Rottweiler Puppy Training with Rabbits

DrakeMom

Songster
Mar 20, 2019
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El Campo, Texas
I got my Rottweiler puppy... she's 11 weeks old. (I named her Nitro) She's an amazing pup and easy to train. She's very energetic but also focused. She seems to be able to read my mind. But there's one thing: she loves my rabbits!!! She would love to eat them. Everytime I go near my rabbits she follows me and then runs around their cages, paws the bars and bites them. The rabbits of course gets very agitated. Then I can't hardly get her away from them. I thought at first that she didn't understand about rabbits and just wanted to play with them. But today, I got one of them out and Nitro came over there. I thought I would let her sniff the rabbit. But then she bit its foot and started trying to pull it towards her.

I have a 11 yr. old Boxer and have never had a problem with him chasing after any of my animals. When I first got my rabbits, he just acted like he had been around them his whole life.

I'll include pics of the cages I have.
20200721_172049.jpg

@MarkJr @RainbowHen @EverythingDucks
 

DrakeMom

Songster
Mar 20, 2019
125
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El Campo, Texas
Don't let her near them. You can try to train them to ignore rabbits, but they're prey animals, and dogs are predators. It's natural
I can't just not let her near them... I keep her in the backyard and that's where my rabbits are. My Boxer obviously knows the rabbits aren't for him; I just need to know how to make Nitro understand!
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Sep 29, 2014
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It will probably take lots of training, and a few years (until she has matured mentally) to be able to trust her to be out there unattended, and some dogs have too strong a prey drive to ever be trustworthy around small animals. If you can have a dog run she can be securely contained in that would be best, otherwise you'll need to have her on a chain so that she cannot access your rabbits if you need to leave her outside.

Just a little while ago a newborn baby was killed in my country by the family Rottweiler while the mother quickly went to the toilet. I'd say it was like most dogs and hadn't been trained well enough, and you should never leave a baby unattended with a dog as that tragic accident demonstrates.

But basically you will need to teach your puppy to ignore the rabbits. You need to start off as far away from them as your puppy can cope with (so that her attention is on you, not distracted by the rabbits) and have a command where she has to look at you and gets rewarded for that. Slowly over time you will be able to get closer and closer, but it will take a long time, and I would not leave her out there unattended with access to the rabbits until she has shown that she can be trusted (and even then watch her out the window because some dogs will be good as gold until they think no one is looking).

Puppies need lots of training and large breeds can take 2-3 years to be mentally mature enough to start to calm down. Make sure you are doing lots of basic training because puppies have no idea how to behave in the human world, and it's up to you to show her how to be a great dog. :thumbsup
 

DrakeMom

Songster
Mar 20, 2019
125
267
152
El Campo, Texas
It will probably take lots of training, and a few years (until she has matured mentally) to be able to trust her to be out there unattended, and some dogs have too strong a prey drive to ever be trustworthy around small animals. If you can have a dog run she can be securely contained in that would be best, otherwise you'll need to have her on a chain so that she cannot access your rabbits if you need to leave her outside.

Just a little while ago a newborn baby was killed in my country by the family Rottweiler while the mother quickly went to the toilet. I'd say it was like most dogs and hadn't been trained well enough, and you should never leave a baby unattended with a dog as that tragic accident demonstrates.

But basically you will need to teach your puppy to ignore the rabbits. You need to start off as far away from them as your puppy can cope with (so that her attention is on you, not distracted by the rabbits) and have a command where she has to look at you and gets rewarded for that. Slowly over time you will be able to get closer and closer, but it will take a long time, and I would not leave her out there unattended with access to the rabbits until she has shown that she can be trusted (and even then watch her out the window because some dogs will be good as gold until they think no one is looking).

Puppies need lots of training and large breeds can take 2-3 years to be mentally mature enough to start to calm down. Make sure you are doing lots of basic training because puppies have no idea how to behave in the human world, and it's up to you to show her how to be a great dog. :thumbsup
AWESOME ARTICLE!!! THANK YOU!!!
 
Apr 17, 2020
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Maryland
My neighbors dog would run like a hooligan at my chickens whenever my rooster crowed. Their dog was gentle so we just showed her that they were our attention and that she shouldn't attack them. One day, she ran over to our yard, our chickens were outside our gate (I let them out to dig for worms and bugs). The dog brought the ball over and dropped it so I would throw it. She paid no attention to the chickens, she tried to smell them once but the rooster made sure she never wanted to sniff them again.

Since your dog does not seem gentle with animals, maybe do the opposite. Put Nitro on a chain, far enough away from the rabbit cage where she can't reach them. Then just pretend that the rabbits don't exist. Use this time with Nitro to play and train her. She will learn that you are more fun than the rabbits. Also gradually shorten the chain in relativity to the rabbit cages as the days/weeks go by.
 
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DrakeMom

Songster
Mar 20, 2019
125
267
152
El Campo, Texas
My neighbors dog would run would run like a hooligan at my chickens whenever my rooster crowed. Their dog was gentle so we just showed her that they were our attention and that she shouldn't attack them. One day, she ran over to our yard, our chickens were outside our gate (I let them out to dig for worms and bugs). The dog brought the ball over and dropped it so I would throw it. She paid no attention to the chickens, she tried to smell them once but the rooster made sure she never wanted to sniff them again.

Since your dog does not seem gentle with animals, maybe do the opposite. Put Nitro on a chain, far enough away from the rabbit cage where she can't reach them. Then just pretend that the rabbits don't exist. Use this time with Nitro to play and train her. She will learn that you are more fun than the rabbits. Also gradually shorten the chain as the days/weeks go by.
I love, love, love that idea!! These positive comments are awesome! I'll try that out and I'm almost sure it'll work. Also, recently the rabbits are becoming more used to her being around their cages so they don't panic. Therefore, Nitro doesn't get to excitement of chasing them(or however much she can chase them while they're inside the cages). I'm so excited to try this😁
 

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