So, I've always owned rabbits and always had at least one dog. I gave my previous dog to my mother as she really had a liking for her. I know they can co-exist, and some breeds have a higher prey drive than others.
Today, I called around some dog rescue shelters in my area and told them I was interested in a dog breed with a low prey drive that is young and trainable so I can have them co-exist with my rabbits (always supervised). I would prefer a nordic type dog for cold weather, I told them, but was unsure of those kinds of dogs' prey drive.
They all became very ..uh, abrasive? rude toned? yelled? at me and went on these God awful rants about how rabbits are terrible, mean animals and if a dog ever killed it, it'd be the rabbit's fault, not the dog's.
I was like...uh? That's totally not hat I'm calling about, but since we're on the subject, I told them that number one, rabbits are prey animals so they are always going to be on the defense around predators, and two, many rabbits become very docile as long as they are SPAYED/NEUTERED, and that dogs can be trained to be around rabbits (supervised) and not mess with them.
They then continued to yell at me and tell me that veterinarians don't fix rabbits because of anesthesia problems!!!! I was like Well, THAT'S WHEN YOU FIND A VET WHO OPERATES ON RABBITS and is KNOWLEDGEABLE on them. She said those kinds of vets don't exist.
I laughed my ass off! I said really? Cuz I volunteer for a rabbit rescue shelter and the rabbit rescue owner spays/neuters her rabbits all the time with a vet who is experienced with rabbits, and I have two rabbits myself that are fixed from another rabbit wise vet, and fixing them helped immensely with any behavior issues. And you can't blame a rabbit for being a defensive prey animal just like you can't blame a dog for being a predator.
Anyway... I told her I believe rabbits and dogs can co-exist so long as they are supervised, (i.e., I would never let my rabbits be free range without the dog being crated unless I was supervising them in the same room)... and all I really wanted to know, was if she had any dogs available that were "good" with other small animals. I asked her and one other dog rescue. They were so rude that I was totally turned off from adopting through them at all.
They insisted that the rabbits would "attack" the dog. They were so rude and anti-rabbit! When I told her my rabbits are spayed/neutered, and that what she's saying about veterinarians is not true, she said some sharp tongued comment and hung up on me. This is terrible.
Just thought this was interesting for any rabbit rescues to be aware of----that it seems like dog rescues really are uneducated on rabbits as pets and perhaps rabbit shelters may want to reach out to dog rescues and inform them.