Paco

How to make puppy comfortable around bunny?

I have a 4 year old bunny,Fae, she's a female and she has a large crate in the linving room so only out of there once a day. 5 months ago I brought to our house a puppy tibetan spaniel, Paco, who is now 8 months old. Paco is very calm and well-behaved, he gets on perfectly with our hyper Brittany mix, very friendly around stranger and literally never barks... unless in sight of the rabbit. I've tried presenting them several times in the past months, but Paco seems very afraid of her, even if she doesn't move or notice him. He just barks and runs and tries to jump on her. I thought it could be because he was used only to dogs and humsns, but he also doesn't mind cats or birds, or any animals he has met besides her.
What can I do? What is causing this?


Asked by Paco on Mar 4th 2013 Tagged rabbit, bunny, puppy, barking in Socialization
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Answers

Beau

You can try some sit-down sessions with your dog and the rabbit. Sit and pat the rabbit, then pet the dog and comfort and praise them for being quiet and relaxed. Patting the rabbit shows it's something safe and okay to be around.

While most rabbits aren't big on playing, you can try bringing out some toys to interact both animals with, and see if he can start viewing the rabbit as a friend.

If you notice him trying to approach the rabbit to leap on, just raise your voice to reprimand him so he knows that's not okay behaviour. As soon as he backs off, praise him. He'll start to learn the rabbit's not something he can go after out of fear, and that seeing you patting it and praising him for being quiet around it can help reinforce positive feelings.

It could be that the rabbit gives off a certain energy that makes him nervous, like how some dogs don't like puppies because of their unpredictable behaviour.

Good luck!


Beau answered on 3/4/13. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer