If he's been out for a poo not long ago, don't open the door/keep him in another room.
If you're inconsistent in your response - e.g. getting pissed off, but still letting him out, he'll keep trying.
Alternatively, is it possible to let him have enough of a sniff of the rabbit hutch that he can get over his curiosity (without them in there, or they might die of fright). If your confident enough that the rabbits are safe with him around, I think this is your best bet.
Go for one or the other, though, not some haflway approach that will drive you both mad.
If he is just smelling loads n gettin excited Id let him have a good smell, even get something the rabbits have been wrapped in and put it inside where e can get used to there scent..
Id assume the excitement will disappear the more he gets used to them... Id also treat him as soon as he goes out to do something and pays little attention to the rabbits and not if he goes out just to see the rabbits...
if you are sure he doesnt have the hunting glint in his eyes then i would slowly get him used to the rabbit smells. do you have a friend who has rabbits that are used to dogs that you could let your dog visit? a friend of mine has a rabbit and jrt that keep each other company when she is at work!
ive got 3 dogs. 2 are just curious and really just want to sniff and play. the other one has the killing glint and i would never trust him to play with rabbits
You have my sympathy. We have a pet ferret and have just put him in a larger outdoor run. Result - GSD2 is up Charlie's bum whenever Charlie strollls out of his hutch, nose to Charlie's run, barking incessantly at him.
Now I love my dogs and would normally boast a world of patience with them which people will never inspire me to show but GSD2's behaviour was beginning to make me react as I would to someone else's whinny, snotty 3 year old...
I even got to the stage of an exasperated "FFS GSD2!" or three, but GSD2 just looked at me a bit old-fashioned and carried on.
So, I had to recover my last shred of patience and change tack with him and I think I'm beginning to get there. I started watching GSD2 as he went to Charlie's run and as soon as he got there, before barking at Charlie started, he got loads of praise and a biscuit. When Charlie appeared and GSD2 started to bark he'd be told a firm "NO!". It's so rare that I raise my voice to my dogs that it shocks them into stopping what they're doing when I do. But, it's all very well my raised voice stopping GSD2 but I need him not to do it in the first place so as soon as GSD2 stopped the barking I called him over, treated and praised, and have repeated this consistantly whenever the dogs have gone into the garden. (GSD1 and Labrador have quickly caught on that they gt biscuits for doing nothing at this point and now the garden is the place to be, seemingly!).
It seems to be working so far, you might want to give it a go before you are telling your dog "FFS!" and he starts looking at you a bit oldfashioned!
I would take him out on the lead at first so you can easily interrupt the behaviour if he looks at the rabbits and then reward him like mad with a game or really good food treat everytime he ignores them. He'll soon get the message that looking at the rabbits isn't allowed/is boring, but ignoring them equals something brilliant happening. Then you can reduce the frequency of the rewards.