What are the Differences Between a Male and Female Rabbit?

If you’re ever at the pet store thinking about owning a pet rabbit, you might be curious to know the difference between getting a male or female rabbit.

So the question is, what’s the difference between a male and female rabbit and which should you own?

In most cases, male rabbits are often the preferred gender for first time rabbit owners. That’s because they are more docile, less territorial, and less destructive than their counterpart female rabbits. However, owning a female rabbit can also have great advantages as well including being more active and less likely to be afraid of humans.

Whichever you decide to choose, just known that owning a pet rabbit can be an extremely rewarding experience.

If you want to know more, let’s dive into the details.

Male vs. Female Rabbits

A general note that I would like to add is that not all genders can be generalized based on their characteristics and behaviors. This means that not all males will act the way they should, and not all males will act the way they should either.

This is just a generalization seen across a multitude of examples and experiences.

In fact, there are dozens and dozens of factors that can play an integral part in a rabbit’s behavior and character.

In the wild, female and male rabbits have their own roles to play. The female rabbits the one who will instinctively dig and create a nest. Male rabbits are often calmer and don’t play much of a fatherly role with his children. Rabbits don’t necessarily have life partners and so most of the time, you’ll likely have male rabbits looking to mate with the same or next female rabbit that catches his attention.

With that being said, other main differences you’ll find between the two sexes is falls onto territorial, destructive and healthcare costs.

Male rabbits

If you are a first time rabbit owner, then I would suggest you start with a male rabbit. Male rabbits are naturally more docile and less destructive than their female counterpart.

What is a male rabbit called?

A male rabbit is sometimes referred to as a “buck”. Don’t let the name fool you. Male rabbits are generally calm, gentle and almost shy around humans.

Male rabbits mount more often

While some females have been known to hump and mount, it’s the male species that does most of the mounting. This behavior is often seem more in rabbits that have not been neutered.

Mounting is an attempt to breed which is a habit that can still occur after being neutered.

It’s all a part of the courting ritual and even if you have your male rabbit neutered, it’s just something that comes out of habit, especially around the Spring season.

Personalities of male rabbits

Male rabbits tend to be more easy going and calm. They are very laid back. However, they can be rather aggressive after they mature.

Male rabbits can be territorial or at least aggressive against other male rabbits.

They are not quite as destructive when compared to female rabbits.

Male rabbits have also been known to spray their urine in places to mark their territory more often than females do. They’ll usually do this to burrowed created by the female rabbit to discourage other male rabbits from entering.

Your male rabbit can also mark the house with it’s urine. This may damage some of your floors and surfaces, but neutering should help ease this issue.

The odor from the urine might require you to keep the home more tidy in its presence.

Female rabbits

What is a female rabbit called?

A female rabbit is technically referred to as a “doe”.

Females are more territorial

Female rabbits spend a lot of time digging and preparing their nest for their young. I know it would seem that males would win the prize here, but in fact, it’s the females who are the territorial ones.

The females naturally have a stronger instinct for protecting their young and will sometimes show a lot of aggression if anything were to invade its territory.

Personalities of female rabbits

Female rabbits are not as shy with humans as male rabbits are. Again, female rabbits are likely to be aggressive in nature.

They are more likely to dig and scour.

How can you tell if a rabbit is male or female?

Male vs female rabbit examine - About Everything Pets
Male vs female rabbit examine

While walking through the pet store or pet shelter, it might be useful to determine if your rabbit is either a male or female.

It’s actually much easier to tell if your rabbit is male or female if it’s matured. Here are some steps on how to find out.

  1. With your dominant hand, hold the back of the rabbit’s neck.
  2. With your other hand, cradle the rabbit so that it’s belly is pointed upward.
  3. Have another person at the tail end of the rabbit hold one of its legs out of the way.
  4. The second person will use his/her other hand to spread out the fur and expose the genital area.
  5. The second person will need to press up and inward and this will cause the penis of the rabbit to pop out. If this were a female, the protrusion would be visible however, it wouldn’t be as large.

For younger rabbits, it’s a little difficult to identify visually. At around 5 weeks it should be a little more noticable. But if it’s under 5 weeks, they all kind of look the same.

If you really want to be able to identify the difference is to compare both female and male so that you can get an idea on what the differences are.

Ultimately, my best advice to you would be to understand this. The genital opening on a male is circular. On a female, you’ll notice a vertical slit or line as the opening. The vertical slit will start from the beginning of the protrusion and end at the very tip of her genital area.

Neutering your rabbit

The meaning of neutering deals with male animals. In this case, the neutering will be for male rabbits where they remove the testicles.

When compared to spaying a female rabbit, it was a much less dangerous procedure. It’s also a much more affordable procedure.

You can avoid having to get it done yourself by adopting your rabbit from a shelter. However, you’ll likely not get to pick a baby rabbit.

Normally, you’ll see males being friendlier and they can be a bit more social in due time.

Spaying your rabbit

Spaying pertains to a procedure that deals with incision and removal of the uterus and ovaries of a female rabbit.

Spaying your rabbit can have many health benefits. Spayed rabbits have a higher life expectancy and has major benefits to their health and wellbeing. It can also help remove the risk of ovarian cancer.

Is it better to have a male rabbit or a female rabbit?

Male rabbits are generally calm and relaxed. And ultimately I would recommend that start with a male rabbit. In fact, if you weren’t too sure on how to take care of a rabbit, it would probably be best to start with a male rabbit.

Being calm and gentle also adds a great advantage, especially for young children.

But owning a female rabbit can also have it’s rewards and advantages as well. Female rabbits can show a lot of dominance. A female rabbit will be able to hold its own against cats and dogs.

If you have young children, then go for a male. If you have pets and other animals and you don’t mind it a bit of a challange, then go for a female.

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Author: John