3 Obedience Skills Your Rabbit Needs To Know To Provide Emotional Support In An Assisted Living Community

Having an animal nearby while residing in an assisted living facility can be comforting for many people, so you may want to check and see if the assisted living facility you will be moving to allows emotional support animals. While dogs are traditionally thought of as support animals, rabbits can provide emotional support while taking up less space.

In order to ensure that your rabbit has the disposition needed to be a successful support animal in an assisted living setting, it can be beneficial to teach him or her some basic obedience commands. Here are three obedience skills your rabbit can learn in order to become a more successful support animal as you transition into an assisted living environment.

1. Come

Getting a rabbit to listen to your command to come can be challenging. In order to become registered as an emotional support animal, your rabbit will need to prove that he or she will come to you when called by name.

You can begin teaching this important obedience skill by enticing your rabbit with treats. Call out your pet's name, then offer a treat like a piece of apple or a strawberry. The treat will get your rabbit's attention, and he or she will eventually associate being called with receiving a treat. You can slowly eliminate the treats and replace them with affection to reward your rabbit when he or she comes to you on command.

2. Follow

When going through the emotional support animal registration process, your rabbit will be evaluated for his or her ability to follow your lead. Teaching your rabbit to follow can be a difficult task, but participating in an agility class could be beneficial in helping your pet develop this important obedience skill.

Rabbits love to run and jump, and you can harness their natural affinity for these activities by setting up an obstacle course for your rabbit to navigate. Begin working on the obstacle course with your rabbit on a harness and leash, so that he or she can get used to following you through the course. Eventually, you will be able to remove the leash and have your rabbit follow you on command.

3. Leave It

A rabbit's natural curiosity causes them to want to explore their surroundings. As an emotional support animal, your rabbit will be exposed to many new people, objects, and situations in an assisted living environment. It's important that your rabbit has the ability to divert his or her attention away from something that is unfamiliar and stay focused on you and your commands when interacting with other residents.

Teaching your rabbit the "leave it" command by providing an interesting object and then rewarding your bunny with treats when he or she disengages from the object on command will help your rabbit become an asset to the assisted living community in which you reside.

Taking the time to teach your bunny some basic obedience skills like come, follow, and leave it will help you enjoy more favorable around your assisted living community in the future.