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Home > Rabbits > Do Rabbits Recognize Their Owners? The Interesting Answer!

Do Rabbits Recognize Their Owners? The Interesting Answer!

rabbit resting her head on the shoulder of her owner

Rabbits may not be pets that are as common as cats or dogs, but they’re still quite popular in the US. They don’t show affection as dogs and cats do, but they’re able to recognize their owners and bond with them.

Rabbits display different body language and behaviors that reflect their moods, and it’s helpful for rabbit owners to familiarize themselves with how rabbits communicate. Rabbits are able to get used to human touch over time and start to recognize their owners.


Signs That Rabbits Recognize Their Owners

Rabbits are often initially shy and may not like being touched. This behavior could be because they’re naturally prey animals and exercise more caution in the wild. With proper interactions, they can become less shy and even start to enjoy their owners’ company.

  • They Don’t Hide – One of the biggest clues that rabbits give is if they don’t run away or try to hide whenever you enter the room. This usually means that they don’t see you as a threat and feel safe. While rabbits have different personalities and preferences, many rabbits will also start to interact more with people it recognizes and deems safe.
  • They Binky – Rabbits that feel comfortable around their owners may start to engage in binkying. Rabbits will binky when they’re feeling happy or are in a good mood. They’ll start hopping around quickly and also kick up their hind legs.
  • They Click Their Teeth – Content rabbits may also click their teeth. Clicking teeth is similar to cats purring, and rabbits will do it when they’re feeling safe and relaxed. They may also lick or nibble at you. This is how rabbits groom themselves and others. So, if a rabbit is trying to groom you, it’s a sign that it has bonded to you.
  • They Let You Pet Them – Lastly, some rabbits enjoy human contact and enjoy receiving pets. They may give you a head bump to let you know that they want some attention. Rabbits that feel safe around you may also start to take naps while you’re in the same room. This means that they don’t see you as a threat and may view you as a protector while they sleep.
close up cute netherland dwarf rabbit in lawn
Image By: CART00N, Shutterstock

How to Train Your Rabbit to Recognize You

It’s going to take some time to train your rabbit to recognize you since many of them are naturally shy. It’s important to go at a slow pace that your rabbit is comfortable with so that you don’t end up intimidating it. Fortunately, rabbits are social animals, so they usually come around and bond with humans.

The first thing you can do is just spend time in the same area as your rabbit without interacting with it. This will help your rabbit get used to your presence and learn that you’re not going to hurt it. Let your rabbit approach you first, and make sure to remain calm. You can also start feeding your rabbit treats to help it build a positive association with you.

Building a routine for your rabbit can also help it recognize you more quickly. Feeding and interacting with it at certain parts of the day consistently can help your rabbit know what to expect from you. The predictability can help it feel more comfortable and get used to your presence.

blanc de hotot rabbit
Image By: Barbarajo, Shutterstock



Rabbits are social animals that are capable of recognizing and building bonds with people. It’s important to have calm and non-threatening interactions with your rabbit, especially when it first arrives in your home. These types of interactions will help rabbits identify you as a safe person. It’ll take some time, but with consistent interactions, your rabbit will eventually come to recognize you and enjoy your company.

Featured Image Credit: Dean Clarke, Shutterstock

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