Dogs and bunnies are an unusual pairing. Since many breeds of dogs naturally hunt rabbits, they typically do not coexist. For years I was an apartment dweller and had rabbits; I have always loved them and they were wonderful pets for my particular living situation. I kept telling myself when I was in a home with a yard one day, I’d adopt a dog. Although I have no yard, I’m surrounded by lush green grass, a walking trail and lots of trees. A teacup poodle who was eventually named Cooper wandered into my neighborhood and to my delight became friends with my Netherland Dwarf rabbit Niblet. When Cooper joined our family, I discovered dogs and bunnies can coexist.
Cooper was a stray in my neighborhood and initially, I tried to keep “the boys” apart but Coop didn’t want to be fenced in anywhere. He got out and made himself comfortable immediately and introduced himself to Niblet with no incident. After several days of him sneaking out, I picked up Niblet and while stroking his back I said to Cooper, “this is my son Niblet and if you want to stay here, you’ll have to be nice to him.” I’m sure he didn’t understand a word I said, so it was more for my benefit.
Monitor their behavior
Eventually, I decided to let Cooper wander into my room where Niblet spends his time so I could monitor them. They stayed in their corners and went to sleep which was a good sign. After witnessing the two over several days with no sign of aggression I could see that they were just fine. As time went on they each walked up to the other out of curiosity and Cooper even tried to get Niblet to play. Of course, Niblet was not interested. They each get their bursts of energy at different times of the day. The boys don’t play but are very friendly with one another. If one of them is ever away from the house for any reason and returns, they always run up to their brother to say hello. When Cooper lays on the floor, Niblet has to rub his nose. It is a joy to watch.
There are so many breeds of dogs where this situation wouldn’t have worked out. Cooper’s poodle temperament is a dream come true. He is very friendly, loves people, and has to say hello to the neighborhood dogs, cats, and even the turkeys. Knowing that now, I’m not surprised he was friendly with Niblet. One can never be too careful with their furbabies. A dog and bunny are not always the best pairing, but with the right temperaments, it’s wonderful to witness.