Rabbit pooping outside box after being perfectly trained

by Barbara
(Maryville, tn, usa)

I have a flemish giant doe. I have had her since she was 2 months old. She is one year old this month. She is a house bunny, with free reign in the house, and we have never had a problem with her using her box. She has always been very clean. She is healthy as far as I can tell, and happy. She is friendly with our dogs and cat and children(11 and 14). She gets quite a bit of attention whenever she wants it. She was spayed at about 5 months.

About a month, maybe 2 months ago, we began to notice that there seemed to be more bunny 'berries' out side the box than usual. Over a period of time, she has been pooping more outside the box, than in it now. It's mostly right near the box, not all over the house. We have always used newspaper, (lining, and also shredded in the box)) for 'litter'. She seemed perfectly fine with it.
Sometimes she urinates outside the box now, too.

We have a large (48"x32"x30") crate in our bedroom, with a bunny box inside. We only put her in there if we are going out and want to be sure she is safe. She does not mind the crate and sometimes opts to sleep in it on her own.

Is this all 'marking' behavior? Is there any way to get her to go back to using her box? We are trying to let her out in the morning, when she is most active, then crating her in the middle of the day with her food, then letting her out agin for a while in the evening as an attempt to get her back in the habit of using the box. THink it might work? Is there anything else we can do?

Thank you very much for any help you can send our way. We love her, and would not like to overlook something we might be doing wrong to bring on this behavior. She is very good in every other way.

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