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what breed to catch rabbits

 
daniel park
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hey

Im just wondering what type of puppy i should get. I was thinking of a kelpie, blue/red heeler or a beagle. Just after an energy packed dog that i can train to fetch and even catch rabbits. Would like a dog to catch rabbit cause there are alot of rabbits around where i live. But not to much of a hunting dog that it is going to be under worked. Would appreciate any tips or advise!

Thanks

 
Tobias Ber
Posts: 391
Location: Northern Germany (Zone 8a)
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hey... i m not sure if a beagle would be a good choice. we often dog-sit a beagle. she has an extremely high hunting-drive. but as soon as she sniffs a trail, she will make certain noises. this is a typical beaglical thing. she will scare rabbits away by that. she s very enduring and somewhat fast-running. but i can t imagine, that seh EVER caught even one rabbit.
when she s on a trail, she s in total extasy. no chance to call her back.

beagles are not easily trainable but require lot s of time running, walking, sniffing etc. ... that might not be very fitting for you.

good luck and blessings
tobias
 
David Livingston
steward
Pie
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Location: Anjou ,France
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I used to have a cocker spaniel great dog in the house with the kids great in the field catching rabbits . Down side caught lots of rabbbits already dead plus maggots yuk
Lurcher ( greyhound x hunting dog ) good for this

David
 
Steve Hitchen
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Location: Yorksire - North England
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Whippets. This is a question with a definitively correct answer - They were bred for rabbit catching. Lots of dogs can catch rabbits, but nothing comes close to whippets.

----- Don't get me wrong - getting ANY dog is almost always a good investment, but getting a dog specifically for rabbit? Then Whippets are the most sensible choice.

The benefit of a whippet is that, essentially, it's a cat. It sleeps for 16-18 hours a day, doesn't smell, doesn't eat much, is very very clean and very very lazy. a 15 to 20 minute walk is about all they need because if they go much further they get tired and sit down and refuse to walk. They are also by far the gentlest of all the dog species - they make Labradors look aggressive, and are brilliantly safe with children. So - when you DON'T want to catch rabbits, you have a very easy dog to live with.

But... when they see a rabbit, they are the second fastest land animal on earth (after the cheetah) and will happily catch the rabbits as long as you like. Their only desires in life are: 1) sleep on the sofa and 2) catch rabbits. Then, when your done, they'll sleep for another 15 hours.

Beware though - they are astonishingly dumb - when they HAVE the rabbit, they often look a bit confused as to what to do next.

But - if you want to catch rabbits, using a dog isn't especially sensible or efficient - even a whippet will only consistently catch perhaps 1 in 6 or even 1 in 8. If you have a rabbit problem, then you need to be using ferrets - by far and away the most efficient way of catching rabbits - even more efficient than gas - and you get a lot of meat and furs as well.

If you have hares instead of rabbits, the hare has more stamina than a Whippet and will usually out-run it. In this case, either a greyhound or a saluki is the better option - both are a little slower, but have got more stamina. A greyhound is just like a large whippet in terms of temperament and exercise requirements - possibly they are even more lazy. A saluki is as gentle as a whippet, but their stamina is astonishing - right up their with Vizsla's in terms of endurance - if you are going to use them as a working dog that is fine, but as a pet at home, you simply can't give them enough exercise.




Steve ( owner of whippets and regular rabbit catcher)
 
Tracy Kuykendall
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Looks like it gonna be whippets, I've never dealt with them, most dogs I've had experience with, if they have the desire and ability to chase and catch rabbits they generally are very high energy animals.
 
C. Hunter
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Whippets are FUN dogs. Lovely laid back house pets, and death on bunnies. You will run out of cottontails very fast though. (If you've got hares though, it's more of a challenge for the dogs )


(Whippet babysitter, someday I will have a hound of my own Probably not a whippet though.)
 
James Everett
Posts: 69
Location: Gaines County, Texas South of Seminole, Tx zone 7b
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dog greening the desert trees
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I have a German Sheperd/Healer mix and Catahoula with puppies between the two and they are often eating rabbits they catch on my land here. I still see hundreds of rabbits on my land and surrounding area, but up by the house seems to be rabbit free.
 
Travis Johnson
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My suggestion would be a beagle or a basset hound. I have had both and both did well. I did have a beagle that would hunt rabbit all day though, but refused to bark. What good is that?

The beagles are faster, but bust through crusted snow easier with their smaller paws and tire quicker. The basset hound was slower, but would just not stop, and stay on top of the crust better. They have better noses too.

Sounds like to me you might like a Basset Hound for your needs. Just don't be misinformed, for the first three years they are anything but dopey.

As a side note, you do realize that you actually don't want a rabbit dog to catch the rabbit? You want it to find one, chase it, and since rabbits always circle back, you hear where your dog is and try and get yourself in a position to be between the bunny and the dog. Then you blast it and reward the dog for doing what he was supposed to. Some puppies do maul the rabbit if they catch it, but you'll have to cure it of that habit quick.
 
C. Hunter
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Travis Johnson wrote:
As a side note, you do realize that you actually don't want a rabbit dog to catch the rabbit? You want it to find one, chase it, and since rabbits always circle back, you hear where your dog is and try and get yourself in a position to be between the bunny and the dog. Then you blast it and reward the dog for doing what he was supposed to. Some puppies do maul the rabbit if they catch it, but you'll have to cure it of that habit quick.


Well, it depends. I mean, whippets *ARE* rabbit dogs, and yes, they absolutely catch the rabbit. That's the entire point of them. The scent hounds that trail rabbits don't, obviously, but they're not the only kind of rabbit dog.

It also depends on what kind of rabbits OP has. I have northern breed mutts and have had a variety of herding breeds in the past- corgis and collies. ALL OF THEM catch cottontails on a regular basis. None of them could get NEAR the big old hares that my friend's whippet catches- they're just not even in the same class for speed.
 
Travis Johnson
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I'll be honest, I am not familiar with a whippet, but I am not sure I would want one on a small farm or homestead either, not with chickens, ducks and sheep running around too. We had some chickens and ducks go missing until my father came to our house and saw our German Shepard with a duck in its mouth. The wife looked at me and said, "get him out of here", and we went for a ride...

As a sheep farmer though, I always fear coyotes, but statistically domestic animals kill more sheep per year than coyotes. Kind of a surprising statistic.

I will say though that the coyote hunters around here who chase them with dogs give me nothing to fear. Because their dogs are allowed to hunt...to do what they instinctively do, and are raised to chase specific animals like coyotes, bears or raccoon; I don't worry about my sheep at all. It's my neighbors dog "Buddy" that is more apt to try and chase my sheep down then true hunting dogs because the thing is cooped up all day and not really allowed to "hunt". Its one of the reasons why I spend a lot of money on good fencing; as much to keep my sheep in as it is to keep coyotes and domestic dogs out.

You don't think though that in this case a scent rabbit dog would be better?
 
C. Hunter
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It depends. I'm not familiar with whippets overall, just the ones I've interacted with, which are racebred dogs who had done some hunting before the first time I went out hunting with them. THey pay zero attention to other small flighty things because they are SUPER focused on rabbits. They're safe around cats, chickens, and cattle. I can't imagine they'd be very interested in sheep- they're significantly smaller htan even a Shetland or southdown babydoll mini sheep type. There *are* breeders of whippets though breeding for crazy prey drive a dn less of the hunting instincts about what prey ought to be. (Mostly people breeding for flyball or agility dogs).

Every beagle I've ever known as a farmdog was an unrepentant chicken killer given the opportunity. YMMV.

WHATEVER dog you get, you're going to have to train. So get the dog you like better that you're willing to put the time in with.
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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