Have you ever noticed rabbits jumping over each other? To be a great rabbit owner, you should understand this behavior. If you observe a rabbit in your backyard, jumping over your bunny, it seems that they’re playing. Really, they’re cute to watch.
So, why do rabbits jump over each other? Rabbits mainly jump over each other to invite the other rabbit to mate. At first, the female remains in a threat posture and approaches the male with her forepaws. After that, both male and female rabbits jump over each other, one leaping into the air as the other darting beneath it.
Apart from that, rabbits may jump over each other to fight, assert dominance, express joy, and more. In this article, we’re going to talk about all that. Once you finished reading this, we recommend taking a quick look at another article on why rabbits run in front of cars.
Related Blog: Why Do Rabbits Hop Instead Of Run? Read more
What Are the Reasons Why Rabbits Play Leapfrog?
This depends on several factors, including your rabbit’s age and gender. If both rabbits are the same gender, they might be playing and forming a bond with each other. But, if they’re of opposite genders, they’re likely to invite each other to mate.
#1. Inviting to Mate
Jumping over each other is a part of rabbits’ courtship dance to see whether the other rabbit is interested in mating or not. Typically, the male quickly approaches the female to attract her, but she dodges him by leaping into the air.
Are there any other signs that show that rabbits are interested in mating? Yes, there are 3 more reasons, such as –
- Keeping sniffing each other’s bum
- Chasing each other in circles
- Following each other everywhere
If you’re the owner of a couple of rabbits of the opposite genders, or you have a male rabbit but your neighbor has a female rabbit jumping over each other in your backyard, there is a high chance that they’re inviting each other to mate.
#2. Boxing AKA Fighting
Another reason rabbits play leapfrog could be fighting. This is common and observed more in mature, male rabbits. As one charges the other, he/she dodges by leaping. The following signs tell you that rabbits are boxing, not playing or mating.
- Tensing or stiffing muscles
- Putting front legs forward
- Clawing to push the other
- Trying to bite each other
- Staring at each other to attack
Many rabbit owners ask why rabbits fight a lot. In our opinion, rabbits fight a lot for several reasons, like defending their territory, protecting their food and other resources, seeing who can win over the females. In fact, their hormones drive them to fight a lot.
#3. Asserting Dominance
Rabbits may play leapfrog to assert dominance. They have a hierarchy, and they have to decide who is the strongest in their group. If you already have a bunny, and you adopt a new one, both will compete with each other.
There are other signs that show one rabbit is asserting dominance over the other. The most common ones are:
- Biting each other
- Staring at each other
- Striking their feet on the ground
- Laying on top of the other rabbit
- Pushing the other with a head-butt
In order to assert dominance, the fight between the rabbits continues until one of them submits. While fighting, you have to watch them so that it cannot turn bad. Rabbits have sharp teeth and claws to wound the others.
#4. Staying Active
Being overweight is bad for rabbits’ health. That’s why they jump over each other to stay fit and active. As a part of workouts, they jump from high places. In fact, rabbits eat a lot, and they always have to be on the move to reduce weight.
Besides, rabbits may jump over each other in order to practice how to get away from predators, such as feral cats, wild dogs, ground squirrels, and other prey birds. If bunnies don’t move around, they can be weaker, and predators can easily grab them.
#5. Expressing Joy and Excitement
Rabbits can feel joyous and excited. As they’re not as vocal as cats or dogs, they express happiness and excitement through actions, especially leaping in the air. When you come home, your rabbit must feel excited. And it may accidentally jump over another rabbit.
Besides, rabbits may jump due to sudden shock. For example, a loud banging sound can shock them. And they leap in the air out of fear, looking like they’re playing leapfrog. In reality, it’s only an accidental scenario.
#6. Feeling Safe
Playing the leapfrog shows that the rabbit feels comfortable and secure. They may also jump at their owners to express love. However, it’s obvious that threatened rabbits won’t be in the mood of playing at all.
If you have rabbits that often jump one another, it means they feel safe at your home. This also indicates that your rabbits trust you. Always try to be a favorite to your bunnies. You’ll definitely get unconditional love from them.
#7. Just Playing
Sometimes, rabbits jump over each other, aka playing leapfrog, just for playing together. Rabbits of all ages can do this, but the young bunnies do this more. Whether they’re wild or pet rabbits, this is one of the main ways of playing.
To know how rabbits usually play, you have to keep an eye on their body language. Generally, a playful rabbit flops to the side, sits or lays down in a relaxed position, runs around then stops to dig, and nips you or the other rabbit to tease.
Depending on your rabbit’s gender and age, playing leapfrog can mean several things. If your bunny isn’t mature, jumping over each other refers to just playing. However, if your rabbits are old enough and opposite in gender, it could be the courtship dance for mating.
By the way, we hope you have learned a lot about why rabbits jump over each other. If you have ever noticed such a thing, you can share it with us below in the comment section. Follow us on Pinterest, and Twitter.