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 Post subject: Dangers of rabbit holes
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:57 am 
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Hi, I am new to this brilliant forum. I have a lovely 2 year old show type cocker who is generally very well behaved. However, she is obsessed by rabbits although does not tend to chase them too far but is oblivious to me when she has one in sight or her nose down. Four weeks ago Ruby disappeared into a rabbit warren, thankfully I saw her go and knew where she was. It took three of us four hours to dig her out guided by her cries from under the ground. Worst trauma imaginable and she is now permanently on a long training line. She shows no fear when I show her a rabbit hole and I'm sure she would do this again. I can't bear to think that she will never be able to run free or rummage in the undergrowth again as she loves to do, does anyone have any experience of this or specific training suggestions. Many thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Dangers of rabbit holes
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:34 am 
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I cannot imagine the horror. It must have been awful.

Cici is the same. Spaniels, by nature, are very drawn to rabbits, birds..etc.. As an example, I do not like the idea of an electric fence (we are about to put a real fence around our yard so Cici can roam), but they say spaniels are SO drawn to these creatures running around that these fences are not so effective on them. Many dogs in my neighborhood do well with an electric fence.

She will go after anything, even cats and snakes. Completely shuts everything else out.

The only thing I can suggest is obedience training if you haven't already done so. They do off leash training so the dog learns to respond to you when called or stopped.

The only time I can let Cici off leash is in a fenced-in park. She bounces around like a little loon.

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Bear Mama to
Cici - 8 years old (Gotcha Dec 14, 2013)
Raleigh, North Carolina


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 Post subject: Re: Dangers of rabbit holes
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 9:05 am 
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Oh my word, I cannot imagine your fear! I have never heard of anything like this but just wanted to ask that you please let us know if you do find something that works. I had no idea that a dog could even FIT into a rabbit warren. Thank goodness she (and YOU) is ok.

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Emma - 6/23/10 -
Waylon (non-cocker, terrorist) 2/1/01 -

Shiloh - 4/5/95 - 5/23/11 RIP, sweet girl


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 Post subject: Re: Dangers of rabbit holes
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:38 pm 
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Thank you Cici and Tina for your concern and replying so quickly. Fortunately we do have an enclosed back yard which is safe but it is too small for meaningful exercise. I think you are right about training and we have since joined a training class which we hope will eventually help with recall. I will let you know if I find a specific solution to this problem. Bye the way, when I Googled 'dogs trapped in rabbit warrens' I was amazed to see how many posts were entered, many owners had been unable to get their dogs out but after a couple of weeks when the dogs had lost a lot of weight some emerged having survived on rainwater and slugs and made a full recovery, others sadly not so lucky.


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 Post subject: Re: Dangers of rabbit holes
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2015 7:33 pm 
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Oh my, that sounds AWFUL :(

On the other hand, Cici may not mind slugs...LOL

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Cici - 8 years old (Gotcha Dec 14, 2013)
Raleigh, North Carolina


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 Post subject: Re: Dangers of rabbit holes
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 7:49 pm 
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OMG, I cringed when I read your post. I hope you come up with a solution. Sorry but I have no advice. I'm not sure I'd take another chance and probably not allow her off a lead ever.

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Abby (B&W) 3/25/09
Ava (B&T) 3/25/09


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 Post subject: Re: Dangers of rabbit holes
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:33 pm 
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Hi, that's exactly how I feel right now. I think the only safe place to let her off the leash will be on a very big beach with no sand dunes.


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 Post subject: Re: Dangers of rabbit holes
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 1:00 pm 
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Cici wrote:
Oh my, that sounds AWFUL :(

On the other hand, Cici may not mind slugs...LOL


Emma thinks ANY bug is a delicacy. She runs around the yard with LIVE cicadas buzzing in her mouth, with me screaming like a banshee for her to DROP IT. I have never had such a goat/dog in my 30+ years of owning dogs. Still....I'm glad we don't have many rabbits here in Memphis. They can't take the heat.

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Emma - 6/23/10 -
Waylon (non-cocker, terrorist) 2/1/01 -

Shiloh - 4/5/95 - 5/23/11 RIP, sweet girl


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 Post subject: Re: Dangers of rabbit holes
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2015 3:27 pm 
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Location: Washington State
That sounds like my Jennie. The other night she was hunting something underneath my recliner, so I hopped out and gave it a shove away from her. There was the biggest brown house spider I've seen in a long time... yuck! She tries to smoosh them with her face or her feet. I pulled her away and dropped a textbook on it, then got out the vacuum cleaner. She was disappointed that I didn't let her have it but she loves to bark at the vacuum, so it was a trade off.

She is also fascinated by the mole hills that occasionally appear in the yard and will go nuts trying to dig them out if she can detect an actual mole nearby. I've added Mole Patrol to my Poop Patrol schedule. What a silly puppy!

I'm so glad you had a happy ending to your scare with Ruby.

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Susan

Mom to Jennie, born 4/24/2014, Gotcha Day 6/20/2014
Gone, but not forgotten: Honey, Punkin, Lady, Dusty and Chief


"If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers


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