A Dachshund is a wonderful dog breed that has become very popular. However, the question that many people ask themselves is “Will a dachshund kill a rabbit?” or “Can I let my dachshund play with my pet bunny?”. We will take you through what experts think about this topic so that you can make an informed decision on whether to let your two pets meet each other.
Will A Dachshund Kill A Rabbit?
A dachshund is a hunting dog originally bred in Germany for catching rabbits and badgers. This must be the most amusing scenario for most people, but it is a fact that these small dogs have been designed for hunting. Nowadays, they are mostly family pets, and hunting rabbits is no longer a common practice. However, a dachshund has the instinct to chase small animals due to its genetic makeup, and if it sees a rabbit or another pet as prey, it may well try to kill it.
A dachshund will not naturally chase a rabbit, and it won’t pick up a scent. So if your dachshund sees a rabbit, that is not sufficient to start the chase. When you let your dog out in the garden, for example, if there are no rabbits around and it suddenly spots one, don’t worry because this does not mean that it will try and chase it straight away. It will just bark or go towards the rabbit because it is typical of dachshunds, not necessarily because it wants to kill it.
If your dachshund’s instinct is to hunt rabbits, you must teach it not to chase them and make sure that you keep an eye on both pets when they are together. If your dachshund has not been trained to catch the rabbit, then nothing bad should happen. However, if it does get distracted and doesn’t realize where the rabbit is, there may be an accident that will probably cause minor injuries to your dog or bunny.
Of course, accidents can occur, but it is unlikely that a dachshund will kill a rabbit. In fact, it may be the other way around because rabbits are quite good at defending themselves!
Is it normal for a dog to kill a rabbit?
That depends on the dog and how it was trained to get rid of the rabbits. It also depends on if you’re playing with your pet or not and many other factors. The simple truth is that one should never trust a dachshund when unsupervised. Dogs are dogs, and they behave as such, so you cannot trust them 100%. Experts do not recommend that rabbits and dachshunds should be kept together because it can lead to an accident.
Dachshunds are members of the hound group – they were bred primarily to hunt – so they have a strong instinct to chase small animals. They can exercise some self-control when they are with their owners and won’t chase a rabbit, but if a dachshund sees a rabbit while it is out in the garden or playing outside on its own, it will probably try to chase the bunny.
How do I stop my dog from killing rabbits?
If you have a dachshund and want to keep your pet and rabbits together, then there are some things that you can do to minimize the risk of the dog hurting or killing it. For example, if your rabbit is older than four weeks and has all its vaccinations, then you can let your dachshund meet the bunny for short periods. However, some dachshund breeders out there do not recommend getting a dachshund if you want to keep rabbits in your garden.
Your dog needs to be trained very firmly, and for this reason, it is best to leave the job with an experienced trainer or behaviorist. You can purchase DVDs or books, but it is highly unlikely that you will achieve the results that you want in-house training your dog.
What should you do if my dachshund attacks a rabbit?
If your dachshund sees another small animal as prey and attacks it, then there is not much that you can do except pull the dog away from the situation. However, if your pet is chasing a rabbit or has already managed to catch it, then you should do the following:
- Do not try to separate your dachshund from the rabbit because you will only end up getting badly injured yourself.
- Talk to your dog using a strong and firm voice, trying to get its attention off the bunny.
- Take your dachshund away from the rabbit and put it on a leash. Stay in control of the situation and give the bunny some time to recover and maybe escape if you can open a gate or door for it.
- Do not let children and other family members out to play near the rabbit or your dog because they might get bit accidentally by the dachshund while trying to help the bunny. Instead, keep the situation under control yourself, no matter how difficult that may be.
Should you keep them together? No! It may be an acute and funny thing to watch at first, but the reality is that it can end up with an accident costing both lives. The best option is to get your dachshund trained properly, and if rabbits are your prey, it might be better to get a different breed.