Buying a farm rabbit for dog training?

Thread starter #1
I have a dog I've tried hunting squirrel with but she can't seem to understand the treeing aspect of squirrels. She does great chasing them on the ground though. Well the other day I woke up to her caring half of a rabbit carcass around the yard. I wouldn't mind giving rabbit hunting a shot if my dog already has a natural instinct for it. I set a trap but haven't had any luck catching them so far. The rabbits around here are very cautious around my area due to the Hawks. However, I thought of buying a farm rabbit and making a little tube run for my dog to run it in. My question is how long would the rabbit actually live. I don't want to spend $20 on a rabbit that will die the second my dog barks at it. I know rabbits die very easily when stressed. Any old rabbit hunters used store rabbits for training? Any tips for a new guy interested any rabbit hunting? Thanks.
 

TurkeyH90

Senior Member
San Juan rabbits are what we used to run pups on years ago. If they caught it we quickly ran in and saved the rabbit. We had a small enclosure with silk fencing like you see the road crews use to prevent erosion. Worked well for puppies.
 

GONoob

Senior Member
How hardy are they? I live in NW GA in the Bartow county region. Any sellers you know of around the area?
Very hardy, I was very new to this and my rabbits kept getting out. I literally caught every single one 10 times. I gave up and turned them loose lol. I still see them time to time.
 

oldways

Senior Member
I think your dogs is enjoying the chase and the catch She would bring half a squirrel if she could catch up to them. It sounds like she is sight hunting not using her nose I think you will be wasting your money buying a rabbit the dog will probably kill it on site. Just my two cents I hope it works out good for you.
 
Thread starter #9
I think your dogs is enjoying the chase and the catch She would bring half a squirrel if she could catch up to them. It sounds like she is sight hunting not using her nose I think you will be wasting your money buying a rabbit the dog will probably kill it on site. Just my two cents I hope it works out good for you.
How would my dog kill it on site if it's in a cage
 
Thread starter #10
I think your dogs is enjoying the chase and the catch She would bring half a squirrel if she could catch up to them. It sounds like she is sight hunting not using her nose I think you will be wasting your money buying a rabbit the dog will probably kill it on site. Just my two cents I hope it works out good for you.
Not trying to be smart either. Just curious
 

oldways

Senior Member
If you put it in a cage your not really teaching the dog to hunt . Basically like a coon in the cage with hound puppies. If that rabbits is in a cage with a dog barking at it, it will probably get so stressed its going to die. I am not trying to dampen your idea's If she was my dog and I want to start her on hunting something I would start her on a drag and teach her to use her nose. To a dog the find or the catch is the reward end of the hunt. That's why there hunting to find it and catch or kill it. Your dog sounds like it already has a high prey drive just needs to be honed into what you want it to find. Like I said before I wish you the best of luck with your dog just trying to give you the advice I've already bought over time..
 
Thread starter #14
If you put it in a cage your not really teaching the dog to hunt . Basically like a coon in the cage with hound puppies. If that rabbits is in a cage with a dog barking at it, it will probably get so stressed its going to die. I am not trying to dampen your idea's If she was my dog and I want to start her on hunting something I would start her on a drag and teach her to use her nose. To a dog the find or the catch is the reward end of the hunt. That's why there hunting to find it and catch or kill it. Your dog sounds like it already has a high prey drive just needs to be honed into what you want it to find. Like I said before I wish you the best of luck with your dog just trying to give you the advice I've already bought over time..
Understood. I've tried squirrel drags but she loses interest in them pretty quickly. That's why I was using caged animals because she only is interested in them if they're alive
 

oldways

Senior Member
That mix you have is a herding style dog that's why she is sight hunting and probably super active that's why she prefers something live to a drag. I image that dog is busy and always looking for something to chase. Not a couch potato. Good Luck with your training I wish you the best of luck...
 
The thing that would be a main issue with trying to train the dog to run rabbits will be the size of the dog. You have to remember that when dogs are running a rabbit they are going thru and under thick briers. Generally rabbit dogs are smaller dogs. And even when dealing with beagles if they don't have it in them they ain't gonna go in the briers like they need to. Just my two cents but it seems to be sight hunting and if it won't stay on a drag and follow it out then she won't be able to stay after a rabbit more than a few seconds.
 
Simply the wrong tool for the job. A half eaten rabbit or half eaten squirrel is useless. A squirrel dog trees game ( barking), a rabbit dog runs & trails game ( barking). Dogman usually enjoy the chase and hunt. You have a hearding dog x2......there are better ways to exercise it.
 
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