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Old 01-02-2014, 09:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Puppy and bunny....

My puppy is 6 months old. He is usually very calm except when he sees other dogs, his brother, or the bunny. Bouncy pup he is.

The bunny has his own room with a non-working door (it doesn't close). I just tie yarn around the door knob of that door to another to keep it from opening (people have to duck while crossing the bedroom hallway.... man I want some duck to feed my puppies).

The yarn is mostly effective, but allows room for the bunny to go out (which is fine; he likes to visit my bedroom at night). The puppy cannot go inside but he wants to play with the bunny constantly - pawing, jumping on door, friendly barking, tail wagging and up, play bows....

I want to understand how to safely let them both play together. I once wanted to see what would happen if I let the bunny play with the puppy (the bunny went out voluntarily and kept hopping towards the puppy). My little sister is skeptical about letting the dog play with the bunny (She thinks I'm going to feed the bunny to the dog) so whenever she sees this happen, she forces bunny to go back inside, and cries, "It's like you don't even care!!" (about bunny). This affects greatly on how safe I think it is for them to play together. All this time they were having fun (bunny stayed near pup, didn't run back or anything and puppy was play bowing, tail up + wagging, didn't bite at all!) but when my sister was shoving the bunny back inside his room the puppy was biting the bunny's ears and tail (bunny didn't do anything, I suppose it was not a hard bite). This happened because my sister was putting away the bunny and he wanted to play (I think).

They've had some encounters before - bunny smelled dog before and dog definitely smelled him (and eats his poop). Is there anything I can do besides supervise them to keep the bunny safe?
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Your dog is a predator.
The rabbit is prey.

If you do not keep that rabbit completely out of the dog's reach, the dog will eventually kill it.

My dog killed our pet rabbit!!!!
Teaching my GSD and pet Lionlop Rabbit to coexist peacefully
Need advice on German Shepherd with high prey drive (just killed one of my pets)
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have two rabbits, I never EVER let them out with my German shepherd. I know for a fact that he would kill them because he tried once. I know that sometimes GSD's can co-exist with small prey animals but I think that's the exception, it's just too big of a risk and an accident waiting to happen. There's no need for them to 'play' together, rabbits are also extremely delicate and can break bones very easily so even if they got along there's still that risk there as well. Anytime I want to let my rabbits out for exercise my GSD goes in his crate or is leashed if we are just going in and out of the room they're in quickly. I wouldn't ever trust a GSD not to hurt a small prey animal like that.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Alright I'm convinced. I'm never letting the bunny near the puppy ever again.
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Old 01-03-2014, 01:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm thinking the opposite on this one. I think that your looking for bigger problems not keeping them around each other. At this point your dog is not showing aggression and if it was me I would want to keep it that way, which would mean letting the dog around it with supervision. My thought process being that if the rabbit ever gets out in accident you have less to worry about if your dog is already used to it and not looking at it like dinner. I've had pet rabbits and they would sleep with the dogs and cats. It would be no different if it was a kitten, if it was a kitten the question would be how do I get them to get along, you are one step ahead already. I'm not saying they need to be best friends, but for safety of the bunny, the dog needs to know the rabbit belongs.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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My friend has a dog and a bunny and they get on well, but I'm one of those cautious people and don't think I'd let my dog play with my bunny.

Although she is pretty good with the barn cat (brings her toys lol), she will sometimes get excited and try to grab a back leg. Even just playing around, she could easily break one of the cat's legs. I just know my dog gets too excited and plays hard, and the bunny and cat's little bodies can't withstand that type of play so I don't allow it.

I'd rather be safe than sorry.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:32 AM   #7 (permalink)
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My husband has a very old photo of a collie he used to have. The dog is sleeping on the porch. There is a rabbit snuggled up next to him and 2 chickens perched on his back. It must depend on the dog but there could be accidental damage if the dog is not really, really gentle. Also, rabbits can do a lot of damage themselves with those powerful hind legs. They would definitely need supervision.
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:10 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think there is a difference between allowing the puppy and bunny together under close supervision, and allowing the puppy and bunny together with out supervision.

I had bunnies and Aussies. They were fine together as long as I was there to supervise. I would never allow them together without close supervision.

I would be very cautious as your puppy doesn't have control of it's bite yet. Therefore, when it is just wanting to play it could seriously hurt your bunny.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:26 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Smile Bun buns

Quote:
Originally Posted by glinny View Post
My husband has a very old photo of a collie he used to have. The dog is sleeping on the porch. There is a rabbit snuggled up next to him and 2 chickens perched on his back. It must depend on the dog but there could be accidental damage if the dog is not really, really gentle. Also, rabbits can do a lot of damage themselves with those powerful hind legs. They would definitely need supervision.
The bunny can harm the pup too! Man! The bunny actually lunges at the puppy (nothing else) and the pup hops backwards and makes play bows. Pup is around 50 lbs; if I see bunny trying to get away I would assist the bunny into his room but I haven't seen him do it around puppy. When I get a chance I would record them together (hard since my little sister is against it; my mother knows they both are only playing and is really fine with it - she saw them playing together before and I asked her about it).
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