View Full Version : Squirrels and rabbits

18th July 2007, 07:38 PM
Cavaliers may have been bred to be companion dogs, but they don't seem to have lost the hunting instincts they inherited from their spaniel ancestors (at least Annie hasn't).

If she sees a squirrel or rabbit, she goes absolutely bonkers! She growls fiercely and barks and kicks with her little paws.

Fortunately we have a small fenced yard, so the critters can get away before Annie gets too close. One time she chased a rabbit all around the yard before it managed to squeeze through the fence. I don't know what she would do if she actually caught one!

She hardly pays any attention at all to birds, cats or other creatures. But squirrels and bunnies are her prey. Last night on our walk, she chased a squirrel up a tree, then stood up with her front paws on the base of the tree and growled. She looked just like a coon dog.

Does anyone else have a little hunter in the family?


Rj Mac
18th July 2007, 07:55 PM
yeah our lucy loves to hunt the birds fortunetly for them they can get away!!!!:D

matties mum
18th July 2007, 08:07 PM
I have got 2 little hunters but it not just rabbits or squirrels it is birds as well
about 5 weeks ago on how walk off lead they find a rabbit just sitting eatting
grass Barney found it first and went up to it and touch it with his paw then Sam saw it and the rabbit must have thought run for it so both of them chase it they did not catch it the next day or so there was a young fox walk just in front of us so I shought at them and it went running off
Laet week when we were having some wet weather Barney found a mouse we were going back in the car I said what has he got in his mouth when we got home I took the very dead mouse off him
----Aileen and the gang (Jazzie---Barney---Sam)

18th July 2007, 08:10 PM

Lucky goes bonkers when he sees a squirrel (we have not seen a rabbit yet). He likes birds too but with Squirrels he gets fixated - it's really hard to divert his attention and he BARKS, like he means it.

It's definitely clear he still has that hunter instinct! Make it really hard to walk him sometimes though ...

18th July 2007, 08:57 PM
Mine are the same. Sam even loves catching flies. Who needs spiders.

brid kenny
18th July 2007, 09:03 PM
Yes true spaniels at heart. phoebe managed to torture and almost kill a wild rabbit last year. My poor father had to finish the job. And guess what I've got 2 pet rabbits out the back!!!

18th July 2007, 09:11 PM
Lucky also caught a lightening bug this past weekend ... (aka: firefly).

He also likes bees and butterflies but I keep him as far away from the bees as possible!

18th July 2007, 10:29 PM
Harvey is a cat and squirrel lover and Alfie is obsessed by flys, bees and wasps, unfortunately he eats them if he manages to catch them.

19th July 2007, 12:21 AM
My Gal Pals Cavalier is allowed off lead~ Try the Football Game at the local High School...Cavalier see's Goose about three fields away, makes a run for it and prances past a horrified stadium with goose in her mouth as a special prize for her Daddy!

19th July 2007, 02:35 AM
:D Yeah my guys are fierce hunters too, taking on rabbits, kangaroos & the cows next door.... errrr until one of them gets too close & then they scrub their little paws as if to say "there I am the cock of the walk" and then run back to safety.

19th July 2007, 09:32 AM
Yep, Chester has a thing for rabbits and birds and bugs and flys and bees..... actually most things that are a lot smaller than him!

When I take him for a walk off lead he is absolutely exhausted by the end of it because he just chases everything!

19th July 2007, 10:50 AM
Definitely a very strong trait. Cinders goes wild if she sees a rabbit or cat, Minnie is obsessed with birds, flies, bees and butterflies!!:D

19th July 2007, 03:36 PM
Well I for one am glad to see this post today. My current foster boy is totally obsessed with bunnies & squirrels and unfortunately we have an overabudance of both in my city.

I assumed it must be due to the fact he was running loose on a farm before coming into rescue. We are working very diligently on "leave it" on our daily walks as he is very obssessed with chasing & catching the bunnies esp.
I don't want him to go to a new home where he would chase kittys, etc. and harm anything.

But from the sounds of it, I guess he's not the only 'hunter' in the cavalier group.


19th July 2007, 03:48 PM
Yes, I have some chasers, too. Especially Cedar, she's always on the lookout for a good chase.

We have rabbits that live under our backdeck, so Cedar's always waiting for them to come out and "play." I am not worried about anything happening with the big rabbits: they all know how to get away. There's one old rabbit, I guess, who doesn't run for very long. It's hilarious because when the rabbit gets tired, it just stops and sit still. Cedar stops too and stares at it. It's like the rabbit called "TIME!" for its time out and the game temporarily stops. Then the rabbits goes again, and they're off!

The only time I was concerned about the dogs doing harm was in the spring when the baby bunnies started to come out into the yard. I discovered them when Cedar was showing major interest in something in grass; when I got closer I heard the squeaks of the baby -baby rabbit. Cedar was just looking at it like "What in the world is this noisy thing?" I brought all the dogs in and then limited their access to the yard until the bunnies got bigger.

19th July 2007, 03:49 PM
Mine has never spotted one, I don't think. Too oblivious! My last one was too! Though he used to bark at & try to chase birds in the garden or those that flew over. Though there was a time when my then cat (RIP) caught a live bird & brought it in the house screaming for my dog! My little one now has, a couple of times, found dead mice hidden away though & chewed/eaten them. :yuk: She has also met my sister's cat but the cat chases her! :-|

20th July 2007, 02:22 PM
All of your responses are cracking me up! I guess this is yet another trait that makes our doggies so lovable.


20th July 2007, 02:53 PM
Once at another house that I lived in the dogs could go out to their fenced in yard directly thru the garage. Well I was in the house and the little crew came running in and then they were all by the bedroom closet just wagging their tails like mad. I parted the bunch enough to see something live and gray and then could see it was a baby bunny. They had brought it in to play I think....well I saved the bunny and put it outside my fence and off it went unharmed. They were so proud of themselves.

21st July 2007, 05:27 AM
LOL! I guess we're lucky here....I have a pet house rabbit and he and Bentley get along so well together....Bentley is very gentle with him and they adore one another....in fact, the two of them snooze next to each other quite often. :D