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Thread: Tank ate our Rabbit.

  1. #11

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    At this stage there are a few things you can do.

    I) do a bit of reading on animal behaviour - for your sake and your kids (i'll explain next). Statements like "he knew it was a pet" or "She wouldnt have sex with her brother" aren't helpful when discussing animals.

    II) If the kids know what's happened, have a bit of a chat to them about it so they're not scared of him. I wont tell you how to parent but, if they're aware of the situation, it's important they're not scared to be around him from now on.

    III) Get some basic obedience going on ASAP if you're not already.Ditto what others have said above. A good trainer / behaviourist who YOU and your family

    IV) Try to not put him in that situation again - pocket pets are just a no-no for some dogs. Spare yourself the grief.

    V) On that note, try to not reinforce the behaviour. e.g. No more tug with small toys which squeak. http://blog.k9pro.com.au/5-tips-to-h...ug-like-a-pro/


    I'm very sorry you lost a member of your family, but at this stage you need to work extra hard to prevent this happening again.

    Good luck.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Canberra
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    I don't really see how (more) obedience training could have prevented this? He snuck into the room when no one was home? I don't know Tank's story, but he could very well be fully trained and obedient in all situations? No amount of training will allow you to control what a dog does when you're not around. You can manage boredom, separation anxiety, stress etc to limit some types of issues when the dog is left on its own. But that doesn't mean he's not going to feel tempted to kill rabbits and act on it when he knows no one is going to stop him.

    My dog is very obedient but there's no way I'd trust her near a rabbit without me right there. Just like I can't trust her to not raid the bin when I'm at work, which is why I put it somewhere she can't get to it. She wouldn't dare touch that bin when I'm home either.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Southern NSW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beloz View Post
    I don't really see how (more) obedience training could have prevented this? He snuck into the room when no one was home? I don't know Tank's story, but he could very well be fully trained and obedient in all situations? No amount of training will allow you to control what a dog does when you're not around. You can manage boredom, separation anxiety, stress etc to limit some types of issues when the dog is left on its own. But that doesn't mean he's not going to feel tempted to kill rabbits and act on it when he knows no one is going to stop him.

    My dog is very obedient but there's no way I'd trust her near a rabbit without me right there. Just like I can't trust her to not raid the bin when I'm at work, which is why I put it somewhere she can't get to it. She wouldn't dare touch that bin when I'm home either.
    I agree with beloz...my dogs are well trained and multiple title dogs..they are still hunters. i have just worked at some control with some of them, but only when i am there. you cannot rely on all dogs being small pet proof. We have all had the dog who was awesome with ducklings and mice. And those that raised kittens...but there are also those that do not. And we need to be aware of that fact and prevent. You can do some one on one behaviour training..and as i said previously i have done it, but would i trust them, never..i have accepted some of mine are the way they are
    Pets are forever

  4. #14
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    Aug 2009
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    Adelaide
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    No amount of training will allow you to control what a dog does when you're not around.
    I think the idea of training is to train the dog to control itself - ie to make good choices of its own accord - because you've rewarded good choices and prevented bad choices, or proofed (tested and tempted dog into bad choices) and then rewarded the good choices, across as many different set ups as you can manage.

    So my dog trained herself not to bin raid - it bit her the first time she tried it as a puppy (flip top bin). With the clothes line - I very closely supervised, she was not left alone with the washing - and as soon as "tugging on the towel looks like fun" idea came into her head, I gave her something else to do - like be on the mat. Before she even got to the towel.

    I was very lucky last time I forgot to shut the bed room door that she did not shred my ugg boots that I'd left on the floor while I was out... she just slept on my bed the entire time... Apparently shredding ugg boots when I'm not around is not all that much fun. Actually I'm sure this is not true. I just give them more value as fetch toys as best I can... and I can't be rewarding a fetch if I'm not home.

    But she is a little older. I don't think I was so trusting when she was under 12 months old.

  5. #15

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    Thanks everyone for your comments. It has help clear up this type of behaviour and what we should expect into the future. Very much appreciated.

    Cheers.

  6. #16

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    My dog has killed rabbits before and I remember the weird feeling I got the first time. It was silly of me really because I always knew he was drivey but it was still kind of a shock.
    Well that was like 4 years ago now.

    Since then, Sammy has met countless children, raised 2 kittens and one instance that should never have happened, been left alone with a baby. The man's wife had post-natal depression and the man was struggling. He would leave the baby home alone and one time when we were over, we went to go buy some things for lunch and he was meant to be watching the baby (the mum was staying with a friend). Sammy was in the backyard but the man went outside, left the door open and Sammy went inside because when he hears babies crying he runs to lick their faces. When we got home, I freaked out because I saw the door was open. I didn't think Sammy would do anything but everyone knows you don't leave dogs alone with children, especially not young babies. Anyway we found them, Sammy was lying next to the baby and for the first time that day it wasn't crying.

    I'm not saying I advocate dog baby sitters but I just wanted to illustrate that the drive to kill prey animals has nothing to do with human aggression.

    More recently, Sammy killed what I think was a bandicoot. We let him out to toilet before bed and when I went to let him in, well the damage was done. Damn thing kept sneaking into the yard at night to dig in my veggie patch but I'm still very sorry that Sammy got it.

    But Sammy is fantastic with kittens. So it's more complicated. Dogs have prey drive and rabbits are basically the epitome of a chaseable prey animal. If your dog is going to chase any animal it will chase rabbits. But that doesn't always mean you can't own other animals. I probably can't own a rabbit. Whilst I can control Sammy when I'm around, the way he views rabbits is as a prey animal and they have too many triggers that rile up instincts within him, the way they move, the positioning of their eyes, their nervous behaviour etc and so although I can stop his actions, I can't really stop his desires and I can see it in his eyes. That said, whilst he will chase strange cats, I have never had any problems with cats we know. My brother has even brought his ragdoll kitten over a few times and no problems. He doesn't look at cats the way he looks at rabbits, or bandicoots, or even kangaroos. Cats hold themselves differently and so with training and socialisation, some dogs with high prey drive can be safe around small predators, it's not as hard for them to control their predatory urges because cats don't stimulate them the way prey animals do.

    Again not saying you should leave any animals alone together but again I wanted you to know that whilst it can all be a bit complicated, just because your dog kills one type of animal, it doesn't necessarily mean you could never have any other pets, and it's very unlikely in my experience to serve as an indicator of human aggression.

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