Why Do Dogs Chase Rabbits?


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It is a common behavior in many dog breeds, but why do dogs chase rabbits? According to a survey of 1,200 owners conducted by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), 73% of respondents reported that their pet dog had chased a rabbit at least once. The survey also showed that approximately eight out of ten dogs would chase rabbits if given the opportunity. This behavior is often seen in young puppies, as well as in older dogs that have been trained to hound small creatures.

Chasing Habits of Dog:

Dogs are known to be enthusiastic chasers, and they often demonstrate these behaviors in a fun and playful way. Many dogs love chasing after balls or Frisbees, while others enjoy chasing birds or squirrels across the yard. Chasing is a natural behavior for dogs, which can give it an outlet for energy and help them to stay mentally stimulated.

Hunting Behavior:

In addition to playing with toys or chasing short animals, some dogs may exhibit primitive hunting behaviors by pursuing larger prey such as deer or coyotes. While this type of activity can provide physical exercise and mental stimulation for your pet, it can also be dangerous if a large animal runs into traffic or other hazards. Therefore, it’s important to keep an eye on your dog if they exhibit these behaviors and try to keep them away from larger creatures when possible.

Not all dogs have an innate desire to chase, however. Some breeds may have a propensity for chasing, while other breeds may be more content with simply playing with toys or going on walks. Additionally, some dogs may inherit a fear of being chased by larger creatures or humans, so it’s important to be aware of any potential fears your pet may have before allowing them to freely pursue prey.

Reasons Why Do Doggies Chase Bunnies and Baby Bunnies:

Dogs have a natural instinct to chase small creatures such as rabbits and baby bunnies, this is due to their hunting background. All domestic dogs can trace their ancestry back to wild wolves, the ancestor of the modern-day dog.

Wolves are known for being powerful predators that hound in packs and use their speed and agility to capture prey. This same instinct has been passed down through generations of domesticated dogs and often surfaces when they encounter short creatures like rabbits or baby bunnies.

Chemicals Behind Chasing:

Chasing prey also releases endorphins in a dog’s brain, causing them to feel rewarded when they catch an animal. Dog often becomes very excited during a successful hunt or chase, which further reinforces their behavior leading them to continue chasing after small creatures.


Additionally, some dogs may display possessive behaviors when they catch a rabbit or baby bunny. This could be due to territorial instincts, as they may view the animal as their own “prize” that they have worked hard to capture and don’t want to give up easily.

Lack of Energy:

Finally, chasing rabbits can also be an outlet for pent-up energy in some breeds of dog. If a dog is not getting enough exercise or stimulation, it can cause them to become bored and develop destructive habits such as chasing after wildlife. Therefore, providing your pet with plenty of physical activity and mental stimulation can help reduce the urge to chase small creatures like rabbits and baby bunnies.

Are Rabbits Scared of Dog?

Yes, rabbits can be scared of dogs. Rabbits are naturally timid creatures; their instinct is to flee when they sense danger or feel threatened. Dogs possess a predatory nature, so even if they are domesticated and well-trained, they may still act on their natural instincts and chase after a rabbit. The size of the dog matters, too; smaller dogs might not scare a rabbit as much as larger ones would.

When confronted with a dog, rabbits will typically display signs of fear, including freezing in place, cowering down, or hopping away quickly. Some may also thump the ground with their hind legs or make loud noises like squealing or screeching as warnings.

How to Prevent Dogs From Eating Baby Bunnies?

The best way to prevent a dog from eating baby bunnies is to keep them separate. It is important to establish a secure fence or barrier that the dog cannot climb over, dig under, or jump over. After knowing the ways, you can get information about how pet rabbits can escape dog’s eyesight, dog owners give dogs training, friendly wolves eventually evolved into dogs at an early age, the lofty target of most dogs, dog’s attention and hunting instinct, predatory instincts of a dog on a leash, and strong prey drive in a puppy. This will help you properly take care of the bunny.

If the area your bunnies are in is not fenced off, consider putting up some sort of temporary fencing such as chicken wire or tall shrubs. Make sure the space between the two barriers is small enough that the dog cannot fit through.

Training of Pet:

It is also important to train your pet on proper behaviors around wild creatures. When they are outside, be sure to keep them on a leash and use optimistic reinforcement techniques such as treats or verbal praise when they exhibit good behavior.

You can find dogs chasing things such as tennis ball for fun and other small animals to eat in real life, or train cat breed to live with the bunny breed, and control dog breeds eventually to stop chasing birds.

Finally, if possible, try to reduce the number of rabbits in your area by safely trapping and relocating them to a more suitable environment away from hungry predators.

Training of Dogs to Stop Chasing Rabbits and Other Animals:

It is an important task for responsible dog owners. Teaching a dog not to hunt rabbits and other animals can be difficult, as it is a natural instinct for them to want to hunt. However, by providing patience, consistency, and optimistic reinforcement, it is possible to train dogs to stop chasing rabbits and other animals.

Obedience Commands:

The first step in training a dog to stop chasing rabbits or other animals is to teach basic obedience commands such as “sit”, “down”, and “stay”. A consistent routine should be established so that the dog understands what behavior will lead to praise or reward from its owner. Once these basic commands are mastered, the next step will be teaching the dog to recall cues such as “come”, “leave it”, or “stop”.

Distraction Techniques:

It can also be helpful to use distraction techniques in order to redirect the dog’s attention away from chasing rabbits or other animals. For example, if a rabbit appears while on a walk, the owner can quickly call out an obedience command such as “sit,” and when completed, reward the dog with a treat and move on.


Finally, it is important to practice and reinforce the learned behaviors consistently in order for the dog to retain them. With enough practice, repetition, and positive reinforcement, a dog can be trained not to hunt rabbits or other animals.

Methods to Stop the Dog From Chasing Bunny:

1) Training:

The first and foremost method to stop a dog from chasing a bunny is through proper training. This involves teaching the dog basic commands such as ‘sit’, ‘stay’, and ‘leave it’. By using these commands in combination with optimistic reinforcement, you can teach your dog to respond appropriately when he sees a rabbit.

2) Leash Walking:

Keeping your canine on a leash while outdoors can be very helpful in preventing him from running after rabbits. Make sure that the leash is of an appropriate length so that your dog has enough space to explore without being able to run off and hunt prey.

3) Distracting Activities:

When out on walks, providing your pup with other activities to engage in can be useful for preventing him from chasing rabbits. This could be playing fetch with a ball or Frisbee, allowing your pup to sniff around and explore the area, or even just providing treats as rewards for good behavior.

4) Confinement:

If all else fails, you may need to put your pet in an enclosed space when outdoors. This will prevent him from being able to chase rabbits while still allowing him to enjoy some fresh air and exercise. However, make sure that the enclosure is properly secure so that there are no escape routes available should he decide to try and run off after a rabbit.

Which Dog Breeds Are Good for Rabbits?

Many dog breeds, such as small terriers and herding breeds, are well-suited to living with rabbits. Though larger dogs can still be gentle and protective of the rabbit, they may accidentally hurt it due to their size. Smaller breeds tend to be more laid back and less likely to cause accidental harm.

Breeds that are known for their calmness, such as greyhounds and golden retrievers, can also make good companions for a rabbit. Be sure to introduce the dog and rabbit slowly and supervise the interactions between them.


In conclusion, dogs chasing rabbits is a natural instinct that is deeply rooted in their DNA. It may be hard to break this habit, but through proper training and positive reinforcement, it can be done. Dogs are intelligent animals with an inherent drive to hunt and chase prey. Read articles on various related topics such as do cats eat other pets, control rabbit breed from dogs in the yard, control and break the hunting instinct and high prey drive of dogs, stop giving treats, teach puppies through the treat and train method, or desensitize method. This will make you more conscious about your rabbit.

Understanding why they chase rabbits will help you better manage the behavior so that it does not cause any harm or disruption to your home and family. With the right guidance, you can help your dog channel its energy in a more productive way.


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