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Golden Retrievers and Rabbits: Everything You Need To Know

Golden Retrievers and Rabbits
Golden Retrievers and Rabbits

Many people have been asking whether Golden Retrievers are good with rabbits.

So, Do Golden Retrievers and Rabbits Get Along? 

Yes, Golden Retrievers are great with rabbits. These dogs are gentle and friendly, making them perfectly suitable for living with rabbits. They are also very patient and will not be aggressive toward their furry companions. However, proper training and exercise are still important to ensure that both the dog and rabbit remain safe and happy.

Keep reading if you’re interested in learning more about the compatibility between Golden Retrievers and rabbits, including how to introduce both to each other.

Are Golden Retrievers Good With Rabbits?

Most experts agree that Golden Retrievers are generally well-suited for living with rabbits.

This is because these dogs are naturally gentle and good-natured, making them amenable to training and socialization from a young age.

A Golden Retriever owner who also had a rabbit I interviewed said that her dog and bunny got along very well, with only a few minor issues.

She said that the rabbit used to free-roam on the second floor of their home, and her dog enjoyed chasing after the rabbit. However, her dog never showed any signs of aggression or hostility towards her pet rabbit.

The owner also mentioned that her Golden Retriever loved to eat bunny poop and get into the rabbit’s hay box, but these issues were easily managed with a bit of training and supervision.

Overall, it seems that Golden Retrievers are generally well-suited for living with rabbits as long as they receive proper socialization and training early on in life.

Will a Golden Retriever Kill a Rabbit?

While some Golden Retrievers may have a strong predator instinct, most experts agree that these dogs are generally unlikely to kill a rabbit.

This is because these dogs are naturally gentle and good-natured, making them easier to train and socialize than other types of canines.

However, if your dog has not been properly introduced to other animals or is not well-trained, there could be a chance that he may attempt to attack and kill your rabbit.

If you are considering bringing home a Golden Retriever and a rabbit, it is essential to take the time to socialize your dog with other small animals early on in life.

This will help ensure that your dog knows how to behave appropriately around rabbits and prevent any unwanted incidents from occurring.

Can My Dog Get Sick From Killing a Rabbit?

Now that you know that most Golden Retrievers are well-suited for living with rabbits, you may wonder what if your dog kills a rabbit.

While it is possible that your dog could contract tularemia, or rabbit fever, from killing a rabbit, this is relatively rare.

This is because the bacteria that causes tularemia typically lives and thrives in rodents such as rabbits and mice but does not survive well outside this animal host.

However, if your dog has already killed a rabbit and is showing any signs of illness or fever, it is important to take him to the vet immediately for testing and treatment.

If you are careful to socialize your dog with rabbits from a young age and provide regular veterinary care, there should be no reason for your dog to get sick from killing a rabbit.

How to Introduce Your Golden Retriever to Your Rabbit? 

how to introduce golden retriever to rabbit
How to Introduce Your Golden Retriever to Your Rabbit?

When introducing your Golden Retriever to your rabbit, the most important question is, “how?”

There are a few different techniques that you can try, depending on the temperament of your dog and how comfortable and confident you feel.

One option is to place your rabbit in a large, safe enclosure or pen and allow your Golden Retriever to watch him from afar.

If your dog seems curious but not aggressive, you can also try introducing the two animals on a leash.

Another option is to have your dog wear a muzzle while he meets your rabbit, especially if you are not 100% confident in his behavior around other animals.

The key to successfully introducing your Golden Retriever and rabbit is to take things slowly, be patient, and provide plenty of positive reinforcement when good behavior is displayed.

With time, patience, and the proper training techniques, you should be able to successfully introduce your Golden Retriever to your rabbit with minimal risk of harm to either animal.

However, if you’re a novice dog owner or lack proper training skills, I recommend getting an online dog training course as a starting point.

This will help you better understand your dog’s behavior and give you more confidence and tools for successful socialization and training your Golden Retriever with rabbits and other pets.


Here are a few frequently asked questions about Golden Retrievers and their ability to live with rabbits:

Do Golden Retrievers Chase Rabbits?

Yes, many Golden Retrievers have a natural tendency to chase small animals, including rabbits. However, with proper training and socialization, these dogs can get along well with rabbits and other small animals.

Do Golden Retrievers Hunt Rabbits?

Golden Retrievers were originally bred as hunting dogs and still retain many of these natural instincts. So, it is possible to train your Golden Retriever to hunt rabbits.

The Bottom Line

Golden Retrievers are friendly dogs that do well with rabbits as long as they are adequately trained and socialized from a young age.

However, if your dog has an aggressive personality and isn’t trained enough, then there is a small possibility that they may not get along well with rabbits.

An online dog training course can be a great way to get started for dog owners who want to ensure their Golden Retriever lives safely and happily with rabbits.

These courses will provide the building blocks for your dog’s successful socialization and training and teach you the basics of canine behavior to better understand your pet.

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