Lionhead Rabbits and Dogs – Do They Get Along?

If you are one of those enthusiastic pet owners who simply cannot stop on having a single pet (same as us) then you are certainly wondering on which animals can share a home peacefully and which relations are better to avoid.

Owning a lionhead rabbit and a dog is surely one of the most controversial matches. Do they get along?

In theory, they can get along perfectly fine and even become best friends. However, this really depends on case to case and there is no guarantee that these two animals will share a life in harmony.

The relationship between a dog and a rabbit is influenced by their individual personalities but also on so many, sometimes unpredictable, factors.

If you have already decided to pair a bunny with your dog (or vice versa), be prepared to dedicate some time and effort to that. But also, to a negative outcome- if they do not manage to become friends, you may want to have a spare room where to keep your rabbit in.

Keeping Rabbits & Dogs Together

Here are a few things to consider, if you plan keeping rabbits and dogs in the same household:

– Dog Breed

The character of each dog is unique, but it is influenced a lot by the breed. Larger and more aggressive breeds will probably have a stronger instinct to chase a rabbit once they see it because, after all, a rabbit is a small pray in its eyes.

On top of that, there are some particular dog breeds which have been trained to hunt rabbits specifically, so you would certainly need to avoid those.

If you are bringing a dog to your home when you already own a rabbit, you are in good advantage as you can at least try choosing a breed which is more friendly, well-mannered, and perhaps good with kids.

Additionally, it would be super-helpful to choose a puppy whenever possible. That way, your dog will grow up around the rabbit and will understand much easier that bunnies are part of the family.

In brief words, the best is to try matching up a friendly and obedient dog with a confident rabbit.

– Introduction

How you choose to introduce these two pets is crucially important. A sudden and perhaps slightly nervous introduction can lead to excessive fear in the rabbit but also to excessive aggression in the dog. That is why making them get to know each other slowly and super-carefully is a big must.

Start with encircling your rabbit with a fence or playpen, or simply leave it in its enclosure. That way, the rabbit will feel safer and more protected. Only after that, bring your dog into the room, but do it on a leash.

Do not let the dog approach to the rabbit instantly, but rather keep it at a distance and simply monitor how both of them interact.

Allow your dog to approach the lionhead only once you see that the dog is not too enthusiastic and that the rabbit is not frightened. If this is not the case yet, try the next day again.

You may need a lot of patience during the first days, as it is extremely important to avoid fear or aggressive behaviors from both sides.

– Monitor their Behavior

Finally, once you are sure that both your rabbit and dog are feeling quite comfortable around each other, remove the barriers between them.

Use a calm voice at all times, so they can both understand that the other one is also a part of the family. Petting them at the same time can help, too.

Whatever you do, never leave them in a room alone. It is vitally important to constantly monitor them whenever they are interacting.

Can Bunnies and Dogs Play Together?

Once both bunnies and dogs accept each other, they can easily become best friends. Your rabbit may approach your dog without hesitation over time and sometimes even groom it.

On the other side, your dog can offer protection to your rabbit as it was an older brother. And they can play together, too. But it is necessary to never let them play together alone.

There is always the need of a human monitoring them and being ready to react if playtime becomes aggressive all of a sudden.

Will a Dog Kill a Lionhead Rabbit?

A dog can easily kill a lionhead rabbit once their relationship stops being friendly. Rabbits are natural pray animals while dogs can be the perfect hunters.

However, even if your dog is not being aggressive and loves playing around with your rabbit, it can still accidentally harm the lionhead if it is larger.

Indeed, what a dog thinks as a fun paw-pet on the rabbit’s head can result in serious injuries of your rabbit sometimes. Constant monitoring is therefore essential.

Are Lionhead Rabbits Aggressive with Dogs?

Lionhead rabbits are not aggressive animals, instead they are extremely timid and friendly. However, a rabbit can decide to chase the dog up during playtime and sometimes perhaps jump on it using its nails, and this can ultimately hurt your dog.

But also, a rabbit which feels cornered can become aggressive. And same goes for rabbits which were there first, as they may feel that the dog is occupying their territory. That is why always offering your rabbit a free exit during playtime is crucial, as well as human supervision.

Wrapping Up

Having multiple pets around your home definitely doubles the love and the fun. However, making them get along well can be a tricky task, especially if they are of different species, and it will not always work out successfully.

One of the hardest missions is surely trying to match up a pray animal like a lionhead rabbit with a natural hunter like a dog. But it is not impossible. There are several successful relationships between those two, and we are even sharing some amazingly cute videos below to prove that.

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avatar Jane
Jane is an experienced animal care specialist with a focus on rodents and small mammals, with over 10 years of experience in the pet industry. Her articles provide practical guidance on choosing the right pet and managing common health issues. Jane is an advocate for animal welfare and supports organizations dedicated to protecting wildlife. read more...

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