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PLEASE please please, I need advice, Im being driven mad

(18 Posts)
loopylou6 Tue 20-Sep-11 18:40:59

Have just got two rabbits, and my dog is constantly stalking them everytime he goes outside.

Hes annoyingly knocking the door handle with his nose to go out even when he doesnt need to toilet

He won't do his business when he does go outside coz he's too busy sniffing at the hutch, I expected some curiosity but this is ridiculous.

How can I snap him out if it? Firm nos just arnt helping and there's no where else I can put the hutch

loopylou6 Tue 20-Sep-11 18:41:16

angry *

Tchootnika Tue 20-Sep-11 18:54:30

'Stalking them' how, if they're in a hutch?

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.

chickchickchicken Tue 20-Sep-11 19:00:45

do you think he is sniffing in a curious way or is he actually trying to get to them to kill them?

GingerLa Tue 20-Sep-11 19:05:05

Is he agressive with them or just smelling?

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...

loopylou6 Tue 20-Sep-11 19:12:58

Thank you. By stalking I mean he's constantly circling and sniffing the hutch getting very excited etc.

The rabbits always bolt to their bed part when he's there so they're obviously frightened.

I don't think he's tryna get to them aggressively he's just curious, but its so infuriating.

chickchickchicken Tue 20-Sep-11 19:31:24

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

Tchootnika Tue 20-Sep-11 19:44:12

In that case, GingerLa advice is probably a good way to go to allow him to get over his curiosity. Be careful when the rabbits are around, though, of course.

You have to make a decision one way or the other: keep him well away at all times for good or manage him getting over his curiosity by familiarising him carefully.

loopylou6 Tue 20-Sep-11 19:56:42

Do you think if I leave him to it he'll get over his obsession then? I dont think he has 'the glint' but I cant be sure. (hes a GSD btw)

Vallhala Tue 20-Sep-11 20:02:11

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. angry

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!

Vallhala Tue 20-Sep-11 20:03:19

Bum. We X posted.

Bloody GSDs! grin

(Wouldn't swap them for the world, what a breed! <<heartthrob>> ).

Vallhala Tue 20-Sep-11 20:06:53

Another thing, it's helped with my GSD to stop him with a firm NO and a distraction fuss and biscuit BEFORE his nose reaches the run, heading him off at the pass so to speak.

He now generally makes to go in Charlie's direction, takes a look at me and thinks the better of it! grin

loopylou6 Tue 20-Sep-11 20:35:25

but GSD2's behaviour was beginning to make me react as I would to someone else's whinny, snotty 3 year old...

Omg I know exactly how this feels angry

I feel so wound up its unreal, he wont even do his business sad

AandK Tue 20-Sep-11 21:20:16

Ok I don't get what GSD means?

loopylou6 Tue 20-Sep-11 21:23:15

GSD - German shepherd dog - aka- Alsation. smile

AandK Tue 20-Sep-11 21:33:04

Ah thank you. I'm watching this for tips as my terror likes to stalk the chickens Xx

Vallhala Tue 20-Sep-11 21:49:17

GSD - God's Special Dogs, no? grin

Midori1999 Tue 20-Sep-11 22:22:46

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.

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