Will my dogs attack a rabbit if I bought one as a pet?

I have 2 boxer bitches aged 5. I want to get a rabbit, if I was to get one, I’m worried in case they may try to kill the rabbit, I’ve never heard of Boxers being hunters however one of my dogs did kill a mouse a few months back, but hasn’t done it since and it was the first time any of them had ever tried to kill anything and hasn’t ever killed anything since. Being outdoor kennel dogs they have often had hedgehogs join them in their kennels and the hedgehogs have always left untouched and unharmed. However I am still slightly worried that if I get a rabbit they may try to kill it. Would it be okay to get one if I was to introduce them properly and keep an eye on them when they are together? Any ideas?

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8 Responses to “Will my dogs attack a rabbit if I bought one as a pet?”

  1. Leslieopmd says:

    I have 2 female boxers…they are the most gentle dogs I have ever owned…however over the course of 7 years they have brought home rabbits, moles, mice, raccoons, and a baby possum the other day. I don’t think they kill intentionally, we witnessed one and they were playing with the raccoon and tossing back and forth…I believe they broke it’s neck. We were unable to get the raccoon away from them. I would be safe and not get one.
    PS: My nephew has a ferret that is caged, but they still try to get at it….play toy for them;

  2. Awesome Nana says:

    Most probably the rabbit will end up dead whether deliberately or by accident. I have a Basset Hound and my daughter lived with me briefly until she found a rental and she had a teacup Yorkie. My Basset wanted to play with this tiny little guy of 5 lbs but the problem is my Basset weighs in at 50. She didn’t know her own "weight" and often hurt the little guy by accident.

    Unless a pup is raised with another animal, usually their instinct is to "play with it until it doesn’t move anymore" or "kill it" and they don’t know that this is bad.

    Remember that hedgehogs, wild as they are, have a different temperament than a domestic bunny.

    So if you do get the bunny, introduce it to your dogs through cage walls and slowly see how your dogs do. Just maybe they won’t be interested in your bunny… who knows.

  3. Michelle S says:

    I have a friend who has 2 male dogs (one is a mix and the other the is hugest great dane I’ve ever seen) and she also has 2 bunnies roaming around the house. They coexist fine and she even taught the bunnies to use a litter box. I guess it depends on the dogs and their temperament?

  4. Carrol says:

    you should try and test their behavior around small animals first. See if you can borrow someones pet rabbit (tell them what you are doing and have them supervise) tie each dog individually on a lead attached to an immobile object put the rabbit just out of their reach but in their vision and see what their response is. If it is ears perked and head tilted and sniffing, things should be fine, if they ignore it, even better, the only thing to watch for is lunging and trying to grab (which is why the rabbit should be out of reach).

    Never keep them in the same room unsupervised if things go alright and completely block off the room with the rabbit, or not get a rabbit in the first place if things don’t go well


    The dogs will kill the rabbit never close to each other would work good.

  6. Elaine M says:

    I would say yes, most certainly they would if they could get to the rabbit. They are high energy dogs and can look at a rabbit, which SMELLS like prey, as something to kill.

  7. Rosalie says:

    Don’t. To you it’s a pet, to them it’s a snack. Bunnies are food.

  8. MSAD says:

    I would keep the separate. Do not let the rabbit and the dogs interact with each other. And all should be fine.

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