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View Full Version : Wanting a dog that will get on with our buns please help.



jeanette177
17-06-2013, 07:56 AM
Hi all, I was hoping you could help me, we have two rescue bunnys that love running around our large secure garden. We are now thinking about getting a dog, I always like to do a lot of research before getting any pet as I think pets take a lot of commitment and I don't agree with buying a pet on a whim and then throwing it out a few weeks later because it dosent suit your needs, a pet if for life. I am looking for a family dog that will get on well with the rabbits so they can be on the garden at the same time, it also needs to be great with children as I have a nine year old girl and am thinking of possibly becoming a registered child-minder in the future, ideally we would like one that dosnt pull too much on the lead so my daughter can take it for walks (with me beside her) but also a dog that i would feel safe with walking alone in woods and fields, I know all dogs have different traits, but we have spent hours every day looking at different breeds and im just getting more and more confused. we have looked at everything from a tiny yorkshire terrier crossed with a maltese, westies upto big huskys now a german sheppard is on the list of my partners favourites.

I wondered if any of you have dogs that get on well with your rabbits you could give us some advise please.

Jack's-Jane
17-06-2013, 08:05 AM
Hi all, I was hoping you could help me, we have two rescue bunnys that love running around our large secure garden. We are now thinking about getting a dog, I always like to do a lot of research before getting any pet as I think pets take a lot of commitment and I don't agree with buying a pet on a whim and then throwing it out a few weeks later because it dosent suit your needs, a pet if for life. I am looking for a family dog that will get on well with the rabbits so they can be on the garden at the same time, it also needs to be great with children as I have a nine year old girl and am thinking of possibly becoming a registered child-minder in the future, ideally we would like one that dosnt pull too much on the lead so my daughter can take it for walks (with me beside her) but also a dog that i would feel safe with walking alone in woods and fields, I know all dogs have different traits, but we have spent hours every day looking at different breeds and im just getting more and more confused. we have looked at everything from a tiny yorkshire terrier crossed with a maltese, westies upto big huskys now a german sheppard is on the list of my partners favourites.

I wondered if any of you have dogs that get on well with your rabbits you could give us some advise please.

I cant give advice on specific breeds of Dog, but whatever breed you were to obtain he/she could never ever be left unsupervised in the garden with the Rabbits free ranging. No dog, however 'well behaved' can be trusted with unsupervised direct contact with Rabbits

Good luck with whatever you decide to do :)

carrots' patch
17-06-2013, 08:24 AM
Totally agree with Jane about leaving dogs with rabbits. I have 2 dogs and 2 rabbits and I would never leave the dogs for a second even though I trust them.

I have a German shepherd (9 yrs old) who is wonderful but very large and I wouldn't let my teenage children walk him alone.

I also have a cocker spaniel and I would say they are the best breed I have ever have and I have had a few dogs over the years! I am also a childminder and did tons of research on breeds and the spaniel is a good family dog.

I think proper training classes for any dog are a must and would always recommend them.

Spaniels have a few hereditary problems and I lost a 4 year old dog earlier this year due to kidney failure so I would advise that whatever dog you decide research the problems thoroughly to make an informed decision.

midori1999
17-06-2013, 10:00 AM
Any dog can be trained to steady around rabbits or any other animal/livestock and the same applies to being good around children. However, some dogs can be easier to train than others and some breeds or types have an (undeserved!) reputation, so if you want to childmind, I think you'd need to consider that too, as simply owning a dog would put a surprisingly large number of people off using a childminder. Also, although they can certainly still be trained to be around rabbits, some breeds, such as Huskies and Greyhounds will never really be reliable because of their high prey drives, but Huskies aren't really suitable as pets anyway, IMO, as they have quite specialised exercise requirements.

Some of the gundog breeds (cocker spaniels, Golden Retrievers and Labradors) are common as pets because they are easy to train, biddable and also don't have excessively high energy levels. They are also well liked by most people who like dogs even if they don't own a dog. I have Golden Retrievers (also a rescue staff cross) and have shown them for years and used to breed them and everyone loves them when you are walking them and wants to stop and talk to them. There are working and show types in all of these breeds and they are quite different to each other in most cases and show types are generally calmer and easier, although not always.

When we got our first dog, the breeder said 'you get out what you put in' and she couldn't have been more right. Your dog will be well behaved, won't steal food, won't chase or bother your rabbits, will walk nicely on a lead etc if you put in enough time and effort to train it to do these things. You may or may not need professional help with that, but classes are certainly worth it from a socialisation point of view.

If you intend to get a puppy of a certain breed, you can speak to several reputable breeders and visit them to get an idea of which breed is right for you. It is vitally important to go to a good breeder who has done health tests, not only for your own benefit, but also for the welfare and future of the breed and dogs overall. A good breeder who is well established with work or show their dogs (otherwise, why are they breeding them? They should only be breeding to improve the breed) and will have enough experience and knowledge to advise you if you come across any problems. They will also be willing to, in fact they will insist, that if you can't keep the dog in the future, at any point in it's life, that you return the dog to them. They will have done health tests and will KC register their dogs, but sadly KC registration alone, even if the breeder is in the accredited/assured breeder scheme, is not a sign of a good breeder, it's a minimum requirement.

You can also get a particular breed of dog, usually an older puppy or older dog, through breed rescues and may sometimes be in touch with the breeder and have their support if you do this. The obvious advantage of this is that the dog will normally be toilet trained and will probably have some basic training already.

'Ordinary' all breed rescue sometimes have pure breeds in too and puppies, much more often than you'd think, so don't rule them out. It doesn't always mean you get a dog with an unknown history and most rescues that rehome with children vet the dogs very thoroughly before saying they are suitable as such. Sadly, some dog pounds market themselves as rescues, which they are not and these aren't suitable places for a novice owner to get a dog and some rescues are not as good as others, so you do need to vet the rescue thoroughly and ask questions. If you think a rescue dog may be an option for you then I have a number of rescue contacts all over the country, so may be able to put you in touch with someone near you.

Georgeypudding
17-06-2013, 10:01 AM
I have a Jack Russell, she is one of those terriers who has very little prey drive :love: Personally Dotty would never come in to contact with the rabbits without a barrier either their run or being on her lead. No matter how well a dog is trained accidents can and do happen. The "leave it" command is very important when having rabbits and dogs :)

Pulling on the lead and being calm is down to training and a little bit of breed. Terriers tend to be quite fast and energetic, all the GSDs I have come across seem to be calm and gentle but I haven't owned one tbh. I'd go to the rescue with the aim of finding a calm and gentle dog rather than having a certain breed in your head :)

jeanette177
17-06-2013, 10:45 AM
Thanks for your replies, I think it may take a while before we find the perfect dog. I should have said that I wasn't intending of leaving the dog with the rabbits unsupervised. I just really wanted to know if any of you have dogs that got on with rabbits, it is difficult and i know training has a huge part to play as my last dog was a staffy cross that loved sitting on my knee and putting its paws on my shoulders for a hug, she was around 3 years old when my mum got two kittens ( I was still living at home at the time) and my staffy loved those kittens like they were her own they slept in her bed and when one of the kittens had to have a pot on its leg the kitten would sit at the bottom of the stairs meowing unable to get to the top of the stairs to her sister so my staffy would pick her up and take her to the other kitten, she was such a loving gentle dog but she passed away suddenly, when my daughter was one and although she was old and gray she was still running around the garden happy when she suddenly collapsed and died. I think I will keep looking around until I find a dog that suits and that is young enough to be trained.

Another question I was going to ask is, is it safe to let your dog wee on the garden that the bunnys use?

Georgeypudding
17-06-2013, 10:49 AM
ahh in which case yes, I have rabbits and a dog with no issues :)

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/535915_10151869513890558_853815824_n.jpg
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/559414_10151869544165558_626719029_n.jpg

I personally never had an issue with it but seeing as you have small children and may become a child minder it might be a good idea to have a certain area for your dog to use as a toilet, you can fence it off so the kids and buns can't get to it :)

JemimaH
17-06-2013, 10:52 AM
Speaking from personal experience - don't get a spaniel, a whippet or anything crossed. My bridge bun was taken this way. Wasn't my dog, the dog belongs to my dad's parents, but they stupidly tied him to a rake in the soil whilst I was out, Pip was in his run, dog spotted bunny moving, broke free, upturned run and got Pip. Pip's run was a heavy duty run and we thought nobody would be able to move it, let alone upturn it, but the strength animals find is phenomonal when they see something they want - i.e. a white fluffy bun! Maybe a slightly older dog would be better as opposed to a puppy or a young one? Just so it's not so full of energy, as Whisper (the dog that got Pip) was a young boy at the time.

Good luck :D

happysaz133
17-06-2013, 10:55 AM
Yes, its fine to put rabbits on the grass where a dog wees, at least, its never done any of mine any harm! I have 2 greyhounds and a lurcher, as well as 5 rabbits. not the ideal breed you'd think, but mine are good with them. Never left them together alone, but they don't bother them at their shed or in their runs :)

Breeds like retrievers tend to be good, nice and soft in most cases.

Mackers
17-06-2013, 11:19 AM
I've only ever owned German Shepherd's and Border Collies, all of whom have been TRAINED to behave around the rabbits. ALL dogs can be trained to behave around rabbits but I would avoid terrier breeds, even though some are fine with small furries. Terriers do have a tendency to 'go deaf' and ignore all commands when it suits them :lol:.

One of my current collies couldn't give a damn about the rabbits or piggies and is only interested on the poop that comes out of their rear end! My other collie, on the other hand, has a strong drive to 'herd' them so whilst I trust him not to touch them whilst I'm with him, I would never trust him to be left alone with them as he'll chase given half a chance. He has been trained that they are NOT to be touched but I wouldn't trust him 100% if instinct kicked in.

My old GSD was a sweetheart with the bunnies and was more frightened of them than they were of her!!

http://i281.photobucket.com/albums/kk224/smacknish/IMG_0987_zps16a1c2ac.jpg (http://s281.photobucket.com/user/smacknish/media/IMG_0987_zps16a1c2ac.jpg.html)

Good luck with your search.

fizabella
17-06-2013, 11:44 AM
Why not get a dog from a rescue? They can match you with a dog that suits your needs and since you're not looking for a really specific breed of dog, I think that'd be ideal for you :)

jeanette177
17-06-2013, 12:15 PM
Why not get a dog from a rescue? They can match you with a dog that suits your needs and since you're not looking for a really specific breed of dog, I think that'd be ideal for you :)

Yes a rescue dog would be great, I keep looking on our local rescue websites but haunt come across anything suitable yet but will keep looking.

Dandelion Den Bunnies
17-06-2013, 02:05 PM
Hi,

I have a labrador and he is very good around the rabbits. However, we had to be very firm with the training when the rabbits arrived. I wouldn't trust him not to play over enthusiastically or to try and "retrieve" them for me, so they are never fur to fur, the rabbits are always enclosed with a lid on top!

My lab is the most patient soul with my children and the cats/hamster/anyone who comes to visit. He is very biddable, although can be boisterous and over enthusiastic, even though he is now 6. Thankfully, he no longer does the "wall of death" round the lounge when people come to visit us, but he does still offer a very waggy meet and greet service!

Labrador Rescue may be worth a look: labradors and retrievers are kept in their homes, where possible, until a new home is found, which eases distress caused by a kennel situation (labs suffer hugely from separation anxiety) You may even find a dog who is already good with rabbits. If they are "good with cats" then this could also be a good indicator that they will also be good with rabbits.

My friend has a cocker spaniel, who play bows and barks a lot at the bunnies, which isn't an intention to cause harm or distress but is still not good. I have a water spray ready if he visits and he is slowly getting the message that he can sniff the run, and lay at the side, but he is not to be excitable around them!

Good luck in your search.

Jenny

tulsi
17-06-2013, 04:03 PM
Our labrador x (given to us by a friend) is happy to sniff the rabbits through the mesh and lies by the run. Our collie is just longing to chase them. I no longer let either dog near the run (gate by the aivery to stop them). I would get a lab x if I was going to have another dog. Best of luck. What an exciting position to be in.

youthnovels
17-06-2013, 04:55 PM
I couldn't recommend my boys breed (Poodle x King Charles Spaniel) he is as bright as a button but also the softest dog going. He doesn't have a bad bone in his body. He adores the rabbits and although never left unsupervised there has been one occassion where I "lost" him only to find him in the second level of the guineas hutch snuggled up with them. :lol:

When we got him he was the same size of a can of beans so the rabbits and guineas have grown up with him, literally, so non of them are phased by him and vice versa. We've never let him out with the buns free ranging but at cleaning out time I have to drag him out of the rabbits cage because he wants to snuggle him and/or be groomed.

He doesn't pull on the lead because there's not really much to him, he's only 7kg. Only thing is I don't think I'd feel "safe" with him in remote areas as like I say there isn't much to him so although I'm confident he would try and protect me I doubt he'd get very far!

Good luck on your hunt :)

Peanut-Toffee
17-06-2013, 08:16 PM
Jessies first meeting with the bunnies....

https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/546918_10151144484208737_1565717365_n.jpg

Jessie is very good with them, she even goes in the shed with them when Im there and theyre all fine together :)
Would never leave them unsupervised though!

Amethyst
17-06-2013, 08:36 PM
Go to a shelter. They will be able to find a mellow, non prey-driven dog that will work well with your family. Breed has little to do with it. Also, no dog should ever be with a rabbit without supervision.

AMETHYST

megansmummy
17-06-2013, 09:33 PM
I have two lurchers and they aren't bothered about the buns at all...never ever let them come into contact though...

Bunsterz
18-06-2013, 12:12 AM
We have a Labrador, we would obviously never ever leave him unattended with the bunnies but he is so gentle with them, they generally get a good wash from him on a regular basis lol

http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc68/orca_kim/DSC05185_zps25225467.jpg

tulsi
19-06-2013, 11:07 AM
We have a Labrador, we would obviously never ever leave him unattended with the bunnies but he is so gentle with them, they generally get a good wash from him on a regular basis lol

http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc68/orca_kim/DSC05185_zps25225467.jpg

Oh chocolate loveliness :love::love: I really love your tricolour rabbit. In fact both your rabbits look wonderful. Even the sofa looks good, really comfortable. Great picture.

emmiiee
19-06-2013, 11:14 AM
Labradors!

they don't bat n eyelid and will often lick and clean them :) x
https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/198893_1958234074164_215538_n.jpg

bunnyo1
19-06-2013, 12:20 PM
My Rolo was 8 weeks old when we got him, and we already had May, and 2 piggies. He grew up around rabbits his whole life and definitely knows he's not the boss! However I agree about not fully trusting dogs with rabbits. I won't let him around them when I'm not there.

Bunsterz
19-06-2013, 01:26 PM
Oh chocolate loveliness :love::love: I really love your tricolour rabbit. In fact both your rabbits look wonderful. Even the sofa looks good, really comfortable. Great picture.

Aww that's a lovely comment thank you :) the tricolour is from RSPCA Walsall and is called cogsworth, Amber is next to him but sadly the bond broke down quite dramatically! They are 2 of our 6 rabbits :) x

Bunsterz
19-06-2013, 01:26 PM
Labradors!

they don't bat n eyelid and will often lick and clean them :) x
https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/198893_1958234074164_215538_n.jpg

Lovely dogs :D