A cute Cockapoo and a cuddly rabbit sound like the perfect combination of pets but will they really get on together likes best friends in your home?
The good news is that you can build a very happy family of animals by going about things in the right way. The following tips will help you to make sure that your Cockapoo and rabbit have a lot of fun together without any problems.
The Mix of Personalities
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When any group of people or animals live together their personalities will play a big part in how well they all get on. In this respect, Cockapoos are generally excellent, as they have a laid back attitude and are very easy-going.
For their part, rabbits tend to be shy and gentle creatures who get on well with just about anyone. Just like Cockapoos, they are easy to fall in love with and can make any house feel more like home.
Perhaps the biggest risk in this situation is that a nervous or highly excitable dog scares or upset the rabbit by playing a bit too energetically at times.
Some experts advise that the secret of this relationship is in the age and the maturity of the dog in question. If he is an older, calmer dog then there is a far greater chance of them getting on perfectly well together.
Of course, if they are both young then they have the chance to grow up together. Having said that, it is going to be more difficult for you to control the playful instincts of a younger Cockapoo.
Let Them See Where They Will Spend Time Together
Is there a certain part of the house where the two pets will spend a lot of time together? If there is then it is a good idea to let them get to know each other here.
Typically, this will be in the garden. If the rabbit is going to be living in a run then there is a good chance that the Cockapoo will find himself attracted here to see what his new friend is up to several times every day.
In some families the living room or kitchen could their most common meeting place during the days. Wherever you think is going to be their common ground is a good spot to hold an initial five to ten-minute introduction.
Making a Good First Impression
It is vital that any new pet you bring home gets the chance to make a good first impression while getting to know his new family members. This means that you will want to set aside time to introduce your pets to each other.
A safe way to do this is to get someone to hold the rabbit while someone else controls the Cockapoo. You can also have some of his favourite treats around so that you can reward him for behaving well and treating the rabbit gently.
Let your pooch sniff the rabbit but be ready to pull him away if he shows any signs of aggression. Once they are both settled and looking comfortable you should be able to put both of them down and let them carry on finding out about each other.
While they are being introduced to each other you will want to have a pleasant atmosphere that helps the two pets to get to know each other without any pressure. Speak to them in a gentle, soothing voice and try to show any signs of nervousness.
Give your dog plenty of encouragement and praise him when he is doing well. In this way, he will soon understand that making friends with your rabbit is a good thing that it is worth doing.
Leaving Them Alone for the First Time
If things go well in the first meeting then this is a good moment to leave them alone together for a short period. Try and slip out silently and without causing a fuss.
However, in other cases, it can take a few meetings before you feel ready to leave the room. Each pair of animals is different and you will need to judge their progress as you go along.
When you leave them alone for the first time you will want to stay close by so that you can keep a close eye on how they are getting on. If there are any signs of nervousness from either animal then you will want to be ready to go back and calm them both down quickly.
You can expect your Cockapoo to have more energy than the rabbit and to carry on having fun and exploring for more time. If the rabbit appears to be getting tired or wants to be alone for a while then you should take the chance to separate them for the time being.
If the dog shows a lack of interest in his new buddy then this simply means that the initial interest has passed and that everything is ok with the pair of them.
Once you are completely satisfied that your new pets are going to be fine together then you will be happy leaving them alone. This may take some time and you will want to be absolutely sure before taking this step.
What If There Are Problems
It is possible that your dog and rabbit have problems together. Being chased or harassed by a dog can have a serious effect on a rabbit’s health, so it is a matter that can’t be ignored.
First of all, if you realise that the Cockapoo has been hassling the rabbit then you will probably want the little fellow to get checked out by a vet. This sort of stress can damage a rabbit’s health but it may not be noticeable right away.
Taking your dog to obedience classes is a smart way of making sure that he behaves better at home. However, this is something that is going to take some time to show positive effects, so you will need to keep the two of them apart in the meantime.
There may come a time when you realise that they simply can’t spend time alone together. Will you keep them separated at all times or will you be forced to make the tough decision to give one of them up?
If there are going to be problems between the two pets then the sooner you find out the better. Ideally, you will find out how they get on before you make the decision to bring your new pet home with you.
Basically, giving new friends a chance to get to know each other is the key to a successful future relationship. However, not every pair of animals will get on as well as you hope.
By letting them get used to each in a setting that is going to be familiar to them you will give the two of them the chance to build up the foundations of a strong and lasting friendship that brings a lot of joy to the whole family for years to come.
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