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Can a Jack Russell and rabbits live in harmony?

(11 Posts)
Shinyshoes1 Mon 31-Oct-11 11:28:46

I have a 5 year old Jack Russell. We have just purchased 2 mini lop rabbits. My JR is desperately trying to get to them, always panting and crying and frantically scratching at the door. The hutch is in the garden and it has a run, the rabbitts have free reign over the run during the day when we are in. But I have to keep my JR inside as the minute I let him out he's straight for the hutch and trying to get at the rabbits

I tried to coax him in earlier as he had his face as near to the hutch as he could and he snarled at me when I tried to pull him inside.

Can they ever get along or have I got to put up with the CONSTANT, panting, crying, barking and scratching at the door?

DP tried to introduce the dog to the rabbit, he had a long sniff then went for it. This was against my wishes as the dog was clearly aggitated.

What do I do?

MrsGhost Mon 31-Oct-11 20:02:54

We have had a cat for 8 years, and three years ago we brought a Whippet, our poor cat has barely had a moments peace since sad

GypsyMoth Mon 31-Oct-11 20:05:50

I don't think it's going to be an easy ride!

K have to ask, what on earth posessed you?grin

notjustme Mon 31-Oct-11 20:57:34

I second ILT - it's going to be a hard ride. If your JRT didn't have a strong terrier instinct then it would have been better but he's obviously very much a terrier at heart and their job is the catch animals like rabbits.

Neeeeever never never let your DP try and introduce them again. You are lucky that he only went for it and didn't succeed. The best you can ever hope for with a dog is that they can be in a secure run and the dog doesn't try to get in. Even with the best well behaved non terrier type dog it's too risky to think they could be kept together without the protection of wire between predator and prey.

ChippingInAutumnLover Mon 31-Oct-11 20:59:55

He will kill them given the slightest chance - the kindest thing to do would be to take the rabbits straight back. Sorry.

Harleyguest123 Fri 29-May-15 13:01:06

I have a house rabbit and a jack Russell that happily live side by side! My jack is the most carm kindest dog even when my baby bunny is blinking crazy

Harleyguest123 Fri 29-May-15 13:02:30

My jack Russell lives euth my house rabbit in peace. They cuddle up in bed and are fine

Harleyguest123 Fri 29-May-15 13:04:36

My jack Russell (Alfie) and my house rabbit (buns) live together in the house. If he wanted to kill him he could but he hasn't. Lee leave them together when we go out and are fine

MirandaGoshawk Fri 29-May-15 13:08:52

Gosh, sounds like the posters are talking about two different types of animals - JRTs that want to kill rabbits and JRTs that snuggle up with them and can safely be left with them! My JRt is firmly in the former camp, and I worry about him getting someone's cat one day. Your JRT, OP, also sounds like the former type. The poor rabbits sound as if they will have a life of torment. I can't see him ever being trained to ignore them.

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Fri 29-May-15 13:10:38

Please find the rabbits a new home - they will be so stressed with a dog trying to kill them sad

Justforblogprofileadmin Fri 29-May-15 13:27:00

We have a terrier (parson russell -- nearly a JRT) who shares our house with hamster and pet birds, and guinea pigs in the past. When a new pet arrives in the house he is pretty frantic for the kill, but his level of arousal does go steadily down over the course of weeks, to the point where he can be happy and calm and not think about them too much unless something particular is happening involving them. He would still kill them in a flash if the circumstances arose (we'd never "introduce" him to a small-animal pet), but he doesn't make his own life or our lives a misery by obsessing about them.

The fact that the rabbits are on the ground and therefore very close and visible must be extra stimulating for him. Our animals have always been indoors and on tables that put them out of sight and discourage pounces.

Some dogs are more flexible than others, in that they can more easily learn to divert their instinctual excitement away from objects where they can't get any pay-off. Is your dog generally flexible in that way or not?

It is a good idea to have something awesomely lovely that can happen as a reward when the rabbit is present, so the dog looks on their presence as a cue for the lovely reward, rather than focusing directly on thoughts of rabbit murder.

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