Saturday, August 31, 2013

Vancouver Rabbity Agility Club is Hopping!

The Vancouver Courier recently published an article on the newly formed Vancouver Rabbit Agility Club (British Columbia) with Olga Betts. Olga is the President of the  Vancouver Rabbit Rescue and Advocacy, a chapter of the House Rabbit Society
I have noticed in the past couple of years several rabbit rescue organizations are now formally or informally organizing rabbit agility or hopping events.  The events showcase rabbits as the active, intelligent and very independent creatures they are.  As Olga notes in the video below, rabbits are not like dogs performing for treats. They are more like horses in that they learn what to do and then make their own decisions whether or not they will perform.  If you have ever been to a rabbit hopping or rabbit agility event, it's obvious rabbits decide whether or not they will take a jump or go through part of an agility course.  As long as the training and events are positive for the rabbit (no negative reinforcement), then it is a fun indoor or outdoor experience plus incredibly adorable. 
Even though rabbits approach Rabbit Agility like little horses it still looks a lot like Dog Agility with rabbits maneuvering the agility equipment by going over, under, around and through. The rabbits are generally off leash in a timed event. Rabbit Hopping or Rabbit Jumping is similar, but there are big differences. First of all, Rabbit Hopping is all about jumping.  The competition features the rabbits running a course of jumps normally on a harness/leash. 
These activities go a long way toward getting rabbits out of cages, demonstrates another enjoyable aspect of bunnies as a companions, and creates a lot of interaction with humans and rabbits.