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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,
So I got news from family yesterday that Luna got her teeth on some baby bunnies. She's exhibited hunting/stalking behavior before but usually never catches them, just chases. My brother told me that she destroyed a bunny nest. Is this just some bizarre part of her nature that we should simply manage (ie not let her out when there are bunny nests in the yard) or is it something we should immediately try to change? She's friendly and loves dogs and people, just not backyard critters like birds, bunnies, and squirrels.
I'm upset that she did this, she's such a sweet and intelligent dog, except for the fact that she's apparently a monstrous hunter :eek:. I don't know if I'm placing human traits on her (like, me feeling that she's a sociopath for doing this or something) or if she's just being instinctual. :confused::confused::confused:
Any advice/ anyone with similar experiences?
Ashley
 

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Hardly a sociopath. Just think, when WW3 breaks out (thanks Donald:rolleyes:) you'll be well fed with yummy rabbit stew while the rest of us starve. :) I say you do all you can to minimize it but put "misses" down to survival of the fittest. The smart bunnies hide their nests from dogs.

Puppy people, yet another reason to only allow your dog to chase a ball and nothing else.
 

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The cocker part of her is bred for the hunt....pheasants etc, not sure if they are supposed to flush them out and make them fly or if they do retrieving as well, but it's bred into them, so she's doing something entirely natural. How to stop it? I don't know, but I can tell you that my two live and share the back garden with 4 large chickens, so it is possible. We stopped them chasing the chickens right from the start. So from 10 weeks of age for Max and 12 weeks for Phoebe. We leave them alone in the garden ( unsupervised) and no catastrophes so far.
 

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It is kinda hard to stop a hunting dog from hunting,just do your best,, but like was just said the cocker in her is a hunter,and that is in them and your not going to change it sorry.just do the best you can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Comforting responses, thanks. I didn't know where the hunting came from, so it's good to know that it's part of her breed.

Fairlie, yes! I was shocked that a bunny nested in our yard in the first place, we haven't even had a bunny in the yard since we got Luna, no less a nest. :eek:
 

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I would just chalk it up to the momma being a dumb bunny...No pun intended LOL
PS--baby rabbets are born with out sent...so the mom must of put them in a place that your poo could see them ,,her fault not yours
 

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I agree - the Popster's had numerous rabbits (mostly ones slowed by myxomatosis admittedly)
and a rat which she dispatched with all the flair of a seasoned Jack Russell.

She is fascinated by birds and considers a woodpigeon in the garden to be an insult. In fact I caught her staring at a helicopter the other day as it went over. I think she thought it was a huge pheasant.:D
I'd love her to stop but I'm afraid its hardwired in. Just be glad people and other dogs are on the safe list :)
 
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Lexi is a bee hunter and Beemer a scorpion hunter. Both keep trying to catch the lizard in our back yard. Though haven't seen it in a while so possible they got it. Not many warm blooded things come into our yard. The rest of the time, they are on their leash but they would spend hours chasing birds and rabbits if they could.


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Not sure whether it's a bad or good thing and especially so long as he does not get into any sort of trouble in the wild. Most important thing though is to strike a balance between the basics of discipline and going all out hunting. He needs that self confidence and socialization i think but at the same time should be obedient enough.
 

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I have heard of several Cockapoos who go after and would kill and eat rabbits, squirrels, birds etc. I understand this is cpmes from the Cocker part of the dog but what I don't understand is, as was said earlier, working Cockers don't actually hunt and kill animals, they flush them out and retrieve them, so would hunting and killing small animals be a natural trait? I would have thought it would be an undesired trait in a Cocker spaniel or they would not be any good as a working Cocker?
 

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I have heard of several Cockapoos who go after and would kill and eat rabbits, squirrels, birds etc. I understand this is cpmes from the Cocker part of the dog but what I don't understand is, as was said earlier, working Cockers don't actually hunt and kill animals, they flush them out and retrieve them, so would hunting and killing small animals be a natural trait? I would have thought it would be an undesired trait in a Cocker spaniel or they would not be any good as a working Cocker?
Totally natural behaviour for any dog... It's quite possible that trained cocker spaniel might kill a retrieved bird that was injured....don't know as have never been on a shoot of any sort....I'm with the pheasant on this one! :D
 

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Maybe the killer gene is in the poodle then? The neighbour's poodle killed two of my guinea pigs when I was a kid.:( You know when they snatch up a toy and shake it back and forth? That is to break their preys neck, many dogs I've met do it, but now that I think about it our Great Pyr doesn't and neither does my sisters Bassett.:confused:
 

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Any dog will hunt - some dogs have a stronger urge than others.
In the olden days when I was young (feeling my age! - lets say 45+ years ago) I used to spend time with the game keeper on my godmother's farm. Puppy gun dogs were introduced to the rabbit run as babies - basically the rabbits were pretty tame - if the pups made any effort to chase them the gamekeeper had a sand filled canvas sock that he would throw to clip the pup's back end, causing it to stop chasing rabbit and keep an eye on the gamekeeper. I'm not saying I agree with the method - but just that the pups had to learn not to show interest/chase rabbits. Cockers were used with the beaters to flush pheasants or other game birds out of the undergrowth and up into the air so that the guns could shoot them. You do not want your cocker merrily distracted by bunnies when they are meant to be working birds. Labradors with the guns would then be sent in to retrieve shot birds. Some spaniels would work behind the line to fetch out downed birds if the labs missed any.

If you don't want your dog to hunt when out walking or playing in wilderness yards then you have to be more interesting than rabbits/squirrels/pheasants. Play games with your dog - get them interested in a ball or toy that can either be thrown or left behind for them to hunt back along the path for.
You also need to train an impressive recall or stop command for those times when their instinct takes over when opportunity presents itself. Or you have to learn to look the other way.
 

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for you to have a hunting cocker it takes a few years of training.if they don't have that training any hunting dog will kill and if hungry eat there catch
,,even your retrievers goes through lots of training to make them a good hunting dog. the catching and killing is born in them ,the gentleness is trained in to them ok. now you can train your poo to be gentle with what they catch ,but i don't think you will ever stop them from hunting
 

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Maybe the killer gene is in the poodle then? The neighbour's poodle killed two of my guinea pigs when I was a kid.:( You know when they snatch up a toy and shake it back and forth? That is to break their preys neck, many dogs I've met do it, but now that I think about it our Great Pyr doesn't and neither does my sisters Bassett.:confused:
Our Pyrenees/Basset, etc. mutt will start the job, when it comes to rats, but our crazy a$$ cockapoo needs to be called in to finish it.
 
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