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Thread: Dogs and Ferrets

  1. #1

    Default Dogs and Ferrets

    Hi everyone,

    I am considering purchasing a puppy or rescue dog in the near future and would like to get opinions on how dogs/puppies interact with ferrets.

    I have had the ferrets for 3 years and during this time they are the only animals in the house. They have a cage they sleep in at night and during the day they have free run of the house. I have been putting off adopting a dog for some time because I was concerned the ferrets may hurt the dog or the dog may hurt the ferrets. The dog breed I would consider adopting would be a rottweiler or a mixed breed from a shelter.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Southern NSW


    I have friends who have newfies and ferrets (and rats)and she also has maremma's........they are great together, but the ferrets were always used to dogs and the dogs came in as puppies.......I think it can be done, but you would have to be very careful, if either party is adult and not used to the other. I would at least have the dog as a puppy from where you are starting.

    Hopefully someone who has both and integrated them ( meaning at adult). Might help.......
    Pets are forever

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010


    I would get a young dog.

    I had rats and dogs and everyone got along...though some dogs did get a few nips on the nose with big rat teeth when they were being rude

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Rural Victoria


    If you were really lucky you might get a dog that had been reared with ferrets, but I would go very slowly and perhaps use a strong home made gate indoors so that the ferrets and dog have their own part of the house and can see and smell each other but not contact directly. Alternatively confine the ferrets to their crate for part of the day and the dog to his crate for the other part of the day.

    You could gradually accustom them to each other that way, but it would need to be done very carefully. Not only are you trying to teach a dog to tolerate the ferrets, but you also need to teach each ferret to accomodate the dog. Yes they could certainly injure each other if things went wrong.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    melbourne australia


    I have a massively high prey drive dog. I also have trained it in drive. So its now as high as it gets.
    Last week, a chicken was blown into the dog pound. 1 x rottie + 1 x GSD. At the end of the day, chicken was cuddled up to the dogs as it got cold.

    I would never of attempted a intro like this, but fate did. Im posting to show you, that even in dogs trained in prey drive, you can have harmony between something that looks like a rabbit, runs fast and can be chased like a rabbit.

    Use some form of enclosure, and do gradient exposure of your dog to the ferret, with plenty of reward and reinforcing, GENTLE.

    Ferrets bloody hurt when they bite. This will be a deterrent for your dog.
    If rehoming a dog, go for one that doesn't mind cats. Not that this is guaranteed success, just less drive to control for you.

    I think its doable, but will require lots of attn from you to train. Good luck and let us know how this goes.

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