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My Border Collie Puppie with my Rabbits!


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I really don't see what the big deal is...Even at Sams young age, if he was to run after one of our cats, and i call him off, he would stop in his tracks and come back to me.

Please explain to me why is running after the cats is an unacceptable behavior but chasing the rabbits is just fine? Prey animals with nothing much more than the flight response to protect them, are much more greatly stressed (on the inside, even if you can't detect it on the outside) by predatory behavior.

 

Predator behavior is the basis for "herding" behavior. Read Coppinger's book, the part about sheepdogs in particular, to understand how mankind has molded classic predatory behavior into useful behaviors. But still, these behaviors are at their root, predatory behaviors and the rabbits will view them as such and so will inevitably experience some level of stress from being pursued - whether you consider it playful, working, whatever.

 

I'm not even sure why I am bothering to try to be helpful here and, yes, if you want to read sarcasm into this post, you may. I guess it's because I have a soft spot for rabbits and a realization that they are wired to react strongly to predatory behaviors, and that causes them a great deal of stress.

 

These thoughts remind me of the very nice, sweet Border Collie that I evaluated in a shelter a couple of weeks ago. After four years, she chased and *caught* a cat. The cat was killed. Three days later, she chased, caught, and killed another cat. She's a fortunate dog in that she was adopted out at the shelter instead of put down for being a cat killer.

 

I have a house rabbit. The dogs are put up in crates if I am going to let him out of his crate. It's for his own safety, and not to be mean to any animal involved.

 

But nothing bad could happen in your garden...

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Let's sum up...

 

BCS- My puppy likes to chase rabbits.

 

Answer: Dogs eat rabbits (not American Border Collies, but ALL DOGS! Had a small sheltie that ate rabbits and kangaroo rats...because...she...was...a dog.)

 

BCS: No big deal, my puppy won't be a typical dog.

 

Answer: No, really- dogs eat rabbits. Plus, it creates frustration in the dog.

 

BCS (holding hands to ears)- LA LA LA LA I can't hear you.

 

Answer- Really, it's not cool to let a puppy harrass rabbits

 

BCS- My dog is special, it won't eat rabbits.

 

.....Yes, it will. Or kill one accidently. We had a client with a bunch of pet rabbits and two dogs. They grew up fine, but when her dogs were about a year old, they systematically killed every rabbit in her house. This was a lady that cared so much for the bunnies, she had each one (about 5 IIRC) privately cremated. Kudos for her for not getting rid of the dogs, she realized she had made a mistake since they had "grown up" together and did not blame the dogs for being themselves. But a terrible lesson to learn that everyone here is trying to spare you!

 

My god, what on earth happened there, did they feed the dog?

 

You've heard the expression 'Never go shopping on an empty stomach'? Another words if you do, you'll end up buying anything and everything because you are bring driven by your hunger.

 

I also have 2 cats that spend most of their time outside. Do i ever find any dead birds? No, why? Becuase they are fed regularly and do not need to hunt.....

 

I understand all of your concern, i also understand that you have my dogs and my own welfare at heart.

 

I hope i don't learn the hardway and have to admit to making a big mistake, however as i've allready stated in a post above, i don't intend letting the dog out regularly with the rabbits, he hasn't been with the rabbits since Saturday, however when the rabbits are out, i don't see any reason why he can't help to put them away.....

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If in the past three weeks BCS has read only one post that he agrees with, then I think we've all been wasting our time trying to have an intelligent discussion here. And other than possibly amusing himself (since he keeps mentioning his sense of humor), I would think he's been wasting his own time with lot of us and our almost complete lack of credibility.

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Please explain to me why is running after the cats is an unacceptable behavior but chasing the rabbits is just fine? Prey animals with nothing much more than the flight response to protect them, are much more greatly stressed (on the inside, even if you can't detect it on the outside) by predatory behavior.

 

Predator behavior is the basis for "herding" behavior. Read Coppinger's book, the part about sheepdogs in particular, to understand how mankind has molded classic predatory behavior into useful behaviors. But still, these behaviors are at their root, predatory behaviors and the rabbits will view them as such and so will inevitably experience some level of stress from being pursued - whether you consider it playful, working, whatever.

 

I'm not even sure why I am bothering to try to be helpful here and, yes, if you want to read sarcasm into that, you may. I guess it's because I have a soft spot for rabbits and a realization that they are wired to react strongly to predatory behaviors, and that causes them a great deal of stress.

 

Hi Sue,

 

I don't like wasps, can't stand them in fact, however 10 years ago i was even worse

 

I once embarassed myself on a boat in Greece whereby a wasp was bothering me so badly i snatched a towl from beneath another passenger and swatted the thing on a table.

 

However, over the years i have been exposed to wasps much more often, and i am now able to be in the same room with a wasp without feeling anxious. I still don't feel 100% safe around a wasp, however i now know that the majority of the time a wasp won't sting you unless you sit on one!

 

Similar to the rabbits, over time the rabbits will gradually become much more relaxed around the dog, they may never trust him 100% but they will realise that he is not the predator that they once thought he was....

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If in the past three weeks BCS has read only one post that he agrees with, then I think we've all been wasting our time trying to have an intelligent discussion here. And other than possibly amusing himself (since he keeps mentioning his sense of humor), I would think he's been wasting his own time with lot of us and our almost complete lack of credibility.

 

Now thats not fair, you are trying to use reversed physcology on me here mentioning your lack of credibility. I do not think that at all, however i do have my own opinion on things which may or may not be the right opinion and only time will tell - which i'm sure we can all agree on?

 

Furthermore, the reason i mentioned my sense of humour was purely so everybody who was posting realised that i'm not being nasty in my replies and that it was purely sarcasm and a sense of humour.

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Alright guys,

I Hate to butt in but if BCS wants to let his dog run around with rabbits let him, if Sam kills them its not your faults it's his. I know you guys are just giving advice because you know dogs are predators but aparently it's not working back off. There is no need to fight about it. There HIS animals not yours.

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I also have 2 cats that spend most of their time outside. Do i ever find any dead birds? No, why? Becuase they are fed regularly and do not need to hunt.....

 

Due to these last two posts of yours, I am now quite convinced now that you are truly living in La-La Land. I, too have cats that are fed regularly and still kill (and consume) birds and other small creatures. I only occasionally find the remains in the form of a few feathers on the ground.

 

Similar to the rabbits, over time the rabbits will gradually become much more relaxed around the dog, they may never trust him 100% but they will realise that he is not the predator that they once thought he was....

 

Certainly, rabbits have the ability to reason things out and realize that a dog that chases them is not really a predator, just like you got over your fear of wasps. You must have rabbits that can really reason things out.

 

Furthermore, the reason i mentioned my sense of humour was purely so everybody who was posting realised that i'm not being nasty in my replies and that it was purely sarcasm and a sense of humour.

 

I guess sarcasm on your part is humor, and on my part is simply the lowest form of humor. I may read replies from here on out just to get a chuckle, but it appears to be a waste of time otherwise.

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The only difference is me. I am now a Man, and therefore have more intelligence (i hope :rolleyes: ) and also other increased adult features such as a deeper voice and more dominance, all of which are positive improvements which will increase control over my dog and bring out better results.

 

I'm 5'4" and 105 lbs, my husband is 6'3" and 250 lbs....Who do you think all the dogs listen to(even though my voice isn't very deep)-LOL!

 

Janet

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That horse is now *really* dead.

I'm incredulous that someone can repeatedly state how smart, talented, dominant, mature, funny, experienced, etc. he is on a public forum that he has joined a mere four weeks ago and disregard/discount/discredit all the considered, thoughtful, more experienced and quite polite, yet persistent advice he has received thus far. Rhetorically I say, it might be best to allow a little humility into the mix here BorderCollieSam and consider *for a moment* that you might not have all the answers.

Ailsa

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That horse is now *really* dead.

I'm incredulous that someone can repeatedly state how smart, talented, dominant, mature, funny, experienced, etc. he is on a public forum that he has joined a mere four weeks ago and disregard/discount/discredit all the considered, thoughtful, more experienced and quite polite, yet persistent advice he has received thus far. Rhetorically I say, it might be best to allow a little humility into the mix here BorderCollieSam and consider *for a moment* that you might not have all the answers.

Ailsa

 

I feel like i'm in the Lions Den, boy have i started something here - and learned to regret it!

 

With the upmost respect, can i just ask you one question? What relevance is their between the amount of time i have been a member of a public forum and the amount of knowledge i have with regard to dog training?

 

I could have been a member here for the last 2 years and never had a border collie or indeed a dog of any description. On the flip side i could have just joined this forum and been a police dog training instructor/handler for the last 10 years!

 

As i've said above, i don't discredit any of the long term members on this forum in any shape or form, however i have an opinion which is the complete opposite to all members who have presently posted in this thread with the exception of one member, but that doesn't make me and this other user wrong and everybody else right. What it does show however is the amount of people who would aire on the side of caution and not trust their dog due to a few bad reported cases in the past.........

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BorderCollieSam-

 

You say that your 10 years without dogs has had no negative effect on your ability to train your new puppy, and that your 'lifelong' history with Border Collies exempts you from any criticism of the breed.

 

I too have had Border Collies my entire life, though be it shorter than yours. Most people here have had some sort of Border Collie or canine experience their entire lives as well. I moved to college and went 3 years without a dog. When I got Jade a little over a year ago, I had to re-learn a lot of things about owning a dog. Jade is certainly by far the best trained dog I've ever had. I knew there was a lot I didn't know, and a lot that I had forgotten. I've learned so much from the people on this board, and I'm glad I've listened to their suggestions. Please don't discredit the knowledge and resources available on this board.

 

I have horses at home as well. I was a pretty good rider before I came to college. In the 3 years that I've been away from home, I've forgotten a lot about riding and caring for horses, and I know it's going to take a while to regain that knowledge. Same goes for my artwork- college has been extremely detrimental to my art skills because I just haven't had time to work on it, studying is more important.

 

These skills I've lost in a mere 3 years. Please don't tell us your 10-year hiatus from dogs has had no effect on your skills and knowledge with your dogs.

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My god, what on earth happened there, did they feed the dog?

 

You've heard the expression 'Never go shopping on an empty stomach'? Another words if you do, you'll end up buying anything and everything because you are bring driven by your hunger.

 

I also have 2 cats that spend most of their time outside. Do i ever find any dead birds? No, why? Becuase they are fed regularly and do not need to hunt.....

 

I just have to comment on this. My dogs are fed and they still kill everything they can in the yard. Squirrels, muskrats, birds, opossums, raccoons, mice, rabbits and I am sure if they had a chance they would kill a stray cat. It has nothing to do with them being hungry. They don't even eat what they kill. It is prey drive, plain and simple.

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What it does show however is the amount of people who would aire on the side of caution and not trust their dog due to a few bad reported cases in the past.........

It's not about trusting the dog, it's about the fact that they are canines and have a primitive instinct called prey drive. It can flick on like a switch for no apparent reason (to us anyway). It's also dangerous for a dog that could potentially be 50#, full grown, to want to play with small animals. An innocent swat could kill. Those are the only points people are trying to get across. It's not about right or wrong, it's about safety for all your pets.

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BorderCollieSam-

 

You say that your 10 years without dogs has had no negative effect on your ability to train your new puppy, and that your 'lifelong' history with Border Collies exempts you from any criticism of the breed.

 

I too have had Border Collies my entire life, though be it shorter than yours. Most people here have had some sort of Border Collie or canine experience their entire lives as well. I moved to college and went 3 years without a dog. When I got Jade a little over a year ago, I had to re-learn a lot of things about owning a dog. Jade is certainly by far the best trained dog I've ever had. I knew there was a lot I didn't know, and a lot that I had forgotten. I've learned so much from the people on this board, and I'm glad I've listened to their suggestions. Please don't discredit the knowledge and resources available on this board.

 

I have horses at home as well. I was a pretty good rider before I came to college. In the 3 years that I've been away from home, I've forgotten a lot about riding and caring for horses, and I know it's going to take a while to regain that knowledge. Same goes for my artwork- college has been extremely detrimental to my art skills because I just haven't had time to work on it, studying is more important.

 

These skills I've lost in a mere 3 years. Please don't tell us your 10-year hiatus from dogs has had no effect on your skills and knowledge with your dogs.

 

Hi Jaderbog,

 

My 10 years without a dog has had no negative effect on my training ability/knowledge of dogs. If you were not to ride a bike in 10 years would you forget how to ride one? I thought not……

 

The 10 year break has had a positive effect on my dog training ability not negative.

 

Firstly, I have fathered 2 lovely daughters throughout this time and therefore have experience in motivating and training my children, which is another skill which I may be able to implement into my dog training program.

 

Secondly, the 10 year absence without a dog left me craving so badly for another, and I am therefore highly motivated and driven to train my dog to be the best he can be.

 

I don't claim to know everything about Border Collies but I’m sure you would agree with me that everybody on this forum is still learning about Border Collies and we are all able to share information with each other. However, some may know slightly more than others, regardless of how long they have been a member and regardless of their post count, with these points in mind, i'm sure you would also agree with me that several members on this forum may in fact be able to learn a great deal from me!

 

With regard to my being exempt from critism of this breed, I can only base my statements on the collies that I have personally owned throughout my lifetime. I have experienced very few of the reported problems by other members within this thread and therefore personally believe it is down to how you discipline your dog from an early age.

 

P.S. Your Jade is absolutely beautiful :rolleyes:

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I just have to comment on this. My dogs are fed and they still kill everything they can in the yard. Squirrels, muskrats, birds, opossums, raccoons, mice, rabbits and I am sure if they had a chance they would kill a stray cat. It has nothing to do with them being hungry. They don't even eat what they kill. It is prey drive, plain and simple.

 

This sounds completely out of character from ANY collie that i have ever owned.

 

Yeah, they have a strong prey drive, they are a Border Collie at the end of the day and wouldn't be a good herding dog without a certain amount of prey drive, however the killing instinct/kill bite/grab bite in collies should have been bred out via selective breeding. I can honestly say that i have NEVER had a collie kill ANY animal ever - period.

 

NOTE - TO ALL MEMBERS WHO HAVE POSTED IN THIS THREAD

 

From Sandyleew's post above, I can now understand where the concern is coming from with regard to my collie playing with my rabbits.

 

If i had owned collies in the past that had killed animals like that above, i would certainly NEVER let another collie anywhere near a rabbit. However, i'm not sure why my collies have never suffered this problem and why many of yours have, this i don't know.....possibly due to different breeding techniques/patterns in our two different countries perhaps?

 

A good well bred herding dog should be bred not to harm........

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This will probably fall on deaf ears but I have to say something.

 

The 10 year break has had a positive effect on my dog training ability not negative.

 

I doubt it. The 'getting back on a bike' thing doesn't really apply here. If you are getting back on a bike after a long time, you will still probably be rusty and you may not be able to ride one-handed or no-handed like you may have previously been able to. You can't get better at something that you're not practicing.

 

This sounds completely out of character from ANY collie that i have ever owned.

 

This isn't just a BC thing, it goes for ANY dog. Dogs will kill animals they find... squirrels, possums, raccoons, rabbits, anything they can find. My dogs at home would never intentionally hurt a cat or anything else (pig, sheep, whatever) but they've certainly been known to kill their fair share of possums. That's alright. We don't want them on our farm, so we would rather them kill vermin like that. I don't know your story so I can't say definitively, but maybe none of your collies that you have owned have ever had the opportunity to kill something like that, therefore maybe you think it can't be done. Believe us, it can and it does.

 

A good well bred herding dog should be bred not to harm........

 

A dog's breeding should have nothing to do with taking necessary and basic precautions to care for your smaller, more vulnerable animals. The discussions in this thread is more for the welfare of your rabbits than anything- not really about breeding.

 

ETA:

...and therefore have experience in motivating and training my children, which is another skill which I may be able to implement into my dog training program.

 

Training/raising children is NOT the same as training dogs.

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I tried so hard to stay out of this, so I'm going to tell BCSam 2 stories and bow out....

 

Same family, different dogs.

 

They bought a wonderful working bred dog who was growing up with a fine stockdog potential. At some point right around 6 months old the dog hurt his leg. They had to "put him up" for quite some time, then there was rehab where he couldn't be walked to much but still needed excersise. During his repcoup time he formed a wonderful relationship with the couples cats. He would eye them, love them, play gently with them much like you describe your pup doing with your rabbits but even more.

So after almost a year of recoup time it was time to put him to sheep. Much to thier suprise when they did, the dog would look at sheep, give it a try, then run right under the gate and back to his cats. He is now a wonderful pet with someone else, these people had 10 dogs and no more space for more non working dogs. They were devastated to find they had let this wonderful dogs drive turn into an obsession with his cats that couldn't be turned around.

 

Next story....

Same family. Again they bought a great working pup. It has/had all the potential that they could ask for. He is what I call (it's my term no one elses) a thinky feely dog. Again, much like you describe your dog. He was doing all the things you describe your dog does. It was cute (so they thought) that this pup would run out and work things on his own. He has so much radius feel he keeps way off his stock, cat, gunnies, or whatever he finds to keep himself occupied. They felt very safe that nothing would happen. He had never offered to bite or grab anything. So...now a year later comes and again it is time to put this dog to sheep like the other one they had tried.

Well, much to their suprise, he works sheep beautifully, his feel for his sheep is amazing. He comes in nice and slow, lifts his sheep with perfect feel, BUT...now they have a dog that they are struggling with becuase this dog had been doing his little "herdy thing" for a year or so with anything he wanted, his way, it was safe but it's his way. He's decided it is no fun to do what is asked of him. He would much rather do exactly as he's been doing for the last year. It's been 6 months now, sometimes he listens sometimes he shuts down and tries to slip away. Sometimes he just does as he pleases and takes his sheep away from them. They have't been able to keep control what he does or how he does it consistently. Yes they have a lie down on him (he was a clappy dog in the first place) and he'll come off the sheep when called but, that's about it. Otherwise it's do as he's always done and work them the way he taught himself. THey are paying the price of letting the dog learn to work his way.

 

I sure hope for them they turn this dog around but I have a feeling when push comes to shove he will always revert back to his way. This was/is a beautiful dog, wonderful feel, good stuff. BTW...he now has decided he has some confidence and if the cattle that he finds to work aren't listening he has no problem coming right in and hitting them on the nose. Great for a stubborn cow, but can't imagine what it'd be if it was a cat, or a bunny.

 

So even though you dog doesn't follow through now, doesn't mean he won't later.

 

That's my input. I hope you figure out that working bunnies as you describe is not a good "job" for your little fella. Unless that's all you ever want him to do and if that's the case, I'll keep my fingers crossed for you that he never decides to see what else he can do with his bunnies. Biting doesn't always have to be bad or mean. But to a bunny it probably always means death.

 

My 2 cents

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Here you go. You'll need this:

 

BEER - BRAISED RABBIT

 

1 cut up fryer

2 tbsp. cooking oil

3 cut up potatoes

4 cut carrots

1 thin sliced onion

1 c. beer

1/4 c. chili sauce

1 tbsp. brown sugar

1 clove minced garlic

1/3 c. cold water

3 tbsp. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

 

Brown meat in hot oil; drain. In crockery cooker place potatoes, carrots and onion; put meat on top. Combine chili sauce, beer, brown sugar and garlic. Pour over meat. Cover, cook on high for 4 to 5 hours. Remove meat, drain vegetables, reserve liquid. Measure liquid; add beer or water if needed to measure 1 1/2 cups.

 

In saucepan blend cold water into flour, stir in reserved liquid (salt). Cook until thickened. Place meat and vegetables on a platter, garnish with parsley, pass the gravy. Serves 4.

 

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With regard to my being exempt from critism of this breed, I can only base my statements on the collies that I have personally owned throughout my lifetime. I have experienced very few of the reported problems by other members within this thread and therefore personally believe it is down to how you discipline your dog from an early age.

 

First you post a video promoting dangerous behavior as "cute"..

 

then you become offended when experienced and caring people observe and politely disagree....

 

then you become a dog expert -despite 10 years without them, and before that only limited - who has no need of the normal rules of training, because your dogs are not the same species as the others we have dealt with .....

 

then you become smarter than anyone else on this board, with better behaved dogs, and you learned all that from producing raising 2 human children who are both still under the age of 10......

 

Why sir, do you bother with us? An expert like you should be on television! In fact you could probably get 2 contracts - one for dog training, and the other for raising children.

 

I humbly await. Until then, I like my rabbit roasted with herbs.

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However, this is the first blood line working dog i have ever owned.....

 

Maybe this explains why all the vast experience you claim to possess does not seem to relate to the very different experience than that of the many folks who have owned dozens of border collies for decades.

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Lenajo, something like this? This one sounds yummy!

 

Herb-Roasted Rabbit

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 rabbit

1 onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

2/3 cup white wine

1/2 teaspoon rosemary

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

 

In a large, heavy kettle, heat olive oil and brown cut-up rabbit until golden, about 6 minutes per side.

Place in a shallow baking pan. Add chopped onion to the kettle and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, or until softened.

 

Add crushed garlic clove and cook 2 more minutes, stirring. Add white wine, and rosemary; stirring well. Pour the sauce over the rabbit and bake at 350*F (175*C) for 45 minutes. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley.

 

Makes 4 servings.

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