For all the pet lovers out there, the most common question to ask is “Do rabbits get along with dogs?” It’s the biggest concern for all dog owners who want to get a pet rabbit or vice versa.
Well, the short and simple answer that you’re looking for is “YES*.” Under certain conditions, dogs and rabbits can live together and even become friends.
If you are looking to get a fluffy little bunny but you worry that your dog might not like it, here’s how you can make them friends.
Can Rabbits Get Along With Dogs?
You will be happy to find out that domestic rabbits can get along just fine with your pet dogs. Even more so, rabbits and dogs can also be best friends with each other. All they need is just a tad bit of learning and some training.
Enthusiastic pet lovers who want to get a cute rabbit but already have a dog or vice versa, often ask this question.
I can’t blame them if they want to adopt both pets at once. After all, rabbits and dogs are the most popular pet animals. Although the two animals are different in so many ways, you must agree that both are equally adorable.
So, why not get both of them together? All you gotta do is follow these three easy tips to befriend your rabbit with your dog.
Get A Puppy And A Small Bunny
Do you remember how a small child gets used to things much more easily than a grown-up adult? That’s exactly how you can befriend your bunny with your dog.
As Charles Shultz describes it,
“Happiness is a warm puppy.”
Get a small puppy and a bunny. Pet them together, feed them together, play with them together, etc. They’ll grow to like each other and think they’re a family.
Train Your Pet Animals
If you already have a dog and now you want to get a rabbit, it’s better to train your dog first. A trained dog is well-mannered and very calm as compared to an untrained animal.
Since rabbits are small, you must learn to control your dogs. If your dog is not under your control because it’s poorly trained, it might end up hurting your rabbit since it cannot fight back.
Pick Only Special Breeds Of Animals
If you don’t want to get small puppies and rabbits because they probably need more attention and care, you should pick special breeds.
Some breeds of animals are more aggressive than others, while some have a calming nature. You should learn about the different breeds of dogs and rabbits.
Adult rabbits who have huge bodies are usually calmer than smaller ones, such as the Flemish Giant, California Giant, or Checkered Giant. Some dogs, like Maltese or Pyrenees, are better with other animals.
What Breed of Dog Can Live With Rabbits?
The easiest way to befriend your pet dog with a rabbit is to get a calm breed of dog. Training also helps to reduce aggressive behavior, but it usually takes weeks to months.
Learning about dog breeds that have a calming nature is the best idea. If you get a dog that has a calm disposition, chances are it will easily befriend your pet rabbit.
Here are five amazingly calm breeds of dogs that you should get if you already have a pet rabbit in the house.
The Maltese dogs have a small body that doesn’t seem to scare rabbits. They also have a very calming and friendly nature. These dogs are not very fond of hunting and chasing other animals.
Although Maltese dogs may trouble you because of their very loud barks, only if you keep them hungry. Getting a deaf rabbit can easily solve that problem.
Who doesn’t love golden retrievers? They are the most loved dogs, well known for their golden-colored fur and gentle nature. These are very docile animals who are very easy to train and affectionate.
Your rabbit will easily start to like your golden retriever because of its loving nature. That’s exactly why golden retrievers are mostly children’s favorite dogs.
Labradors usually have huge bodies and wild faces that may scare many people, but they are very gentle and wise dogs. When trained, labradors make great companions, which is why they’re called the best working dog breed.
Labradors are known for their sweet and hardworking nature. They are very friendly and playful. They have no urge to chase after other animals unnecessarily.
Also, as explained in the Journal of Animal Science, having a courageous dog doesn’t mean it will have a high prey drive. That is why your rabbit will feel more at home if you get a labrador.
The Great Pyrenees is also a well-known dog breed that most people look for whenever they want a pet dog. It’s because of the careful and guarding nature of the dog.
These dogs make the best guard dogs for protecting your livestock farms at night. But its nature can also be an asset to protect your pet rabbit once the dog grows to like the rabbit.
With a bit of training, you can make both your pets great friends. The Great Pyrenees will probably start considering the rabbit as a part of its pack.
It’s important to know that there are no guarantees about how a dog will act in the presence of a rabbit. However, there are enough examples of the calming nature of the above-mentioned dog breeds to validate the facts described in the article.
Will My Dog Hurt a Rabbit?
Dogs are lovely and very loyal companions to all humans. They are a source of joy for many people. As Roger Caras describes it,
“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”
However, your dog can hurt your rabbit if it has an aggressive nature. Untrained dogs are usually the ones that react quickly to chasing any fast-moving object, like a rabbit.
With its huge size and sharp teeth and clams, it will take no time for your dog to tear down the little fluffy rabbit. So, you must learn to control your dog before you bring a pet rabbit into your house.
Although having a calmer dog may reduce the chances of him hurting the bunny, you should still focus on the dog’s training. Avoid leaving them in the same room if the pets are not familiar with each other.
Can a Rabbit Hurt My Dog?
Would you believe it if someone told you that a small fluffy rabbit could hurt a big fierce dog? It might be a hard pill to swallow, but it is most definitely possible. Your cute little rabbit can also attack and hurt your dog with its sharp claws.
Rabbits are small and usually have a calm nature. They easily get terrified by other big animals and start running off to the hills to save their precious lives.
Shenita Etwaroo is a huge fan of rabbits and probably won’t believe that a rabbit can also be on the attacking team. She says:
“Bunnies will always have a special place in my heart. They are often discredited as being good pets because they don’t do anything—ask any rabbit owner and watch how they laugh!”
However, when aggravated and poked, a rabbit can also attack. Especially if your rabbit is the first pet in the house, it wouldn’t like to share its territory with another pet.
Usually, rabbits only lash out when they feel threatened by something or when they’re scared by your new dog. These three types of rabbit breeds are more prone to attacking your dog:
- Dutch Lop
- Netherland Dwarf
- Mini Rex
How to Introduce Rabbits and Dogs to Each Other?
If you want your pet dog to get along with your rabbit, you should first introduce them properly. It’s very important to see your pets’ reactions.
Learn how your pet dog is reacting in the presence of the rabbit and proceed slowly. Don’t shove the pets together in a room and expect them to develop a bond. It’s not how bonding works.
Dogs are very loyal and friendly animals. You must train your pets to follow their movements using this guide.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for you on how to introduce rabbits and dogs to each other.
Step 1: Bring Your Dog And Rabbit In The Same Room
Once you have picked up the rabbit from the shelter, take it into the same room as your dog. Let your dog see the new friend from a distance. Observe your dog’s reaction in the presence of another pet.
Also, try to keep the door of the room open. So, you can quickly get your dog out if everything goes south.
Step 2: Keep Your Bunny Secure In a Cage
Your rabbit should be secured in a wire cage to avoid any unnecessary movements. Avoid opening the cage and letting out the little bunny on the first interaction.
Put a box or a cup inside the rabbit’s cage where it can hide easily if it’s scared. Rabbits who are scared tend to hide to feel safe; otherwise, they may get aggressive. A study says that an aggressive running rabbit might not make an easy friend.
Step 3: Keep Your Dog Secured By a Lease
Since your rabbit is in a cage, it’s only fair that your dog should be tied too. Secure your pet dog with a leash when you bring him into the same room as your rabbit.
Don’t leave your dog free to roam around the room, or it might scare the little bunny. Bring your dog slowly near the rabbit carrier.
Step 4: Let Your Dog Investigate The Rabbit
Once your dog sees the new rabbit, let him go near it slowly and make him sit. Initially, if your dog is well-trained, it will readily sit on your command.
Slowly bring the rabbit carrier near him and keep his leash tight so it won’t attack. Slowly open the cage and let your rabbit come out. Don’t force the pet or it will try to jump sideways.
Step 5: Let Your Dog Smell The Rabbit
The rabbit will take its time to get accustomed to the surroundings. Hold your dog down until the rabbit gets near him. Make your dog sit still and be seated.
Give your dog some treats by following your orders. Let the dog sniff the rabbit. The smell is like an animal handshake.
Step 6: Observe Their First Interaction Carefully
Once your dog gets near the rabbit, hold him tight by his leash to prevent any unnecessary quick movements. Observe their first interaction.
Let the two pets interact slowly and peacefully. It may take a while for them to get accustomed to each other. Don’t force their interaction.
If you feel like the rabbit is scared or your dog is aggravated and trying to get free from the leash, stop the interaction. Try again some other time.
Step 7: Train Your Dog To Befriend The Rabbit
It’s better to train your dog beforehand to avoid any unwanted incidents. Training helps to calm down the dogs who even have the most aggressive nature.
If you don’t have control over your dog or if it doesn’t listen to your commands properly, it’s not a good idea to introduce your rabbit. You should focus on its obedience training first.
Step 8: Let Your Dog Bond With The Rabbit
After sniffing and investigating, you will observe that both the animals react strangely to one another. It’s time to let them bond peacefully.
You can either continue letting them sniff each other, or you can stop the interaction and treat them to show that they have performed well. So, they deserve a treat for their good behavior.
Step 9: Develop a Routine To Feed Your Pets Together
Once both the animals feel much better in each other’s presence, you can let out a sigh of relief. But your work here is not done just yet. They still might attack each other in a heartbeat since it’s only their first interaction.
Develop a routine to feed both your pets together and let them bond. Repeat the interaction process daily and give them enough time to grow fonder.
Step 10: Take Your Pets Out For a Walk Together
The last thing you can do to improve your pet’s friendship is to make them spend time together. Early morning or evening walks are the best ways to befriend your pets.
So, the next time you take your pet dog out for a walk, bring the rabbit too. Dogs react better and are much more relaxed when they are out and about for a walk.
It’s a great idea to train your dog before a meetup. However, the best idea would be to introduce your pets at a young age. Small animals are easy to introduce and control. As they grow old, they start to feel like they are a part of the same family.
How Do You Get Rid Of Rabbits When You Have Dogs?
If you live in a place where your house garden is always attacked by wild rabbits, it’s not good for your dog.
The bunnies may look very small and cute, but they are very jumpy creatures. Rabbits can easily aggravate your dogs by moving quickly. Wild rabbits with sharp claws can even attack your dog.
If you have a dog, make sure you put him on a leash. On the other hand, you can get rid of the rabbits by using the following easy methods.
Chili Flakes & Garlic Cloves
A mixture of chili flakes and garlic cloves is a homemade remedy to get rid of rabbits. Just grind the two items and sprinkle the powder mixture around your house. The smell of chili and garlic will keep the rabbits at bay.
Rotten Eggs and Eggshells
Rounded eggshells are the easiest way to repel rabbits away from your house. Rotten eggshells give off a specific smell that rabbits hate. Placing the eggshells around the house can repel all the rabbits.
Onions are well-known for their particular smell and characteristic taste. Rabbits don’t like onions. Placing some onion peels around the house can be very offensive to rabbits.
Vinegar is an important constituent of most pesticides and rodent killers. Its highly acidic element is the reason why rabbits don’t like the smell of vinegar. Spraying vinegar in the garden can deter and repel rabbits.
Linseed Oil Solution
This might not be a very common solution, but it is very effective against rabbits. Take some linseed and boil them in water. Filter the water and add some detergent to it. Now spray the solution around the house to repel rabbits.
There are many different rabbit repellents available on the market that you can use to get rid of wild rabbits. Rabbit Scram is an effective rabbit repellent that is completely safe to use with your dogs.
Should I Let My Dog Chase Rabbits?
Whether it’s a wild rabbit in the garden or your pet rabbit in the house, it’s never a good idea to let your dog chase after the rabbits.
When you’re introducing your pet dog to your rabbit, it’s best to keep it secured by a leash. Otherwise, your dog can scare away your rabbit, or it might attack the rabbit and injure him in a blink.
You can train your dog to follow your commands and not chase after the rabbit, even if the rabbit is running. Control your dog and try to keep him calm.
So the next time you ask yourself the question, “Do rabbits get along with dogs?” Just remember that the answer lies in how well you train your pets. Even a lion can learn to befriend a deer if it is trained properly.
Your rabbit and dog can get along easily once they grow accustomed to seeing each other in the same house. Once the pets start to feel safe around each other, they will even become friends.
Choosing the right animal breed can also help. Having a pet with a calming nature can avoid any unnecessary fights. Remember to introduce your pets properly and take your time.
Happy Pet Keeping!