Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday we let Teddy out in the yard. When he was out a little longer than normal, I went to check on him and was shocked to see a large adult rabbit it his mouth. I've sort of gotten used to our cat Tango catching little ones on occasion, but he's never been able to catch an adult. Teddy is 6 months old and can be quick, but I didn't think he was quick enough to catch a rabbit.

My son and I tried to get him to release it, but he just thought this was play time and ran back and forth across the yard playing keep away, just like he does when he steals a sock or kitchen towel. I'm not sure if he was trying to eat it or just play with it like a stuffed toy. Eventually, we managed to get Teddy to drop the rabbit by offering him treats. Unfortunately, the rabbit didn't survive the encounter.

I'm not sure what to think at this point. I'm not exactly squeamish about the rabbit, which I generally regard more as long-eared rats, but I don't want him to develop a taste for fresh "catch of the day" either. He's never showed any real aggression toward the cat other than chasing him and Tango can hold his own and does have all of his claws. On the other hand, the rabbits do tend to wreak havoc on our garden and they are not exactly an endangered species in my neighborhood where they seem to be the dominant mammal.

My biggest concern is that he didn't want to give it up. Not exactly good for a dog that has hunting dog roots. I've never trained him for hunting and hadn't planned on it, but I'm not sure what to do now.

Thoughts?

Andy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,755 Posts
I believe its a huge myth that dogs will "get the taste of blood" and become aggressive and hurt/kill every small animal it can. That said, there are some that have a stronger prey drive than others, and you may have dead bunnies/birds/gophers/mice/whatever in your yard occasionally. I wouldn't worry about the cat though unless he shows any obvious aggression towards the kitty.
 

·
Now Caue's Dad Too!
Joined
·
37,489 Posts
It sounds like you have a garden patrol dog. I have a feeling that word will get out to the local rabbit population that yours is a yard to stay away from.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,127 Posts
Up until quite recently, we had a domestic bunny in our household collection. All 3 goldens were quite gentle with him. But both of my boys will chase down and grab wild rabbits. So I also believe that they do know the difference, and that the cat isn't in any danger (we have a cat, too).
I would work on "drop it", however. He does need to release whatever you tell him to, it's not HIS choice. Although one must admit, it was surely a tempting prize!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,202 Posts
young Bridger brought home (killed) rabbit awhile back (he also caught a mole) -- yeah, I'm now scared of my "killer" dog around small animals
 

·
Missing Selka So Much
Joined
·
17,303 Posts
I agree with hotel, you need to work on your obedience. He should "drop it" when you tell him.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,107 Posts
Don't feel bad! Carmella once got into a nest of baby rabbits and killed all of them. :( I think she was just playing with them, though. I caught her tossing one of them up in the air over and over again. It was sad.

She also killed a crow. It's in their blood. Teddy isn't going to turn aggressive because of this, but I third the suggestion that you work on "drop it" with Teddy. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
I don't think you shouls worry about the cat, my dog loves to chase birds, and if she ever cought one I'm sure she would kill it, if she sees a bird you can't do anything to get her to look away, but when we are at my cousins they have a bird, and she is totally fine with it, doesn't give it a second glance, I think they know whats part of our "pack" and whats not. we used to have bunnys ( died of old age) my dogs where fine with them, snuggled together everything, now we were at a park once and there was this bunny, my dogs took off after it, it got away, they would never chase one of our pet bunnys though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, I'm not too worried about the cat. They get along ok and Tango can take care of himself. I agree we definitely need to work on Drop It. I'm used to the odd dead bird or small rabbit with Tango and at least he will usually eat what he catches. No sport hunting there. Maybe the garden will be better protected this year?

Andy
 

·
Momma to angel Cody
Joined
·
5,044 Posts
Andy, I'd say your garden will get to grow this year, and it would be perfectly normal for a young dog to strut his stuff after catching a full-grown bunny. Some more work on drop it (even if you have to trade to get it accomplished) will do the trick, but I doubt Teddy will be quick enough to effect whole scale massacre in the yard, so you may not get much opportunity telling him to "drop the bunny". My Cody caught a squirrel once and only dropped it because I was screaming like a banshee as the thing was trying to claw his eyes out!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,107 Posts
Please send Teddy my way. The only thing that Shelby will catch is rabbit poo. By the mouth fulls :yuck: .
LOL! Flora's the same way. Whenever I lose sight of her, I know right where to go - to the mound of rabbit turds in my side yard. :no:
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top