Dr. Mark raises free-range rabbits, poultry, horses, and sheep at his small farm. He is a veterinarian and works mostly with dogs.
Dogs That Get Along With Rabbits
This issue comes up at the worst times, usually when a beloved pet rabbit has been injured beyond repair and the family tells me that their dog did it. Typically, the rabbit is a family pet and was being watched by one of the family's children. The rabbit moves quickly, and the untrained dog with high prey drive chases. In just a few seconds, the rabbit is mangled beyond repair.
Is there a way to prevent this? Can you stop a dog from chasing and killing your rabbit?
Dog Breeds Likely to Leave Your Rabbit Alone
The best way to prevent a dog from killing a rabbit is by selecting the right dog. Here are a few breeds, both small and large, that are unlikely to bother your rabbit:
- Japanese Chin
- Bichon Frisé
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Golden retriever
- Great Pyrenees
There are no guarantees, of course. Dogs on this list usually have low prey drive, but even dogs with low prey drive might chase a rabbit.
Even if you do get a dog breed that is more likely to leave your rabbit alone, it is up to you train the dog properly and supervise them until you are sure that they can be left in the same room without incident.
Dog Breeds That Will Probably Chase Your Rabbit
Some families lose their rabbit to their dog because of a bad choice made when choosing the dog. A Siberian Husky might be a sweet dog and great with kids, but that does not mean he is going to be good with rabbits. Here are some types of dogs that I would not recommend for a family that has or wants to own a rabbit:
- Sled dogs like the Siberian Husky
- Sighthounds like the Greyhound, Whippet, Russian Wolfhound, etc
- Scent hounds like the Beagle
- Terriers like the Airedale and hunters like the Dachshund
- Guard dogs with high prey drive like the German Shepherd and Belgian Malinois
In general, dogs that look upon small animals as prey are more likely to chase rabbits. This does not mean that any individual is going to be aggressive. (If you look at the Youtube videos of dogs from this list playing with rabbits, however, you will usually find that the rabbit and the dog are showing signs of stress.)
The best dog around my rabbits is a Pit Bull Terrier. She might want to get in there and attack a smaller animal, but she is trained and she does not do so. I cannot guarantee that any individual dog from a breed on this list is able to be trained and will leave a rabbit alone, however.
If you want a dog that is safer around your rabbit, choose from one of the breeds with a low prey drive.
Rabbit Breeds for the Dog-Owning Family
If you are looking for the best rabbit breed around dogs, you need to realize that rabbits are also individuals. Just because you find a rabbit from a breed that does well around dogs does not guarantee that your rabbit is going to be okay.
Generally, the large meat type rabbits are calmer:
- Flemish Giant
- California Giant
- Checkered Giant
The very small and wiry rabbits are sometimes more nervous:
- Dutch Lop
- Netherland Dwarf
- Mini Rex
There are always exceptions. If you have mixed breed rabbits, like I do, just look at the animal and determine its type. I have mostly Dutch and New Zealand crosses. They are usually calm animals, but occasionally a bunny will be born that will not allow the dogs to get close.
Training Your Dog Not to Chase Your Rabbit
Start with basic obedience training. Teach your dog all other methods of impulse control so that he is used to obeying you in all situations. “Leave it” should be obeyed immediately, 100% of the time. I emphasize impulse control every time I take my dogs out for a walk; if your dog learns that he is not able to do whatever he wants whenever he wants, he is much less likely to disobey and attack your rabbit.
- Take the rabbit to a room so you can watch how the dog and rabbit interact. The rabbit should be in a car carrier so that he can hide and feel secure; if you only have a cage with wire sides, then he should at least have something in the cage where he can run to and hide. (A box, a tube, etc.) Rabbits that have nowhere to hide can get stressed out easily and will die secondary to shock.
- Put your dog on a leash and bring him to the room where the rabbit is waiting in the carrier. (If you do not have 100% control of your dog on a leash, and he lunges just walking into the room with the rabbit, then neither of you are ready. You need to do some more obedience training.)
- Put your dog in heel position and walk over so that he can sniff the carrier.
- After he has investigated, put your dog in a down/stay position. Have your dog lie on his side. (I train my dogs to play dead, and when I ask them to lie on their side, they enjoy it since it is followed by a lot of praise. I find this trick very helpful when introducing my dogs to new animals.)
- Open the door of the carrier and let your rabbit out to investigate. (I never grab the rabbit and force the meeting. Let your rabbit deal with the dog at his own pace.) This might take a while, so grab a chair or sit on the floor and wait.
- When the rabbit comes out, the dog should notice but should be looking at you. If he does not and gets up to investigate the rabbit without even asking for permission, call his name, and put him in the down/stay position again. Give the rabbit time to investigate. If the dog gets up again without permission, take him out of the room.
- If your dog stays down, give him praise, and allow the rabbit to come over and check him out.
- When your rabbit has sniffed the dog, and your dog has remained in the down position, it is okay to allow him to get up and sniff the rabbit. If he gets too excited this first session, take the dog out of the room. (Rabbits do not understand behavior like the play bow. Even if your dog is being friendly, your rabbit will only understand that a prey animal is being aggressive. If you allow this to get out of control and the dog chases him, you may NEVER be able to train him.)
- If your dog sniffs the rabbit and stays calm, give him a treat, a lot of praise, and end the session.
- Try it again tomorrow, and repeat each step until you are sure that the dog is going to be calm when you open the rabbit carrier.
Once your rabbit and dog have met in the house, it is also a good idea to let them “bond” in another environment. In the early evening, when my rabbits are grazing in my front yard, I allow my senior pit bull to sit with me when I am outside reading. The first few times I did this, I kept her on a leash, but since she showed no interest in the rabbits when loose, I am now able to let her off-leash at the same time.
If you do not have a yard for your rabbits to run loose in, it is a good idea to take the dog and rabbit for a walk together. You will need to carry the rabbit in a carrier the first few times until he becomes used to the experience, but eventually, you can hold him in your arms or even let him down to investigate the trail. (Please make sure that he is on a leash and rabbit harness. A rabbit can jump out of your arms quickly and will run off before you are even aware of what is happening.)
Dogs that go for a walk with their rabbit do exceptionally well together. You have to be sure that it is in a place where no other dogs walk, however.
Will Training Always Work?
Rabbit are prey animals. Dogs are predators. Many dogs can be trained to leave rabbits alone, and many rabbits can grow accustomed to a dog and will no longer run when a canine is around.
Always? No, some dogs will never be able to accept a rabbit despite all the training you do. If you are still choosing and pick the breeds I recommend, however, your chances of success are much greater.
If you do not yet have a dog, visit a shelter and look for one of the animals in the list above that are good with rabbits. Puppies can hurt your rabbit just trying to play, so a senior is the best choice since these dogs are quiet and not as likely to wrestle.
Questions & Answers
Question: Will a miniature dachshund hurt my middle aged rabbit?
Answer: Dachshunds are bred to have a high prey drive so they will most likely chase and hurt your rabbit. Miniature Doxies have a much lower prey drive since they were crossed with several other breeds but I still would not recommend you get a dog like that to be around your rabbit.
Question: What kinds of hypoallergenic dog breeds don't pay attention to a rabbit?
Answer: Maltese have a very low prey drive and get along with rabbits most of the time. The Bichon Frisé is also a very good choice. There is no guarantee with any dog breed, so be careful and follow the instructions on this article when it is time to introduce your new dog to your rabbit.
© 2018 Dr Mark
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 08, 2020:
Hi Reysha I just answered your question on the other article and included a link here. As far as your Lab goes, I do not expect problems since they are one of the better breeds but please take it slow introducing them and see how it goes. Gender is probably not an issue but male rabbits tend to be a little more brave around dogs.
reysha ravendran on August 07, 2020:
I currently have a 4-year-old chocolate labrador and I would like to get a baby rabbit. Do you think he would be friendly to a baby rabbit or should I get and older rabbit? And do you think my dog's breed is suitable with a rabbit? My dog is very friendly he doesn't bite either, but he's very playful. And does either of the animal's gender matter in helping them get long?
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 07, 2020:
Vanessa, that is a difficult question. You might find out that we are all wrong and that the dogs get along fine with the rabbit. Probably not, though, so if you do get a rabbit realize that it is going to have to stay in a cage most of the time. If your rabbit is running around the house, and you turn your back, a sudden move might spell his doom.
Vanessa on August 06, 2020:
Hi Mark, I have a question. I am getting a rabbit and have 2 dogs. My dog’s breeds are on the list for potentially dangerous to a rabbit. Should I introduce the dog and rabbit?
Breed: German Shepherd
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 30, 2020:
Erin--it sounds like things are going great. I just think Honcho needs more time with Gus, with supervision, of course. It is hard to say exactly when they will be safe together, but a few more months, at least, as all dogs (well, Labs can be an exception) tend to grow up about 4-6 months.
Labs slow down in about 2-4 years!
Erin Quigley on July 29, 2020:
Honcho (My Rabbit) and Gus (my 11 week old Labrador) have daily encounters with lots of supervision. Honcho has no fear of him and hops directly to his face. 9/10 times he is submissive and stays down, even lets her boop him on the nose and does nothing but an occasional lick. However, the other day Honcho ran straight to his face and he got up and ran after her. I don't think this was aggressive at all but it scared the life out of me. Honcho wasn't bothered at all and actually came back for more once I had grabbed him. Where do you think we take it from here and what are the next steps to ensure he doesn't chase her and she doesn't antagonise him? I'm desperate for them to live harmoniously together but i just don't trust him not to accidentally hurt her as he is extremely nippy at the moment.
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 28, 2020:
Tiffany, it has been many years but my mother raised Poms and we had rabbits. There was no problems since those dogs have a fairly low prey drive, Just introduce them slowly, as described in the article. It is a good idea to have a cage/carrier just to keep around.
Tiffany on July 28, 2020:
Hi Mark, i have a holland lop bunny and is looking to get a pomchi in December. After reading this, I'm a little nervous about getting the dog. My rabbit is free roam with no cage. have you had any experience with poms and bunnies?
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 28, 2020:
Bev, hard to say for all dogs but in this case it does sound aggressive. I would just be very careful introducing them (follow directions in article, take things very slowly) and monitor all contact between them.
Bev on July 27, 2020:
Ive got a Lasha/poo aged nearly 2 called sasha and next week im getting a dwarf lop 10 week old bunny. Sex is a boy .when she has seen rabbits behind glass in there cages .its like she cries and wants to mother them .Is this an aggressive sign and do you think it possible for them to get along. Thanks
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 23, 2020:
Sarteseer--just take it very slow and monitor their interactions when the bunny is still slow. One of my dogs wanted to play with one of my parrots and when the bird tried to walk away the dog put a paw on her back so that she could hold her down. Her back was broken. The same thing could happen to your bunny even if the Newfie does not want to hurt the rabbit.
Sartesser on July 21, 2020:
Hi! I have a big friendly Newfoundland dog he is 7 years old. Do you think he would be friendly to a baby rabbit? He's friendly with basically any dog very calm around kids as well
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 21, 2020:
Sam, it is hard to say that any one dog will work, as they are all individuals, but Brittanys are really sweet dogs and are very affectionate, as I am sure you already know. Take it slow, remember that he is a hunting breed, and make sure that your bunny is calm and does not run off at the first meeting.
sam on July 20, 2020:
hi mark, I have a 6 year old Brittany spaniel, his breed was made to hunt birds but would he be suitable with a mini lop? I would have a play pen for my bunny but it would be easy for my dog to jump over
Tiffany on July 17, 2020:
Hi Mark, i have a holland lop bunny and is looking to get a pomchi in December. After reading this, I'm a little nervous about getting the dog. My rabbit is free roam with no cage.
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 07, 2020:
Erin, the sooner the better for all those involved. Best of luck with them.
Erin Quigley on July 06, 2020:
Thanks Mark. We'll have to buy a cage for Honcho for these intro sessions then. She's very curious and never gets spooked by loud noises (dog barks included) she's a special girl, she thinks she's the boss. Would you advise that they should meet straight away? Thank you.
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 06, 2020:
Erin, the main problem with that idea is that some bunnies will not be interested at all. They will just run to a corner and ignore the dog until you take him away.
Putting the rabbit in the cage and letting the puppy sniff usually works a lot better.
Erin Quigley on July 06, 2020:
Thank you for your response, Mark. My Rabbit (Honcho) is completely free range with no cage at all. Your above advice suggests keeping the bunny in a cage whilst the puppy can sniff her but as we don't have a cage to keep her in can we keep the puppy in a dog crate and let Honcho sniff him?
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 04, 2020:
girl--there is no guaratee with any dog, but I think it is highly unlikely that your dog will even be interested in the rabbit. Maltese and Maltese cross dogs (with shih tzu, cocker, poodles) are great around other pets.
girl on July 03, 2020:
HI i want a rabbit and i have a dog a maltese shi-tzu will my dog chase the bunny. Its 15 though
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 19, 2020:
Erin, never any guarantees with this, but if you introduce them slowly, as described in the article, and always supervise their interactions the first few months (when puppies are very rambunctious) it usually goes okay with Labs.
They have been known to kill, but usually with an older dog, introduced incorrectly.
Erin Quigley on June 19, 2020:
I have a very confident and bolshie medium sized rabbit (half havana, half french lop). She's wonderful and follows me around everywhere for cuddles and attention. She holds her own and does not frighten easily.
We have decided to introduce a Labrador Puppy in to the family in the next 3 weeks. After doing lots of research i was confident that this would be okay and they would eventually learn to be friends. However, after seeing some horror stories i am now absolutely terrified that the dog will hurt my rabbit and i could just never let any harm come to her as i love her so dearly.
Do you think if we introduce the puppy carefully and slowly from 8 weeks old they could learn to co-exist?
I'd heard from so many people that labs are lovely, gentle giant and would not harm the bunny is he was trained not to but now i'm having second thoughts.
any advice would be greatly appreciated as if the dog will kill my rabbit we will not move forward with the puppy.
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 22, 2020:
bunny lover--you need to introduce them slowly, even if the dog was okay with a pocket pet in the past.
bunny lover on May 17, 2020:
i have a 2 year old lab and i want to get a rabbit my dog was nice to my pet hamsters and was really gentle and let them ride on his back but i am not sure if he will be calm if a rabbit is jumping and running around him. Should I let him near my rabbit?
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 16, 2020:
K. Fanning--check the list in the article above.
K. Fanning on May 12, 2020:
Hi! I REALLY want a dog but my father wants an intelligent one, specifically a golden retriever. We have a 1 and a half year old mini lop bunny, and I was wondering if we would be able to safely keep a miniature golden retriever with Oscar (the bunny)?
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 09, 2020:
Mae, ACDs tend to have a high prey drive. I cannot say for sure about any one individual, but you should be very careful and always supervise their interactions, even if they seem to be getting along.
Mae on May 03, 2020:
Hi! I have an ausie cattle dog that chases birds. I was thinking of getting a Holland Lop. I think my dog is pretty good with small dogs and I hope a rabbit. He is afraid of mice so I'm not sure what to do. It chases birds but scared of of mice. Advice?
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 01, 2020:
MClara--one of my Pitbulls goes out with me in the evenings to herd my rabbits into their enclosure for the evening. She does not chase or try to bite them. It really depends on the individuals, since some have a higher prey drive. Use the article to introduce them, but keep in mind that you may need to rehome the dog or keep them separated at all times if things do not work out.
MClara on April 30, 2020:
Hi! I have a two year old belier bunny, and i was thinking on adopting a one year old female Pitbull. I wanted to know if they are rabbit friendly and won´t cause a proplem because of the bunny .I really love my bunny and I want to be sure i make the right choice. I also found a lot of cute videos of these two together but didnt find a lot of info. I just want to be sure before adopting.
Thanks in advance! :)
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on April 28, 2020:
Follow the instructions above to introduce them. Many GSDs have a high prey drive so they are not the best choice to be around rabbits.
unicorn on April 26, 2020:
Hi i have a german shepherd but my dream pet is a Bunny so do u have any advice for me and what i should do?
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on April 24, 2020:
Tia, definitely keep them in separate rooms. Introduce your Pom and bunny according to the method I have outlined in the article. Best of luck with your new dog.
Tia on April 21, 2020:
Hello!! I'll be getting a Pomeranian around June or July. I had picked this breed as it'd suit me and the environment well. I currently have an almost 9 year old netherland dwarf and recently realised that there might be an issue with the two of them. Should I wait until I've fully trained the dog as well as keep them in separate rooms before introducing them?
someone on April 20, 2020:
i want to get a rabbit but i dont know how my dogs will react. i have a pointer mix and a boxer mix. ones a female and ones a male. the male is young and is scared of little dogs.
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on March 31, 2020:
Ava, there is really no way to predict how that mix is going to react. Try the training method in the article.
Ava on March 29, 2020:
Hi I have a westie and bichon frisé mix he is going to be 5 years old in June and for my birthday in July I am getting a rabbit I was wondering whether it would be a good idea and he doesn't like my hamster ether but I am hoping that's because she is a rodent and the rabbit will be living indoors
Katie Wilmoth on January 29, 2020:
Consider the age of your dogs. We have two miniature dachshunds who were 13 and 14 last year when we got our chinchilla rabbit. I was worried, but they couldn't have cared less about it. They sniffed each other and the dogs laid down bored. The rabbit can eat out of the same bowl as the dogs and there is absolutely no problem. He hops around the house, and even snuggles with the dogs at times. I think it's weird but I'm grateful. Have to wonder if they're just too old and tired to chase anything anymore.
Sad Dad With Maltese Shih Tzu “Malshie” Dog on January 18, 2020:
It looks like there is some really good, practical advice on this page. I just wanted to share our experience this week as it was very unfortunate and sad for our family.
We have a 4-year dog that is a Maltese + Shih Tzu mix. He is about 8-9 pounds, so a pretty small dog.
We got our 11-year daughter a lop eared rabbit for a Christmas gift. We worked with a local breeder to get a baby bunny, who was with her mom for at least 6-7 weeks. We brought her home last Saturday.
Over the past week, we slowly introduced our dog to the bunny without leaving it alone. All week, it appeared it was hard for him to not be calm in the house. Not crazy, but just always whining and waiting by the door of the room where the bunny was staying. A couple of times he appeared to want to be aggressive, but we stopped it before anything happened. We thought he’d be able to get comfortable with her.
On the 6th day, tragedy struck. We had the bunny in a bedroom with the door closed. While my wife and I were not paying attention working in the house, it appears the dog went upstairs and was able to push on the weakly latched door. He got to it. We found the bunny in a downstairs family room passed away and chewed up.
In retrospect, we were probably a bit naive about the risk of this happening. Our dog is small and not aggressive.This site says that Maltese are typically lower risk, though there are no guarantees that it won’t see the rabbit as prey. Our dog is a mix Maltese and shih tzu and I don’t know if that increased our risk. I just want people to know that for our type of dog, it didn’t work out and was tragic for us. The bunny was very sweet and we feel very bad about what happened.
We didn’t want to tell our daughter the truth about what happened because we feared she would reject our dog. We’re relieved she wasn’t home at the time to see the real event.
Through of all of this reading, maybe our experience was just an unlucky outlier. I hope you all are able to enjoy both the love of the bunny and your dog.
Best of luck
RN in Chicago
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on January 11, 2020:
Hi Anon, Beagles are rabbit hunting dogs, so I would normally say no but I really cannot predict if that individual is going to do well. They usually do chase, but since he has done well with the guinea pigs maybe he will be okay.
If I were you I would get a large breed rabbit and introduce him using the instructions I have given in the article. Make sure the rabbit breeder knows that you may have to bring him back if the dog does not get along.
Anonymous on January 10, 2020:
Hello! I’m thinking about getting a rabbit, I have a beagle who hasn’t ever been interested in the past when we had guinea pigs, hamsters, or birds and has only rarely chased a squirrel or two. I was just wondering if you think it would be a good idea to get a rabbit with a beagle in the house.
Mia on January 06, 2020:
I recently got two bunnies and introduced them to my dog. My dog gets quite excited and stares at them and kisses them. She doesn’t seem to want to harm them, but I think it spooks the rabbits a bit.
Although, the rabbits sometimes go up to my dog and sniff her face and my dog just stands still. My dog always wants to be around the rabbits, but I don’t know whether she is acting protective or like a predator.
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on December 10, 2019:
Iciar, use the training method described in the article. Best of luck with your new puppy. You should have a lot of fun.
No, I do not think separate rooms are needed, but your rabbit should have a cage as a safe place she can go to get away from the puppy.
Iciar on December 09, 2019:
We have a 3 years old Belier bunny, she lives indoor free-cage and she's super nice, adorable and sociable with humans.
In february we are going to have a female golden retriever puppy (10 weeks old). How do you think is the best way to introduce them? Must we have them in different rooms til the dog is trained?
Do you think that is possible that they get along well? :)
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on September 08, 2019:
Lisa, I think breed does matter, but individual personality has a lot to do with it too. What kind of big dog are you thinking of getting? If you still plan on keeping a rabbit, please try to stay away from dog breeds with high prey drive.
Lisa on September 06, 2019:
I have a 2 year old Maltese mix and we recently adopted a 9 month old English spot mix. I was worried at first bc our Maltese seemed a little too interested in the rabbit pen but he lost all interest. Now our rabbit is an indoor free range bunny and we never crate our dog. They aren’t exactly buddy buddy but they get along fine and both adore my children (ages 5, 3 & 1). We would like to adopt a larger dog in the future but for now I have my hands full! We did puppy-sit our dogs biological sister for 2 months and she desperately wanted to eat our rabbit. So for us it hasn’t been about breed or even breed line, but individual personality and training. The sister was not trained at all.
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 17, 2019:
Hi Worried, Bichons are one of the better dog breeds for rabbits, so your dog will probably get along with your rabbit as long as they are introduced slowly (following my recommendations in the article) so that the rabbit does not run. Your dog is chasing the back yard rabbits mostly because they are running away from him.
Worried on August 16, 2019:
I have a small Bichon Poodle. She is about 2 years old and likes to chase bunnies that come to our backyard. I want to get a bunny, but I’m not sure if it would be safe. Could I get some advice?
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on August 09, 2019:
Hi Roy is there a reason you have chosen a Pom? Some of them are fine, some of them do have a spitz-like high prey drive.
If you have not yet brought your dog home, take a look at the breeds I have suggested in the article above.
Roy Cattell on August 07, 2019:
I’ve got 2 lop eared rabbits and we are thinking to get a Pomeranian dog so will those two go together? The rabbits are inside a shed in the back garden.
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on July 04, 2019:
Interesting choices! I have seen some very aggressive and hard to deal with Shibas. Vizslas, despite being a hunting breed, have a low prey drive and are usually easy to train around rabbits and other pets.
avid on July 04, 2019:
i currently have two dogs and a rabbit. both dogs dont seem to have a problem with my rabbit and my rabbit could care less about my two dogs no matter how loud or playful they get around him!
i'm thinking of getting a shiba inu or hungarian vizsla from a reputable breeder but am unsure as to if either breed would mix well with my rabbit.
my rabbit stays inside of his hutch and every saturday or sunday fortnight goes into his playpen for a good 3-4 hours while we clean his hutch and let him stretch his legs.
should i continue thinking about either a shiba inu or a hungarian vizsla?
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on June 08, 2019:
A full size Australian shepherd has a high prey drive and is not a dog breed I would recommend around a rabbit. The miniature dogs are bred more for the pet trade, so it will depend on the line of dogs you want to buy from. You can do a simple (and only partly accurate test) when you go to see the puppies: throw a ball. If the puppies chase it, they are more likely to have a higher prey drive and will chase your rabbit.
anonymous on June 07, 2019:
We have a 6 month old holland lop and we were thinking about getting a miniature Australian shepherd but we aren't sure if that breed would do well with that sort of bunny.
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on May 07, 2019:
Anonymous, a lot of times a pet that does not have a high prey drive (like not chasing squirrels) will get used to another pet in the household and not even consider chasing him. When you do get a rabbit, though, I would recommend you be present with them at all times when together. Your dog might be fine all of the time and then one moment decide that your rabbit is prey and decide to chase.
So yes, get a rabbit! If things do not work out make sure that one of your friends is interested in adopting him though.
anonymous on May 06, 2019:
I have a dog that is not interested in chasing squirrels but in chasing bunnies. I want to get a pet bunny, but I am afraid of what my dog would do. My dog is 9 years old but thinks he is a puppy. Should I get a bunny or not??
Nienna on April 21, 2019:
I have a 5 year old Bichon who is just being introduced to bunnies for the first time. He is definitely interested but every interaction has been gentle. I have him sit next to me while I hold a bunny to my chest. I pet hom and praise him too while holding the bunny, every now and then letting him get a whiff of my hand. He sniffs the bunny itself too then settles his head in my lap.
He has also become protective of his new friends and "guards" the pen!
Every dog is different though. This Bichon doesn't even have enough prey drive to play with toys. He only cuddles with people. Our previous Bichon would leave a decapitated stuffed toy every other week. Rabbits would not have been safe with him. It isn't as much about breed as temperament.
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on April 18, 2019:
Unsure, a maltese would be a great choice, even better than a Bichon. They are not too big and generally do very well with other animals, especially rabbits.
Unsure on April 18, 2019:
Hi Dr Mark!
I have a rabbit at home who is about two years old. I would like to get a small breed of puppy who is willing to play and go for walks as well as love me just as much as i will love it. I was thinking about a Maltese or a Bichon frise. I have read that these pups will generally not attack. I have thought about a retriever but it is to big, i would like something small. Could you please suggest some puppy breeds for me. Thanks alot!
Dr Mark (author) from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil on December 04, 2018:
Hi Bob, I cannot even imagine a local feed store being able to go through that much feed. My rabbits are free range but I leave a bowl of pellets in the pen so that they can munch during the night when things are closed up. I usually have to buy horse pellets though because rabbit feed is rarely available.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope all is going well up there. We are in the midst of late spring rains so things are flooded down here--which gives me all the more time to write on HP!
Bob Bamberg on December 03, 2018:
Really great article, Doc. I shared this one on Facebook. Around here, rabbits are very popular pets, and also popular for the table. We sold pet rabbits from a local breeder at our feed and grain store. I wish I had had this article when my store was open. Because of the volume of rabbits raised for the table, we sold an average of 3 tons of rabbit food a week.