Dogs and Rabbits

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Dogs and Rabbits

Post by SarahJane on Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:05 pm

Do you believe certain breeds should be avoided when having a dog in addition to rabbits, or do you believe it's more of a case of nurture tops nature?

Me and Mum are trying to decide what dog is practical for us. Basically, we have to move - again! Our landlord is selling the house. Me and Mum have decided to rent together again, even though all that drama happened Feb 2013 because of my brother. He isn't moving with us, he still isnt working, and she said no she isnt paying for him anymore as he's 22, and he does have a room at my Dads anyway.

So we are renting somewhere 50/50 split, everything, bills, the lot. It is 'our' house together. I did toy with living on my own, but if I live alone, my budget will allow a 1 bedroom flat, on the outskirts of town. I'd be lonely, because I don't work and me and my Mum do get along very well, it's only when my brother is involved we argue because he pays zero.

Anyway, she wants to move further out of town, to a more countryside area. We're sticking to places with train links, but I asked her if I could have a dog as there isn't going to be much reason for me to get out and about. She said yes, as it's our home, and if I'm paying 50/50 - it's fine. The only restriction is a short haired or non shedding dog as I can't do much housework.

as you know, I ADORE Cavaliers. One day I'd love another, but it isnt practical right now. So, another dog I have always wanted is a Sausage Dog/Daschund. Mums likes these dogs too, and they seem ideal for us and our situation. But....Daschunds don't seem the best dog for rabbit households.

That being said, I know people with rabbits who also have jack russels, greyhounds, etc.

Is this a complete no no, or is it something thats a case by case basis and based on the dogs own personality?

My Cavalier ignored the rabbits, but if she ever saw one running free she would have gone for them. (obviously never happened) But Rocky, the collie x, loved them. (Although he hated them at first). So....yeah, thoughts please?

Dog will be rescue and yes I am open to xbreeds, this is just general wondering going on here.



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Re: Dogs and Rabbits

Post by woodwench on Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:26 pm

There are obviously some groups of dogs that have a predisposition to "hunt" rabbits and other small animals. All terriers for a start, and spaniels and hunting breeds like beagles, bassets and hounds. Dachshunds are a hunting breed too.
BUT there are always going to be individuals in these breeds (in all dog breeds) that are going to be fine with rabbits etc.. I guess a lot depends on how much time you dedicate to training the animal, and how good you are at training it. You will have to be very aware of the instincts of terrier/hunting breeds, especially if they come from working stock. If I was to look for another dog to live alongside Henry I would probably consider something like a labradoodle (non shedding and the lab, though a shooting breed, is a gentle breed and the poodle very intelligent). Whatever you choose, learn as much as you can about the breed and its character before getting one and find out as much as you can about the individual dogs background to, this latter can be difficult if you take on a rescue dog.
I had a border collie who lived quite happily alongside two successive house rabbits. She would run free alongside them in the garden and lie with them on the hearth rug at night. I would, however be wary of taking in another border collie to live with Henry.
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Re: Dogs and Rabbits

Post by SarahJane on Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:54 pm

Yeh, Bonnie was a lap dog, a toy breed but she was still a spaniel so that makes sense.

I'm more fussed on personality than breed to be honest, I've had crossbreeds before and that's fine - i guess with my specific restrictions it's easier to focus on breed because then it's easier to sift out what will work and what won't.

Will have to see what happens in the next few days etc!



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Re: Dogs and Rabbits

Post by jolovesbunnies on Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:15 pm

I would say the same love, terriers may be a problem because of what they have been bred for. I would love a Sheltie but I would want to research and find out if it would a danger or a potential danger to my bunny. They are sheepdogs so I am not quite sure if it would be all right or not. You are right Cavaliers are gorgeous.

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Re: Dogs and Rabbits

Post by Thumper2001 on Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:18 pm

I wouldn't let any dog near my rabbits.
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Re: Dogs and Rabbits

Post by Amelia66 on Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:28 pm

depends on what you mean by near. if they are always going to be behind bars, a cage or a run i would say any dog should be fine as long as they are supervised. If you are talking about the rabbits running free then no dog would be suitable because what a dog sees as playing could seriously injure a rabbit. Also the want to chase can become too much and stress the rabbits.

It also depends on if you are getting the dog from a puppy or a adult from rescue? puppies are easier to train not to be bothered by the rabbits as they can learn from a very young ages. dogs that are already older can be harder. Both my dogs are fine with rabbits and have been brought up with them since pups, they will both go nose to nose for sniffs and then on their way. Although the pup is less trusted as she gets overexcited and want to chase them, but there is always a barrier between them.

Smaller dogs are also less likely to be able to tip over runs or pens to get to the rabbits, and as daschunds aren't allowed to jump up on things discouraging this can help too. All depends on the dogs personality some are chasers some really aren't that bothered no matter the breed.
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Re: Dogs and Rabbits

Post by marleyNfriends on Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:39 pm

Tough one. I say its more how the dog is raised, but when it comes to a rescue, you never 100% know what youre getting.

Ive had a bichon, chihuahua, labrador, lurcher, JRTs and collies around my buns. Some were like their breed traits, others werent. The collies were not interested in my rabbits at all. The lab had a keen interest, but I dont believe he would intentionally hurt them, hes just an over friendly klutz, lurcher had a sniff, but wasnt allowed too close, JRTs were a mixed bag, some were fine, others went stir crazy.

My own dogs are fine with them. I would never trust them 100%. Poppy has been in the garden before I knew my buns had escaped, and she had no interest in them. Rocky will get in the run, sniff them, and then wait until they pooped out a tasty treat Rolling Eyes Thats all he has ever been interested in. As you know, Rocky is a rescue, is badly socialised, has aggression issues etc. Before I got him, he lived on a farm, and his doggy 'friends' were used for hunting, so it was never discouraged when there was something to be caught or chased.

Sorry, im getting off topic! My point is, Id have thought, that if any of the dogs Ive had would be a problem with the rabbits, it would be him. Hes been great. Poppy too, although i wouldnt put it past her not to chase them, she wouldnt go to bite or paw them. I think if you socialise buns and dogs properly, and are sensible, you shouldnt have an issue.
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Re: Dogs and Rabbits

Post by BugsBunny on Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:51 pm

Labradors are very good natured and lfab dogs, in fact my favourite breed as Sam loved any other animal etc and was the sweetest, softest lack lab ever. He was just a big softy and they are happy loving dogs, he always wagged his tail and was just the best, I miss him so much. I do not know if they are too big a breed for what you want if you do want a small breed, but if you are considering one and you can get a bit of a bigger one then black lab all the way.
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Re: Dogs and Rabbits

Post by SarahJane on Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:37 pm

Whoops, I wasn't very clear Laughing

The dog would never ever be around the rabbits, even Rocky when he comes to visit isn't near them, they are always in a pen or run. So I mean like, behind bars basically.

I have had dogs and rabbits before, so it's not a new thing for me, but I haven't had a dog day in day out around my rabbits for two years, since my mum and dad split up. Now Rocky lives with my Dad, and I only see him once every few months as I don't see my dad, he thinks I left 'with' my Mum, like I helped her leave and he doesn't understand it was so much more than that, so, I haven't spoken to him since June 2013. I see Rocky sometimes, I miss him so much. I'll see him in the summer more, seeing him this weekend actually! Very Happy

But yeh, I don't mean to be around the rabbits free range in any capacity what so ever. I just mean, to live alongside them, in the same home.



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Re: Dogs and Rabbits

Post by Amelia66 on Wed Apr 01, 2015 10:54 am

As long as they are supervised and the dog is taught boundaries you should be fine Thumbs Up
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Re: Dogs and Rabbits

Post by marleyNfriends on Wed Apr 01, 2015 11:19 am

SarahJane wrote:Whoops, I wasn't very clear Laughing

The dog would never ever be around the rabbits, even Rocky when he comes to visit isn't near them, they are always in a pen or run. So I mean like, behind bars basically.

I have had dogs and rabbits before, so it's not a new thing for me, but I haven't had a dog day in day out around my rabbits for two years, since my mum and dad split up. Now Rocky lives with my Dad, and I only see him once every few months as I don't see my dad, he thinks I left 'with' my Mum, like I helped her leave and he doesn't understand it was so much more than that, so, I haven't spoken to him since June 2013. I see Rocky sometimes, I miss him so much. I'll see him in the summer more, seeing him this weekend actually! Very Happy

But yeh, I don't mean to be around the rabbits free range in any capacity what so ever. I just mean, to live alongside them, in the same home.

In which case, as long as the sight and smell of the rabbits isnt going to drive the dog nuts, i cant see a problem. They all become accustomed to it eventually, and if there are problems, i guess you can condition them not to react to it. My neighbours dog goes mental whenever she comes to our front door. Shes got a real prey drive and hunting instinct, but he encourages her to get them, especially the myxi rabbits in summer, as awful as it might sound. My aunrys dog is pretty nuts for buns too, but she tends to leave mine alone when she realises she cant get at them. My buns arent generally bothered by dogs, either, as theyre used to mine.
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Re: Dogs and Rabbits

Post by SarahJane on Wed Apr 01, 2015 12:14 pm

When I randomly brought home Jelly my parents went nuts because Rocky couldn't even walk past her, even on his lead without pulling and barking and they were sure I'd made a huge mistake. Rocky would never ever hurt them now, I'd never leave him with them unattended, but he can be in the same room as them with just the puppy pen to separate and not care.

I'm glad to know it's possible, i've never added a dog to the house after rabbits, it's always been the other way around.



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Re: Dogs and Rabbits

Post by Velvet.Tears on Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:21 pm

I believe a dog taught to get along more being a puppy is a lot better they will get along fine, supervised of course
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Re: Dogs and Rabbits

Post by FluffSlave on Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:28 pm

I think as long as they are always supervised around the rabbits and the adequate precautions are taken, it can definitely work.

We have two small dogs - a farm bred Jack Russell and a rescue Jack Russell x Spaniel. Of the two, I'd always trust Sammy (the rescue) that bit more, but really they are both complete plonkers without any desire to harass the buns, or any interest at all in them really! That's not to say I'd ever leave them alone together though.
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Re: Dogs and Rabbits

Post by jolovesbunnies on Wed Apr 01, 2015 8:59 pm

We had an Alsatian and our bunny then, Snuffles and she were pals. I would also like to stress that they were never left unattented for a minute even though they were good friends.

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