|Barked: Wed Sep 5, '12 11:02pm PST |
I'm sorry no one has responded to you yet and this is quite belated. I own a rabbit currently with a Beagle and a Lab mix pup and will soon have a second rabbit as well.
My rabbits cages are up off the ground and all free-roaming time is done when the dogs are put in a separate area or kenneled to prevent anything from happening. I am slowly working to desensitize my dogs to the rabbits and so far, they leave him alone, but if the bunny is out, all heck breaks loose and my Beagle goes nuts wanting to get at him and lick him. Yes, he tries to lick him, lol.
So... To keep my bunnies feeling safer and less harassed - their cages are off the ground and if not, they're given 'hides' to hide in should they feel the need. The dogs are kenneled or gated in a separate area(Beagle kenneled, Lab puppy gated in the kitchen as my Beagle can jump the gate) while my rabbit free-roams during his playtimes to keep him feeling less stressed.
It's even better if you can find a rabbit that is naturally very laid-back and calm and not already skittish. My current bun, Crush is a Holland Lop and I got him from a home that had him free-roaming their living room with their dog, so he's used to dogs and very calm already. So my Beagle can jump at him in my arms(happened once when he accidentally got loose) and he doesn't care. My next bun, she was also raised in a home with dogs AND cats and while she's slightly more skittish, is quite relaxed about them sniffing about her cage too.
Provide them with somewhere to hide out, do lots of positive reinforcement and desensitizing with the dog so she learns that bunnies - and good behavior around them - earns her good rewards. Also, if you're going to introduce them, do it AFTER you've worked on desensitizing her because a dog that harasses the new bun less, will stress the new bun less. If you do introduce them, have another person there so you can control your dog and they can make sure if anything happens, the dog and the bun can be under control at all times and nobody gets hurt.
Good luck! And enjoy your new bun!
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