Do rabbits and dogs get along?

Do rabbits and dogs get along?


As an animal behaviorist and pet expert, I often get asked a myriad of questions about different types of pets. One question that seems to come up quite frequently is: Do rabbits and dogs get along? This is a particularly important question for pet owners who already have a dog and are considering adding a rabbit to their family or vice versa.

The Compatibility Between Dogs and Rabbits

The compatibility between dogs and rabbits can vary greatly, largely depending on the temperament, breed, age, socialization levels of the dog as well as the personality of the rabbit. Some dogs may view smaller animals such as rabbits as prey due to their natural hunting instincts while others might be indifferent or friendly towards them.

Rabbits are naturally timid creatures. In the wild, they are prey animals which means they can be easily frightened by larger animals including dogs. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they cannot live harmoniously with dogs in a domestic setting.

The Role Of The Dog Breed

Certain breeds of dogs have been bred for specific purposes over generations which may affect how they interact with other animals such as rabbits. For example, hunting or terrier breeds might have stronger predatory instincts making them more likely to chase after smaller creatures like rabbits.

On the other hand, breeds known for their gentle nature like Golden Retrievers or Basset Hounds could potentially coexist peacefully with a rabbit under proper supervision and training.

Importance Of Socialization And Training

Regardless of breed type though, one key factor in ensuring peaceful cohabitation between your dog and rabbit is early socialization. Introducing your dog to various types of people and pets at an early age can help him understand that these beings are not threats but friends.

Training also plays an integral role in this dynamic relationship. Teaching your dog commands such as “leave it” or “stay” can be extremely beneficial in controlling their behavior around the rabbit. It’s also important to never leave your dog and rabbit unsupervised until you’re completely confident in their peaceful coexistence.

Understanding Rabbit Behavior

In order for a dog and rabbit to live together harmoniously, it is also crucial to understand the behavior of rabbits. Rabbits are prey animals which means they may be skittish and easily scared by sudden movements or noises.

Rabbits communicate differently than dogs do, so it’s important that your dog learns to respect the rabbit’s space especially when they’re showing signs of fear or stress. It’s also worth noting that rabbits require plenty of exercise and free-roaming time outside their cage, which should be kept in mind when considering letting them interact with dogs.


So, do rabbits and dogs get along? The answer is: it depends. With patience, understanding, training, careful breed selection and responsible supervision – a peaceful cohabitation between these two very different species can indeed be achieved.

Remember that every animal has its own unique personality regardless of its breed or species so what works for one might not work for another. As always with any pet-related decision, thorough research should always come first before introducing new animals into your home environment.

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