Getting a dog

Discussion in 'General Rabbit Discussion' started by rhianna, Jul 23, 2018.

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Should I get the dog?

Poll closed Jul 30, 2018.
  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  2. No

    1 vote(s)
    50.0%
  1. Jul 23, 2018 #1

    rhianna

    rhianna

    rhianna

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    Hi folks. I've been wanting a dog for as long as I can remember but have always told myself that I won't until after the bunnies are gone. But an opportunity just came up for me to take in a shih tzu, and after doing lots of research on the breed, I think it could be safe. The bunnies are used to dogs because they've lived at my parents' house since I got them. My parents have big dogs. I know that Luke doesn't seem to care about them, and Bear actually is really curious and wants to play with them. I never let the dogs around my buns because I've been nervous. However, we have our own place now and the shih tzu would be sharing a room with me and the bunnies.

    My plan is to crate train the pup so that him and the bunnies are kept separate whenever I'm not home. The bunnies will be in their huge pen while I'm asleep, and if all goes to plan, the pup will also be asleep in my bed with me. I am just a bit of a nervous wreck, because god forbid the dog decided that my bunnies were a snack, I would never forgive myself.

    I guess I'm just looking for validation that it's possible for a shih tzu and bunnies to coexist. Let me know what you think - any experiences with dogs and rabbits would be great to hear. Thanks :)
     
  2. Jul 23, 2018 #2

    Lawren

    Lawren

    Lawren

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    I would slowly introduce them together. I use to have a dog that loved playing with my rabbit and chasing each other around the yard and they seemed fine. I suggest you put the dog in a cage and let the rabbits have the option of checking the dog out. Since the rabbits lived with dogs before I don't think they'll have to much stress from it.
     
  3. Jul 23, 2018 #3

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

    Blue eyes

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    Some dogs can get along with rabbits. For those dogs that don't have too much genetic disposition to overcome, it is just a matter of training your dog as to how to behave around rabbits. Don't just 'see how it goes.' It takes a deliberate effort on your part to teach the dog what is and what is not acceptable behavior. Otherwise the dog will see the rabbits as "puppy mates." This is something you do not want.

    I have had success training several dogs with several rabbits over the years. You can see how I've done it here (with photos too). The teething stage of the puppy can be a challenge and you may very well have to keep them totally separate during that teething stage. All puppies want to do at that stage is chew anything they can. Those pin-sharp teeth can easily puncture a rabbit's skin (or ear- if they see the rabbit as another puppy. That's how puppies play - nipping at each other's ears.)

    Since your rabbits are already accustomed to dogs (albeit large dogs) it will mostly be a matter of training your dog what he can and what he can't do around the rabbits. (For instance, the dog should never be permitted to whine at, bark at, paw at, or chase the rabbits.)

    Here's a puppy enjoying some bunny "snacks." (Dog is 10 years old now.)
    upload_2018-7-23_10-57-5.png
     

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