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The dog and rabbit

(8 Posts)
alwaystryingtobeafriend Wed 26-Nov-14 14:08:13

We have a dog and a rabbit. Whwn we got the dog he liked to torment the rabbit and woukd run up to her cage and she woukd run away in a fright.

After a week or two he started to not bther with her. In the last 2 weeks he has been chasing her again and he whines to get out to see her.

Do rabbits go into season? WouLd dog be able to tell?

Not really sure what to do as wee rabbit is terrified.

JustMe1990 Wed 26-Nov-14 14:31:22

Keep the dog well away!

Firstly, rabbits are prone to heart attacks from stress, if you continue to let your dog chase and 'torment' it, it is very likely to get sick and die.

Secondly, this has nothing to do with hormones, this is almost certainly predatory behaviour.
I would bet that if your dog caught up he would shake it and kill it, I think the whining is frustration that he can't go out and try and catch the rabbit.
Prey drive varies hugely but all dogs have it to some degree, most dogs will kill a rabbit if they catch it...

If it's impossible to keep the two apart then I would rehome one, although you may able to teach the dog that the rabbit is not to be approached I would not risk it.
The likelihood is that the dog will learn not that he is not to chase the rabbit, but that he is not to chase the rabbit when you can see.
There is every chance that one day the temptation will prove too much.

JustMe1990 Wed 26-Nov-14 14:33:25

Also, if your asking about seasons I am assuming your female rabbit is not spayed.
You must spay her asap, female rabbits are incredibly likely to succumb to uterine cancer if not spayed, unspayed rabbits typically don't live much past 3 years. Their natural lifespan is at least 7, I had a rabbit live to almost 13.

alwaystryingtobeafriend Wed 26-Nov-14 14:43:52

The dog seems to go through spells where he isnt bothered by the rabbit. I dont think rabbit was spayed. My dp had her before me or the dog came along. Rabbit is now almost 5 i think. We have had issues with rabbit and my dps daughter but i agreed to take more care of rabbit(i am not a rabbit fan. Will never have another one either) would rather rabbit got rehomed but my dsd wont let us. Will do my best to keep them apart. Poor rabbit. I feel so bad for her.

JustMe1990 Wed 26-Nov-14 15:50:09

Define 'issues'?
Some rabbits do okay living alone but some cope very badly and get very aggressive as a result.
It is quite possible, that if your rabbit had a friend any aggression shown towards you would disappear.
Rabbits can actually be extremely affectionate, funny little pets.
Mine liked to play with our cats and loved being picked up and cuddled, he liked to run and head butt people also. I miss him sad
Possibly join a rabbit forum and ask their advice, it seems a shame to have a pet that you aren't really enjoying.

I do think the dogs behaviour is likely predatory, although if it goes through phases of not caring then possibly boredom or stress is a contributing factor also?
Do you notice the phases of extreme interest coinciding with occasions where he has had less exercise or training or something has happened in the house?

alwaystryingtobeafriend Wed 26-Nov-14 16:03:58

The rabbit issues being she doesnt get enough attention from the kids or dp. But i have made a poibt of getting kids more involved with her so she gets some contact.
The dog is still getting the same if not more exercise and stimulation. I think he is just being a wee bugger.

Think we need to corner off rabbits hutch so dog cant get to her. Xx

BoneyEm1972 Fri 28-Nov-14 16:01:11

Hi Always,

Yes I agree that this is a predatory thing with your dog chasing the rabbit and the rabbit could suffer too much stress. And also second the spaying issue. I lost my previous female rabbit to uterine cancer.

My dog started chasing my rabbits when we first got her as a puppy(lab/collie cross) and the rescue lady we got the rabbits from said the dog had to stay on a lead away from the rabbits until we could train her to not chase - that took about 3 months from memory (slightly longer for the pheasants and deer !! ) now she just ignores them !!

Rabbits do need rabbit company and don't really like being picked up as a rule as it would be something a predator would do to them. The rabbit rescue lady I got my buns from can help you with more advice - she has an open question day on a Wednesday if you want to contact her and there is advice on their web page.

Hope this helps

insanityscratching Sat 29-Nov-14 07:26:27

Our dear Mr Buns used to curl up and sleep with my friend's Yorkshire Terrier in preference to Susie his rabbit companion hmm Mind you the dog knew who was in charge because he came into Mr Buns' home and would get a punch on the nose from the rabbit if he overstepped the mark grin.

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