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zebbi1
26-11-2010, 03:56 PM
Hi Everyone

Iím new to this site. I need some advice. Iíve had my Rabbit Zebbi for 4 years now. Sheís a dote. We keep her out the back but bring her in most nights and she runs around the garden at the weekends. Iíve adopted two dogs, two Lab crosses which when I was getting them from Dogstrust they told me they shouldnít have a problem with Rabbits.. But the 1st day we brought them home they both went crazy at her and id say they'd kill her if they got their paws on her. So now weíve had to move her and fence her off. She was there 1st and donít feel its fair on her. We still bring her into the house but we have to keep the dogs on leads while we take her in and make sure theit paths donít cross.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get them used to her and vice versa?

:)

BB Mommy
26-11-2010, 04:03 PM
What sort of behaviour are the dogs showing, and how long have you had them?

OriginalFlintstone
26-11-2010, 04:08 PM
I don't have any advice sorry, but I didn't want to read and run.

Just want to say tho, that I LOVE the fact that you are putting the rabbit first. Most people would have just got rid of the bunny.

I hope you get some advice so they all live happy and safe with eachother.

zebbi1
26-11-2010, 04:12 PM
What sort of behaviour are the dogs showing, and how long have you had them?

Hi there

Thanks for getting back to me so fast. Iíve had them 3 weeks now. 1St day we were told to bring them out the back garden straight away and to keep them on the leads. As soon as they seen her their ears were up and both started barking like crazy. After that we put her behind the fence in our vegetable garden. Which I thought she was safe but the older of the two dogs got in behind the shed and managed to get at her again. He just barked again like Crazy at her. Since then I havenít left them near her. I keep rubbing her and then letting them smell me. The younger of the dogs is very quiet and doesnít react to much but once he seen her he came alive.

*Spider*
26-11-2010, 04:29 PM
I don't have any advice sorry, but I didn't want to read and run.

Just want to say tho, that I LOVE the fact that you are putting the rabbit first. Most people would have just got rid of the bunny.I hope you get some advice so they all live happy and safe with eachother.

Ditto this :thumb:

BB Mommy
26-11-2010, 04:35 PM
Ok, at the moment then I'd say that your rabbit is not safe with these dogs.

The ideal sort of reaction you want is one of disinterest from the dog.

I'd suggest that you make sure bun is completely safely enclosed behind a fence that the dogs can't get over, and the rabbit has a bolt hole on its side of the fence to get away from the attention of the dogs.

Whenever I've bought a new dog home (I have 3) they only see the rabbit whilst it is in its enclosure and it has the choice to go back into its shed if it wants to.

If the dog continually barks at the rabbit, then you would need to keep the interactions very short until the dog starts to take less and less interest in the rabbit (you could be doing this for several months), and I'd suggest only showing one dog at a time (as they will feed off each others excitement)

As the dogs sound likely to reach a state of high excitement around the rabbit, I can't stress enough how important it is that you protect the rabbit, and never make it stay around the dogs if it doesn't want to, as it will be very stressful for the bun.

Personally, if I'd seen that reaction from my dogs, I'd be making arrangements and adjustments to my rabbit housing to make sure the rabbit doesn't have to see the dogs at all.

What made the Dogs Trust say the dogs were likely to be ok with a rabbit - had they lived with other animals before?

ShazzaBunny
26-11-2010, 04:40 PM
I don't have any advice sorry, but I didn't want to read and run.

Just want to say tho, that I LOVE the fact that you are putting the rabbit first. Most people would have just got rid of the bunny.

I hope you get some advice so they all live happy and safe with eachother.

Deffo agree, i was bracing myself for one of "those" threads, was a pleasent surprise :D

Wishing you all the best.

Jenova
26-11-2010, 04:54 PM
You can do some basic dog training. Have Zebbi in some sort of enclosure so that she's safe and bring one dog out on a lead. When the dog looks at the rabbit calmly give a treat and verbal reinforcement. If the dog gets excited or barks say 'no' or something similar and walk away until the dog is calm. Then repeat a few times. I would do this until they really don't care about her, might take weeks or months. I still wouldn't leave them together unsupervised, but you basically want to teach the dogs how they should act around Zebbi and that it's better for them to be calm because they get rewarded.

I hope you can get somewhere. Otherwise could you build her a large enclosure in the garden, like a shed with a run attached?

zebbi1
26-11-2010, 04:57 PM
Ok, at the moment then I'd say that your rabbit is not safe with these dogs.

The ideal sort of reaction you want is one of disinterest from the dog.

I'd suggest that you make sure bun is completely safely enclosed behind a fence that the dogs can't get over, and the rabbit has a bolt hole on its side of the fence to get away from the attention of the dogs.

Whenever I've bought a new dog home (I have 3) they only see the rabbit whilst it is in its enclosure and it has the choice to go back into its shed if it wants to.

If the dog continually barks at the rabbit, then you would need to keep the interactions very short until the dog starts to take less and less interest in the rabbit (you could be doing this for several months), and I'd suggest only showing one dog at a time (as they will feed off each others excitement)

As the dogs sound likely to reach a state of high excitement around the rabbit, I can't stress enough how important it is that you protect the rabbit, and never make it stay around the dogs if it doesn't want to, as it will be very stressful for the bun.

Personally, if I'd seen that reaction from my dogs, I'd be making arrangements and adjustments to my rabbit housing to make sure the rabbit doesn't have to see the dogs at all.

What made the Dogs Trust say the dogs were likely to be ok with a rabbit - had they lived with other animals before?

Thank you so much for your advice. I have her well hidden away from them at the moment. I did put her in the shed but I felt she didn't seem herself, she's now back out again and seems alot happier. The dogs lived on a Farm before so maybe thats whey they thought the dogs would be okay.

I will defiantly try your advice, as much as I love the dogs already Zebbi is our number one.

Stator
26-11-2010, 05:01 PM
It's not a good idea to bring her inside during the winter anyway. They need to live indoors or outdoors since the temperature difference is so big.

I would concentrate on getting a decent setup for her outside. Get her a nice big hutch with a permanent run attached so that she can run around and exercise whenever she wants. You should also think about getting her a friend :)

littleboots
26-11-2010, 05:05 PM
Ok, at the moment then I'd say that your rabbit is not safe with these dogs.

The ideal sort of reaction you want is one of disinterest from the dog.

I'd suggest that you make sure bun is completely safely enclosed behind a fence that the dogs can't get over, and the rabbit has a bolt hole on its side of the fence to get away from the attention of the dogs.

Whenever I've bought a new dog home (I have 3) they only see the rabbit whilst it is in its enclosure and it has the choice to go back into its shed if it wants to.

If the dog continually barks at the rabbit, then you would need to keep the interactions very short until the dog starts to take less and less interest in the rabbit (you could be doing this for several months), and I'd suggest only showing one dog at a time (as they will feed off each others excitement)

As the dogs sound likely to reach a state of high excitement around the rabbit, I can't stress enough how important it is that you protect the rabbit, and never make it stay around the dogs if it doesn't want to, as it will be very stressful for the bun.

Personally, if I'd seen that reaction from my dogs, I'd be making arrangements and adjustments to my rabbit housing to make sure the rabbit doesn't have to see the dogs at all.

What made the Dogs Trust say the dogs were likely to be ok with a rabbit - had they lived with other animals before?

I totally agree.. especially with introducing one dog at a time.

Minimallow
26-11-2010, 05:11 PM
When i got one of my rescue dogs he ws taught to chase rabbits and had a similar reaction to them. I think with there being two dogs its best at the start to take them out singly so they don't bounce off each other and encourage the undesired behaviour.

I just took him out on the lead starting from far back first. The second he showed any signs of interest in them i said "no" and took him back inside the house right away. Timing is important - as soon as he does it whirl around while saying no or whatever you want to use and take him inside. It wiill take a while but you will get there! When they start to be calm give a reward and say good boy etc. Once they are ok on their own on the lead you can maybe try them together and see how that goes.

zebbi1
26-11-2010, 05:32 PM
When i got one of my rescue dogs he ws taught to chase rabbits and had a similar reaction to them. I think with there being two dogs its best at the start to take them out singly so they don't bounce off each other and encourage the undesired behaviour.

I just took him out on the lead starting from far back first. The second he showed any signs of interest in them i said "no" and took him back inside the house right away. Timing is important - as soon as he does it whirl around while saying no or whatever you want to use and take him inside. It wiill take a while but you will get there! When they start to be calm give a reward and say good boy etc. Once they are ok on their own on the lead you can maybe try them together and see how that goes.

Thanks for that.. hearing that has made me feel a hundred times better.

I will start doing that start away ...

thanks for all the advice..

ill keep you posted :wave:

parsnipbun
26-11-2010, 05:46 PM
It's not a good idea to bring her inside during the winter anyway. They need to live indoors or outdoors since the temperature difference is so big.

I would concentrate on getting a decent setup for her outside. Get her a nice big hutch with a permanent run attached so that she can run around and exercise whenever she wants. You should also think about getting her a friend :)

If she is an indoor/outdoor bun that is used to human company and attention then I disagree slightly with this.

I know that the accepted truth is that bunnies cannot be inside one moment and out the next - but I have several housebuns who do just that - choose to sit outside in minus 2 all day and then loll in front of a boiling hot fire all night!!!

Its really the 4 years of human interaction and love and being 'top animal' in the house that she will really really miss if she is now deposed to being 3rd in line and outside.

My mother adopted two dogs from a dogs trust once - having been told they were fine with cats - 3 weeks later they ripped the next doors cat to bits (literally) when it came into our garden. To be fair on the dogs it was really that there were two of them that did it - they sort of egged each other on because as one got excited the other would join in and get more excited. They proved unhandleable as a pair. My mother took one back and (with the agreement of the very understanding neighbour) kept the more docile one and spent ages training it. However I still never really trusted it.

Have you considered maybe taking the very excitable dog back and just having the quieter one?

happysaz133
26-11-2010, 05:52 PM
You can do some basic dog training. Have Zebbi in some sort of enclosure so that she's safe and bring one dog out on a lead. When the dog looks at the rabbit calmly give a treat and verbal reinforcement. If the dog gets excited or barks say 'no' or something similar and walk away until the dog is calm. Then repeat a few times. I would do this until they really don't care about her, might take weeks or months. I still wouldn't leave them together unsupervised, but you basically want to teach the dogs how they should act around Zebbi and that it's better for them to be calm because they get rewarded.

I hope you can get somewhere. Otherwise could you build her a large enclosure in the garden, like a shed with a run attached?

This ^^^ Training is the key, one at a time, otherwise they will likely get too excited when together.

I promise you this does work, I have trained several greyhounds now and they completely ignore the rabbits.

VickiP
26-11-2010, 06:05 PM
It's not a good idea to bring her inside during the winter anyway. They need to live indoors or outdoors since the temperature difference is so big.

I would concentrate on getting a decent setup for her outside. Get her a nice big hutch with a permanent run attached so that she can run around and exercise whenever she wants. You should also think about getting her a friend :)

I agree, in time as they get older and just 'used' the rabbit they will calm down but, I wouldn't ever trust them - you have to be very careful that they never get access or that bunny gets out while they are out. It's happened - I read a story on here where the family dog killed the rabbit. Absolutely awful for everyone concerned because it will alter your feelings about the dogs aswell - never be complacent, it will all be over in minutes if there are two of them and you will not be able to call them off.

VickiP
26-11-2010, 06:09 PM
If she is an indoor/outdoor bun that is used to human company and attention then I disagree slightly with this.

I know that the accepted truth is that bunnies cannot be inside one moment and out the next - but I have several housebuns who do just that - choose to sit outside in minus 2 all day and then loll in front of a boiling hot fire all night!!!

Its really the 4 years of human interaction and love and being 'top animal' in the house that she will really really miss if she is now deposed to being 3rd in line and outside.

My mother adopted two dogs from a dogs trust once - having been told they were fine with cats - 3 weeks later they ripped the next doors cat to bits (literally) when it came into our garden. To be fair on the dogs it was really that there were two of them that did it - they sort of egged each other on because as one got excited the other would join in and get more excited. They proved unhandleable as a pair. My mother took one back and (with the agreement of the very understanding neighbour) kept the more docile one and spent ages training it. However I still never really trusted it.

Have you considered maybe taking the very excitable dog back and just having the quieter one?

Generally speaking it's not good to cause massive fluctuations in their core temperature though I thought?:?

I also think regarding separating the two dogs it really depends on how strong their bond is, it can be very distressing to separate them if they are really reliant on each other. :(

parsnipbun
26-11-2010, 06:21 PM
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Generally speaking it's not good to cause massive fluctuations in their core temperature though I thought?:?

I also think regarding separating the two dogs it really depends on how strong their bond is, it can be very distressing to separate them if they are really reliant on each other. :(

No its not meant to be good for them - but mine do it by choice - I have had several do this over the years and I am constantly amazed as it goes against all we are told but it does not seem to affect them in the least. they have a choice at all times (except of course after nightfall when they are locked in the house BUT there are cold areas and hot areas in the house and it is their choice that they sit practically on top of the fire!!!

Separating the dogs - well if they are very bonded to each other and cannot be separated then personally I would think of returning them and adopting a more docile single dog. But thats personal. My mother split her pair and certainly the one she kept was perfectly happy - knowing my mother she would also have kept tabs on how the other one was!! She was involved in dog rescue.

Its up to the OP whether she is willing to take the risk with the rabbit and also how she feels about it having to be permanently outside now - I would personally feel very sad about it (as I think she does from the post).

VickiP
26-11-2010, 09:17 PM
No its not meant to be good for them - but mine do it by choice - I have had several do this over the years and I am constantly amazed as it goes against all we are told but it does not seem to affect them in the least. they have a choice at all times (except of course after nightfall when they are locked in the house BUT there are cold areas and hot areas in the house and it is their choice that they sit practically on top of the fire!!!

Separating the dogs - well if they are very bonded to each other and cannot be separated then personally I would think of returning them and adopting a more docile single dog. But thats personal. My mother split her pair and certainly the one she kept was perfectly happy - knowing my mother she would also have kept tabs on how the other one was!! She was involved in dog rescue.

Its up to the OP whether she is willing to take the risk with the rabbit and also how she feels about it having to be permanently outside now - I would personally feel very sad about it (as I think she does from the post).

:wave: OK I suppose if they have the choice it's not so likely to cause problems, I still have reservations because as you say, it goes against all I've learnt so far which is that they don't benefit from extreme changes in temperature, I would imagine that if they are lying by a real fire and do all night it naturally cools through the night so by morning they are cooled down ready to go back out perhaps?? I think people with central heating taking rabbits out of the snow indoors and then back out is potentially a bit dodgy?:?

Regarding the dogs, I personally think that when making a commitment as large as taking on one dog let alone two that really ideally, you would have the dog(s) on a visit to your home to assess their suitability, I know this can prove to be stressful for the dogs if they end up visiting several homes before finding the right one but, essentially that is what is happening anyway if the OP returns them or one of them, in fact I'd actually say I don't like to separate a bonded pair of any species - I personally would prefer to return the pair and take a single. Just to clarify the dogs aren't actually doing anything abnormal - the dogs trust may have assumed that they would be OK if they did demonstrate that they were OK but, on familiar territory, they are like any other animal and undergoing a massive change - in time that breed generally are quite laid back and I'm sure will chill out, personally I would be considering putting the bun in a 'safe' room if she shows any signs of upset at being outdoors all the time till I could arrange to find a partner and then relocate the bonded pair outside together into a good size hutch/run that is safe.:)