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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14835
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Why my shy loving yorkie-poo, is a bunny killer? he hates them,

Customer Question

why my shy loving yorkie-poo, is a bunny killer? he hates them, to the point, that I have to go first outside back yard check first, and see that the cost is clear so he can go out under my supervision. He broke my feelings, he killed a baby bunny... and he knows there are others... What to do? I even punished him...now no freedom going out side... Is this behavior normal?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I understand that this is very upsetting for you, and it is hard to see your beloved pup as a hunter, but Peter is just following his instincts and doing what he was bred to do. Yorkies are terriers and they were originally bred as working dogs. They were bred to go into holes and after prey fearlessly. Hunting for these working dogs was so inbred into them it become an instinctual behavior stimulated by seeing and smelling prey. Rabbits were considered pests on the farm because they ate the crops, they were not seen as pets. His behavior is normal for his breed.As Yorkies became more of a pet breed and a lap dog they were no longer selected for their ability to hunt, so many individuals became less aggressive hunters. But that doesn't mean that the instinct is gone, and there are some lines and individuals within the breed which still retain their hunting instinct. In some dogs their prey drive is so highly developed it is very difficult, if not impossible, to change their behavior. I would not give him the opportunity to hunt as the more success he has the more positive reinforcement he gets for his behavior and the more he will want to hunt. So you may need to check the yard before he goes out, and go out on a leash if you aren't sure if there are bunnies there or not.All of that said it isn't impossible to shape and change his behavior, but it will likely take work with a good dog trainer. Best of luck with your fellow.