Dogs and Rabbits: Can they get along? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 08-01-2007, 02:28 PM
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Well, I'm really looking forward to adopting a new dog. I was looking for less then 15 lbs., mostly because this leads me to believe that it will get along with my rabbit. Now Dolly, my rabbit, is extremely spoiled and gets the run of my room 12 hours a day. And since the newcomer will live in my room as well, they will have to get along. But really, is this at all possible? Perhaps a dog as tiny as a Chihuahua will leave Dolly alone?



Does anyone have any experience on the matter? I've also read that Dachshunds chase small animals, so would that be a breed I should stay away from? Any other breeds I should avoid?



Thanks ahead of time for the help.
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#2 Old 08-01-2007, 05:52 PM
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Unless you are getting a puppy, I would say don't do it.



My Siberian Husky actually killed one of my baby rabbits. It wasn't her fault, she was just following her instincts.



If you get a puppy it will grow up with the rabbit and get used to it.
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#3 Old 08-01-2007, 06:37 PM
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That's what I was going to suggest. Puppies tend to adjust to previous family pets a lot better. My grandmother's dogs used to let her old cocketiel (in the family long before them) walk on their backs, but they treated her new lovebird (adopted when they were adults) like prey.
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#4 Old 08-01-2007, 06:45 PM
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I agree. Definitely get a puppy. Also, try not to get a terrier...they generally like to chase. If I had more time, I'd look in my books to see which breeds get along with other animals well. I'm sure you could look online, or get a good book.
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#5 Old 08-01-2007, 07:31 PM
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I've known two people who have had their bunnies killed by their dogs. Before the attacks both said that the bunny and dog played together all the time and were the best of friends. So if you have a bunny and a dog I would say never leave them together unattended since you never know what can happen.
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#6 Old 08-01-2007, 09:12 PM
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I've known two people who have had their bunnies killed by their dogs. Before the attacks both said that the bunny and dog played together all the time and were the best of friends. So if you have a bunny and a dog I would say never leave them together unattended since you never know what can happen.



That's true. Paris mostly stays away from Kiwi and the chickens, but she sometimes charges them if they start flapping their wings or moving quickly. The predator instinct can be strong.
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#7 Old 08-02-2007, 04:11 AM
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If you have no way to keep everyone in seperate rooms all the time I wouldn't do it. Even if you get a puppy, the right breed, etc. you can't be sure they'll get along. A dog harassing your rabbit through her cage all day will stress her out, rabbits have been know to have heart attacks because something is attacking them through their cage.



That said, size isn't the only thing you should go on. Many of the smaller breeds were "designed" to go after rabbits or other small animals into tunnels, etc. so they'll have a really strong prey drive. I would look into getting a breed with no hunting history, and get a puppy.
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#8 Old 08-02-2007, 06:35 AM
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I've known two people who have had their bunnies killed by their dogs. Before the attacks both said that the bunny and dog played together all the time and were the best of friends. So if you have a bunny and a dog I would say never leave them together unattended since you never know what can happen.



I agree. My husky was raised with a rabbit my his previous owners. They were telling me how he used to play with it. However, he's not so kind to the rabbits in the back yard. A small animal running will set off the prey drive in a lot of dogs, even if they seem to get along just fine.



I've seen two dogs in my life that you could probably trust around rabbits and other small animals. They both belonged to wildlife rehabilitators and were very used to having other critters around, plus they were a bit older and not so eager to chase everything like a puppy or younger dog.



Every other dog I've ever had or been around I would not trust alone with a bunny. Different breeds have different prey drives, but individual dogs still vary and a dog from a lower prey drive breed could still have a high prey drive.
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#9 Old 08-02-2007, 08:52 AM
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http://s171.photobucket.com/albums/u...koandTaka1.jpg



I would say that it can be done.



For the record, We got Teako as an adult, and later got the rabbit, Taka.



Getting a small-breed puppy through rescue can be difficult (please go with rescue!), but if you contacted a rescuse that used fosterhomes, you could request a dog that was in a foster home that has rabbits, and has shown to be trustworthy. You could have the dog meet your rabbit and perhaps request a trial basis to make sure they get along. Puppies are great, but you can't always tell what they will be like when they grow up, so you could end up with a dog that is hyper or calm, dominant or submissive, etc. An adult, you would probably not have to go through the teething/housebreaking stage, and you would know the personality and temperment. You might be able to find one that has been raised around rabbits, or at least has lived around them.



HTH
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#10 Old 08-02-2007, 12:53 PM
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I actually wouldn't recommend a puppy. They're too exuberant to be safe around a rabbit. No matter the age of the dog, you have to commit to keeping the animals safe from each other (one of my fosters actually bit my dog!!) and to training the dog.



Go for a breed that doesn't go after small animals, such as a herding breed, or perhaps non-sporting group.



Here's all the good info on picking a dog, introductions, etc! http://homepage.mac.com/mattocks/mor...care.html#pals



I had rabbits first, and took my biggest, calmest one (i.e. one that wasn't afraid of anything) to the shelter. We let her hop around on the floor in an office area and then brought in individual dogs on leash. I watched the dog's reaction: the dog that shows NO interest in the rabbit moving around is probably a great choice! I have met more than one dog that ignored the rabbit and that's the place to start. Other dogs were obviously TOO interested, whether from a prey or play perspective, so I did not consider them.



The first dog who didn't react was very shy and submissively urinated just being in the room with us. I ended up adopting a collie, who was also shy, but not in quite the same way. She has had issues with people but gets along great with all my rabbits as well as other dogs. Over time we've resolved most of her people issues too!



Anyway, lots of ppl make it work, but it depends a LOT on the individual dog, and starting with a potentially more compatible dog (calm, adult, non-terrier, non-hunter type, and dachschunds are hunters btw) helps a lot. Please see the articles in that link.
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#11 Old 08-02-2007, 01:21 PM
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I think a lot of it depends on the breed of the dog and what it's insticts are. I would trust my border collie pretty much around anything. She is a herder and a natural protector and lover. My dachshund however is a hunter, so it is her natural instinct to kill small animals. I can't trust her around my guinea pig.
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#12 Old 08-02-2007, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by DieselAmy View Post


I had rabbits first, and took my biggest, calmest one (i.e. one that wasn't afraid of anything) to the shelter. We let her hop around on the floor in an office area and then brought in individual dogs on leash. I watched the dog's reaction: the dog that shows NO interest in the rabbit moving around is probably a great choice! I have met more than one dog that ignored the rabbit and that's the place to start. Other dogs were obviously TOO interested, whether from a prey or play perspective, so I did not consider them.





That's a very good idea.



To the OP, I still would never leave a dog alone with a bunny, even if they get along beautifully. All of my dogs absolutely love kids, but I won't leave them unattended with small children because you just never know.
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#13 Old 08-02-2007, 01:34 PM
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Thanks so much for the help you guys, I will be sure to look at all the links. I have tried multiple times to find breeds that work well with small animals, but can never seem to have any luck.



And I'm sorry if I came off wrong- I never really expected them to be alone together. I was just hoping for a dog that could follow me into my room and not bark its head off at my rabbit. I also do not want to get a puppy, because there are so many older animals in my area that need to be adopted. And like someone said, I would like to know the set personality.



Seems like I'm just going to have to take this slow. I like the idea of showing potential dogs Dolly, and seeing how they react. She's pretty fearless so I'm sure she won't mind. I've emailed a few foster moms, asking if their foster dogs could possible get along with small animals. And Saturday I'm going to Petco to see the Adopt-A-Pet. I've already visited two shelters in my area with no luck.



But again, thanks everyone. And it was hopeful seeing your piccies, SkySoStarry, they're so adorable together!
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#14 Old 08-03-2007, 07:38 AM
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Working with people who have fostered the dogs in their homes can be very helpful since they know their personalities better than workers at a shelter can know a particular dog. Even if you find a foster dog who has lived well with cats, that's a good sign.



It's smart to take it slowly and not expect them to live together safely. If, over time, it works out, great... but I would never expect that most dogs could be safely left alone with a rabbit.



That said, there are a few pictures of Casper and Cow here: http://www.deitchley.com/casper1.htm
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#15 Old 08-11-2007, 03:19 PM
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i have a cocker spaneil. she gets along great with my rabbit. my dog is 10, my rabbit is 6. i think it all depends on the temperment of each animal. for exsample: my cat likes my rabbit and is very nice to her. however the rabbit can not stand the cat and takes every oppertunity to bite her.
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#16 Old 08-11-2007, 03:41 PM
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Why would a dog live in one room? Or would he just be in there when you were?



Anyway, it all depends on the animal. But instints can come out at any time. Be careful. My rascal comes in my bedroom often (where I keep the cages), but never when they are open or when an animal is out.
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#17 Old 08-15-2007, 05:16 PM
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Any updates?
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#18 Old 08-20-2007, 05:29 PM
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I'm actually surprised by all these horror stories. I would think that as long as the dog isn't a hunting breed, everything should be fine, but apparently, I'm wrong.



My dad used to have a 40 lb mutt who obviously had Chow as her dominant breed (probably at least one quarter Chow), and they're known as an aggressive breed. While my sister was at college, she rescued a large (10 lb) rabbit. When she came home during breaks, the rabbit and dog met and got along great. A couple of times, the dog would walk up to the rabbit, stand right over him, then suddenly lean down and lick him.



The biggest problem was that they both got jealous if they saw the other one getting a treat, so we had to give them both treats at the same time. One time, the dog got jealous that the bunny had a carrot to chew on, so my dad gave her a carrot, too. She didn't like it, but she didn't want to give it up, so she ended up chewing on it and just shredding it all over the living room.



I guess we just got lucky that the two of them got along so well. Whenever they were home alone, the bunny was in his cage, so there was no chance of anything happening. The dog just didn't care enough to terrorize him through the bars of the cage. With that rabbit, he probably would have fought back if she did, instead of just getting scared. That was one tough little bunny!



--Fromper

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#19 Old 03-17-2013, 06:43 PM
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I have a cocker spaniel who has killed newborn bunnies before, but she puts up with our current 2 year old lop eared bunny. She was 10 when we got our bunny (Bandit) and we have a guinea pig too. They are both allowed to roam around the backyard and she doesn't chase them at all when they are running around in the backyard. She may approach them and sniff them, but that's all she'll do to them. We think she ate the baby bunnies because she didn't know they were bunnies, but she is generally fine with rabbits and guinea pigs.

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#20 Old 03-17-2013, 11:10 PM
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Depends on the dog.  I had an australian shepherd that was absolutely trustworthy with every small animal, but tended to resource guard and attack other dogs over her "possessions".  This saved my hamster's life once.  His cage fell while we were gone and she held that little dwarf hamster between her feet for who knows how long until we got back, keeping him safe from 2 pitbulls, a rottie, and a dachshund (the younger pit or the dachshund would have killed him).  She used to get so discouraged when my mini lop I had at the time wouldn't play with her squeaky toy with her.

 

Right now, I have 3 rabbits and there are 5 dogs in my house (2 are mine, 3 are my roommate's).  All the dogs are around basil, my checkered giant mix.  But the smallest dog, a 5lb chihuahua/pom mix, would eat him if he could.  The second smallest, a 6 lb Yorkie mix likes to chase him, but that doesn't usually end well for the dog, basil can be agressive.  These ones are only around him supervised.  My dachshund/min pin mix (12 lbs) and Australian Kelpie/border collie mix (40 lbs) are around him all the time.  They're allowed to be in the yard with him unsupervised, basil has attacked both and they now know their places.  My roommate's great pyrenees/great dane mix is absolutely trustowrthy with him, but basil is scared to death of him, I have never seen them interact because basil is hiding if he is out.  The big dog and Lump (french lop) were great friends.

 

With the babies, the two little dogs want to eat them, my dachshund mix might, I can't tell, maybe he wants to play, not taking chances.  My herding mix is obsessed, she'd like to herd them into a corner and stare at them all day, she was like that with basil at first too (I don't let her, of course).  And the giant dog just wants to play with his new friends.

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#21 Old 05-05-2013, 04:13 AM
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I would never trust a predator animal around a prey animal. I have heard too many stories along the lines of "They were great with each other for so many years..." that end with injury, mutilation, or death. I'm responsible for the animals in my care, and that includes safeguarding them from each other.

 

The size of a dog doesn't really matter  - terriers were all bred to be fierce hunters. Dachshunds were bred to hunt. Many of the small breeds were specifically developed for hunting, to be able to follow prey into burrows, through undergrowth, etc.


Sacrifice is not an option, or an anachronism; it's a fact of life. We all cut off our own limbs to burn on some altar. The crucial thing is to choose an altar that's worth it and a limb you can accept losing. To go consenting to the sacrifice. ~ Tana French

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