Have you heard of Champis? He is a sheep-herding bunny! I heard about Champis through the BBC World Service but I didn't believe the story until I saw the amazing YouTube video. Champis lives on a farm in Sweden, he likes hanging out with chickens and chasing sheep.
If you watch closely, you can see some face to face confrontations between the rabbit and the sheep. The sheep do at times stand and face the rabbit. I have seen a ewe see off a labrador by stamping her forefeet and threatening to head butt the dog. I have also seen a ewe behave in the same way toward a toddler. Once on a shearing job, the piglets got out while the sheep which had been shorn were loose in the yard and a ewe head butted a fair sized piglet. Sheep can be feisty but so can bunnies.
In this video you will see the sheep stand and face the rabbit, one sheep lowers her head and threatens to butt bunny. Far from being intimidated, Champis lays back his ears and lunges at the sheep. This is too much for the sheep. Bunny wins the round, every time.
A lunging rabbit can be a scary experience. What we can't get from the video is the sound rabbits make, rabbits have quite a range of vocalisations and when they lunge they often growl. I've seen members of my family jump back when my old rabbit, sadly no longer with us, lunged at their ankles growling when we were trying to catch him for some necessary treatment. Champis may well be growling at the sheep when he lunges and sounding like a dog, of course bunnies aren't as loud as dogs but sheep have very good hearing!
I think Champis should be offered a job as an assertiveness trainer. He certainly shows what self belief and guts can achieve. Enjoy the video and do let me know what you think!
You can find out more about Champis from his owners' blog Gardsbackens Blogg.