose to the ball, immediately give them the treat in your hand.
  4. When your rabbit has got the hang of targeting, you can play games with them like getting them to follow the ball or getting them to turn and circle by swinging the ball gently above their head in a circular motion.

4. Sitting Up

Little rabbit smelling a flower in the garden
Image Credit: Olena Svyrydova, Shutterstock
  • What you’ll need: Treats


  1. Hold a treat above the rabbit’s head and give a command like “Sit up”.
  2. Let the rabbit sit up to retrieve the treat and praise them when they do so.
  3. Keep practicing this and, with time, your rabbit should be able to sit up whenever you ask them to.


Extra Training Tips

Training a rabbit can be fun and enriching for both bunny and bunny parents, but there are some things to be aware of to make sure training is a safe and enjoyable experience. Here are some extra tips for making training a success:

  • Be patient with your rabbit if they don’t get something quickly—these things can take time.

  • Know your rabbit’s limits. For example, assess whether or not it would be truly safe to encourage your rabbit to jump onto a particular kind of furniture, like one that’s quite high up.

  • Train your rabbit in short sessions.

  • Spend lots of time socializing your rabbit, ideally from an early age, by handling them regularly and letting them get used to you and other family members gradually. This will make it easier to train them.

  • Don’t punish your rabbit for bathroom-related accidents. Instead, use lots of encouragement and positive reinforcement.


Final Thoughts

With plenty of patience and consistency, you can train your rabbit in good bathroom habits in addition to various other tricks and commands. When you bring your rabbit home, it’s best to start training them to use a litter box straight away. If you have an adult rabbit, it’s still possible to train them, so don’t worry—just be consistent and, with time, your rabbit should start to toilet more appropriately!

Featured Image Credit: Kyttan, Shutterstock

The post How to Train a Rabbit: 4 Basic Tricks & Commands appeared first on Pet Keen.

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