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A friend of mine owns two dogs, a 2yr old Shepheard mix and a 6 month old Husky. He came home last night to find that the dogs had broken into his bunny cage and mauled the poor bunny to death. He said that the bunny was ripped in two and there was blood everywhere. Well, his girlfriend was hysterical. She wanted him to take both dogs outside and shoot them. They have two small children (3 and 5yrs) so she's worried about their safety. He, on the other hand, loves those dogs and doesn't believe the incident was more than play-time that got out of hand. Both dogs are rescues, but neither dog has ever shown agression towards people or other animals before, although the mix had demonstrated extreme interest in the bunny in the past. He said that sometimes the Husky would sniff the bunny cage and lick the bunny when he'd stick a paw through the bars, but no agression whatsoever. Maggie (the mix) is a female that they've had since she was just a puppy and Gonzo (husky) is a male they recently rescued about 3 months ago, and they have always gotten along with each other and other animals. Maggie has been through obedience training, both basic and advanced, and Gonzo has finished basic/puppy classes, so they are both very well behaved dogs. They're not even really sure if it was both dogs or which dog actually killed the bunny because they were both at work at the time. His girlfriend insists that if they were capable of doing that to the bunny they are vicious dogs and she does not want them around (or alive for that matter). She gave him until tonight to either "dispose" of or to place the dogs, but he's still trying to convince her it was just an accident. Is she right in being worried, or is this behavior a big red flag?
 

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Sea Hag
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IloveMyDobie31 said:
A friend of mine owns two dogs, a 2yr old Shepheard mix and a 6 month old Husky. He came home last night to find that the dogs had broken into his bunny cage and mauled the poor bunny to death. He said that the bunny was ripped in two and there was blood everywhere. Well, his girlfriend was hysterical. She wanted him to take both dogs outside and shoot them. They have two small children (3 and 5yrs) so she's worried about their safety. He, on the other hand, loves those dogs and doesn't believe the incident was more than play-time that got out of hand. Both dogs are rescues, but neither dog has ever shown agression towards people or other animals before, although the mix had demonstrated extreme interest in the bunny in the past. He said that sometimes the Husky would sniff the bunny cage and lick the bunny when he'd stick a paw through the bars, but no agression whatsoever. Maggie (the mix) is a female that they've had since she was just a puppy and Gonzo (husky) is a male they recently rescued about 3 months ago, and they have always gotten along with each other and other animals. Maggie has been through obedience training, both basic and advanced, and Gonzo has finished basic/puppy classes, so they are both very well behaved dogs. They're not even really sure if it was both dogs or which dog actually killed the bunny because they were both at work at the time. His girlfriend insists that if they were capable of doing that to the bunny they are vicious dogs and she does not want them around (or alive for that matter). She gave him until tonight to either "dispose" of or to place the dogs, but he's still trying to convince her it was just an accident. Is she right in being worried, or is this behavior a big red flag?
More than likely it was the result of prey drive..dogs will live up to their genetics, and prey drive is deeply hard wired behavor for survival. It's not what I consider unpredictable "vicious" behavior.

That being said, anyone who allows a dog to interact with small children without adult supervision is a moron.
 

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Murreydobe said:
That being said, anyone who allows a dog to interact with small children without adult supervision is a moron.
I'm sorry, I'm not sure if I was unclear...The children were not home at the time of the incident. They are never left unattended period. Both my friend and his girlfriend work evenings, so they stay at her mother's house while they are at work. His girlfriend is worried about their safety even though they don't interact with the dogs without being under their supervision. She is afraid that one of the dogs will snap at or attack one of the children before she can do anything to stop it.
 

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i agree about the prey drive...prehaps the bunny got out and the dogs saw it and wallaa instinct kicked in..i know my dogs will not bother our cats if they r in the yard and sittin still but soon as they run then the chase is on....dont think theyd actually hurt them but u never know.,...
 

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A husky will kill any small animal. My girl has gotten racoon,opossums,bunnies,etc. Took ehr on a walk on a like five foot lead,she stuck her head in some bushes and came out with a racoon and she killed it in like five seconds. But she is the sweetest dog with kids. You can not confuse prey drive/animal aggression with human aggression.
 

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joce said:
A husky will kill any small animal. My girl has gotten racoon,opossums,bunnies,etc. Took ehr on a walk on a like five foot lead,she stuck her head in some bushes and came out with a racoon and she killed it in like five seconds. But she is the sweetest dog with kids. You can not confuse prey drive/animal aggression with human aggression.
Thanks for the clarification. He's trying to explain to her that just because they (or whoever did it) killed the bunny, it does not mean the dog is agressive and will hurt the children. Unfortunately, her mindset is that anything capable of ripping another animal in two cannot possibly be safe to have around small children, even when supervised. Hopefully she'll take a minute to calm down and think about it before making him get rid of the dogs.
 

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IloveMyDobie31 said:
I'm sorry, I'm not sure if I was unclear...The children were not home at the time of the incident. They are never left unattended period. Both my friend and his girlfriend work evenings, so they stay at her mother's house while they are at work. His girlfriend is worried about their safety even though they don't interact with the dogs without being under their supervision. She is afraid that one of the dogs will snap at or attack one of the children before she can do anything to stop it.
I don't think anyone can say that absolutely *wouldn't* happen with these or any other dogs.. Small children have high pitched voices and since their muscle control isn't fully developed, they tend exhibit really jerky movements..and this can be interpreted as "prey" to high drive dogs.

However, many, many high drive dogs lead happy lives with children and never present a threat to them. The key is training and "reading the dogs"..if the dogs start getting too wound up or start exhibiting hunting type behavior, it's up to the owner to get the dogs under control.

Without seeing the dogs, no one can say for sure who the "ringleader" was (and there always is one), but my best guess would be the husky. If they feel they need to start placing dogs, I might try just placing one..from the sounds of this, these aren't highly experienced people, and two dogs might be just too many dogs for them.
 

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Murreydobe said:
I don't think anyone can say that absolutely *wouldn't* happen with these or any other dogs.. Small children have high pitched voices and since their muscle control isn't fully developed, they tend exhibit really jerky movements..and this can be interpreted as "prey" to high drive dogs.

However, many, many high drive dogs lead happy lives with children and never present a threat to them. The key is training and "reading the dogs"..if the dogs start getting too wound up or start exhibiting hunting type behavior, it's up to the owner to get the dogs under control.

Without seeing the dogs, no one can say for sure who the "ringleader" was (and there always is one), but my best guess would be the husky. If they feel they need to start placing dogs, I might try just placing one..from the sounds of this, these aren't highly experienced people, and two dogs might be just too many dogs for them.
Thanks for the advice! Yes, Maggie was their first dog and they've only had her for since she was about the same age as Gonzo, so you're right, they're not too incredibly experienced. I suggested placing the mix because she showed more interest in the bunny, but no one knows for sure who really started it. However, he's having a hard time convincing his girlfriend to keep either as she doesn't want either of them around since they're not sure whose "idea" it was.
 

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IloveMyDobie31 said:
Thanks for the advice! Yes, Maggie was their first dog and they've only had her for since she was about the same age as Gonzo, so you're right, they're not too incredibly experienced. I suggested placing the mix because she showed more interest in the bunny, but no one knows for sure who really started it. However, he's having a hard time convincing his girlfriend to keep either as she doesn't want either of them around since they're not sure whose "idea" it was.
Well..since the bunny was ripped in two, I'd say both were involved in it at some point...more than likely after the rabbit was already dead. But the shepherd mix had evidently lived with the bunny for quite some time without incident. As well as living with the children for the same period of time and never presenting a threat.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Murreydobe said:
Well..since the bunny was ripped in two, I'd say both were involved in it at some point...more than likely after the rabbit was already dead. But the shepherd mix had evidently lived with the bunny for quite some time without incident. As well as living with the children for the same period of time and never presenting a threat.
That's very true...good point. So perhaps passing all this information along to her will convince her to find a new home for the Husky and keep the mix.
 

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Huskies in particlular have a very high prey drive. But all that in mind, and not leaving the kids alone with a dog, etc, Just b/c they killed a rabbit, doesn't mean they will attack kids next you know. Let us know how it turns out.
 

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joce said:
A husky will kill any small animal. My girl has gotten racoon,opossums,bunnies,etc. Took ehr on a walk on a like five foot lead,she stuck her head in some bushes and came out with a racoon and she killed it in like five seconds. But she is the sweetest dog with kids. You can not confuse prey drive/animal aggression with human aggression.
joce is so right.. dogs will be dogs and prey drive is different than human aggression.. I do feel sorry for the poor bunny..:sadcry:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
frznbuns said:
joce is so right.. dogs will be dogs and prey drive is different than human aggression.. I do feel sorry for the poor bunny..:sadcry:
I feel bad for him too, it's sad :( poor little bunny. They had the bunny for 6 years, it's horrible his life had to end that way.

We sent Gonzo and Maggie to stay with another friend of mine while we wait for Cindy (his girlfriend's name is Cindy too) to calm down a bit. I talked to her last night, and she's still a bit angry (she was closer to the bunny than he was). However, she did say she'd consider letting him keep Maggie since she's already been part of their family for about a year and a half.

I always laugh at the stories parents tell their children about what happened to the family pet. Aparently, the bunny decided he loved his family very much, but there was still so much of the world that he hadn't seen. So, what the kids didn't know was that he had a magic carrot that would transport him anywhere he wanted to go. All he had to do was to take a bite out of the carrot, close his eyes, and when he opened them he'd be anywhere his little bunny mind could imagine. So Mr. Bunny packed his bags, grabbed his magic carrot, and went off to travel the world. The oldest asked if Mr. Bunny would ever come back...but I have a feeling that they'll be getting a letter from Mr. Bunny in a week or so saying he met and fell in love with Mrs. Bunny while sight seeing in Paris, and that they have decided to stay.
 

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It would nto be right to get rid of the dog. They should ahve researched about huskys and known anywere near a bunny was not a good idea. When I was growing up we had a lab who liked to eat kittens. It was gross but we weren't going to get rid of the dog because of it. I hope you try to talk her through this and teach erh a littl mroe about dogs. Maybe if she found a husky forum?
 

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HA! The magic carrot! When Jordan was about 3, her beloved Betta fish died :-( There was no way to hide it, she's the one that found it floating belly up... So, as a family we buried him in the toilet together - complete with mourning attire and prayers - a very proper funeral indeed :). A couple weeks later she asked about really big toilets... Very perplexed I asked her why she was so concerned about huge toilets. "Well Momma, people are too big to go down our regular toilets... <dramatic pause> So there must be big ones for us." Stifling a laugh, I assured her that we aren't flushed when we die. This upset her greatly. Even more perplexed, I asked her why she was so upset about not being flushed... "How are we going to get to heaven with Rocko (the fish) if we aren't flushed too????"
Warn your friends that their kids will come up with something sometime that will make them rethink their decisions about the magic carrot! :)
That being said, I have to agree with everyone else. Sounds like prey drive to me. When I was involved with Pits, I don't know how many times I explained to people that dog aggression doesn't always = human aggression. They've been bred for centuries to be dog aggressive but are quite fond of humans. Same as a JRT, it would kill a rat in a heart beat but they do love their people...
Maybe print off these posts and share them with her... I understand she is upset (I would be too) but she can't fault the dog/s for doing what dogs do...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
TracyJo said:
HA! The magic carrot! When Jordan was about 3, her beloved Betta fish died :-( There was no way to hide it, she's the one that found it floating belly up... So, as a family we buried him in the toilet together - complete with mourning attire and prayers - a very proper funeral indeed :). A couple weeks later she asked about really big toilets... Very perplexed I asked her why she was so concerned about huge toilets. "Well Momma, people are too big to go down our regular toilets... <dramatic pause> So there must be big ones for us." Stifling a laugh, I assured her that we aren't flushed when we die. This upset her greatly. Even more perplexed, I asked her why she was so upset about not being flushed... "How are we going to get to heaven with Rocko (the fish) if we aren't flushed too????"
..
Lol! How precious! Kids are great, can't wait to have my own :)
 
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