Bunny - Puppy Relations, Can Rabbits and Dogs be friends?

That Was Then...

Can bunnies and puppies be friends? Most certainly. Well, almost certainly. It rather depends primarily on the temperament of your dog. Some dogs are bred to hunt and kill small creatures, and if you have one of these breeds, they may very well up and kill a bunny they have happily nosed and played with right through puppy hood. Terriers and other hunting dogs such as Weimeraners are notorious for this type of behavior, so it is recommended that if you have one of these types of breeds, that you take extra caution.

Of course, any dog can get a bunnicidal notion into its head and sink its chompers into fluffy so I recommend a lengthy period of constant supervision. When I say lengthy, I mean, LENGTHY, as in months, preferably years, especially if your dog is yet young. It's the only way to ensure your rabbit's safety if you chose to have it out around your dog.

Training can play a large role in teaching your puppy or dog how to behave around your bunny. A firm NO, and redirection are essential if your dog gets too boisterous around the bunny. Rabbits are very fragile creatures, and can easily be harmed by a clumsy young dog, or even an older one that has not gained very good bite inhibition. Don't think that because your puppy is small he can't do damage. Rabbit skin is very thin and you can easily end up with an unhappy and wounded bunny if puppy is allowed to get too silly.

Another variable is the temperament of your rabbit. Some will sit and simply give a dog a haughty stare, even if the dog is bouncing around like a madman and barking furiously. This type of bunny is likely to do better with a dog than one that is timid and runs easily. Running arouses the prey drive in the dog, so this can set up an unhealthy and possibly lethal dynamic. Keep introductions slow and measured, if necessary, put your dog on the leash so that it cannot lunge at the bunny in a fit of excitement and accidentally or intentionally harm it

At the end of the day however, use your common sense. Asses your pets, is your bunny nervous and high strung? Will it take well to the introduction to a dog? Some rabbits freak out at the smell of Fido, and others will run right on up and have a sniff. Likewise, pay attention to your dog's temperament and developmental stage. Be aware that behaviors can change rapidly with sexual maturity, and a small playful puppy can become lethal to a delicate fury creature, especially if it is an inbred characteristic of the breed.

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Comments 29 comments

Jewel 9 years ago

this was very helpful to me because i just recently got a dog and i'm thinking about getting a bunny now. i will definitely keep a close eye on them.

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Bunniez 9 years ago Author

They're also very cute when the puppy is small, but as the puppy grows it tends to get clumsy, over excited, and stupid, and there is a real danger that a growing bouncy puppy can accidentally injure a rabbit.

jade 8 years ago

great advice...ive been wanting a bunny for a long time, but my parents wanted to make sure it would be safe! so this sight helped me win my case!

amz 8 years ago

cheers, have a rabbit and looking for a puppywill be careful

jen 8 years ago

i have a rabbit and a one year dog....the dog is hyper and chases my rabbit...there is never any biting involved on both parts...maybe a grunt and smack in the face to the dog from my rabbit. sometimes the rabbit seems to enjoy this play..jumping in the air "dancing" other times he seems annoyed. do rabbits injoy the puppy games or not at all? how do puppy and rabbit play together?

Jess 8 years ago

At the moment i have a lopped eared dawarf rabbit and in a few weeks im getting a border collie whos 3.

when we bring the boarder collie homw shes going to have to sleep and stay in the same room as my rabbit without supervision when we all go out. - What can i do to make sure that my lovely rabbit dosent get eaten? : (

Robin 7 years ago

Hey I was just wondering whether my bunny likes my dog.

You see I just got him last night (the bunny) and he's exploring my room and all but when Sparkey (my dog), comes in, my bunny will run around and under sparkey and sometimes sniff her. But as interested as my dog is, she is also afraid of the bunny because when Sparkey get's nervous about the bunny running around her she tries to leave the room and the bunny will go nose first after her feet, but the bunny won't bite my dog he'll just act really aggressive and I don't know if it's because he's playing, doesn't like her or doesn't like how she moves when she walks away lol

candace 7 years ago

Hi just to answer you question your rabbit is telling your dog to get out of his space. You need to give your rabbit a place to call his own, wether its a hutch or the whole room your dog will never be welcome :D

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JGelineau 7 years ago

I have a small dwarf rabbit and two dogs. I'd like them to both be out together but I'm really worried that the dogs will hurt my bunny. Is there any way to test if they're ok around each other without actually letting them run aound?

Raine 7 years ago

I have a little black bunny and shi-tzu maltese mix. At first bunny wasn't too fond of the dog. She'd run and hide and the dog would chase her. The bunnies space is the bathroom so when she'd get tired of the dog chasing her she'd go hop in the tub. Now she will come lay at my feet cause I tell the dog no. But the funny thing is, now that a few weeks have gone by if the dog just lays there and the bunny hops around and the dog doesn't get up and chase her, she comes and picks at the dog. It's the funniest thing.

Alexandra 6 years ago

Hi there, I have a 3 year old 5lb. toy poodle, I am a housewife and am looking to to getting my poodle a companion (bunny) my pooch is the epitome of a lapdog and is extremely lovable. do you think based on my dogs demeanor that a bunny would be a good friend for him? If so, should I get a baby bunny or full grown rabbit? Thank you very much & God bless!

Alexandra 6 years ago

Hi there, I have a 3 year old 5lb. toy poodle, I am a housewife and am looking to to getting my poodle a companion (bunny) my pooch is the epitome of a lapdog and is extremely lovable. do you think based on my dogs demeanor that a bunny would be a good friend for him? If so, should I get a baby bunny or full grown rabbit? Thank you very much & God bless!

theawesomelolgrl 6 years ago

I just got a black lab collie mix and I now have a Holland lop rabbit but every time the dog is out she goes to the cage and cries and sniffs the cage and every time we have the bunny out my dog sniffs her and gets in her blanket and she licks her ears my dog is a good girl but i think she loves the bunny.

estelle777 6 years ago

my 6 month old puppy killed my 2 beautiful buunies!!! he would always chase them so i fixed them a hutch outside. he would check out from where i would feed them and he got in from there, that is under the wire... im so sad and depressed i know its not his fault but mine that i didn't fix the hutch so well... now im a bit angry at baby and a lot angry at myself !!!! the poor things i cant imagine what they went through....

bunnieboo279 6 years ago

my 2 rabbits and my dog sometimes get along. we dont leave them alone together though. i hope my dog will get along with the new baby bunnys.

Furry Rabbits 6 years ago

My 3 year old Std. Poodle seriously injured my favorite doe yesterday. Not only that, but when I picked her up (still alive but back legs don't work), she bit at her again - HARD. As soon as I got doe back in cage, to give her a chance at life. I did it. For the first time, the Poodle got corporal punishment. I don't respect that in most cases, but this cannot be tolerated. Period. My other dog, a CockerSpaniel, is no problem around bunnies. His intentions are not good, but the ability to bite down hard has long since been bred completely out of the breed. all he can do is hip and all he gets is a bit of fluff.

As for the doe, if she doesn't try to use those hind legs in the next couple of days, I guess I'll have to do the humane thing and put her out of her misery. But I wanted to give her a chance.

dani 6 years ago

hiya, i have a 6 month yr old lop eared rabbit. He is very good and runs around the living room jumping all the time. i have always wanted a dog and i am going to get a Labradoole puppy. I am very worried about them meeting. I have been told to keep the dog on the lead and the rabbit in its indoor cage when i intorduce them. Does anyone have any advise. I am very worried. thanks

kirsty 6 years ago

Hey, I have a 12month old maltese x and a lop eared bunny who is around 9months old. The dog and the bunny are the best of friends. I do worry sometimes that the dog gets a bit to excited around the bunny but the majority of the time she is good. They run around, play together and sleep together. My rabbit does not have a cage, just runs around the backyard and when I introduced them, they were fine together. Bunny was a bit scared but then again so was the dog. I think as long as both animals know what behaviour is acceptable and what is not they will be fine together. I more often have to discipline the bunny than the dog!

Rubyb 6 years ago

I have a lovely netherland dwarf bunny. And I'm getting a little jack Russell x springer spaniel on Saturday. I wouldn't usually go for this type of dog, because I know jack russells have very high prey drives, but I saw the mother and father, and saw they were both very placid and soft, and the puppy I have chosen is a clumsy, fluffy softie. So if I introduce them slowly, they should be fine :)

Angela Lynn 5 years ago

Better to observe the behavior of your dog whenever you play with your bunny or put your bunny on the floor. Well, there are breed of dogs who are really nice and sweet but there are just breed who are brave and doesn't want to mingle to little creatures because they have that attitude that they are indeed a boss.

Snowy 5 years ago

Hi, I have a 7 month dwarf rabbit and 2 birds. I am moving into a bigger house and want a dog. The dog should not shed a lot as my mother has asthm. Any Suggestions?

Tommy 5 years ago

Have just introduced my neighbours two bunnies to my 8 year old Lab Rex. He met there dad last year and got on great. He is now running around watching them like they were his. lol

jeanneu 5 years ago

I have a shitszu mixed with Laso Apso dog who is 3 and 1 year old pure white bunny. My baby girl plays with the bunny, chases him and then sits on top of him (like a chicken hatching an egg). She is crazy about the bunny and the bunny likes her too. The bunny owns the back yard and will sit on the back patio, waiting for me to let my baby girl out. Crazy animal!

Terry 5 years ago

I have a iniature Pinscher, age 4.5 when I got a rabbit. She was so small that I called him a big brother and made a big deal out of it. Min Pins were bred to kill, rabbits, squirrels and small animals which came on farms. Well, I have to wonderful pets that get along, chase each other around the house and play tag. Its quite amusing.

jo 5 years ago

Hi There.I have 3 bunnies. One large bunny who lives on his own, and 2 drawf bunnies who live together. The bunnies come both inside and outside the house. I would like to get a King Charles Spaniel dog,but i'm worried it could harm the bunnies. Does anyone have any advice?Or have this combination of pets at home?

Asia 4 years ago

My dog was 10 years old when I got my baby rabbit. At first he didn't like him too much, given that he was the only pet we had till that point. But after 6 years they just go on their buisness, they arent buddies, but they communicate from time to time and I can leave them in the same space for hours on end without worry. My rabbit isn't scared of him at all, even when they first met so he grew up with him. My dog was known to be very mean, but he surprised me with the rabbit, old age has also made him more mellow so I suppose the timing was right.

anneclariz 4 years ago

our two rabbits killed by our dogs while i'm away from home just hours from now.. I was shocked when i went to our backyard,there's blood and it's flesh are scattered on the soil..i'm so sad i want to punish my dogs..those rabbits were so sweet.i never thought that there cage will drop and it's door will open:( i like rabbits so much.but i don't think of buying again.

hee 4 years ago

i really want a bunny but im still trying to convince my parents^_^

i think that my dog will do fine he is very laid back and im hopeing my soon too be bunny will be too! thanks for the edvice!

bananabus 2 years ago

My basset hound was always good with small animals. We had a mouse problem a while back and was surprised to see that one day he befriended the mice when I found him sleeping in the kitchen with a mouse curled up and sleeping on top of his back. In addition, he would also play with the wild rabbits in our back yard and it got to the point where when we would go to let him out and see a few bunnies sitting by our back door waiting for him. He was always such a sweetheart and I miss him dearly.

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